We visited Viet Nam over Easter, I see Dave has already covered this trip but I shall add to it. We stayed in a fabulous hotel (Apparently George Bush stayed here during an APEC summit) in Ha Noi which only makes the contrast between the place we stayed and the street life all the more interesting. The hotel was built on reclaimed land around Ho Tay or West Lake, more and more building is going on around Ha Noi now, it sure seems to be booming. However it still retains that south Asian charm.

“I will just take the water Buffalo for a walk dear!”

Where is the grave sight? Seen on a Ha Noi side street.

The neo Gothic cathedral of St. Joseph’s were we celebrated Easter service. It dates to 1886.

One of the highlights of our stay in ha Noi was a trip to the Temple of Literature. The guide book says it is a welcome retreat from the noisy street. I had forgotten how noisy Viet Nam is. Everyone uses their horns almost all the time apparently to warn others of ones approach but because everyone honks their horns most people ignore them all thus it gets even noisier!!! If you are not deaf when you go you will soon become either crazy or hard of hearing!
This temple is very large and thus has quite areas. It was founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong who dedicated it to Confucius. Viet Nam’s first university was established here in 1076 to educate the sons of mandarins and in 1484 stelae were first erected to record names, places of birth and accomplishments of men who received doctorates from 1442 until 1778 when this practice was stopped. The university was transferred in 1802 to the new capitol of Hue.

a musical ensemble performing in one of the buildings at the temple of Literature.

Some of the stelae, they are carried on the back of a tortoise

Part of one of the gardens.

Statue of Confucius

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