Tay Ninh Holy See, also known as Cao Dai Temple, is one of the top attractions near Ho Chi Minh City. Situated around 100 kilometers away from Saigon, this is a must-visit spot for tourists embarking on a Tay Ninh Vietnam trip. With distinctive architecture, a harmonious fusion of religions, and diverse cultural and spiritual activities, a Cao Dai Temple tour will provide an unforgettable experience for your Vietnam travel.
1. An overview of Tay Ninh Holy See (Cao Dai Temple)
While Buddhism and Christianity are well-known in Vietnam, Caodaism remains relatively obscure. Caodaism is the youngest religion in the country, blending elements from various significant religions into its unique practices. Tay Ninh Holy See, also locally known as Cao Dai Temple, represents this fascinating belief system.
Situated on Pham Hoa Phap Street in Hoa Thanh Town, Tay Ninh Province, the Holy See of Tay Ninh boasts a distinctive architectural design that intricately weaves elements from Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism with the distinct architecture of South Vietnam. This remarkable structure seamlessly blends with the surroundings.
Tay Ninh Holy See holds profound sacred significance, serving as a revered place of worship and devotion. Visiting the Holy See of Tay Ninh province Vietnam offers a remarkable opportunity to immerse oneself in a rich tapestry of cultural and architectural experiences.
>>> Don’t forget to check out the Tay Ninh Vietnam map before coming here!
2. The unique architectural beauty of Tay Ninh Holy See
Tay Ninh Holy See harmoniously blends diverse architectural elements from various religious structures worldwide while exemplifying Caodaism's core principle, which is “to unite all into one".
2.1. Outside Cao Dai Temple
Tay Ninh Holy See covers a vast area of over 2,000 square meters, making it one of the largest Cao Dai temples in Vietnam. Within the complex, visitors can explore several structures, including the Holy See, the Shrine of Lady Buddha, and the Stupa.
The Holy See boasts 12 entrances, with the grandest known as Chanh Mon (main entrance). Each entrance is exquisitely adorned with figures of mythical creatures and lotus motifs. Two 36-meter-tall towers prominently stand on the exterior, constructed with reinforced concrete and bamboo. The roof design exhibits similarities to those of traditional temples in Northern Vietnam, characterized by pillars and doors.
2.2. Inside Cao Dai Temple
Upon entering Tay Ninh Holy See, tourists will understand why this place is a staple in every Tay Ninh tour. The intricate carvings on display demonstrate the exceptional skills and artistry of those who constructed this renowned edifice.
Inside, two rows of columns stand out. Elaborately adorned with dragon motifs and vibrant colors, these columns exude a sense of grandeur.
The flooring is thoughtfully designed with nine tiers, representing the nine levels of heaven, each symbolizing a spiritual realm. A striking large globe commands attention at the center, symbolizing the vastness of the universe and contributing to the distinct beauty of the Holy See.
A notable highlight within the Holy See is the "Divine Eye". Every detail inside Tay Ninh Holy See is adorned with these eyes - symbolizing the splendor and glory of Caodaism.
>>> Read more: Vietnam architecture: Admire the unique national structures
3. The most important ceremonies held at Tay Ninh Holy See
If you are looking for things to do near Ho Chi Minh City, consider taking a Tay Ninh South Vietnam trip in the first or eighth lunar month to experience unique and grand festivals at Tay Ninh Holy See.
3.1. Duc Chi Ton Great Ceremony
- Time: the 9th day of the 1st lunar month every year
Duc Chi Ton Great Ceremony is a well-known festival at Tay Ninh Holy See. During this festival, thousands gather outside the Holy See to watch the unique lively dances that imitate mythical creatures such as unicorns, phoenixes, and dragons.
In addition, a traditional music ensemble performs before the Holy See, creating a vibrant atmosphere. The ensemble then parades around the complex, making a lively scene.
Visiting Tay Ninh Holy See during the time of this festival, tourists can also experience 31 exhibition booths displaying various historical exhibits. Through this activity, you will better understand the culture and values of Caodaism in particular and Vietnam in general.
3.2. The Holy Banquet for the Great Mother and the Nine Goddesses
- Time: the 15th day of the 8th lunar month every year
In the days leading up to this festival, the locals will decorate the surroundings, creating a bustling and festive atmosphere. The captivating dragon dance is also the highlight of the festival. Another notable feature is the communal vegetarian meal served at Tay Ninh Holy See, adding a sense of unity and spirituality to the celebration.
The festival encompasses various Caodaist activities such as worship, procession, dances, etc. The procession stands out as one of the grandest activities, showcasing the heartfelt devotion and dedication of the local worshippers.
>>> Check out the best places to visit in Vietnam to make sure you can enjoy the most of the country!
4. Important notes for tourists when visiting Tay Ninh Holy See
- The main ritual at the Holy See takes place at noon. If you plan to attend this ritual and worship, managing your time is crucial.
- Visitors are welcome to explore the Holy See at any time
- It is mandatory to remove your shoes before entering the temple building.
- Walk and speak softly in the temple building, and keep your phone on silent mode.
- Dress modestly, avoid wearing shorts or short skirts. Choosing appropriate attire shows respect for the sacredness of the place.
>>> Read more about day trips from Ho Chi Minh City for the 12 hidden gems near the city!
To best prepare for your Vietnam trip, it is essential that you research the best time to visit Vietnam, as the weather conditions can vary in different regions in Vietnam. For example, the best time to explore Tay Ninh Vietnam attractions is from December to May.
Apart from Tay Ninh, Vietnam has many other captivating destinations for visitors to explore. From Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang to Ha Long, there is something for every traveler to enjoy in the country.
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With Vinpearl, visitors can also have an exhilarating time at VinWonders, where they can enjoy a wide array of thrilling games and entertainment options, adding excitement and fun to their Vietnam trip.
Traveling to Tay Ninh Holy See is a must for tourists seeking a unique spiritual and cultural experience in Vietnam. The magnificent architectural blend of various religions, the captivating dragon dance, and the vibrant festivals will bring an unforgettable visit for you. Hopefully, this article will help you better plan to explore one of the most unique temples in Vietnam.