Lady Phi Yen Temple - Con Dao Travel Guide

This small local temple was built in homage to Lady Phi Yen, wife of Nguyen Emperor Gia Long, who was sequestered on the island. Just north of town, the temple is a 1958 remake of a late-19th-century original (destroyed by the French). The story goes that Phi Yen accompanied her husband in exile after defeat at the hands of the Tay Son. Under threat and desperately seeking French support -- help that he would receive, but with many concessions to the French that heralded the beginning of Vietnam's French colonization -- his wife expressed doubt, preached peace, and was suspected by Gia Long of treason. Lady Phi Yen was thrown into an isolated cell and left to die after he left the island -- fleeing Tay Son -- but she survived with the help of mythical creatures (a monkey and a tiger), only to commit suicide later. The temple honors her tragic tale, her fortitude, and her love of peace.