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Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

N Vietnam 2012 - Day 4, Part 2 - Temples

N Vietnam 2012
Day 4 - 27th May - Temples
(Part 2)

Next I went to Quán Thánh Temple, "one of the Four Sacred Temples of the capital".

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"下馬" ("Get off your horse")

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Memorial to Ly Tu Trong, là một trong những nhà cách mạng trẻ tuổi nhất của Việt Nam.
He died at 17, and I tried to find out more but the longwinded story in Passion, Betrayal, and Revolution in Colonial Saigon: The Memoirs of Bao Luong put me off

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Entrance gateway

I thought I might've paid 100,000 VND and only got 40,000 VND in change for a 10,000 VND entrance fee, but I wasn't sure.

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Plaque on Quan Thanh Temple

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Hall

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Vendor selling cookies for the gods

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Dragon design

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Altar

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Elephant statue

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Designs flanking door into compound

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I didn't get this

I then headed to another temple - the Temple of Literature. Again (as with in the morning to West Lake) I took a taxi and he used the meter. He even turned on the aircon for me. Wow.

I was surprised the taxi driver put on a seatbelt so I did so too.

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Picture of eggshell helmets and helmet hole for ponytails

There was a place called "chocolate shop for boy & girl". Maybe it was a courting place.

There was some slight confusion in getting to the Temple of Literature, as my map didn't have its Vietnamese name and gave the wrong address so the driver almost dropped me off at the wrong place. In the end I looked at the Rough Guide which gave its name as "Văn Miếu" (Lonely Planet didn't pronounce on this issue, bah).

As the taxi driver dropped me off, he chuckled. I hope he wasn't thinking, "I'm cloning his credit card hee" (it's quite fun to pay taxi fares of about USD 1 by credit card).

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Temple of Literature

The name is slightly misleading as it seemed to be primarily an educational institution, though also a Temple to Confucius (now I realise why I found the place so familiar).

At the previous temple, I had been confused over whether I'd been cheated of 50,000 VND. At this one, the entrance fee was 20,000 VND. I tried to pay in USD, and gave 5 USD (100,000 VND) and the attendant tried to give me 30,000 VND in change (effectively cheating me of 50,000 VND). I complained but she refused to budge, asking me to pay in Dong. Bloody hell, even the ticket offices in this wretched land tried to cheat me.

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I call this photo set "Occidentalism", or "the white folks won't give you any candy"

Considering it was Sunday it was strange how many school groups there were. Sad.

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Gate

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On the Temple of Literature

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Path, at the end of which is la Grande Porte Mediane (Great Central Gate)

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On studying here. Stangely they didn't condemn the feudalist reactionary regime. Not in English/French anyway.

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On the architecture

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Woman posing at Pavilion de Xhue Van (the French sign was faded, and the English was illegible)

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Pond inside

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"Stelae of Doctors"
According to a reliable source, these misleadingly named stelae list people who succeeded in the Imperial Examinations

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Yankee Money!

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UNESCO certificate

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Stele

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Pond from other side

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Hall

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Lion

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Water Puppets

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On Confucius

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Altar

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Statues of two guys

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Golden Turtles

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Apart from the obligatory souvenir stalls there was also an ATM. Very good.

Amusingly, one Vietnamese schoolgirl asked to take a picture with me. I was really flattered (the last time this had happened to me was in the Louvre in 2006, and it was just a picture of me with no French schoolgirl), so I also got someone to take a picture using my camera. In a few years time I'll look for her and she can become my Vietnamese wife.

There was a strange T-shirt worn by a school group: "16 ♂ + 20 ♀ = ♥". This seemed to be a class t-shirt.

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Another class t-shirt. At least their expectations of love are still at the bicycle stage.

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My sausage (snack)

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Sausage prep

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Strange Seafood
I asked the lady and guy at the stall to pose and they mimed attacking each other with the freaky seafood and a food scoop, and tried to push each other into my frame.


Not only were the attempts to swindle me more frequent in Vietnam, so too were the enormity of those attempts.


I'd asked how much the sausage was, and was quoted 10,000 VND on paper. At the end I was charged 15,000 VND. Meh.
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