Temple of Literature

One of Hanoi’s most revered temple complex is the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu). The temple’s plan is modelled on that of Confucius’s birthplace in Qufu, China and has five courtyards. I was fascinated by the Third Courtyard temple’s 82 stone slabs mounted on tortoises. Each stone slab records the results of a state examination held at the National Academy between 1442 and 1779. Don’t go there on a weekend – it tends to be crowded. Some youngsters go there to take their graduation shots!

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