Phan Thiet – Binh Thuan is a coastal area. Here, in the past, fishermen from the central region came to establish villages, hamlets. Thuy Tu was one of the fishing villages born according to the tradition of fishermen and the dream of a beautiful and prosperous craft village as its name suggests. Usually, each village associated with a temple. Therefore, Van Thuy Tu was also built in the same way, which have been existing for more than 200 years ago. Let’s explore what’s special about this tourist attraction in Phan Thiet with VietDream!

Van Thuy Tu

The entrance of Van Thu Tu

General information about Van Thuy Tu

Van Thuy Tu: (Vietnamese: Vạn Thủy Tú; Vạn means type of architecture (normally a temple) worshiping “the whale” in coastal fishing villages in middle of Vietnam).

The temple was built by fishermen to worship the deity of Nam Hai – the Lord Whale. Inside the temple, there are many Sino-Nom cultural heritages related to the maritime profession, shown in the worship content in the altars, statues, horizontal panels, diaphragms and a bronze bell cast in 1872.

Van Thuy Tu in the middle

Van Thuy Tu is also one of the ancient relics with a large number of ordinations bestowed by the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty as during the feudal war with the Tay Son insurgent army, the boats of generals of the Nguyen Dynasty were rescued many times by whales at sea. There are a total of 24 titles from Emperors: Thieu Tri, Tu Duc, Dong Khanh, Duy Tan, Khai Dinh, King Thieu Tri alone bestowed 10 titles, this is rare compared to other relics.

Van Thuy Tu in Phan Thiet

Ordinations bestowed by the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty

And according to the beliefs of seafarers in the South Central region in particular and of the Vietnamese in general, the whales are benevolent creatures that protect fishermen from bad weather and the dangers at sea. Therefore, when detecting any dead whales drifting from the sea, the fishermen often do a very respectful burial and worship ceremony. And throughout the region, there are many temples where worship the Lord Whale. However, Van Thuy Tu is quite a special one. It was built In 1762. The temple has been reserving numerous differences inside such as hundreds of skeletal remains of whales.

bone in Van Thuy Tu

Some of the bones are preserved in Van Thuy Tu

In 1996, Van Thuy Tu was ranked as a national historical relic by the State.

Van Thuy Tu – The place where the largest whale skeleton is kept

Currently, at Van Thuy Tu still preserves over 100 intact skeletons, including dozens of large skeletons dating back over 250 years, showing the respect of generations of fishermen in Thuy Tu village for “the whales”. In particular, the temple still preserves the skeleton of whale with a jaw bone 2.7m long and 1m wide; ribs 1.4m long; The skull is 2.28m long, 1.12m high and the whole body is 22m long, weighing about 64 tons when “he” was alive. 

Van Thuy Tu

The giant of skeleton of whale

oar of skeleton of whale in Van Thuy Tu

An skeleton oar of the whale

skeleton of whale in Van Thuy Tu

His altar in Van Thuy Tu

This man’s fish skeleton was funded by the People’s Committee of Phan Thiet city and coordinated with the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography to research and assemble it in its original state, building an Exhibition House to introduce to tourists from 2003 to present. In 2005, the Vietnam Record Book Center established this as the largest whale skeleton in Vietnam.

skeleton of whale in Van Thuy Tu

Another skeleton of whale in Van Thuy Tu

Every year, the temple still holds religious ceremonies, following lunar days on February 20; April 20 (Cau Ngu); July 20 (Main Season); July 20 (Vertical Rowing); August 23 (Long Season), to pray for a smooth sailing, good weather and fishing harvest. During the ceremony, there are some attractive activities that take place such as ceremonial rites, folk songs, and boat races… making it become one of the impressive things to do in Phan Thiet.

Cau Ngu festival in Van Thuy Tu

Cau Ngu festival in Van Thuy Tu (photo by phanthietpho)

Source: collected by An

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