At the Temple of Literature in Hanoi (Vietnam), you can pray for good school grades. After all, this temple honors the greatest Vietnamese scholars of ancient times.
Obviously, many students would visit the temple during examination days, praying they’d get the exam results they’re hoping for.
Perhaps, the most-visited temple here is the one dedicated to the Chinese philosopher, Kong Zi (aka Confucius).
It’s also here in this temple where Vietnam’s first university was founded in 1076.
You can also find this temple in the VND100,000 monetary bill.
From the entrance to the end of the temple, the gardens are well-manicured.
Visitors will be able to walk through from courtyard to courtyard.
Each of these five courtyards carry English descriptions easier to understand what they are and what the temples are there for.
There are many statues here, but they are mostly of prominent scholars who contributed to Vietnamese society’s betterment.
In the fourth courtyard, you will find these 82 (out of 116) stelae. Inscribed in them are the names of the great Vietnamese scholars and the list of their several achievements. Many students would touch these concrete stelae for exam good luck, but touching them now are forbidden.
In one of the temples, don’t miss staring at the golden, ceramic tortoise. It’s fascinating.
Another animal that you shouldn’t miss is the statues of these two flamingos. Do you see the body parts that are shinier than the others? People touch them because they are told that if they do – it will bring them good luck! Nope, I didn’t do that! Why? Because I was afraid of the COVID-19 virus! 🙂
Before you enter the last temple, you will find these ladies playing with local musical instruments. They’re not just there to entertain you, but also to serve you traditional music. If you want to support them, you can buy one of their CDs.
Hanoi is a city engulfed in noise pollution. But here, at the Temple of Literature, you’ll find the peace you’re looking for in its quiet gardens. Sit on a bench and claim your nirvana. Who knows, the calmness that the ancient scholars felt will be upon you? 🙂
Where to Stay at the Old Quarter in Hanoi
I stayed at Little Hanoi Hostel in the Old Quarter. They have bunk beds and rooms for those who want privacy complete with a bathtub. Take note that you are in the Old Quarter so you don’t expect 5-star quality accommodation. Most buildings are old and the pipes are rusty. This hostel, however, looks fine to me – though it would have been better if I were assigned to a room with a window. The staff members are nice and they helped me book an airline ticket and taxi to the airport. You can find everything around the hostel and it is within walking distance of everything you want to see in Hanoi. You can also book it via Booking, Expedia, and HostelWorld.