You are going to travel Phu Quoc, so in the first day, what will you want to do?
Even in the high season for tourism, Phu Quoc is still a pretty quiet place. The waves rolling on the sea seem to urge me to go out and explore the surroundings of this beautiful island. Beautiful beaches are right in front of the room, which made me really excited. I woke up quite early, when the sun was not rising and jogged down the beach – when nobody on the beach. I like to see the awakening of everything around myself in the early morning and watch the sun rise in the place known as Pearl Island. I carried my iPhone, as a companion for exploring Phu Quoc in the morning.
It’s a big mistake to travel to Phu Quoc without visiting Dinh Cau (Cau Temple) which is known as the island’s symbol, especially when the sun gets ready to set on the sea. It will be an unforgettable memory of your trip to the Pearl Island. From the center of Duong Dong Town, tourists stroll on April 30 Street then turn left to Bach Dang Street for about 200 meters to get to the temple, where the sea, sand, sunlight and stones mingle into a romantic landscape.
The holy temple, which was established in the 17th century, is located on the unique location of a majestic stone edge overlooking the sea where waves lap high making for a spectacular view. There is a balcony where tourists can admire numerous large rocks in monstrous shapes that people can imagine in anyway they want.
Once arriving at the foot of the stone edge, tourists should walk the 29 steps to get to the temple which worships Cau a deity who apparently controls the sea and helps fishermen and their boats out of storms. That’s why fishermen usually come here to pray for peace and success prior to their trips. From the temple tourists can close their eyes listening to the waves or admiring a beautiful sky sparkling on the sea surface. Looking to the right side tourists can watch an animated Duong Dong Port where hundreds of boats are anchoring or a peaceful beach with yellow, soft sand and pure water on the left side.
From the temple tourists can even see a busy Duong Dong Market far, far away. When the sun is setting it’s time for squid-catching junks to get to work. Dozens of lights bobbing on the sea make a fanciful scene to many people.
Each year on big holidays and Lunar New Year, local people and fishermen gather at the temple especially on the 15th and 16th day of the lunar October for a huge festival. The temple opens daily with entrance free.
Vietnamese dipping sauce – A requirement at every Vietnamese table, nước chấm is used to season grilled and steamed meats, salad and fried rolls, vegetables and seafood. It is used in many recipes, too, but is always put on the table for each individual to dip as their taste dictates. This recipe has a distinct southern Vietnam influence with the addition of lime juice, water, and sugar. You may also use rice vinegar instead of all or part of the lime juice for a variation. In the central and northern regions, nước chấm is often made using only the fish sauce and chilis, perhaps with just a touch of sugar.
For those of you that are challenged by the flavor of fish sauce, try substituting two-thirds of the fish sauce with soy sauce. The next time, try a little less soy and more fish sauce, and you will be ready for the real thing before long.
- 175ml warm water
- 30-40g sugar
- 125ml fish sauce
- 60ml lime juice or rice vinegar
- 2–3 small chilis (red or green), thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced (optional)
Mix the water and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and serve. This sauce is typically made fresh for each meal, but leftovers will keep several days in the refrigerator. It will be an unforgettable memory of your trip to the Pearl Island.
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