Hanoi is a busy city with over 8 million citizens and there are few places where you can escape from the noise. One of those places is the Temple of Literature, which is dedicated to the teachings of Confucius. Unlike pagodas, which are places of worship for Buddhists, the temples in Vietnam are celebrations for famous people in the country’s history. Although Confucius did not live in Vietnam, the country embraced his teachings and creating the Temple of Literature in 1070 and using it as Vietnam’s Imperial Academy soon afterwards.
There are five courtyards in the Temple of Literature and each of them serve a specific purpose. From places where the scholars could relax, to areas of study, and altars dedicated to Confucius. Today, it is a busy place with many tourists visiting and we were fortunate to see many students that were celebrating their graduation from the academy.
The Temple of Literature is not located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, so it is a short taxi ride to get there. It is certainly worth taking the time to visit and walk around this historic site with its amazing architecture and golden statues. Walking the grounds and seeing the different courtyards took us a couple of hours and the highlight was seeing all of the graduating students excited to get their diplomas. It was one of the first things that we saw during our time in Hanoi and it certainly made for a memorable start to a wonderful trip.