ITINERARY BY DAY
CU CHI TUNNELS AND CAO DAI TEMPLE (L)
Depart Ho Chi Minh City at 07:30 in the morning for the drive to Cu Chi tunnels. Leaving the city behind, the scenery changes to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam.
Cu Chi Tunnels at its height, 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 during the U.S.-Vietnam American must have been like.
Continue with one hour drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. 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 multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of Buddhist symbols. 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.