The main temple of Caodaism (also known as Cao Dai’s Holy See) is located at the south of Vietnam in Tay Ninh. It is not the first time that I have set foot in a temple but this is definitely the first time that I witnessed such a grand ceremony. It was high noon that time and the ceremony was about to commence.
Everyone was instructed to leave their shoes outside the temple (just imagine how hot the pavement was since it was 12 noon!). Women enter the temple from the left while men enter from the right. But both genders will eventually meet in the balcony.
It was indeed a feast for the eyes as there are three principal colors of Cao Dai. Yellow for Buddhism, Blue for Taoism and Red for Christianity and these are represented in the robes of their priests; the followers on the other hand, wear white robes. It is safe to say that Caodaism is a fusion of the aforesaid religions including Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
- It is more convenient to book a tour at your hotel if you wish to visit the Holy See as this is very far from the center. The tour package we got consists of a visit to Cu Chi Tunnels and the Holy See (with a side trip to the Handicapped Handicraft) and costs around US$12. With the scorching heat in Vietnam, you’ll be thankful for the convenience of the ready transport.
- If you are fussy with your food, it’s best to bring your sandwich or anything you can snack on outside the bus (and enjoy people-watching) because the lunch stopover is usually at those hole-in-the-wall restos that serve so-so food (based on experience Ü).