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The 50 Things You Must Do in Asia

By Hanya Yanagihara - 2013-07-23T16:27:10Z

Kimberly Coole/Getty Images

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Feel like You're at School in the Eleventh Century: Vietnam

The eleventh-century Temple of Literature is Vietnam's first university and a fascinating glimpse into how deep the country's ties are with China: The temple is a series of five courtyards arranged in the classic Confucian style. Today, Vietnam’s most-practiced religion is Buddhism, specifically Mahayana Buddhism, which is found mainly in China and Japan. In China, this form of Buddhism was coupled with Confucianism and Taoism (as it is here), and as you’ll see, despite the magnificent, highly lacquered red temple sanctuary, its decoration is of an altogether more sober (or at least more formal) sort.

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