1. Temple Of Literature, April 2018. If you’re only going to see one temple in Vietnam’s capital, there’s a strong case to be made for this ancient complex, which stands in tribute to the country’s finest scholars. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university.
2. Temple Of Literature, April 2018. Stuffed full of gorgeous altars, pagodas, gardens and ponds in a rare show of intact, traditional Vietnamese architecture; no wonder The Temple of Literature is considered one of Hanoi’s most beautiful spots. Foot traffic rarely lets up, so you’ll need to be extra patient to get your photos.
3. Temple Of Literature, April 2018. My favorite part of the complex is The Third Courtyard with its giant pond, a stone well and two great halls housing ancient temple treasures.
4. Temple Of Literature, April 2018. The Third Courtyard is a cherished spot for Hanoians too, especially university students who come here to pray for good grades and celebrate their graduations! On the day of my visit I came across a group performing all kinds of amusing poses at the request of a professional photographer. The courtyard is also featured on the ten thousand Dong banknote.
5. Temple Of Literature, April 2018. The temple’s ceremonial heart is here at The Courtyard of the Sages Sanctuary. There’s a statue of Confucius here, which unsurprisingly attracted the attention of some Chinese schoolchildren, who descended upon the square just seconds after I took this photo. The temple is open daily from 08:00-18:00. Admission is 30.000VND (£1/€1.10/$1.30).
Interested in reading more about my favorite temples around the world? Why not cast your eyes over My 5s on Guandi Temple (Quanzhou, China), Yongmunsa Temple (Yangpyeong, Korea), Wat Pho (Bangkok, Thailand) and the temples of Angkor (Siem Reap, Cambodia).
For more on Vietnam’s amazing capital, have a look at more My 5s from around Hanoi.
Like these? You can also leaf through my articles from across Vietnam.