Quan Cong Temple

See a beautiful example of Chinese craftsmanship in the elaborate statues and artwork at this colorful temple.

The Quan Cong Temple is named after an ancient Chinese general who won a number of military victories during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220). The reds, golds and greens of the temple and the beautiful artworks are still a striking sight today.

Built in 1653, the Quan Cong Temple has been reconstructed several times. As with many of Hoi An’s other historical buildings, its integrity has been preserved, however, and is very much as it would have looked originally. It is now a designated National Historic and Cultural Site.

The temple’s exterior is made of pink-colored bricks and the roof is constructed from glazed green tiles, and embellished with mythical creatures such as dragons and unicorns.

As you approach the front hall, note the doorway adorned with two blue dragons entwined in clouds. It is said that Quan Cong was the embodiment of Thanh Long (Blue Dragon) and Bach Ho (White Tiger).

Straight ahead in the main hall stands an imposing statue of Quan Cong on the main altar. This is flanked by Cong’s two guards, Quan Binh and Chau Thuong. Cong’s greatness is further celebrated with the various Chinese characters hung around the temple, each praising his name. These quotes have been offered by various high-profile royals and intellectuals.

On either side of the altar is a number of ritual weapons and instruments. The bell and drum were offered in the 20th century by Bao Dai, who was king at the time. Behind the front hall is a sanctuary. Here, you’ll find two life-size statues of Cong’s horses. Another feature worth seeking out is the ornamental pond inhabited by turtles.

Quan Cong Temple is located on 24 Nguyen Hue. It’s open daily and entry is free. Twice a year it becomes a center of pilgrimage, owing to the Ong Pagoda Festival. Check the calendar to see if your visit coincides.