Instead of booking the tour from our hostel, we inquired at other travel agencies in Pham Ngu Lao and got a deal two-dollar cheaper. It’s only two dollars, but hey, that’s already worth a meal in HCM!
Our guide picked us up from the hostel at around 8AM and joined a small tour group of Filipinos, Japanese and Europeans. One of the Filipinos is also an Elbi graduate and our batchmate! But we didn’t really bond, heh.
We traveled two hours to reach the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, a province in southwestern Vietnam. On our way, our tour guide John introduced us to the religion Caodaism, which was started in the province. According to Wikipedia (not John because I forgot many of what he said haha), Caodaism is a monotheistic religion and its full name means “The Great Faith Third Universal Redemption.” The symbol of the faith is the Left Eye. This reminds of KALK, a sect in the Philippines. There’s a temple near our house and they also have the eye as their symbol. Anyway.
The faith has influences from the Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, and even from historical figures like Van Gogh and Marco Polo. True enough, we saw symbols and images from the said religious groups in the temple. [Read more…]