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!Read more

Streets of Hanoi

Hanoi is a street food paradise and the Old Quarter with it hundred over streets is just so crammed with stalls and makeshift shops. The “baby” plastic stools and tables, the bold signboards, the hard-working women, the smell, the noise and the total ambience of the streets in Hanoi is just not easy to describe…..you need to experience it!! You see vendors washing their vegetables, meat and crockery on the roadside and wonder if it is safe to eat the street food – I would scream “It is safe!”Read more

People Watching in the Old Quarters

I love people watching especially when I am on a holiday. It is harmless and enriching. I say “enriching” because I learn so much by just observing how people go about their daily lives. It becomes even better when you strike an eye contact with whom you are watching and exchange smiles. But then it can turn out to be a nasty experience sometimes when the party stares back at you!

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