The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is the second most populous city in the country with approximately 4 million people. The history and culture of Vietnam is clearly on display. Excellent Vietnamese cuisine, vibrant street-life, contemporary art galleries and French architecture combine to form a unique blend of old and new, Asian and European. Despite recent rapid development, the city has retained much of its traditional identity. Physically the lakes and Old Quarter still retain a wonderful sense of timeless grace and much of its population continues to observe centuries old customs and festivals.
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ONE PILLAR PAGODA
This replica of Hanoi's iconic temple was built by Khon Kaen's sizeable Vietnamese community. It's a good sunset-watching spot.
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE
About 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the temple is dedicated to Confucius (Khong Tu) and honours Vietnam’s finest scholars and men of literary accomplishment. Vietnam’s first university was established here in 1076. At this time entrance was only granted to those of noble birth, but after 1442 a more egalitarian approach was adopted and gifted students from all over the nation headed to Hanoi to study the principles of Confucianism, literature and poetry. In 1484 Emperor Le Thanh Tong ordered that stelae be erected to record the names, places of birth and achievements of exceptional scholars: 82 stelae remain standing. The imposing tiered gateway (on P Quoc Tu Giam) that forms the main entrance is preceded by a curious plaque, whose inscription requests that visitors dismount their horses before entering. Paths then lead through formal gardens to the Khue Van pavilion, constructed in 1802, beyond which is a large square pond known as the Well of Heavenly Clarity. The northern side of this courtyard is marked by a low-slung pagoda housing an extraordinary statue of a majestic-looking Confucius, depicted with a goatee and bearing scarlet robes, flanked by four of his disciples.
tran quoc pagoda
One of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda is on the eastern shore of Tay Ho, just off Ð Thanh Nien, which divides this lake from Truc Bach Lake. A stela here, dating from 1639, tells the history of this site. The pagoda was rebuilt in the 15th century and again in 1842.
BUT THAP TEMPLE
But Thap Temple is a Buddhist temple located near the dyke of the Duong River, Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam. The temple houses the biggest Avalokiteśvara statue with one thousand eyes and a thousand arms. But Thap Temple is one of the most famous pagodas in Viet Nam. Inside, there are various valuable ancient objects and statues, which are considered to be Vietnamese masterpieces of 17th-century wood carving. The pagoda has 10 buildings spreading for 100 meters from the three-entrance gate to the bell-tower and back house. Inside the temple are more than 50 statues of different sizes including the Triad Buddha, Manjusri (Van Thu) on a blue lion and Samantabhadra (Pho Hien) on a white elephant. The most remarkable is the thousand-handed and thousand-eyed Guanyin, which is described as a sculptural masterpiece of Vietnam.