Cao Dai temple, spiritual tourism attracting visitors in Ho Chi Minh city
Cao Dai temple, spiritual tourism attracting visitors in Ho Chi Minh city
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Caodaism is a religion that originated in Vietnam, thus attracting a lot of curiosity from foreign tourists. Ho Chi Minh City has quite a lot of Cao Dai temple, but not all places are suitable for tourists. 3 Cao Dai temples listed in this topic are considered most suitable for foreign tourists who want to visit and learn more about this religion.
Overview of Cao Dai religion in Vietnam
Cao Dai religion originated in Vietnam, specifically, Southern Vietnam officially appeared in 1926. The appearance of the Cao Dai religion was to meet a part of the people of Southern Vietnam’s religious needs. The name “Cao Dai” means "the highest place", the meaning of the highest place is Heaven and the noblest one is Heavenly Father.
As the name implies, the Caodaists worship Heavenly Father and consider the Heavenly Father as the founder and the beginning of everything, including other religions that exist in the world. In other words, Cao Dai is considered a synthesis of other religions in the world. Currently, there are more than 2 million Vietnamese who follow this religion.
Cao Dai temple in Ho Chi Minh city
1. Cho Lon Cao Dai temple District 10
Cho Lon Cao Dai parish is located in District 10 of Ho Chi Minh City, is a relatively small district, having a small population compared to other districts in the city. However, this is a district with many religious worship places, creating the best and most favorable conditions to meet all religious needs for all citizens, including Caodaists. Cho Lon Cao Dai temple is the most prominent of the Cao Dai religious institutions in this district. This is a Cao Dai religious institution belonging to the Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy Place.
The area of District 10 is not too large, so moving to Cho Lon Cao Dai temple is not too difficult. You can choose to move by bus or taxi. The bus routes to District 10 from District 1 do not have any direct route to Ngo Quyen Street, but visitors have to walk a few minutes, even cross the street to get to Cho Lon Cao Dai temple. During the daytime, the traffic situation in District 10 in general and Ngo Quyen Street is very crowded, so because of the convenience and safety, you should choose a taxi when moving here.
Cho Loi Cao Dai temple's address: 194-198 Ngo Quyen street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh city.
2. Nam Thanh Cao Dai temple District 1
Nam Thanh Cao Dai holy place also has another name called Cau Kho Cao Dai temple, which has been used by local people. This is the first religious site of Caodaists and also one of the first Cao Dai temples in Vietnam. Nam Thanh Cao Dai temple was completely built in 1929. Up to now, the temple is more than 90 years old and this is also a place that attracts many Caodaists to the major events of the Cao Dai religion.
Nam Thanh Cao Dai temple’s location is in District 1, about 10 minutes by car from the center of District 1 and famous attractions. The exact address of Nam Thanh Cao Dai holy place is 126 Nguyen Cu Trinh, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1. When you come here, besides visiting the architecture of the ancient temple and learn about Caodaism, do not forget to visit Hoa Khai Vegetarian Restaurant inside the campus of Nam Thanh Cao Dai temple. Due to being located on the campus of Cao Dai holy place, the restaurant atmosphere is also relatively peaceful and cozy. Being a vegetarian restaurant, but the menu here is very diverse with more than 100 dishes that are specially prepared at reasonable prices, so it attracts many tourists who visit Nam Thanh Cao Dai temple.
3. Sai Gon Cao Dai temple District 5
Sai Gon Cao Dai temple is the largest worshiping place and also has the most spacious architecture of the Cao Dai temples in Ho Chi Minh city. In addition to serving as a worship area for Cao Dai believers, this place is also the representative office of Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See in Ho Chi Minh city.
Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See is the largest Cao Dai temple in Vietnam, while Sai Gon Cao Dai holy place in District 5 is considered a duplicate of Tay Ninh Cao Dai Holy See because of their similar architecture. Of course, the area of Sai Gon Cao Dai temple is not equal to the Cao Dai holy see in Tay Ninh, but the architecture and the structure inside the temple are quite similar, including all the necessary parts of a standard Cao Dai religious institution. The architecture inside Sai Gon Cao Dai temple will surely impress you because the ceilings, floors, pillars, and other details inside this place are meticulously carved with many unique symbols.
Sai Gon Cao Dai temple address is 891 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ward 1, District 5.
The characteristic of all Cao Dai temples in Ho Chi Minh city
Cao Dai holy place is the main worshiping area of the Cao Dai believers. The common point of all Cao Dai temples in Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular is the East-West architecture. The architecture of the Cao Dai temple is a delicate combination between the type of tall towers from the West and the carved domes of the East. The symbol of the Cao Dai religion is the Left Eye Of God. This is also a very typical image of all Cao Dai temples in Ho Chi Minh city.
During the year, the Caodaism has a number of important events, ritual activities, and all of them are also held at the Cao Dai temples, attracting many Caodaists and tourists. Major festivals of the Cao Dai religion (according to the lunar calendar) January 9, April 8, and the 15th of the following 5 months: 2, 7, 8, 10, and 12. If you want to enjoy the festival atmosphere and experience the ritual activities of the Cao Dai religion, you can visit the Cao Dai temple on the days mentioned above. If you want to visit and learn more about the architecture as well as the history of the Cao Dai religion, you should avoid the above occasions. On those occasions, Cao Dai temples are often very crowded, it will be difficult for you during the process of visiting and learning about religion.
Things that should remember when visiting Cao Dai temple
In terms of costumes, since this is a worship place, you must choose suitable outfits, which are not too revealing. Due to the large campus of some Cao Dai temples, women should choose suitable clothes and shoes for the most comfortable visit.
There is usually no cafeteria inside the Cao Dai holy place, so you should have prepared your drinks and some snacks, as long as not littering.
About taking photos, you absolutely can film and take pictures of the impressive carved architecture inside and outside the Cao Dai holy place. You can take some photos of yourself to commemorate the visit to Cao Dai temple, but you must not stand in front of the statues, the main symbol of the temple, and use those images as the background for your photo. The Cao Dai temples usually have many floors, you can ask the manager to walk up, visit and take pictures, but each Cao Dai temple will have its own rules about taking off shoes before visiting, so you need to ask carefully to avoid inconvenience.
Caodaism is still a relatively unknown name to some foreigners, so the visits to Cao Dai temple for foreign tourists also become even more interesting. If you have the opportunity to visit Ho Chi Minh city, I hope you can arrange a schedule to once visit Cao Dai temple in this city. Hopefully, this topic provides you with more useful information for your future visit to the Cao Dai temple