Walking through the gates into The Temple of Literature in Hanoi is like stepping into an oasis. Located in the middle of the city, The Temple of Literature is an ancient landmark that was originally built in 1070 as a university dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. With it’s picturesque gardens, traditional architecture and tranquil lake, it’s a world away from the bustling city that lies beyond its historic walls.
We were at the temple shooting an exciting web series for Topdeck Travel – you can watch episode two (above) to see The Temple of Literature through our eyes and see the experiences we had there. From the hundred-year-old bonsai trees and incense wafting through the air, to the ancient inscriptions on the walls and epic statue of Confucius, its no wonder the temple is one of the most important cultural places in Vietnamese history.
While the temple is a place of study rather than a religious landmark, my guide advised me to dress modestly out of respect – which means covered shoulders and knees. In 35° C this can be challenging, but luckily I’d packed a long linen dress by one of my favourite Aussie labels, Spell & The Gypsy Collective. It’s a super breezy style that you can wear even when it’s crazy hot, because it’s loose, light and protects you from the sun. You can even unbutton it all the way down and wear it over a bikini or mini dress like a cape. It’s sold out in this dusty pink fabric, but the dress is one of their signature styles that they do every season in an array of different prints, fabrics and cut variations. Look out for an awesome leopard print version of it from my recent trip to Samoa.
Photography by myself and Emanuel Wetterqvist (photos featuring me).
To find out more about Topdeck trips in Asia or to book, visit topdeck.travel
If you’re looking for somewhere delicious to have lunch before of after your visit to The Temple of Literature, head around the corner to KOTO Restaurant – an awesome non-for-profit social enterprise that’s a hospitality school for disadvantaged youth. The restaurant is top notch and the training ground for the kids to get trained up in a two-year program that provides them with internationally recognised chef qualifications.
Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, Đống Đa, Hanoi.