My name is Joel Edwards, myself and 3 friends recently had a half day guided tour of the city of Hanoi with one of your apprentice tour guides Thong. The date of the tour was the 17th December 2013.
Just a quick email today attaching a couple of photos from the tour but also to commend Thong on an excellent tour. His English was very good and he got much more comfortable as the day went on. His knowledge of the Temple of Literature was excellent and he easily got us around the city and recommended an amazing restaurant for lunch!
About 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature is a rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the temple is dedicated to Confucius (Khong Tu) and honours Vietnam’s finest scholars and men of literary accomplishment. Vietnam’s first university was established here in 1076. At this time entrance was only granted to those of noble birth, but after 1442 a more egalitarian approach was adopted and gifted students from all over the nation headed to Hanoi to study the principles of Confucianism, literature and poetry.
In 1484 Emperor Le Thanh Tong ordered that stelae be erected to record the names, places of birth and achievements of exceptional scholars: 82 stelae remain standing. The imposing tiered gateway (on P Quoc Tu Giam) that forms the main entrance is preceded by a curious plaque, whose inscription requests that visitors dismount their horses before entering.
Paths then lead through formal gardens to the Khue Van pavilion, constructed in 1802, beyond which is a large square pond known as the Well of Heavenly Clarity.
The northern side of this courtyard is marked by a low-slung pagoda housing an extraordinary statue of a majestic-looking Confucius, depicted with a goatee and bearing scarlet robes, flanked by four of his disciples.
So we would like to say thank you to Thong for the tour and also to say that he is a considerable addition to your company and you should be proud to have him in your employ.
Thanks once again, Vietnam is an amazing country with quite possibly the friendliest people. We can’t wait to visit Vietnam once again soon!
Thanks and best regards,