Dinh Cau Temple & Lighthouse
Dinh Cau, Bach Dang, Duong Dong town, tp. Phú Quốc, Kien Giang, VietnamPrices
Entrance freeOpening hours
sunrise to sunset
Dinh Cau Temple (also known as “Dinh Cau Shrine”, “Dinh Cau Castle”, “Dinh Cau Lighthouse”,” Dinh Cau Rock”, or the “Dragon King Shrine”) is the most popular sight-seeing attraction on Phu Quoc Island mainly because it is located near the tourist area of Long Beach in Duong Dong Town. It is often referred to as the “symbol of Phu Quoc and the Phu Quoc people”. The temple is part shrine and part lighthouse and it is perched on top of rocks at the mouth of the Duong Dong River. To reach the top of the Dinh Cau Temple you need to climb 29 winding stone steps. At the top of the temple there is a shrine, a lighthouse, as well as terrace overlooking Duong Dong Town, the port, and the sea. There is no entrance fee required to visit this temple.
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.
History & Significance
The exact date of when the Dinh Cau Temple was built is shrouded in mystery but some scholars claim that the temple and the cape were created in 1937 by the local people to honor the Thien Hau – the ”goddess of the sea”. The myth is that the goddess will protect the fishermen in their voyage out in the open ocean. In the temple, there are shrines worshiping The Goddess, and her companions. Before each fishing trip or on holidays, Phu Quoc local people come to Dinh Cau to burn incense sticks and pray for a safe journey.
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 Thien Hau.
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 Thiên Hậu 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 town, light incense sticks at the altar of Dinh Cau before every journey on the sea and pray for a safe return.
What to see
Sunsets: Besides the temple, the sunsets here are spectacular. The surrounding area is also a great place to people watch.
What to do
- Try local snacks: At the base of the temple there are various snack and sugar can juice stands. Find yourself a plastic chair, order nuoc mia (sugar cane juice) and watch the sunset.
- Swim at Dinh Cau Beach: You can also take a dip in the sea at Dinh Cau Beach.
- Visit Dinh Cau Night Market: Discover a variety of seafood on offer at the famous seafood night market.
- Also, you can walk to the end of the concrete pier and fish with the locals or watch the night fishing boats drift by.
How to get there
Dinh Cau Temple is located on Dinh Cau Cape in neighborhood 2, Bach Dang Street, in Duong Dong Town of Phu Quoc District. Just head towards the Duong Dong River and you will find it.