MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

The Gorgeous Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh

During our visit to the Tay Ninh province, we also dropped by the Cao Dai religion's Holy See (built between 1933 and 1955), which is about 5 km to the east of Tay Ninh city's town centre and about 60 km outside Ho Chi Minh.

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Tay Ninh itself is a city that is most famous for being the home of the Cao Dai religion, an indigenous Vietnamese faith that adopts teachings of the major world religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Islam.

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Did I say the Ba Den pagoda is stunning? Nothing prepared me for the Cao Dai Holy See's interiors. The outside is pretty good looking, but the inside is gorgeous if perhaps a little over the top.

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All the surfaces appear to be covered by some kind of decoration or intricate religious art, from simple, but effective, visually textured marbling, to motif and pattern covered glossy tiles. The structure itself is simple, featuring a long hall that takes up the majority of the temple, but this is held up with two lines of highly decorated columns and punctuated with entrances through the walls on both sides.

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When we dropped in, like some temples around Vietnam, we had to take our shoes off before entering, and the friendly but assertive monks guided us around the inside edge of the wall (on the plain cream-coloured tiles) to view the full length of the interiors. We weren't allowed to step into the middle in between the columns, although one friendly guide let me step in to take a picture.

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The Cao Dai temple was quiet and peaceful during our visit but apparently, there is a daily mass at noon which is supposed to be a sight to behold.

Check my Flickr set for more photos of the Cao Dai Temple.


This entry posted in : Culture. Tourism. Vietnam.

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