Guidebook It’s the centre of the Cao Dai religious movement

Sense of Place

It’s the centre of the Cao Dai religious movement

Tay Ninh, 90 km outside of Saigon, has “one very particular claim to fame,” says Atlas Obscura -- “a spectacular temple that is the headquarters of the Cao Dai movement, a religion founded in 1926 claiming millions of Vietnamese adherents.” It’s not only a “holy temple,” but also a “spectacular construction that attracts tourists from many places around the country and the world,” writes Vietnam Online. Thos is the main cathedral of the religion, and a “holy and sacred atmosphere reigns all over the temple,” which has a “colonnaded hall and a huge sanctuary” and is decorated with “dragon symbols and painted in white, red, pink and blue paint.”  

Cao Daism is a “perfect synthesis of the world’s most powerful religions,” says Vietnam Online, combining Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, Geniism and Taoism. Cao Daism -- which means “the high tower” in Vietnamese -- was established in the early 1920s in southern Vietnam. “The philosophy of a Cao Daism practitioner is to perform faithfully to his self, his family, society and the world at large,” explains Vietnam Online.

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