For some reason, husband and I were discussing how amazing and cheap our Vietnam holiday had been in December 2019. We were there for almost 8 days and I haven’t blogged about it even once in the six months that have elapsed since. But today, I feel like writing a little about it.
In fact, I just want to talk about one place – the Temple of Literature in Hanoi. It was here that Vietnam’s first University was established, making it the center for all renowned scholars of the nation to gather for centuries. The country has seen several wars, but the Vietnamese have fiercely protected its premises.
Constructed in the early 11th century, the Temple of Literature co-exists like a beautiful ancient relic amidst the hustle and bustle of the modern Hanoi. With fancy cafes designed to make your Instagram feed look cool dotting the streets around it.
Despite being a popular tourist spot, what really makes the Temple of Literature special is the fact that graduating students even now visit the place to celebrate their academic milestones.
On the day of our visit to the temple, it was filled with happy looking youngsters dressed in graduation robes, taking pictures and selfies. It was so nice to have them all around. I am probably writing about that day also because I have been nostalgic about my own convocation ceremony.
The premises has five courtyards and is filled with ancients slabs commemorating scholars who once studied there. In the end, there is a lovely little building that has a statue of the philosopher Confucius. The temple is dedicated to him and other philosophers and great minds. Right outside, there is a cute antique shop.
Strolling around the courtyards that are filled with beautiful trees, bonsai plants and relics from the past, is a calming balm to a city soul who appreciates history.
If you ever visit Hanoi, visit this place.