Phi Yen Temple Con Dao or called An Son Mieu is the place where they 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, belonging 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 a 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, finally he with one hundred 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 Prince Hoang Tu Cai & nbsp; (or another name Hoi An) with Mr Ba Da Loc to France to be held 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 for help from foreign. If he had won against Tay Son Reign, there would have been no happiness but also more complex.
Just a few words recommended him, Lord Nguyen Anh became angry and thought Mrs Phi Yen had hidden thoughts with Tay Son Reign. And if there were no helpful words from courtiers, she was beheaded. 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 landed on Co Ong village. Therefore, tourists often go to Co Ong village to visit the tomb and temple of Prince Hoi An (Thieu Gia Mieu) once visiting Con Dao Island.
The Legend of Mrs Phi Yen
As the legend goes, 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 the tomb of Hoian Prince. The villagers knew her information and built her a nearby house for the best 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 to celebrate. That night 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 to sleep forever at An Hai Village. The villagers cared for 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 connected with the sad story of this talent. Especially virtue and patriotism woman.
In 1861, after the French Colonial arrived on 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 in 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, visitors travel along Nguyen Hue street, reach the fork and turn right. And then you travel along An Hai Lake around 800m, you will reach Mrs Phi Yen Temple.