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ADMIRE CAO DAI TEMPLE & EXPERIENCE CU CHI TUNNEL

Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, is home to the unique Cao Dai sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh has been described as a Walt Disney fantasia of the East. The temple's exterior is decorated with multicolored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of swastikas. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god, Brahma, stand side by side.

Morning admire the colorfull daily service. Afternoon, experience the Cu Chi tunnels

Caodaism (Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do, or Third Great Universal Religious Amnesty) is a syncretic religion that had its beginnings in Vietnam, then part of French Indo-China, in the 1920s. Its founder, Ngo Minh Chieu (or Ngo Van Chieu), was a French civil servant and was also a mystic who was well-versed in western and eastern religions. In 1919 he began receiving revelations about the truth of religions from God (Caodai) that told him to combine the teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam and other religions into one religion to promote peace. In 1926 he revealed his seances to the public as a new belief system. It soon became quite popular.

There are a number of important figures in the Cao Dai pantheon. The major saints are Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen, the 19c French writer Victor Hugo and the 16c Vietnamese poet Nguyen Binh Khiem. Lesser dignitaries who have manifested themselves in seances include notables such as Joan of Arc, Descartes, V. I. Lenin, William Shakespeare, and Winston Churchill. The organizational structure roughly follows that of the Roman Catholic Church with a pope, cardinals, bishops and priests. There are several million practitioners in (mostly southern) Vietnam and perhaps over a thousand temples, mostly in the Mekong delta. There are also practitioners in the west, though these are primarily in the expatriate Vietnamese communities.

The movement became involved in the Vietnamese nationalist movement against the French and for a while even were allied with the Viet Minh. But Cai Dai military units eventually joined the French against the Viet Minh. After the triumph of the North in the Vietnam war Cao Daiists suffered much along with other religions.

The Great Temple, or Holy See, is the center of the sect. Constructed between 1933 and 1955, is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. It is near the market village of Long Than, and only 5 kilometers from Tay Ninh, the capital of the province of the same name. There are colorful ceremonies with chanting four times a day, including the noontime service in January, 1992, depicted here.

Cu Chi Tunnel is 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City in the Northwest. It is miniature battle versatile of Cu Chi’s military and people during the 30-year struggle longtime and fierce to fight invading enemy to receive independence, freedom for motherland. It also is the special architecture lying deeply underground with many stratums, nooks and crannies as complex as a cobweb, having spares for living, meeting and fighting with total lengths over 200 km. Real legends coming from the Tunnel are over human imaginativeness. Creeping down into the tunnel, only some yards, you can find out why Vietnam? A tiny country could defeat its enemy, the large and richest country in the world. Why Cu Chi, a barren and poor land could face strongly for 21 years to the army crowded many times compared with its force, warlike and equipped modern war weapons and means. In the fight, Cu Chi people won illustriously. Thanks to systems of tunnel ways, fortifications, combat trenches, soldiers and people of Cu Chi fought very bravely creating glorious feat of arms. The American invaders at first time stepped into Cu Chi land, they had to face so fierce resistances from tunnels from important and very difficult bases that they cried out, “Underground villages”, “Dangerous secret zone”, “cannot see any VC but they appear everywhere”… With its war pasture, Cu Chi Tunnels become a historical war hero of Vietnamese People like a 20th century legend and famous land in the world:

The trip to Tay Ninh is combined with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height the tunnel system stretched over 250km. from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life in the American war must have been like. The tunnels have been widened for our benefit (otherwise we would not be able to enter them!) For those interested there's even the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range. Then we drive to Cu Chi Tunnels then onto Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. Lunch. Following lunch, we visit, we will drive back to Ho Chi Minh City, arrive Ho Chi Minh at 16 00 pm.

 

Includes:

- Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)

- Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.

- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests' return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary. 

- Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the program

- Lunches (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available.

- VAT and other taxes

 

Excludes:

- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.

- Surcharge for peak season (if any) & Other not mentioned in the above detail program.

 

Additional Information:

Importance note
- The itinerary is just a sample of our tours; we'll be pleased to design similar programs with dates and itinerary customized to your personal preferences in Tailor Made Tours section. Rates may vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

What to bring ?
- Sun Block, Wide brim hat, Camera + Film, Comfortable shoes, Rain gear, Warm clothes, original Passport...