Phi Yen Temple Con Dao or called An Son Mieu is the place where worship Mrs Phi Yen – the second wife of Lord Nguyen Phuc Anh. Her real name is Le Thi Ram. It is about 2km from the southwest of the island and on Hoang Phi Yen street, belong to area 3.
How Phi Yen temple is unique?
The temple atmosphere is very comfortable, large and cool thanks to high trees. When reaching the gate, you will see two lion statues to protect the temple. Besides, there is a small lake with different fish. When reaching the temple, you will see the tranquil atmosphere and prospect cover the temple.
This is the only temple on Con Dao Island. There is a festival yearly on 18th October on Lunar Calendar.
Phi Yen Temple was recognized as Province historical site by The People’s Committee of Ba Ria Vung Tau. It is also one of the temples in the plan to restore, embellish and promote the effect of this land Decision No. 264/2005 / QD-TTg dated October 25, 2005 of the Prime Minister on the socio-economic development project of Con Dao district to 2020.
It can be said that Phi Yen Temple is one of very few heritages for folk culture of this region. It was built in 1785 to worship Mrs Phi Yen – wife of Lord Nguyen Anh (King Gia Long).
Phi Yen Temple’s History
In 1783, After failing Tay Son Force, Nguyen Anh moved everywhere to avoid the follow of Tay Son Force, final he with one hundreds family moved to Con Dao Island. He built three villages: An Hai, An Hoi and Co Ong and these names remain until today.
Because he continually failed, he brought the Prince Hoang Tu Cai (or another name Hoi An) with Mr Ba Da Loc to France to be hostage for receiving the support from France. Mrs Phi Yen recommended Lord Nguyen Anh that fight against Tay Son Reign is civil war. She thought he should not ask the help from foreign. If he won Tay Son Reign, there was no happy but also had more complex.
Just few words recommended him, Lord Nguyen Anh angry and thought Mrs Phi Yen had hidden thought with Tay Son Reign. And if there were no helpful words from courtiers, she was command beheading. However, Lord Nguyen Anh still commanded her to imprison her in a rock cave on a deserted island located southwest of the archipelago here (present is Hon Ba Island).
As soon as Nguyen Anh commanded Mrs Phi Yen, he heard that the Tay Son army was coming. Nguyen Anh and his entourage got into the boat to continue running. At that time, the only child of Mrs. Phi Yen with Lord Nguyen Anh was Prince Hoi An (5 years old) asked to have his mother, he threw him to sea. His body was landed on Co Ong village. Therefore, tourists often go to Co Ong village to visit his tomb and temple of Prince Hoi An (Thieu Gia Mieu) once visiting Con Dao Island.
The Legend of Mrs Phi Yen
As the legend, Mrs Phi Yen received the save from two intelligent and faithful animals called white monkey and black tiger. They brought her to Co Ong village where has the tomb of Hoian Prince. The villagers knew her information and built her a nearby house for the most advantage to visit her son’s tomb.
On October, 1785 as lunar calendar, An Hai village where has An Son Mieu temple organizes a festival. They welcomed Mrs Phi Yen to attend the festival for getting the solemnly. At that night and at An Hai village, she was groped by a man named Bien Thi (a butcher) in her room. However, he could hold her hand, she was able to summon the villagers to arrest and wait for trial. That same night, Mrs. Phi Yen risked suicide to gain her full reputation.
Death anniversary Mrs Phi Yen
The God arranged for Mrs Phi Yen sleep forever at An Hai Village. The villagers cared her funeral and made the temple to worship her. Yearly, the villagers organize the death anniversary ceremony on 18th October on Lunar Calendar solemnly. They usually cook vegetarian foods to remember the sad festival which lead to her death.
With the villagers, this temple is very sacred and connect with the sad story of this talent. Especially virtue and patriotism woman.
In 1861, after French Colonial arrived in this island and decided to move all habitants of the island to the mainland to build the prison. And for this reason the temple was ruins. Until 1980 the villagers on the island rebuilt the temple to be nicer than on the old temple and worship her till today. The death anniversary ceremony is the traditional culture festival in the island.
How to reach the temple?
From the town centre, visitor travel along Nguyen Hue street, reach the fork and turn the right. And then you travel along An Hai Lake around 800m, you will reach Mrs Phi Yen Temple.