Cao Dai and Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

cao dai
On a gated compound located at south of Ho Chi Minh, at the province of Tay Ninh and marked by the Holy See, the largest branch of Da Cao Dai (Caodaism) can be found.

Cao Dai roughly translates to “high place or abode” is a new religious movement and considered as the third largest religion in Vietnam. It mixes ideas from world religion such as Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Islam to form a monotheistic religion.
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai

The main temple of Tay Ninh Holy See is colourful both inside and out.
The rich flower ornaments, the dragons on the pillars, the towers and the all seeing eye are architectural reflection of the religion blended fundamentals.
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai

Tourists are invited to enter the Holy See temple and witness Cao Dai followers all dressed in white and church leaders dress in colourful robes as they practice their faith in a manner that resembles Muslim prayers. Meanwhile the accompanying music performed by the choir at the second floor reminds me of a Catholic sect in the Philippines, where women are forbidden to cut their hair short.
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai

The temple was overrun by tourists and available trips from Ho Chi Minh City were relatively quiet short to further learn more about this baffling religion, though it is quite intriguing to discover a monotheistic religion so diverse up to its pantheon of Holy people which includes Julius Caesar, Buddha, Sun Yat Sen, Jesus, Guan Yin, Muhammad, Victor Hugo and Joan of Arc.
hcmc cao dai
hcmc cao dai

Not to far from Cao Dai Temple is the 75-mile tunnel complex of Cu Chi at Cu Chi district.

Part of an elaborate network of underground tunnels in Saigon and said to be one of the primary sources of frustration for US troops during the Vietnam War.
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels

Now a popular tourist destination, I must say that ingenuity on building those deadly traps and endurance to live inside these airless tunnels without food or water for many, many days was how the Viet Cong fought and survived the war.
hcmc cu chi tunnels

Apart from the series of tunnels, the undetectable camouflage trap doors and other types of booby traps used by the Viet Cong were also displayed.
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels

Just imagine how Vietnamese guerrillas can easily fit into one of this camouflage as demonstrated by our tour guide who by the way is a veteran himself.
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels
hcmc cu chi tunnels

I did try to enter the tunnels and convince myself that I will make it out to the third or four exits. I have no issue with small space, but the airlessness makes me turn back immediately towards the nearest exit.

A Visit to Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnel both hour away from Ho Chi Minh City are considered as a good out of the city trip for those who have a spare time prior travelling forward to their next destination.

I am not sure how convenient it is to use series of public transportation to reach both location, but I think the offered tours at Pham Ngu Lao are reasonable enough to cover both places in a few hours.

9 thoughts on “Cao Dai and Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s