If you have a lot of time to kill and have no idea of what interesting to do, just pick up a Cu Chi – Cao Dai tour at Vietnam Express Travel. Through this trip, you’ll come to know more about unique religious aspects of Vietnam in Tay Ninh Province as well as learn how Vietnamese soldiers could survive the war underground around Cu Chi tunnels.
Newly established roughly 100 years ago, Caodaism (Cao Đài) is a blend of several major religions including Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Christianity. Caodaism promotes the principle of living a good life, doing good actions, and observing the state laws. The symbol of Cao Dai is the Divine Eye or the eye of God. In addition to the holy eye, Cao Dai worships other deities such as Buddha, Guanyin, Jesus, Confucian, Lao-Tsu. The Divine Temple or known as the Temple of Tay Ninh or the ‘Holy See,” is the large and major temple for worship and religious practices. Once discovering the Temple of Tay Ninh, you’ll see a number of symbols that hold mysterious, special meanings.
Situated in Tay Ninh Province, which is appropriately 100 kilometers far away from Ho Chi Minh City, the Temple of Tay Ninh was constructed in 1933 and finished in 1955. The site, whose area is 1.2 square kilometers, embraces a main temple and over 100 architectural works.
The Temple of Tay Ninh is 140 meters long and 40 meters wide, including 2 bell and drum towers which are 25 meters high. The interior of the Holy See hosts 2 rows of columns surrounded by dragon-shaped sculptures in blue and white. The ceiling divided in 9 regions by those columns makes up 9 skies full of cloud and stars. Especially the main area of the temple worships the Divine Eye that sits on a celestial sphere painted with 3027 stars as representations of 3027 planets. In front of the main area, there are 7 seats divided into three stages, which the highest is for Giao Tong (Giáo Tông, or Pope, or Religious Group Leader), the second 3 seats go for Chuong Phap (Chưởng Pháp or Legislative Cardinals) and the last 3 seats are for Dau Su (Đầu Sư or Cardinals). Additionally, the main area houses 8 dragon-carved columns standing in a circle.
Cu Chi – Cao Dai tours
Visitors usually choose to visit the Cao Dai Temple around 12 p.m. when a 45 minute mass takes place as Caodaists in formal dress gather and practice the religion. Just notice to leave your shoes outside the temple and, of course, you’re not allowed to take pictures over the Divine Eye, but the landscape. You can ask for permission to go upstairs for sigh-seeing and taking overview photos.
This is an outstanding and unique architecture building – a mixture of Asian and European architectures. The Temple of Tay Ninh is a destination where pilgrims around the world flock to, and an interesting attraction for religious tourism.
After the Tay Ninh tour, visitors on the way back to the city will stop by Cu Chi tunnels for a visit to learn how Vietnam’s soldiers could survive during the war time.
Cu Chi tunnels are an underground system in 200 kilometers long, whose area, however, is limited for visit nowadays. Plenty of stories about history of the tunnels and the locals’ lives during the Vietnam War will be also told by tour guides. Especially, you’ll definitely be excited by wiggling yourselves through narrow underground tunnels in which during the war time Vietnam’s soldiers and guerillas lived and fought.
There are a number of exhibits to be displayed there, including Hoang Cam ovens (bếp Hoàng Cầm), collective bed rooms, meeting chambers, clinics, study rooms and so on. All of them reflect scarce but creative lives below ground, which contributed to the victory and reunion of the country.
Specifically, you’ll learn some unique weapons and spike traps Vietnam’s soldiers employed to fight against the enemies. Besides, Hoang Cam ovens will tell you how clever the soldiers were as they cooked while hiding themselves secretly.
What’s up at last? A Cao Dai – Cu Chi tour will bring forth many experiences you’ll never forget on your Vietnam Travel tour. Not only will you enrich your knowledge of a special religion in Vietnam, but of history as well.
Discover interesting Cu Chi – Cao Dai tours
Address: 165/34 Vuon Lai St, Phu Tho Hoa Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City
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