Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Dispatches from Hanoi

I walked the streets for some hours and I got glimpses of the Vietnam I knew of old with narrow streets with women carrying loads on poles. Much of Hanoi is modern and appears to be thriving economically.

I greatly enjoyed visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex and meeting an old soldier (right) who worshiped Ho Chi Minh. With his son left. People are so friendly.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the surrounding museum, parks, pagodas  is a splendid memorial to one of te greatest leaders of the 20th century.


A young lady fanning herself at the side of  Hoan Kiem Lake allowed me to take her picture. In fact, so many women, who were with their husbands and partners, wanted to have their photo taken with me as I walked aroiund three different lakes. They always asked where I am from, and when i said said Tân Tây Lan, New Zealand, they giggled.

There were so many highlights today but going to the Temple of Literature was brilliant

The Temple of Literature (Vietnamese: Văn Miếu, Hán tự: 文廟) is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the "Imperial Academy" (Quốc Tử Giám, 國子監), Vietnam's first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of King Lý Nhân Tông. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which are dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The Temple is located to the south of Thang Long Citadel. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae of doctors are places where offering ceremonies, study sessions and the strict exams of the Dai Viet took place. The temple is featured on the back of the 100000 Vietnamese đồng banknote. Just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Hán tự. The art works are given as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions. Thanks to Wiki for this.

The shrine dedicated to Confucius inside the main temple.

At the Temple of Literature, the woodwork, stone work and gables and tiling was so impressive. Above, the ancient sliding doors remind us of a craft long forgotten.


The seats where the sages, scholars and doctors sat to discuss matters of great scientific, cultural, artistic and literary importance.

The one pillar Pagoda in the Ho Chi Minh complex constructed in 1049.

I visited so many other places today but to cap it off, there was a delightful end to the day with colours streaking the sky. Thank God there is a tomorrow with so much to see and do,

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Marja said...

Hi Bob Nice to read your posts again. Hope all is well. We sat in the plane from singapore to Christchurch nect to a student from girls high who wehnt with school on a trip to Vietnam. They had a great time. Nice to have some impressions of it through your post.

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