Cau temple, also called Dinh Cau is probably the most prominent landmark of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island. That may be because it’s centrally located in Duong Dong right next to the tourist area. Dinh Cau is also one of the greatest photo locations of Phu Quoc Island, especially during sunset.
Located at the mouth of Duong Dong River, right next to the fishing harbor, this bizarre rock formation has been used for worship since time immemorial. The temple and lighthouse of Dinh Cau itself were built in 1937, as a shrine to Thien Hau, the goddess of the sea.
Tourists, street vendors and fishermen alike are crowding around the picturesque crags, and the thundering waves, breaking at the cliffs, provide an interesting ambient sound. Dinh Cau is one of the most visited and most photographed attractions of Phu Quoc Island. Every year on the 15th and 16th of (lunar) October, there is a festival with many people attending.
Temple of the goddess of the sea
Dinh Cau is not only a lighthouse, but also a shrine, dedicated to the goddess of the sea Thiên Hậu.
Thien Hau, also known as Mazu, is of Chinese origin and is worshipped in all of East Asia’s coastal regions to various degrees. It is said, that Thien Hau was born under the name of Lin Moniang during the rule of the Song Dynasty on Meizhou Island in China’s Fujian province. Upon growing up, she became an excellent swimmer and was often seen at the shore, wearing a vivid red dress and guiding ships to safety, even under the harshest weather conditions.
After her death in the year 987, she was remembered as a young lady in a red dress, who would forever roam the sea and guide troubled ships to a safe shelter from the storm.
The fishermen of Phu Quoc Island, especially in Duong Dong, light incense sticks at the altar of Dinh Cậu before every journey on the sea and pray for a safe return.