1. Head to the Temple of Literature 11 AM: Hoping that you have your breakfast in the hostel like I did, if you begin your day at around 11 AM in the morning, head first to Vietnam's oldest university - The Temple of Literature. It does look like a temple indeed for starters. And it is impossible to miss the imperial influence in its style of architecture.
You will see lots of these as you travel throughout Vietnam.After having lunch we took a cab to Temple of Literature. It was built in 11th century AD dedicated to Confucius. A few years later the site was expanded to house the first university of Vietnam. Hopeful candidates, in order to get accepted into the university, had to go through a multi-tiered process of clearing local, regional and national examinations. The names of the scholars who finally graduated are engraved on the tombstones above tortoise backs inside the university precinct. The university is now not functional. But we saw many student groups there. Apparently, if there are any important examinations, Vietnamese students come there to rub tortoise head for good luck.
Besides the many grand UNESCO world heritage sites the country also houses some dazzling Pagodas like the – Temple of Literature, Jade Emperor Pagoda, One Pillar Temple, Perfume Pagoda and so many more- All of them offer the same peaceful aura yet distinct history and rituals. I can go on writing about the alluring architecture and the natural beauty of Vietnam, but that should not overshadow everything else the country has to offer because in the right sense it is a complete sensory delight.Amidst the blend of culture, Vietnam has been able to preserve its culinary delicacies. It is quite possible to find the same dishes in a high end restaurant and a street side stall, but I guess the simplicity and the subtle flavour is what makes Vietnamese cuisine one of its kind. Offering an array of tropical fruits and vegetables, what took my heart away was the utter freshness of these ingredients. Right from the basic Pho (noodle soup) and Banh Mi (Baguette stuffed with meat and vegetables), the rice paper rolls and hot pot to the Bia hoi (beer culture) and the traditional coffee there is so much to taste and relish. Known for its meaty delicacies otherwise, now has seen a number of vegetarian joints cropping up. (Read more on being a Vegetarian in Vietnam). To further subside your love for gastronomy sign up for one of the many culinary courses running in Vietnam.
This beautifully preserved temple is a great place to observe Vietnamese architecture and sit in a sunny courtyard to rest your weary feet.
One morning we walked to the Temple of Literature, a Confucian Temple that used to hold the most ancient university in Vietnam. It's about a ten minute walk from the Old Quarter, and one of the most popular tourist sites in Hanoi. The beautiful grounds are within an enclosed stone wall, and you only have to pay $1 for an entrance fee. It was lovely to stroll around on a crisp and bright morning.