April 21, 2024

First Stop: Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam

In the capital city of Hanoi, age-old structures fill every tourist’s must-visit list. And I tell you, with Vietnam‘s lengthy and colorful history, this list can be quite long. One of the structures on this list (probably sitting comfortably near the top) is the Temple of Literature in Đống Đa, Hà Nội. The Temple of Literature is an important figure in Vietnam’s history. Not only is it a temple of Confucius, but it also houses the Imperial Academy or Quốc Tử Giám, Vietnam’s very first national university.

Every day, tourists come in droves to visit the temple. The temple is known for its amazing architecture, well-manicured gardens, courtyards and fishponds, pavilions, halls, and more.

My first time at the Temple of Literature was quite remarkable. As a first-time overseas traveler, I saw an entirely different culture and set of beliefs. And with no idea what to expect, the things that I saw and experienced within were nothing short of wonderful.

Take a look at some of my shots of Hanoi’s lovely Temple of Literature.

Temple of Literature

First, we bought tickets just outside the temple gates. Each ticket costs VND 30,000 or roughly Php 70.

Then, it was time to proceed. Here is the main gate of Hanoi’s Temple of Literature.

Next, we dropped by one of the courtyards. There, we saw these stelae sitting on the back of giant turtles. The turtle is a symbol of longevity and wisdom. Additionally, it is known as one of Vietnam’s four holy creatures. Moreover, the stelae (or the slabs of solid stone) contain the names of the first university’s graduates.

The stelae tell of how important the royal exams were at the university. Also, they highlight the importance of education, talent, and courage to the people of Vietnam.

The whole complex is made up of several different areas. Two of the complex’s biggest quarters, for example, include a big brick courtyard and a temple.

Visitors can see many religious figures adorned with flowers and offerings in various parts of the complex.

A gold-plated sculpture of a turtle is one of the Temple of Literature’s most-photographed cultural pieces.

Calligraphy is available inside the temple complex, too. In fact, for several hundred thousand dongs, you can get your very own customized calligraphy done while you wait!

Exploring the Complex

Posing at one of the gates which leads to a different courtyard

One of the many pocket gardens in the Temple of Literature complex looks peaceful and pretty

The second floor of the academy offers an amazing view of the surrounding structures and open spaces.

A shot of a big open space fronting the national academy

Here is a closer look at the temple’s amazing woodwork

When you’re in such a lovely place, it is difficult not to pose for a photo. 🙂




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