History of the Cao Dai religion
The founder of the Cao Dai religion (Cao Đai) was Ngo van Chien, a Vietnamese official who worked for the French administration. The literal translation of Cao Dai is a top place.
This religion has distributed 5 million adherents by Vietnam, Australia, Europe and United States. Its symbol is an eye within a triangle, the so-called third eye or the eye that everything he sees and the triangle is triangle of justice.
The 3 Saints of this religion are the founder of the republic of china Sun Yat-Sen, the poet Victor Hugo and Vietnamese Professor Nguyen Binh Khiem, representing the Alliance between the earthly and the divine. The figures that we see in a box at the entrance of the temple.
Information about Cao Dai temple
The Temple of Tay Ninh, called Toa Thanh or Divine Temple, is the largest of all the churches Caodistas. Begun in 1927 and opened in 1955 after many years of construction due to delays caused by financial and political problems. The Cao Dai Temple is a curious and unique architecture building, mixture of Asian and European architectures, where what most noteworthy of its exterior are its vivid colors and shapes of roofs.
The Holy See of Cao Dai, which can be considered as the headquarters Vatican in Christianity, occupies an area of 100 hectares. The whole complex is surrounded by a fence that protects the complex, with 12 gates. The largest of all door is normally closed and only opens to make way for leaders and public personalities.
The dimensions of the Cao Dai Temple is 140 meters long, 40 meters wide and 36 meters high. Runner which can be seen in the exterior, is supported by 112 circular pillars.
The architecture of the Cao Dai churches reflects the precepts of this syncretic religion, for example the 2 Belfries are unique to Christianity. At the top of the main façade we find the statue of Maitreya Buddha in the Lotus position. Shingles in red color and the pointy roofs are typical of Chinese architecture and Hinduism.
In the Holy See Caodista spotlight is the divine Temple, but we also have the tomb of Ho Phap, the Temple of the Holy Mother, the fabric House, the Office of the Pope and the Office of the Lady of the cardinal.
Cao Dai temples Other
In the vicinity of Tay Ninh province we can find other Cao Dai temples, however the most prominent Temple, after the santa Sede de Tay Ninh is the Da Phuoc Temple located in Dalat.
The interior of the Holy See
The interior of the Cao Dai Temple is adorned by 18 columns painted in pink that the sculptures of dragons and snakes is screwed. The columns divided the central part of the Temple in 9 regions, representing 9 regions that make up the Mekong Delta and also 9 stages caodistas until you reach the sky.
The ceilings are painted in blue represents the sky and the stars, specifically 3072 stars. Around the temple have many caodista representations of the divine eye, which observes the faithful.
The background of the temple, we have the main altar, which highlights a huge ball of the world or ORB in blue, along with the divine eye greatly all-seeing, dominates the place. The altar usually accompanied by floral offerings, 3 glasses of wine, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of tea.
Just above the altar, we have statues of the three saints Caodaism.
The faithful and monks who are inside the temple, carrying colorful tunics, color revealing their hierarchy within the religious institution.
Tour and visit to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
By its distance to the city centre of Ho Chi Minh City, and by the absence of tourist attractions in the city of Tay Ninh, the visit to the Cao Dai Temple is usually carried out jointly with an excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels.
The typical tour starts from the ancient city of Saigon about 7:00 in the morning to arrive around 10:00 to Cao Dai temple.
After finishing the prayer service around 12:45, he goes back to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping at the Cu Chi tunnels, ending the tour at 20:00 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Access to the interior and Cao Dai temple rules
The Cao Dai Temple has 6 access doors. The main gate, called pure in heart is reserved for monks and worshippers access once begins the religious Office. On the sides there is a door for women (to the left) and a door for men (right margin).
All tourists without exception (men and women) have access to the right door (the door of the men, so to speak).
To enter the interior of the temple, you must remove your shoes (is allowed with SOCKS). As floor tiles are heated by the Sun, usually gets a red carpet from the place where shoes are left up to the inside of the temple. With regard to clothing, there is no any kind of standard of dress, but recommend wearing clothing consistent with this religious place.
Once in the interior of the temple, you cannot rewind, i.e. must traverse the entire interior of the Church to return to the starting point and get out of the building.
The Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh is a sacred place, are allowed to take flash pictures, shoot videos and talk about, but at all times the monks shall ensure that do not raise the tone of voice or neither invade the central part of the Church, reserved for the faithful and priests.
Hours and admission price to Cao Dai temple
The Cao Dai Temple is Open every day of the week without interruption 24 hours a day. The entrance is free.
The celebration of the religious ceremony takes place every day of the week 4 times a day. The mass schedule at the Cao Dai Temple is: 6, 12: 00, 18: 00 and 00: 00 (duration 45 minutes), as being the 12: 00 mass mass most popular among tourists.
Recommendations and tourist advice
10 minutes before the start of the religious ceremony, access is prohibited inside the temple.
During the church service, but most visitors have access to landing that between the front door and the stairs of the temple.
It allows access to 2 balconies / amphitheater that reach over half of the temple. This amphitheater is relatively small and easily filled, it is advisable to take place 5 to 10 minutes before Mass begins.
When the Mass started, not allowed to walk around the temple (including outdoor gardens) Circular nor any kind of vehicle.
We recommend you arrive at the temple Cao Dai no more afternoon 11: 00, to give a tour of the surrounding area, visit inside the temple, chat with the monks and take a good place to view the 12: 00 mass.
In the sacred area of Cao Dai are not allowed vendors, so it is advisable to bring water and sun protection.
Location Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
The religion Caodista is headquartered in Hoa Thanh district of Tay Ninh province, about 90 kilometers Northwest of Ho Chi Minh City and approximately 55 kilometers of the Cu Chi tunnels. The temple, visible from almost any part of the complex, is located about 150 meters from the main entrance from the road.
Getting to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
The only way to get to the Cao Dai Temple is by road. Although it is only 90 kilometres from center of Ho Chi Minh City, the traffic and the State of the roads, many of them in construction or improvement process, it makes will take 2 hours and a half to arrive until the Cao Dai Holy headquarters.
To take advantage of the day ideally go in van / tourist bus from Saigon, whose price person around the 10€ banknote of roundtrip, that can be purchased easily in any travel agency in the area of backpackers from Saigon (streets of Tham, Tran Hung Dao and surroundings).
For those who dare to ride a motorcycle, they know that the only secure parking is in Cao Dai is for the faithful, not allowing tourists park.
Also can go on regular bus line, specifically the bus 702 departs from station of buses from the Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City to Tay Ninh. Bus fare is around 1€ per way. Another alternative is to go with the bus 13 to Cu Chi and from there take one of the many buses to Tay Ninh.
Virtual visit to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
Here you have some videos as virtual visit to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh.
Videos from outside Cao Dai Temple
Cao Dai Temple Exterior
Cao Dai Holy See Tay Ninh Vietnam
Doors and garden area Cao Dai Vatican Headquarters
Videos inside the Cao Dai Temple
Architecture of the Cao Dai Holy See
Decoration of the Cao Dai Holy See in Vietnam
Interior of the Church in Tay Ninh Cao Dai
Cao Dai Temple Interior
Interior decoration Cao Dai Temple
Dai Cai eye that sees everything
Symbols Daistas Cao - Cao Dai Temple Altar
Videos of monks and Cao Dai faithful
Monks Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
Monks praying Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
Caodista Mass ceremony in the temple of Tay Ninh
Religious acts are 4 times a day, with 6 hour time difference between them. The Mass is sung by a chorus of hundreds of people, which also used traditional Vietnamese instruments.
Here you have a video of the Cao Dai religious ceremony.
Mass Ceremony Caodaist Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
Cao Dai Temple located in the province of Tay Ninh is a rather curious look can be done in and around Ho Chi Minh City, with more intellectual value than any other sightseeing tour in South Vietnam, we recommend moving to this point travelers who have sufficient time.