While Phu Quoc is not really your spiritual haven, it has several temples and pagodas to investigate. Rumor has it, that a few spiritual leaders got enlightened on the island as well.
While Phu Quoc Island is not really famous for being a spiritual retreat, there are a few interesting temples and pagodas around that are worth a visit. Also it is said that Phu Quoc is the place where the founder of Vietnams Cao Dai religion got enlighted.
Dinh Cau or Cau Temple is located on the beautiful rock next to Duong Dong harbour. Seafaring folk pray to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea for a safe return from the endless blue. The temple and lighthouse attracts tourists and local worshippers alike and is one of the best vantage points to witness one of Phu Quocs colorful sunsets.
Hung Long Tu Pagoda
Hung Long Tu Pagoda, also known under the name of Su Muong Pagoda is around five kilometres away from Duong Dong town near the main street that leads to Ham Ninh. To get into the main hall of the sacral building, visitors need to climb about 60 steps. The pagoda has been founded by the famous monk Nguyen Kim Muon, who lived between 1892 and 1946.
Hung Long Tu Pagoda | photo: Gavin White (cc-by-nc-nd)
Shrine of the Magic Spring
The shrine of the Magic Spring you can reach by following the eastern shoreline starting from An Thoi for about two kilometres. You will encounter a rock shaped like an armchair and a shrine next to the actual magic spring. The story goes as follows: Prince Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (who later became Emperor Gia Long, the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty) was hiding from the Tay Son rebels on Phu Quoc Island when his men got very thirsty. With no water in sight, he stomped on the ground and used his magic sword to create a well.
Ho Quoc Pagoda
Ho Quoc Pagoda is a colorful mix of tourist site, monastery and pagoda. The complex is north of Sao Beach and facing east towards the rising sun. Ho Quoc Pagoda is one of the newest pagodas on Phu Quoc Island and opened up to visitors in December 2014, after an estimated investment of around one hundred billion Vietnamese Dong.
Nguyen Trung Truc Temple
Nguyen Trung Truc Temple is in Ganh Dau at the northwestern tip of the island. The temple is dedicated to Nguyen Trung Truc, a famous fisherman who turned partisan and his fight against the French colonial powers. The greatest coup of Truc and his freedom fighters was the sinking of the French ironclad “L'Espérance” on 10th of December 1861.
Cao Dai Temples
The two Cao Dai temples of Phu Quoc Island represent the Cao Dai religion that is native to Vietnam and combines all monotheistic religions under one flag. Over 4,4 million people follow this path according to statistics provided by the Vietnamese government. However, it is estimated that worldwide there are between ten and twenty followers. The religion counts Moses, Joan d’Arc and Louis Pasteur among the saints.
Dinh Ba Temple
Dinh Ba Temple is located near Ong Lang Beach, around seven kilometres north of Duong Dong town. The small sacral building is dedicated to worshipping the hero of the resistance, Nguyen Trung Truc.
Phap Quang Pagoda
Phap Quang Pagoda represents Chinese Buddhism on the island and, partially due to its proximity to the tourist strip of Duong Dong town, but also because of its many colorful Buddha statues, the pagoda is very popular. While the halls of the bodhisattvas Ksitigarbha and Avalokiteshvara are exceptionally nice, the relics and statues make your visit worthwhile.
Phap Quang Pagoda | photo: Pavel Karaflat (cc-by-nc-nd)
Sung Duc Pagoda
Sung Duc Pagoda represents, quite like Phap Quang Pagoda, the Chinese branch of Buddhism. It is located near An Thoi harbour and has almost as many statues on display, which makes the place very popular as well.
Sung Hung Pagoda
Sung Hung Pagoda is one of the oldest and most beautiful pagodas to visit on Phu Quoc Island. Though nobody knows exactly when this stunning sacral building was erected, it must have been during the early 20th century. Sung Hung Pagoda is surrounded by old trees and one huge banyan tree stands out especially. The place contains a beautiful painting that depicts the "Journey to the West", an exceptionally popular story of how Buddhism was introduced to China. One shrine shows how Gautama Buddha ascended to heaven and a statue of the goddess Quan Am Bo Tat thrones over a lotos pond. The main altar of Sung Hung Pagoda is dedicated to Tam The Buddha.
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