Hon Ba Temple – the place owns a unique cross-sea road
The sacred Hon Ba Temple, located right at Bai Sau beach of the coastal city – Vung Tau, possesses a charming landscape and special architecture. The temple quickly became one of the extremely attractive spiritual destinations in the city. In particular, this place is also famous for its rocky road across the sea that only appears on the 14th and 15th every lunar month.
1. About Hon Ba Temple
Hon Ba Temple is located on an island with the same name, Hon Ba Island – it belongs to the area of Bai Sau beach, Vung Tau. Hon Ba Island is not really big in area, only about 5000m2 with a height of 4m above the ground. In the temple, people worship Thuy Long Than Nu (Water Dragon Holy Lady) – who is known to ensure a nice climate for fishermen to go fishing smoothly with a lot of luck.
Hon Ba Temple contains numerous elements of marine culture, reflecting the career as well as the cultural and spiritual life of Vung Tau residents. The investment and embellishment to Hon Ba Temple are to meet the needs of the tourism industry and contribute to the construction of the urban landscape. Moreover, the place is also considered as the local people’s aspiration of preserving and promoting cultural ethnic heritage, awakening a potential tourism product of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province.
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2. History of Hon Ba Temple
According to folk traditions, Hon Ba Temple was built in the late 19th century. After that, during the French colonial invasion, a French officer fired 3 bullets, but only one hit in the corner of the temple, so that’s why it is also called Ba Vien Dan Temple.
Later, this officer died due to carelessness when using a gun here, so the French used to call the Temple by his name – Archinard Temple. However, the people here still call it Hon Ba Temple. In 1971, a resident of Tra Vinh coming to Vung Tau to settle down donated to repair and restore the Temple.
Annually, there are 4 months of pilgrimages based on the seawater, including January, April, July, and October of the lunar calendar. On the 14th and 15th of every lunar month, the stone path to Hon Ba island usually appears, helping visitors easily walk to the island and Hon Ba Temple.
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3. How to go to Hon Ba Temple
To get to Hon Ba Temple, visitors can follow 2 different ways. The first one is to start from the center of the city, then run all the way to Bai Sau beach to directly reach the Temple.
Or, you can run from Bai Truoc beach, then follow Ha Long Road around Nho Mountain, pass by Bai Dua beach to Nghinh Phong cape, and after that, to Hon Ba Temple.
With a very special position, on high seawater days, the Temple lies alone on a small island surrounded by water. Therefore, if tourists want to visit the spot at this time, they have to hire boats to get there with prices ranging from 500.000 VND for a round trip.
However, on each lunar 14th and 15th, where the tide recedes deeply in the afternoon, there will be a rocky road connecting the mainland to Hon Ba. At this time, visitors can comfortably walk along the stone path to visit the island and Hon Ba Temple without hiring a local boat.
4. Notes when traveling to Hon Ba Temple
If you choose to walk to Hon Ba Temple on a rocky road, bear in mind that the stones are quite sharp. Also, on flooded days, this road is an ideal place for oysters to cling, so it’s very slippery. Remember to put on shoes and move carefully to avoid injury.
Since the seawater recedes in a certain cycle and can be predicted by month, before you arrive, check the schedule so you won’t miss out on the interesting things of this island.
Coming here, you should dress politely, avoid too colorful and revealing outfits, like skirts or shorts.
The full moon day of new year’s lunar January is the main holiday, also when the number of visitors coming to the Temple is the most. This time the water recedes deeply, so tourists can travel to Hon Ba Temple faster. The beginning of the year is also an opportunity for people to pray for peace and luck.
While the coastal city Vung Tau is changing day by day with many modern architectural works, Hon Ba Temple still retains its wildness, incredible nature, and romantic surroundings. Over the centuries, Hon Ba Temple is still one of the famous landmarks attracting tourists to Ba Ria – Vung Tau.