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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 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.
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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.
In the morning we drive to Cu Chi Tunnels then onto Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. Following lunch, we visit, we will drive back to Ho Chi Minh City, arrive Ho Chi Minh late afternoon.
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