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Thang Tam Temple and Hon Ba Island (or Lady Island) (Vung Tau city): The highlight of spiritual tourism
24-09-2014 16:34

During the past years, Thang Tam Temple and Hon Ba Island (Vung Tau City) has been being a cultural and spiritual destination that attracts a large number of pilgrims to visist Vung Tau city.

Thang Tam Temple was built under King Minh Mang’s dynasty. At the first time, this temple was built by bamboo. In 1835, local citizens collected money to repair the temple and cover its roof by tiles. In 1965, the temple was rebuilt and maintained its architecture to now. The giant whale skeleton picked by Vung Tau’s fishermen 100 years ago is being kept in the Whale’s tomb in Thang Tam Temple.

Thang Tam Temple has been being a highlight of Vung Tau’s tourism. This temple welcomed about 500 turns of pilgrims visiting and worshiping per day including foreign tourists from China, Korea, USA and Europe. “Every year, we appeal about 7.000 domestic and international tourists to travel to BR-VT and Thang Tam Temple is a necessary place to stop in our tours. This temple expressed the specific features of religion, culture and the progress of reclaiming of Vung Tau’s people through its architecture, worshiping custom and oral folk stories.” Mr. Nguyen Van Lam, the tour guide of Vidotour Tourist Company (Ho Chi Minh city) said.

Thang Tam Temple

Every year, Thang Tam Temple holds 3 big festivals including Cau An ceremony (praying for the peace) from 17th to 20th of the second month of Lunar calendar, Nghinh Ong ceremony (Welcoming the Lord Whale) from 16th to 18th of the tenth month of Lunar calendar) and Mieu Ba (Lady Temple) from 16th to 18th of the tenth month of Lunar year. According to Management Board of Thang Tam Temple historic vestige, during the recent years, local authority upgraded the scale of provincial big festivals. For example, the Welcoming the Lord Whale Festival is added many artistic, sports and cultural programs that not only met recreational demand of local people, improved feast’s value but also attracted more tourists and developed local tourism.

According to Mr. Truong Van Khoi, Manager of Thang Tam Temple historic vestige, the ceremony of welcoming Nymph from Lady Temple at Lady Island to Thang Tam Temple is a key ritual held in Mieu Ba Festival (from 16th to 18th of the tenth month of lunar calendar). Therefore, Lady Island and the Temple located in Back beach has a close relationship with Thang Tam Temple. Management Board of Thang Tam Temple is completing the documents to ask for ranking to Lady Island. In the near future, the Management Board of Thang Tam Temple also creates a professional tour guide staff; gathers historical information and official rituals of this vestige to publish to the community.

Lady island

During the important full moon festivals such as First full moon of lunar New Year), full moon of the forth month of lunar calendar and full moon of the seventh month of lunar calendar, thousands of tourists and local citizens pilgrimage to Lady Temple on Lady Island for worshiping. At low tide, a sharp rock road is exposed which lead to Lady Island. Thanks to the beautiful landscape and natural location, Lady Island was chosen by Provincial Construction and Planning Center to preserve and invest to be a spiritual destination of tourists and local people.

Dan Chau – Translated by T.T


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