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“Very Nice, Not Sure if it's Worth the Drive Though”
Review of Cao Dai Temple

Cao Dai Temple
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Full-Day Cao Dai Temple and Black Lady Mountain...
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Tay Ninh
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed 19 November 2009

During our travels in Asia, we've seen what seems like a hundred temples, and by the end of our third month, we really weren't too keen on seeing more. However, our tour guide told us that this one would be different than any we had seen, and we would be exposed to an entirely new and entirely Vietnamese religion, so we figured what the heck.

We combined this day with a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, and it was about 6.5 hours of driving for about 1.5 hours of sightseeing. To get to the temple was about 3 hours, 1.5 hours of sitting in traffic in Saigon followed by 1.5 hours of driving through the countryside. Then it was about another 1.5 hours back to Cu Chi Tunnels, and another about 2 hours to get back to our hotel from there. There are half-day tours to Cu Chi Tunnels which will cut out about 2.5 hours of driving if you don't need to see the temple.

Was it worth the drive? I'm not sure. The temple is really cool actually, nothing at all like the Buddhist temples scattered throughout Asia. It is bright and colorful, reminds me of that Fairyland Castle at Disneyland. You can go inside and see the noon mass which is definitely the thing to do if you've come all the way up here. The worshippers are in Red, Yellow, and Blue costumes to depict Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity respectively, as this unique religion draws from all three. One of the three saints of Cao Dai is Victor Hugo, the French Poet. Very strange.

This religion is unique to Vietnam and growing. You can see other Cao Dai temples around southern Vietnam, but this is the main one (think The Vatican for Catholicism). It is not humongous, but sizeable, very interesting to see. The worshippers sing and play music throughout the mass, there is no preacher or sermons per se.

We were happy we saw the temple, but man was it a lot of driving, and it only took us about 45 minutes to spend there. Just depends on how interested you are I guess. I think we would probably pass on the temple if we had it to do over again, as 6.5 hours of driving in one day left us really beat at the end of the day.

2  Thank Johann-Sandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 July 2009

Combined a day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels and the Cao Dai Temple. Well worth a visit to see a religion and its temple that I was totally unaware of. Take a guide with you to "show you the drill" and help explain about the religion etc as the English translations and explanations on site are very limited. Very elaborate and colourful temple and outer buildings. Take a little time to attend one of the prayer sessions with procession of participants. They don't mind photos being taken or people moving around the visitors gallery to get good shots. Some of the monks supervising the visitors will even point out a good photo op for you
Probably a long way to come just to see the temple so make a day trip of it and see several sights at the same time

1  Thank AussieTravelholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2009

The Cao Dai religion was established in Tay Ninh Province in the 1926. This particular Cao Dai Temple is the largest, and the center of the Cao Dai religion.

Caodaiism is a very interesting religion. Where else in the world can you find a religion with such an eclectic mix of different saints from different religions, and has Victor Hugo and Charlie Chaplin as patron saints?

The colorful temple is about a 2 1/2 drive away from Ho Chi Minh City. (More like 1 1/2 hour perhaps - our driver was driving at an average speed of 40km/h :/) If you have the time to spare, it's worth the trip to meet the monks, see the prayer sessions (Caodaiists are like Muslims - they pray several times a day), experience the traditions of the temple and experience a day in the life of a follower of the Cao Dai faith.

Read up on Caodaiism first to fully appreciate this place as the guides inside the temple can't speak English. Or, as with tours, get a really good guide.

2  Thank jacqkellie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2009

Its a large, colorful, fairly new temple about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. Definitely NOT worth the drive. Spend the time doing something other than sitting in a car for that long.

2  Thank PaceJapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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Date of experience: December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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