Vietnam's first university, the oldest sections of Van Mieu date from 1070, but only four of the interlocking courtyards survived French bombing. Check out the stone stelae where those who passed the notoriously difficult exams have had their names carved for eternity. The stone turtles are well-rubbed as they offer good luck to those in need of knowledge. Van Mieu _ the Temple of Literature _ is located on Van Mieu Street about 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi.
Hanoi's Temple of Literature was built in the early 11th century in honour of Confucius, his followers and Chu Van An, an ethical scholar in Vietnamese tuition. The temple features five courtyards, of which the third courtyard is home to 82 preserved stone slabs etched with the names of 1,307 graduates of 82 triennial royal exams! If that doesn't blow your mind engine, browse the small museum and its exhibits of ink wells, pens and books that belonged to former students.