Phu Quoc Island is not your common haven for religious buildings, but there are a few temples and pagodas around that are worth a visit.
Dinh Cau, the temple where sailors and fishermen sacrifice to the goddess of the sea before they leave the safety of the shore, is the most prominent temple on Phu Quoc Island. Built on a rock right next to the harbor entrance of Duong Dong, the temple and lighthouse attracts tourists and local worshippers alike.
The best pagoda to visit in Duong Dong. Built in the early 20th century, Sung Hung Pagoda is surrounded by old trees, especially a remarkable banyan. A statue of goddess Quan Am Bo Tat thrones over a lotus pond, while the main altar is dedicated to Tam The Buddha. Sung Hung Pagoda also harbors a shrine that shows the ascendancy of Gautama Buddha to heaven. A large painting shows the famous “Journey to the West”, probably most popular story in Buddhism.
The unique architectural style of Su Muong Pagoda is about five kilometers from Duong Dong town on Phu Quoc Island. The sacral building has been created by the well known monk Nguyen Kim Muon, who lived between 1892 and 1946.
To get into the main hall, visitors need to climb around 60 steps.
According to an ancient legend, Prince Nguyen Anh was hiding from the Tay Son rebels on Phu Quoc Island. His forces were thirsty and there was no water, so he stomped on the ground and used the magic of his sword to create a well, providing fresh water to the troops. If you follow the seaside about two kilometers to the east from An Thoi, you can find a chair-shaped rock and a small shrine, dedicated to that event. You might even see the footprint on the rocky surface.
The relatively new Ho Quoc Pagoda complex is part Buddhist temple, tourist site and monastery. After investment of an estimated VND 100 billion, it opened its doors to visitors in December 2014. Ho Quoc is located just north of Sao Beach and faces the rising sun.
This temple is near Ganh Dau to the North and it’s dedicated to Nguyen Trung Truc and his revolutionary warriors, who fought the French occupation by successfully employing guerilla warfare methods against the colonial power. Their greatest coup was the sinking of the French warship “L'Espérance” on December 10, 1861.
In the end Nguyen Trung Truc got captured, imprisoned and executed in Phu Quoc Prison. The temple got erected to memorize him, his soldiers and the Vietnamese struggle for independence.
The Cao Dai religion that has over two million followers and is especially popular in Southern Vietnam, started right here on Phu Quoc Island in 1919. In an attempt to unify the major religions of the world in one colorful conglomerate, the temple counts Moses, Joan d’Arc and Louis Pasteur, among many others, into the community of saints. There are two Cao Dai temples on Phu Quoc Island and both are located in Duong Dong. One can be found at the edge of town on 30 Thang 4 street, the other one is on Nguyen Trai street and was built in 2008.
About seven kilometers north of Duong Dong in Ong Lang near the famous Ong Lang Beach, you find the small Dinh Ba Temple. The main purpose of the building is to pay homage to Nguyen Trung Truc, hero of the Vietnamese struggle for independence.
Phap Quang is a Chinese Buddhist Pagoda close to the tourist strip of Phu Quoc Island. It’s very popular, mainly due to the numerous Buddha statues on display. The many relics and statues make the visit worthwhile. The halls of the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Ksitigarbha are exceptionally beautiful.
Like Phap Quang Pagoda, Sung Duc Pagoda is a place of worship in the style of Chinese Buddhism. It is located near An Thoi harbor and became quite popular due to the many Buddha statues on display.