Phu Quy Island – an attractive and promising tourist destination

Phu Quy is an island district in Binh Thuan province, located at coordinates 105°55′ to 108°58′ East and 10°29′ to 10°33′ North. Phu Quy is approximately 56 nautical miles (over 100km) southeast of Phan Thiet, 540km southwest of the Truong Sa archipelago, and 725km from Hoang Sa.

Phu Quy is blessed by nature, not only with abundant resources and scenic landscapes such as beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and rocky formations emerging from the sea, but also with a cool and fresh climate throughout the year. The island is rich in marine resources, including many rare and precious seafood specialties. Moreover, Phu Quy has numerous historical, cultural, and unique architectural relics. The people of Phu Quy are diligent, sincere, and hospitable. Therefore, Phu Quy Island has become an attractive tourist destination with great potential for the development of coastal tourism in Binh Thuan province.

With an area of just over 18km2 and a circumference of about 35km, Phu Quy Island is home to approximately 29,000 residents. Despite its small size, Phu Quy has 28 temples and religious sites, including many historical-cultural relics and nationally recognized scenic spots. One of these is Van An Thanh, which was classified as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) in 1996.

The local people refer to this historical site as Van An Thanh, which signifies the desire for a secure and prosperous life for the community. This place is dedicated to the worship of whales (or “Mr. Fish”), a deity associated with the fishing beliefs of coastal fishermen in Vietnam.

Another notable attraction on Phu Quy Island is Linh Quang Pagoda, which was classified as a national scenic spot by the Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) in 1996. It is considered the oldest pagoda on Phu Quy Island. Apart from the scenic beauty and Buddhist rituals, visitors can explore and admire the unique architectural and artistic values influenced by Buddhism on the island. They can also hear legendary stories associated with the establishment of the pagoda and the enlightenment of Buddhist teachings in this place.

In addition, the reverence of the island’s residents extends to the tomb of Thay Sai Nai. According to legend, Thay Sai Nai was a Chinese merchant who had knowledge of medicinal herbs. During one of his trading trips to Vietnam, his ship was caught in a storm and drifted to Phu Quy Island. Captivated by the island’s beauty, he decided to spend the rest of his life there. After his death, the local people buried him and built the tomb of Thay Sai Nai in 1665. The island’s residents visit the tomb to pray for good fortune, successful fishing trips, or safe journeys at sea. Every year, a ceremony is held on the 4th of the 4th lunar month with traditional cultural rituals, including a Bai Choi singing performance.

Another popular folk belief in Phu Quy is the Temple of Princess Ban Tranh, which was classified as a provincial relic by the Binh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee in 2007 and later as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2015. According to historical records, this temple was built by the Cham people in the late 15th century. It is said that Princess Ban Tranh, originally from Chiem Thanh, was exiled and stranded on a boat.

The Temple of Princess Ban Tranh

Princess Ban Tranh, originally from Chiem Thanh, was exiled and stranded on a boat near Phu Quy Island. The locals found her and treated her with great respect and kindness. In gratitude, she taught them how to cultivate rice and improve their livelihoods. The temple was built to honor her and has become a place of worship for the island’s residents.

Aside from these historical and cultural attractions, Phu Quy Island is also known for its stunning natural beauty. The island is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. It offers excellent opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and exploring the underwater world. Visitors can marvel at the colorful marine life and admire the diverse coral formations.

Furthermore, Phu Quy Island is an ideal place for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. Its peaceful atmosphere, unspoiled landscapes, and breathtaking sunsets create a serene setting for visitors to unwind and rejuvenate.

To reach Phu Quy Island, visitors can take a boat or ferry from Phan Thiet or other nearby ports. There are regular transportation services available, and the journey takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on weather conditions.

In recent years, the local authorities and residents of Phu Quy Island have made efforts to develop tourism infrastructure and promote the island as a must-visit destination. They aim to preserve the island’s natural and cultural heritage while providing visitors with comfortable accommodations, delicious local cuisine, and memorable experiences.

Phu Quy Island, with its captivating charm and potential for tourism, has gradually gained popularity among domestic and international travelers. It offers a unique blend of cultural exploration, natural wonders, and a peaceful retreat, making it an attractive destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in Vietnam.

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