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“This is a wonderful place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Temple of Literature & National University

Temple of Literature & National University
Quoc Tu Giam St. | Dong Da District, Hanoi, Vietnam
04-845-2917
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Private Tour
$50*
and up
Private Tour: Hanoi City Full-Day Tour including...
Ranked #4 of 91 Attractions in Hanoi
Type: Religious Sites, Educational Sites, History Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu, 文廟) is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the "Imperial Academy" (Quốc Tử Giám, 國子監), Vietnam's first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of King Lý Nhân Tông. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which are dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The Temple is located to the south of Thang Long Citadel. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae of doctors are places where offering ceremonies, study sessions and the strict exams of the Dai Viet took place. The temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese đồng banknote. Just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Hán characters. The art works are given as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions.
kandal
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“This is a wonderful place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

This is a wonderful place to visit for those who want to know more about the ancient history of Vietnam. It is best to have a guide with you as the place will not reveal its history, or the significance of this centre of learning.

Visited April 2013
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Go with a Guide”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

If you don't, there really isn't a whole lot to see. Maybe I just have high expectations for some of the attractions, but beyond a few courtyards and only a few signs in English, there really isn't anything to see. It's old, which is cool, I guess. And the few things I was able to read were interesting tidbits of information.

I mean honestly, the attractions in Hanoi are not really that impressive in general. Do yourself a favor and skip all of this stuff and get a feel for the real culture of Hanoi by just roaming the streets and talking to people/experiencing the Old Quarter/observing the chaos/frequenting the numerous cafes/eating the delicious food. It's a better use of your time.

Or don't, and go here for 45 minutes max and seriously have a guide. Otherwise, it's just some old walls and a few paragraphs to read.

Visited May 2013
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St. Catharines, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

The grounds were beautiful and well cared for. There wasn't a lot of substance to actually do/see but we enjoyed it as a peaceful walk through nice gardens with a short temple experience at the end.

Visited April 2013
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Newcastle
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice grounds - see it if you have time”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Pleasant gardens, some interesting bonsai & a great setting for photos but without a guide it wasn't easy to find much information about the place. A pleasant afternoon visit but we liked other sites better.

Visited June 2013
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The Hague
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Moving”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

We visited the temple at the time when High School and University students get their Diploma and their Degree Course results.
It was lovely to see the students (the girls dressed in their traditional ao dai) gathering in the courtyard to be photographed by their loved ones, so much joy in their eyes!

Inside the temple parents, grandparents and children prayed together in front of the statues of the Buddha, of Confucius, of Lao Tse........ and they offered incense, money and fruit.
It was deeply moving to see especially the parents, to witness the devotion with which they pray so that their children can have a better life than themselves.

Visited June 2013
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