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“A cultural visit”

Temple of Literature & National University
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Ranked #14 of 280 things to do in Hanoi
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Level 6 Contributor
326 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“A cultural visit”
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We visited the temple which was amazing re the colours and the architecture but what made it interesting was we chose to visit on a day when the students were having photographs taken for their year books. This made us feel very much part of their culture and it was lovely to see the young people dressed up in their finery and watch them act out their traditions.

Visited November 2013
Thank Lynda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Makati, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Good to include for a Hanoi city tour”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

When we arrived, we were somewhat surprised by the crowds. Turns out that it was a graduation day, hence the reason we saw so many young men and women, the latter dressed mostly in colorful and sexy ao dai (or the Vietnamese costume for women).

Very good photo opportunity for the timing of our visit, so if you can catch it too, you will find colorful costumes, groups of women and men posing for pictures, balloons all over, flowers too and of course there were those souvenirs in the stalls.

I think it cost us VND 10,000 per head for the admission fee. Very good bargain as the place is quite big. After we went through the picturesque main gate, there was a big garden with a nice leafy green lawn and trees, then through the second courtyard with some symbolism attached to present day Hanoi. A third courtyard had a big pond but what was interesting hereabouts was the large number of stone turtle steles - apparently it contained lists of those who passed the exams. Our guide explained the somewhat bewildering and challenging levels of schools that students had to go through (wow, so many). I noticed that the turtle seems to be a recurring symbol which is quite important to the Vietnamese people.

We also reached the fourth courtyard, and aside from souvenir shops we saw, I noticed some musical performance going on at the side, Turns out that there was a short performance for bamboo instruments. Very nice - its free, though you are offered some cds containing some bamboo music. I didn't regret buying one because the music was soothing and a great background for parties.

At the other side was an altar which seemed to be devoted to Confucius and his disciples. There seemed to be a lot of incense and altars..which am not sure how to identify now. Anyway, again another good photo op :-)

Visit for at least an hour to two hours if you are interested in the cultural, religious and educational significance of this historic site.

Visited November 2013
Thank cuh888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
61 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“The busiest venue we visited so it must be good”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Whereas every other museum, monument, etc we visited was patronised by tourists, nothing we saw compared to the Temple of Literature. While there hundreds of graduating students from the suurounding senior schools were ther for photos. The girls looked so beautiful in their coloured trousers and white chong sams. Hair imaculate and decorated with flowers and/or jewellry. The boys in dress suits with bow ties (and sneakers!). Maybe for this venue a local guide would be helpful however my wife and I got the gist. Close enought to our hotel in the Old Quarter for us to taxi there and walk back through the shopping streets.

Visited November 2013
Thank mustlovebali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Graduation day at the Temple”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

We didn't notice too much of the actual temple, as there were so many students celebrating their graduations, we were mesmerised by all the young people and their fashions/photographic opportunities. The temple is obviously very popular with the local people and school children were being shown round and having various lessons in the grounds too. Don't be surprised if you are surrounded by a class of young (tots) people checking out their language skills on you

Visited December 2013
Thank KarenPUAE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So-So Cal
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Read up before you go.....”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

What do you expect from a place called the "Temple of Literature?" It's complicated, to say the least, so we recommend reading up on exactly what it's all about before going. It's a labyrinth of Asian Mystery, even with the explanations provided by the guide. The day we were there, graduates from the University were posing for pictures in colorful caps and gowns and traditional Vietnamese dress, which provided badly-needed levity to what was otherwise borderline drudgery. For a better experience, do your homework before you go.

Visited November 2013
Thank mvdljca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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