The Hoa Lo Prison and Temple of Literature

Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
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15
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Trip End Jul 01, 2014


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, November 5, 2009

I met Hue, an enthusiastic English speaking Tour Guide from Buffalo Tours. We borrowed Ms.Trang's motorbike and headed out for the thrilling scary amusement ride that the Hanoi streets offer. I had decided that I wanted to see the Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and the ancient Temple of Literature complex.

Hoa Lo, translates literally as "fiery furnace" or "Hell's hole". The name, appropriate for the prison actually originated from the street name phố Hỏa
L, because this was a street where selling wood and coal-fire stoves were sold during pre-colonial times. The prison is a museum now and it was quite interesting and well done.

The Temple of Literature dates to the time of Confucius and the year 1070. It is a complex of Sanctuaries connected by 5 courtyards and is one of the major historic sites in Hanoi. The complex was damaged significantly by French bombings in the 1940's. It has been accurately restored and remains one of the few examples of 
the later L Chinese Dynasty (1009-1225).

You can see that I learned alot from Hue! I totally enjoyed my afternoon of touring, especially because I would not let Hue rush me to see lots of things. I prefer to take my time and really experience the things I choose to do. We concluded the afternoon relaxing at a cafe by another lake in Hanoi.
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