The Da Nang Cao Dai temple (knows as Trung Hưng Bửu Tòa) is one of the 1,000 Cao Dai temples located in the country. The signboard at the entry translates into very peculiar teaching of this religion – that all religions have the same reason and seek tolerance in the world. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang is considered to be the ideal place.
The history of Cao Dai temple
Founded in Vietnam in the early 1920s, Cao Dai is based on the main religions of the East and West and takes as its saints characters from different cultures, such as Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo, Shakespeare and Lenin. Caodaists believe that all religions are ultimately the same and seek to promote tolerance throughout the world. The temple in Da Nang, the second largest in the country, houses representations of the Divine Eye, the emblem of the doctrine, as well as the founders of Islam, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.
Worshippers at the Cao Dai Temple strive for world peace and harmony with beliefs steeped in a number of world religions. Followers must obey the five virtues of Confucianism – humanity, obligation, civility, knowledge and reliability and have belief in the Buddhist principles of rebirth and karma.
Cao Dai temple architecture
The Caodaism was a combination of various religions, so the structure of the temple was also formed from different styles from the West to the East, representing the unique character of these religions. Coming to Cao Dai Temple you will have the impression of seeing all the religions in the world, which delivers the meaningful message of world peace. Among the temples of Caodaism in Vietnam, the one in Da Nang City is the second largest, after the one in Tay Ninh.
It’s simple from the outside, and an inattentive passerby could easily miss it. Try to take a peek inside though. The most colourful time to visit is when noon prayer is taking place, but do be respectful and wait until prayers have finished. Once completed you are welcome to wander inside to check out the interesting interior, decorated with typical Cao Dai ornamentation – especially the globe at the rear of the interior holding the all-seeing eye.
One of the most outstanding architects of the Cao Dai Temple is the large sign that reads “Vạn Giáo Nhất Lý”, which means all religions have the same reason, hangs from the ceiling in front of the main altar. Behind the gilded letters is a picture of Mohammed, Laotse, Jesus, a Southeast Asian–looking Buddha and Confucius. They are the founders of five of the world’s great religions, and played such an important role in the religious aspect of the world.
The style of the Cao Dai Temple is similar to both a church and a mosque. What makes you impressed the most is the holy eyes are decorated almost everywhere, both inside and outside the temple. Inside the Cao Dai Temple, there is a large room with high ceiling and well-decorated walls used for ceremonies and Caodaism classes.
Best time to visit Cao Dai temple
You can come to the Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang at any time of the year. If you arrive at the Cao Dai Temple during chanting hours, you will have to wait until the ceremony is over before you have the chance to explore the inside of the temple.
It only takes from 1 to a maximum of 3 hours to be able to explore all aspects of the building. If you are curious about the chanting hours, try to visit the Cao Dai Temple around noon, because the noon prayer is the most colorful time of the temple. Be patient, wait and you will be able to watch the most impressive ceremony of the Caodaism in this sacred sanctuary of Da Nang.
Activities in Cao Dai temple
Watching the chanting hours in Cao Dai Temple
Cao Dai temple has daily chanting hours for Caodaism followers as well as other people who are working at the place. To be more specific, there will be chanting hours at 05:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 05:30 PM and 11:30 PM every day, base on the beliefs of Cao Daism. If you are curious about how a chanting ceremony will occur, come to Cao Dai temple in those hours to see for yourself.
The people who attend the ceremony will wear white cloaks, while the priests wear red, blue or yellow. Some bishops will wear headpieces with the Divine Eye embroidered on it. They all sit in straight rows, chanting and praying for great wishes. While the chanting hours are being carried, the men are supposed to seat on the right while women seat on the left. The devotees are supposed to seat in the orderly rows. It surely will be an interesting sight to watch.
When you are watching the chanting hours, however, you are not allowed to go inside the hall. You will have to stand outside and wait until the ceremony ends before entering. Remember to keep silent, avoid talking loud and making noises. Taking pictures is forbidden during the ceremony as well.
Admiring the unique structures
The thing that makes Cao Dai temple different from other pagodas is the absolutely unique structures. The design of the Cao Dai temple is the perfect combination of various styles as well as cultures and religions, so the place has a one of a kind and wonderful vibe that no other places can have.
When you have the chance to visit Cao Dai Temple, don’t forget to look very closely at the beautiful patterns and the impressive paintings used to decorate the pagoda. Those are the mesmerizing arts that you won’t be able to find in any other place.
Caodaism may be a new religion for some people. However, visiting Cao Dai temple can create a great chance to learn some basic information and knowledge about the religion named Cao Dai. Pay attention to the artifacts being displayed inside the temple, and listen to the tour guide carefully, you will gain some new useful knowledge to yourself.
Caodaism supports great purpose, including the responsibility between king and citizen, father and child, husband and wife, as well as the virtues which are humanity, obligation, civility, knowledge, reliability. All in all, Caodaism directs people to their kind and happy inner self, so by learning a bit about the religion, you might find some peace within your soul as well.
Reviews Cao Dai temple on Tripadvisor
This temple is definitely worth a visit. It encompasses all major religions and is a different philosophy of life. Inside the temple is very colorful and serene. We stopped to see the noon prayers. It is very serene. It can be watched from a balcony. They have a number of volunteers to ensure that visitors do not disrupt the ceremony.
Thomas Job (Bengaluru, India)
A beautiful moving ceremony full of music and colour. A spiritual and sensual occasion. Who could not be moved by the chanting,drums, prayer and sense of community praying together for loved ones living and deceased.
Brandon198010 (Dublin, Ireland)
I have seen so many temples in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, but this one is truly different and spent 20 minutes witnessing the service. It was truly an interesting experience
charmers63 (Berridale, Australia)
Getting to Cao Dai temple
Being located at the center of Da Nang City with such an outstanding and eye-catching structure, it shouldn’t be hard to find the Cao Dai temple. There are many options for you to go from cheap to expensive. The best way to visit the temple is by taxi or motorbike. It takes 5 mins driving from Da Nang Railway Station and 15 mins from Da Nang Internationl Airport.
Tips go to Cao Dai temple in Da Nang
Before you go to the temple yourself, here are some things you should remember:
- You are not allowed to wear open-breasted shirts, or their underarms, short knees or shorts, especially women.
- You are forbidden to move or stomp on the kneeling cushions in the Sanctum.
- During the chanting ceremonies, you are not allowed to enter the Sanctum.
- Once you get inside the Sanctum, you are absolutely not permitted to take personal or group photos. If you bring a camera with you, do not take pictures.
- Please pay attention not to make too much noise inside a sacred place like the Cao Dai temple. Keep your voice down, walk gently and try to be as polite as possible.
- Males and females have separate lines, so when entering the Lord God temple, you should follow the line as directed to ensure the discipline of the temple.
The Cao Dai temple in Da Nang is one of the most significant destinations representing Caodaism in Vietnam. This is the ideal destination if you want to research more about this meaningful religion as well as the culture and customs of local Vietnamese. Coming to Da Nang, keep in mind that Cao Dai Temple is one of the places that you should not ignore to have a complete trip.
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