300-year-old Dinh Cau Temple casts protective net over Phu Quoc fishermen

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300-year-old Dinh Cau Temple casts protective net over Phu Quoc fishermen

25 December 2019 | 0 Comment | By Vũ Bình

Dinh Cau Temple on southern resort island Phu Quoc reels in a regular stream of fishermen praying for a smooth voyage.

Perched on an odd-shaped formation of rocks overlooking the ocean, 200 meters west of Duong Dong Town, Dinh Cau is the most visited shrine on Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island.

According to historical annals, the temple of today was built in 1937, undergoing restoration in 1997. To reach the sacred site, pilgrims must first ascend 29 winding stone steps.

Islanders, on the other hand, ascribe Dinh Cau’s origins to the 17th century, which heralded the first great flood of migrants advancing from central Vietnam. Many boats, adrift on a turbulent ocean, saw the rocky outpost as the only means of survival. Thus, the shrine is considered built on sanctified soil offering protection from disasters at sea.

Temple deities including Cau Quy, Cau Tai, and Chua Ngoc Nuong Nuong, all prominent religious icons from central Vietnam, embody the mingling of cultures in the south.

Over three centuries old, Dinh Cau features in plenty mythical legends passed from one generation of fishermen to another.

Locals commonly visit the temple to light joss sticks and pray for divine blessings, visitor numbers reaching a peak in the Lunar Calendar festival period of October 15-16.

Surrounding Dinh Cau are a few unique rocks, the above named “Turtle Head Tiger Tail”. 

Dinh Cau, apart from its spiritual renown, also boasts spectacular sunsets, calm and clear water, as well as a night market ideal for shopping, dining, and, most importantly, experiencing the unique Phu Quoc culture.



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