23 December 2006

Hanoi - Day Nam: Farewell

5 days in Hanoi to a Malaysian is a lot of days. However, truth is, we met a lot of people who are on weeks-long, month-long; I met these two French people who've been away from home for 6 months, and have no idea when their holiday will end. 5 days is too short a vacation.


On the final day in Hanoi, there were just 2 objectives: One Pillar Pagoda, and Temple of Literature.

Both are a bit farther away from Old Quarters, and in the interest of time, we took a taxi (costing around 22,000 dong) from the hotel to the Temple of Literature.

Those who have visited Thailand would have no doubt heard that Wat Po is the first university in Thailand. Wat Po is only about 300 years old.


The Temple of Literature, "Van Mieu", is Vietnam's first university, and it's history is about 1000 years old. It is one of the few temples or structures not destroyed or altered or significantly reduced to rubble by the French invaders of Vietnam.


The present site of the Hanoi Opera House, for example, used to be where the oldest temple in Vietnam was. It's a bit like our A Famosa, the Temple of Literature.


It's a B E A U T I F U L temple - landscaped gardens in 5 separate courtyards. Actually, it is a complex of 5 separate compounds (called courtyards), each reflecting a Confucian principle. The last courtyard houses the inner sanctum that was once even off limits to the Vietnamese emporers. Now it houses a temple and a museum.


Next, we walked from the temple to the One Pillar Pagoda. The guidebook says its 250 meters or so away. Guess what? It's much more than that ... and we got very, very, lost. Thank goodness we found it tucked in one corner near the Ho Chi Minh Museum just before we gave up looking ...

Allegedly shaped like a lotus, and also very effective for those wanting a son, the One Pillar Pagoda is one of the symbols of Hanoi. The Temple Of Literature and the Turtle Pagoda are the others. I found it a bit of a letdown, really. Maybe if I'm desperate for a son I'll visit again.

I think you should stop by here as part of a visit to the larger complex - Ho Chi Minh's house, Ho Chi Minh museum and Ho Chi Minh's Maoseleum are all within the general area.


We headed back to check out of the hotel, then took one last walk around the Old Quarters. It's my favorite place in Hanoi. I really can see myself there again. And again. And again. And again.

What's so good about Old Quarters? Besides what I wrote here, what else is good? Hmm ....

I got lost there a lot. It's always good to be discovering and constantly getting lost, and yet happy to be lost, IMHO.


And there's a lot of architecture - like the world's narrowest houses. Viets used to get taxed based on how wide the house is .... so houses only 10 feet wide is quite common.


It's got a lot of cafes and nice restaurants ...


We made it to the Noi Ba International Airport with plenty of time to spare. It's a small, comfortable airport, much better than the LCCT, that much I'll say.


Hanoi ... I heart you ...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

temple is cool, same goes to the perfumo pagoda. but u din go pay respek to hochiminh??? 2 me, that's 1 of the highlights.

keatix

moz monster said...

keatix:
No ... did visit Uncle Ho ... we both didn't have enough time, and it wasn't on our must do list. We heard a lot about it from other visitors, though ...

Having visited Mao in Beijing, maybe this is the same gua ?

Inevitable said...

Bro, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Applegal said...

Beautiful photos!!! :D I want to go Hanoi! Hahaha, the tai drum and the taiko photo is hilarious ;) And the question marks around you, harharharhar!! XD

moz monster said...

inevitable:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well !!!!

applegal:
Glad you found it hilarious ... =)

Jemima said...

Merry Christmas, Moz.

Once again, thanks so much for sharing Hanoi with us.

Che-Cheh said...

Getting lost and rediscovering the place again and again...that's the beauty of travelling. ;)

moz monster said...

jemima:
Thanks.

che-cheh:
Yes, travel is more fun when you get into situations ... :)

may said...

Merry Boxing Day! love those lotus flowers, love all the photos! so what's your next adventure? are you home yet from... errr... wherever? I forget... was it Beijing?

Winn said...

merry xmas! merry boxing day and merry new year to you:)

moz monster said...

may:
Merry Boxing Day !!! How is Xin Jia Puoh ?
Next year is Europe and India, I'm in KL now ...

Winn:
Merry Every Day to You !!!

angel said...

Selamat Hari Bergusti!

ps: Got the card liao ;) Thanks!
*keeps the muaks* :P

moz monster said...

angeliu:
I thought it's Hari Meninju ? Gusti = Wrestling, no? My BM is veli teruk ... I might be wrong ...

So, you got the card? Very retro, right ?

angel said...

oh ya... my BM is the teruk wan... *smacks forehead*

Yalor, looks very olds... i also want from Europe & India, okays??
*sends one flying muak*