Friday, December 21, 2012

Hanoi 3 Temples (12/21/2012)

Still Friday, December 21, 2012
Behind the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, we visited the One Pillar Pagoda:
First built in 1049 by Emperor Lý Thái Tông in gratitude for having a son. It is made to resemble a lotus blossom on a single stem, on which the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara appeared to the Emperor in a dream where she presented him a baby boy.
It was destroyed by French Union forces in 1954, but rebuilt.
Kent pays his respects:
The shrine to Buddha has a circular "halo" behind the head with flashing LED lights:
A couple of stupas:
The Ho Chi Minh Museum:
An accessibility ramp (for motor scooters, I guess...):
The next stop was the Temple of Literature, what China would call a Confucian Temple.
The Great Gate:
This was the site of the Imperial Academy, Vietnam's first university, established in 1076 and open until 1779.
Large ficus tree:
Little topiary of a ...?
The first courtyard has three gates leading to the next courtyard:
The central path was for the monarch, the one on the right for the military, and on the left for administrators. (Where do the students go in?)
Although no longer used as a university, university graduates come here to have their photos taken:
One of a pair of ponds in the second courtyard:
This flag/banner is supposed to be iconic to Hanoi temples:
The Vietnamese like to have their photos taken with Westerners, too:
The Constellation of Literature pavilion on stilts in the second courtyard:
The third courtyard with university graduates:
 Hmm, mostly girls:
The third courtyard buildings house 82 steles listing the graduates of the Imperial Academy:
Large flags:
The main sanctuary in the fourth courtyard:
Group photo:
Girl graduates:
Offerings for Confucius:
including Choco-Pies?
Beyond the fifth courtyard is a shrine honoring a past rector:
This is where the actual Imperial Academy was located beyond the temple.
A gilded ceramic turtle:
We returned to the hotel and were on our own for lunch. We tried the Viking recommended restaurant called Wild Rice:
Hanoi spring rolls:
Some plain pho with chicken:
Pho with beef:
Fantastic coconut and almond shrimp:
Next, Hanoi 4 Hanoi Hilton.

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