The Whale Temple
The Whale Temple
3.5

Top ways to experience The Whale Temple and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
70 reviews
Excellent
5
Very good
23
Average
35
Poor
7
Terrible
0

Dan L
Bunbury, Australia7,494 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
First time that we have visited a temple that pays homage to a whale. According to legend, a whale carcass washed up on the beach over v100 years ago and so big that the fishermen had to wait until the flesh decomposed before being able to bring the bones ashore and display them. The bones were regarded as a symbol of protection of the coast.
Written December 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paul g
Brisbane, Australia818 contributions
Oct 2016 • Friends
This was a very interesting temple to visit and look at/through but its significance would certainly have been lost if we weren't with a guide to explain the history etc. as written information was lacking. Some of the decorative features and adornments make this place worth visiting but it could use a bit of a 'freshening up'.
Written June 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David B
Rayong, Thailand9,813 contributions
Jan 2016 • Friends
In Vietnam there is a legend that hundreds of years ago some fishermen wrecked at sea were in imminent danger of drowning when a whale came up. They climbed on its back and it carried them safely to shore. (Unlike Jonah, they didn't have to do the voyage in the whale's stomach).

The whale is now regarded by fishermen as their guardian and whales are venerated in temples in many parts of the country.

If a whale is ever found washed up on the beach, locals will bury it and two or three years later dig it up and inter its bones in a whale temple.

The Whale Temple in Vung Tau is a colourful affair, dating to 1832. It has fanciful murals depicting whales battling with sea monsters. There is an altar at which local fisherman make offerings before putting to sea, and there are several large cases of whale bones.

It is well worth a brief visit to soak up local legends, customs and beliefs.
Written January 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oscar Ceballos
Mexico City, Mexico1,212 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
Just a temple, little story, and a whale, boring

Doesn’t offer anything else, I don’t know how it became popular.
Written April 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

besttourinvungtau
Vung Tau, Vietnam357 contributions
Mar 2015 • Business
I have just read a Trip Advisor review by Ted C. of what he called the Whale Temple. "Just another variation on the many temples visited" was his summation. What a shame Ted didn't do his homework about this extremely interesting, historic place.
It is not one place. It is three places in the same location. None of them are called the Whale Temple.
Each place was built for a different person or deity. Each place has its own story and history. The history of temples across Asia tell the histories of that area. There is no formula or standard temple, which other temples are based on.
Most of the places called temples by visitors aren't temples, they most likely are communal houses, dinhs, dens, or mieus.
The place visited by Ted records many histories. Just one of them is the history of the Vung Tau pirates. Each year there is a huge parade from Front Beach through to Dinh Than Thang Tam telling story of the three pirate-slaying Generals who were sent by the emperor to eradicate the Malay pirates from the island of Vung Tau.
Then there is the inclusion of the whale into that same story and procession. The 'plastic whale' Ted refers to is a float. Initial these stories seemed separate, but research into this shows it was the empirial marines that spread Whale Cult across south east Asia; exactly what the Vung Tau procession and this "dull" place (according to Ted) tells us.
To get the most out of temples across Vietnam and asia, look at them more as if they are museums.
Written March 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ali68Kent
United Kingdom110 contributions
Mar 2020
Lovely building
Whale bones and information very good
Interesting to hear how the fishermen have a three day festival to pay homage to the whale.
Great for kids as well
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kellyansapansa
Adelaide, Australia427 contributions
Apr 2019
We were a group of 9 visiting the Whale Temple as part of a local Vung Tau and Ba Ria tour, during a port visit from a cruise ship. I would definitely recommend visiting with a tour guide who can provide some history and context, otherwise it would have been difficult to understand what this was all about and why it was significant. It's interesting but 20 minutes is sufficient to see everything here.
Written August 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pukekopom
Brisbane, Australia98 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
It is best to have an explanation of why whale bones are displayed/arranged the way they are otherwise it looks like a heap !
Written April 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martha L
Hong Kong, China458 contributions
Jan 2014 • Couples
It doesn't worth to see. We went there because Vietnamese treat whales as their gods.
The skeletons are put in the glass cases. The model is not made in scale.
Written January 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stuart H
Burnley, UK14 contributions
Feb 2019
The Whale Temple is a very unusual place. There is a main Temple in the centre and then either side two smaller ones.
The Temple itself is very much like any other Temple until you go inside and there in a glass case is a large collection of whale bones just piled up as the photo shows. Then on top of that there are skulls of other animals/ birds just apparently thrown in for good measure.
It is quite a little gem because it is so unusual. The Whale is seen as a Protector of the Fishermen who fish the local waters. It's well worth half an hour of your time to look round it and acknowledge how different it is from the usual Temple in Asia.
Written March 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 50
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

The Whale Temple - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)