Temple of Literature

Attraction Temple of Literature, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi, Vietnam Published on: 26-04-2017

1 hours 30 mins
07:30 AM - 05:30 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
1.34 USD

Temple of Literature is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Temple of Literature & National University is the first university of Viet Nam. Your trip to Ha Noi will never be fulfilled if you miss to visit Van Mieu.

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Why Temple of Literature is special ?

The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu, 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 Thánh 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 100,000 Vietnamese đồng banknote. Just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration Tết, calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and write wishes in Hán characters. The art works are given as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

What to explore at Temple of Literature?

The temple is divided into five court yard, each with its own significance and history. The first courtyard stretches from the main gate to Dai Trung gate; the second stands out with Khue Van Cac pavilion. If you notice well, you will find the pavilion symbol on all street signs of Hanoi. The third courtyard is where doctor names was listed on a tombstone above tortoise backs.

There are a total of 82 tombstones, with names and origins of 1307 doctors, corresponding to 82 examination courses from 1442 to 1779. If you visit the temple at the beginning of the year or in May when many important examinations take place, you will catch sights of numerous students who come and rub the tortoise head. Such an act is believed to bring them luck to pass the test.

The fourth courtyard is dedicated for Confucius and his 72 honoured students, as well as Chu Van An- a famous teachers known for his devotion to teaching. This is also where local authorities choose to cherish brilliant students in Hanoi, like those with top entrance results to university or top graduation outcomes. The last and also furthest courtyard is Thai Hoc house, which used to be Quoc Tu Giam- the first university of Vietnam. Thai Hoc house holds a small collection of old time costumes for students and mandarins, as well as explaining the process of taking and passing the national examination.

Source : www,vietnamonline.com

How to get to Temple of Literature?

The Temple of Literature is about 10 minutes away from Hoan Kiem lake. About 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake. It's easy for you to walk to this temple or go by cyclo.

Selling points

  • Ancient & interesting
  • Good impression of a Vietnamese temple complex
  • Just so much to absorbe, facinating
  • Catch the musical performance
  • Well worth a visit
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9.0 days
238.81 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
32 places




Temple of Literature, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Tips for you

  • If you are keen on architecture, Temple of literature has one of the most typical architecture style for centuries in Vietnam, composed of wood and tiles.
  • There are several souvenir stores around the temple at reasonable price.
  • You should not bring incense when entering the temple of literature
    What to wear
  • This is a specialised place to visit and you need a guide for more information.
  • It is more exciting when you go to this place during Tet holidays.
  • It is so crowded here on public holidays.
  • You should be aware of thieves.
  • The entrance fee is about 2 USD.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • You may also see recent graduates in their garb taking pictures of each other.
  • You can caught a musical presentation at the last building towards the back of the complex on some special occasions.
  • This is definitely worth seeing during your time in Hanoi but there isn't much information available inside or in the leaflet so get a good guide book to explain what you're seeing.


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The temple was first constructed in 1070 and in English, it means the Temple of Literature which is one of the famous places in Hanoi and considered by many Vietnamese as the first university.

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During Tết holidays there is a f*ckload of ppl

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Đã từng trẩy hoa lan, trèo lấy nhãn & cả...vặt muỗm trong này

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Hồi còn bé, khi Văn Miếu còn chưa xây hàng rào bao quanh, hồ Văn còn là một ao bèo chưa được tôn tạo & khu Thái Học chỉ là bãi cỏ dại, mình bán nước dạo trước cổng Văn Miếu

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Pay 100 Dong for a guide in your native language, its well worth it.

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A real oasis of calm in the middle of the city with iconic traditional architecture. Very appropriate for the original home of scholarship in Vietnam.

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It was okay but a bit disappointing! I suppose if you have seen temples for the past year than this is not worth a visit!

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I have visited the temple of literature several times, it is a very quiet spot in a noisy city. Also it it is a tribute to old masters and professors and gives a different perspective on the history of Hanoi which is not only dedicated to trade or the political city of Vetnam but has been as well a place for lecturers and thinkers

TripAdvisor View more

So calm and peaceful inside and our guide was very happy to share his knowledge of the educational system. From the photographs we had seen we thought it was situated outside of the city but it is central and just like a large walled garden in the centre of this huge city!

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It is more exciting when you go to this place during Tet holidays. Try some activities such as praying and touching the bell also. Moreover, buy yourself some words which are special to you

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