backpackerlee

Join me on my travels around the world

Reading with Confucius

The historic Temple of Literature in Hanoi is a large Confucius temple that houses the Imperial Academy, and it was here where the Vietnamese language was born. The temple is so revered these days that it’s featured on the back of a 100,000 Dong banknote.

literature3

literature2

I was fascinated to have a little look around this 1000 year old temple, which itself is just south of Thang Long Citadel. I only had time to check one of these attractions out, so I chose the Temple of Literature as I felt it was going to be more interesting. I was very happy with my decision – and I even saw some monks! Most certainly the oldest part of Hanoi, the temple is situated in very large grounds, and there are manicured gardens, a huge lake, and a handful of courtyards, with the all important pavilions and temples located within. The layout of the temple complex did kind of remind of the Forbidden City in Beijing, whereby you are entering one courtyard after another before you reach the centre.

literature7

literature5

literature6

The red of the interior of the Temple of Literature was a nice contrast to the greenery outside. It made for a very colourful morning’s visit, and was probably the most impressive temple or pagoda that visited in Hanoi. I noticed many stone steles scattered around the interior of the temple, and there were names engraved on these steles to commemorate the successful students who passed their royal exams. The most impressive part of the complex were the altar of Confucius and his disciples (this was called Van Mieu).

literature4

literature8

The gardens in the Temple of Literature were amazing, and as I was slowly walking around I was imagining what it must have been like to have been a member of the Mandarin bureaucracy 1000 years ago and sitting on these lawns or under a pagoda and reading under the spotlight of Confucius himself. I’d really recommend a quick visit to this Confucius temple to everybody who has some spare time in Hanoi. After some shopping in the Old Quarter and a relaxing stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, a visit to a temple like this provides a nice change of scene. Entrance to the Temple of Literature is 20,000 Dong (around 70p in UK money, I think) but beware that it was closed every Monday throughout 2014.

3 comments on “Reading with Confucius

  1. bnbhanoi
    August 27, 2014

    Nice article and great photos. Thanks

    • backpackerlee
      August 28, 2014

      Thanks for reading. Is there a more scenic temple in Hanoi than the Temple of Literature?

  2. Pingback: Backpacking in Hanoi | backpackerlee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on August 26, 2014 by in Vietnam and tagged , , , .
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 865 other followers

%d bloggers like this: