Take a fascinating day trip that combines two of Ho Chi Minh City´s iconic structures. Firstly head in the morning to Tay Ninh; where the Great Temple of the Cao Dai religion is located. This religion is exclusively found in Vietnam and is a unique fusion of Western and Eastern philosophies and religions. Considered one of the most remarkable structures in all of Southeast Asia, it acts as the headquarters of this unique sect, which is a hybrid of Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. Look out for the all-seeing holy eye, the official symbol of Cao Dai, located above the temple entrance. Then attend the extravagant midday ceremony to witness how the Cao Dai followers conduct daily mass. Observe the strictly orchestrated, colorful ceremony at noon from the balconies in the cathedral. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Crawl through tunnels to experience Vietnamese guerrilla life. Originally dug as a base to organize guerrilla style actions against the French, the tunnels were expanded during the Indochina War to become a huge and ingenious underground network. There are more than 200 kilometers of subterraneous complex containing storage rooms, kitchens, hospitals, sleeping quarters and even schools.
Learn about the conditions the Vietnamese people lived in, the hardships they faced and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels have been widened in places for visitors, (and the traps have been marked for your safety!), however they can still be dark, hot and claustrophobic inside so please bear this in mind if you do not like enclosed spaces. For those who choose to stay above the ground there are plenty of easily accessible rooms and excavated areas to visit. Above-ground attractions include caged monkeys, vendors selling souvenirs, and a shooting range where visitors can fire a number of assault rifles, such as the M16 rifle or AK-47, as well as a light machine gun like the M60.
This fascinating double tour is essential on any holiday itinerary for those who love history, culture and are up for some adventure!