3 In Religion + Spirituality/ Travel/ Vietnam

Temple of Literature & Ngoc Son Temple – Hanoi

One of my favorite parts of traveling through Southeast Asia is that I got the chance to visit temples like I’ve never visited before. Hanoi’s two beautiful temples I visited (Temple of Literature & Ngoc Son Temple) were no exception to this joyful experience. 

⋙ THE TEMPLE OF LITERATURE /  Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám

This Temple of Confucius was built in the 11th century and was actually Vietnam’s first university. It’s absolutely beautiful and was my first Confucian Temple. This temple was originally made for the rich Vietnamese class to learn to be a lawyer or doctor or another high-ranking job, but it was later opened up to everyone. 


The front gate.


The grounds and courtyards here are unbelievable beautiful. 

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These turtles have massive stones stacked on the back and there are characters written on them – these characters are the names of the students who passed their exams.  IMG_4137 IMG_4139 IMG_4140 IMG_4143 IMG_4145 IMG_4148 IMG_4149 IMG_4151

Inside is a Confucian Shrine.


These Confucian scrolls are absolutely stunning. I absolutely loved seeing these tiny characters on these scrolls. 

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This temple is a really beautiful stop and with an admission price of only $0.89 it’s a must-see!



This temple is one of the most visited sites in Hanoi and with good reason. This temple is located on an island in a lake. There’s a myth that the king who conquered Mongolia did so by using a sword brought to him by a giant turtle from the depths of the lake. After he conquered Mongolia, this temple was built in his honor. 


To get to this temple, you have to cross onto the island over this beautiful red bridge.


This is a representation of the turtle carrying the sword on his back.


Offerings to the king

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The inside of this temple is unbelievable! There are so many offerings and lights and so much attention to detail!


Pardon my water bottle’s perfect reflection, but this is a stuffed lake turtle that is said to have weighed more than 20 pounds.

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These two temples that I visited in Hanoi are both very beautiful and at less than a dollar each, it’s worth giving them a visit. I think that exploring temples and talking to people in them is a perfect way to get to know a culture a little bit better.

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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  • Reply
    October 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I have never been in Vietnam so I find it astonishing that the temples look exactly like many temples I have seen during my journeys through China and Taiwan. Your pictures make me long for another trip to China.

    • Reply
      October 26, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      That’s really interesting! I’ve never been to either of those countries, but Vietnam was part of China for several hundred years, so that makes sense, I suppose! Thanks for reading and I hope you make it back to China soon!

  • Reply
    Xoxo, Southeast Asia - For the Love of Wanderlust
    July 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    […] studied Eastern Religion in college, so visiting Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Confucian and Taoist Temples never ceased to make my heart race. I loved seeing this beautiful aspect of […]

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