Ninh is not only famous for Halong bay (halong
bay cruise), it is also a destination of pilgrimage tourism with many
ancient pagodas, temples and traditional festivals. One of the most well known
festivals is Cua Ong temple festival, held from January to March on lunar calendar in Cua Ong district, Cam
Cua Ong temple is located by Bai Tu Long bay, just close to the World
heritage Halong bay, Cua Ong
is dedicated to Tran Quoc Tang, third son of Tran Hung Dao, a general hero in
Tran dynasty in 11th century
who contributed to the resistance agains Mongolia invaders. Cua Ong
festival is organized in commemoration
of his glorious deed of arms.
When Tran Quoc Tang died in 1313, he was said to appear at the longan garden and
was reported to King
Tran Anh Tong, the King ordered to build the temple to memorize his contribution
to the country. Cua Ong
area was where Tang deployed his troops in protection of the sea border in north
Vietnam, this place was
also the site of Bach Dang battle between Vietnamese and Mongolians.
Cua Ong temple is one of the relics under Tran dynasty in north
east Vietnam, the temple was built on a hill
about 100m looking down the sea on the south, two sides of the temple are
protected by Green Dragon on
the left and White Tiger on the right, behind is mountain range stretching all
the way to Cam Pha, Mong
Duong areas. There are 3 parts in the temple: Lower, Middle and Upper all
combine to make up a tripodal
position facing the magnificent
Bai Tu Long bay,
Lower and Middle temple were destroyed in the French war
and have now been restored.
In festival season, Cua Ong is busy with travellers abroad and Vietnam, visitors
can travel from Halong city via
Hon Gai district, or can take a boat cruise from halong bay, cross over Bai
Tu Long bay and arrive at the door
to Lower temple.
Previously local people organized the festival on 2nd Lunar March. The festivity
was held with solemnity and
rituals including palanquin processions of ancestoral tablets of Tran Quoc Tang.
Palanquin is carried from
temple to the shrire in Trac Chan commune, also called Longan Garden and return
to the temple symbolizing
inspect progress of Tran Quoc Tang.
Cua Ong temple is known for it's sacredness since it was just a thatched shrine
under an ancient tree on the
bank of the bay and during the festival tens of thousands of pilgrims and
visitors flock to Cua Ong, here you
will have a chance to see 34 statues who were generals under Tran Hung Dao and
visit historical sites and
natural beauty of the north eastern sea.