"CAO DAI Temple at Tay Ninh" Temples Tip by jumpingnorman
Temples, Ho Chi Minh City: 15 reviews and 38 photos
A very popular day trip from HCMC is combining the Cu Chi Tunnels with a visit to a temple 4 km east of Tay Ninh, in the village of Long Hoa – the CAO DAI HOLY SEE. When I looked outside this magnificent church, the sign said “DAI DAO, TAM KY PHO DO, TOA THANH TAY NINH” – whatever that means, lol…
But this is really a very ornate temple which reminded me of the Tiger Balm Gardens décor in Hong Kong. This temple which is near the Cambodian border is home to the Cao Dai sect which is a hybrid religion of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.
When we entered it was the mid-day service and as in most eastern religious sites, you have to take off your hats and shoes before entering. Modest and respectful attire is advised – however, some in our group were wearing shorts and the women had sleeveless attire but they were still allowed to go in by the nice lady at the gate.
We were immediately brought up to a flight of stairs which gave us a good view of all these priests/advocates dressed in white garments, kneeling down face down on the floor, participating in the mid-day service. Prayers are actually conducted 4x daily.
We were allowed to photograph inside the huge high-vaulted church and also video the proceedings. Of course, you have to keep quiet though and respect the prayers going on. I also read that you have to ask first before taking a picture with someone, and I did ask a little man sitting outside the temple for a picture.
You must also take note of the Divine Eye at the front portico of the Great temple – it is likened to the eye seen behind the US dollar bill.
Of course, this is only one of the many temples in Vietnam, but this temple in Tay Ninh is a popular destination for tour groups (but we were the only tour group of six people at the time we visited on that Thursday.
Address: 4 km east of Tay Ninh, at Long Hoa
Directions: 4 km east of Tay Ninh, at Long Hoa
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