The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is a day trip in and of itself so I wandered there as part of my walk today. I did not actually know I would end up there when I started this morning after breakfast. What I knew was that I had to walk. I had to feel the sweat running and my feet moving and the camera doing its thing. Where I ended up is the Temple of Literature in Hanoi. Its a nice walk if you are into walking from the old quarter but I took a circuitous path there as in most of my meanderings.
Its a great place to wander around for some hours and easily accessible. You will see a lot of steles and other works of art and learning in the Temple. The grounds are very clean and easy to navigate and the pamphlets and learning include being able to get audio presentations if you are inclined. I wanted to wander the grounds with the camera instead.
There are also students that graduate that get their pictures taken at the temple at this time of year so you get to see the historic and the present day all at one time. To walk the temple grounds is to find yourself both back in the past and in the present which is a delightful mix. The beauty of the grounds are in the level of maintenance and upkeep the park has and all of it is open and available for photography. After paying your 30k VND you can wander the grounds as you wish.
What I enjoyed most was the people who visited. I always get a lot of hello’s from Vietnamese when I am out walking and seeing things. I really enjoy that part. But at the temple the cameras are out and people are wanting to get memories taken.
If you go to the temple in the summer months, stop at the last little store and get ice water. Mine was ice cold and was even partially frozen in the bottle. I went back for seconds :-).
The access to the temple grounds is through a gate where you pay a 30k VND fee and get access after that. Walking the grounds is interesting but get off the main pathway and look at the beautiful ponds with what I think were water Lillies and the smaller buildings off to the sides. As is usual, you can find gems in the side paths at this park.
A lot of tourists perhaps buy a day Hanoi tour and end up at the temple for some time. I saw tours come and go but I stayed around to photograph things as the people ebbed. My photography of the Temple is here.
Just another reason you should come visit Vietnam. Hanoi has so much to offer.
Talking English with Mom and Daughter…
Then I ended up after 2o minutes or so walking back at Hoan Kiem Lake and a young lady asked to talk with me. We sat there discussing literature, music, history, her teachers, travel for over an hour. She had great command of the language and could talk with me about books in English she had read, travels she wanted to do, what it was like in different states and in California. Her mom had to come get her after the hour plus because she had a party to go to. I was amazed at her command of the language, history, and the ability to discuss literature, history, mythology. Simply amazing. The mom was no slouch in the English department herself so we messed around with taking photographs together.
Just an enjoyable day. I fear I am going to miss Hanoi terribly when I leave in a few weeks. The longer stay has been exquisite and being able to leave for day trips or longer like to Halong Bay and Hoi An have been great but I have to say that Hanoi is an amazing place. So much to see and do. Food to eat. Its been a grand time here. Hard to believe I have been here since March 16th.
But time marches on and my Visa will end in September. At that point, I will have done more tours and trips in Ho Chi Minh City to beaches, back to Danang because I want to see it, and then probably day tours.
Its all interesting to this old retired guy who has spent three months almost in Hanoi. I love this city and will miss it.