Ly Son Island is some 18 nautical miles east
offshore Quang Ngai mainland, composed of Big Island and Small Island with total
area of over 10 km2, devided into three comunes of An Vinh, An Binh and An Hai.
For hundreds of years, Ly Son island has been called by many as a “fairy
island,” thus a destination for either businesspeople or trevellers.
There are on the island well-known beauty spots such as Hang Cau (An Hai), Hang
Co (An Hai), Hang To (An Vinh), Hang Ke Cuop (An Binh). There are also some
others: Gieng Tien Mount, Thoi Loi Mount, Ban Than and Mu Cu isles. But the most
noticeable are Hang and Duc Pagodas and An Hai Temple.
Hang Pagoda, founded about 400 years ago using a natural cave, is a combination
of natural feature and human labour, thus of great value in different ways: a
striking evidence of the making and development of the island by Dai Viet
residents. Apart from that, endowned with magnificient and poetic scenary Hang
Pagoda is naturally chosen by tourists as an ideal destination for relaxation.
The An Hai Village Temple in Dong Hamlet, An Hai Commune, Ly Son Island District
was built in the first year of King Minh Mang (1820) in an architectural style
of Nguyen Dynasty which was reflected in uniquely carved altars or on the
surface of rafters, supports and doors.
The temple is characterized by a worshiping combination that turns out to be the
incorporation of broken pieces of Cham culture into Viet culture to make the
identity of village temples on Ly Son Island: it is, on the one hand, well
related to the worshiping shrine for the Vietnamese celebrities in those of An
Vinh Family, Bui Ta Han Temple, Thanh Hoang Temple, Thuy Long Temple and Nghia
Tu Pagoda, and is also a shrine to worship Thien Y A Na (Po Inu Nagar), Lord
Ngung Man Nuong and his predecessors as well as descendants of the Cham culture
on the other.
Not much torn by wars, Ly Son has well stored hundreds of cultural and
historical relics and diversified architecture which are densely ditributed on a
narrow area. Perhaps, no other places on the mainland possess as many temples,
tombs and pagodas as Ly Son does, especially those relics in connection with
Hoang Sa Team set up in the reign of Nguyen Lords and Nguyen Dynasty later.
There are also traces of Sa Huynh Culture (via excavations in Xom Oc, Suoi Chinh)
and Cham Culture. In addition, there exist on the island the traditional
boat-racing festival held yearly on 4 – 7 January of Lunar Calendar and other
popular yearly events such as Khao Le The Linh Hoang Sa, An Hai Festival, Whale
Worship Festival, Doi Bong Festival and others.
Source: Dan Tri/TT&VH/VOV/Quang