© Ronald Tan

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Day 2 in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – we woke up around 6.15am to freshen up and then hurried to have the free buffet breakfast at the hotel. The above shows the first round of servings that I had. Food was nice and there was quite a spread as well.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Our breakfast is at Blue Sky Restaurant, which is located on the 12th floor of Elios Hotel and it’s a very cozy restaurant! Our rooms is on the 10th floor but the lift only serves up to 11th so you have to walk up 1 floor. Sometimes, it’s faster just to climb 2 floors then to wait for the lift.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

You can also choose to sit outdoor, where you can admire the city view while you eat. Convenient for smokers too!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

We didn’t take the outdoor seats as the sun is already shining strong and I only went out for a while to take a shot of the city view.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

After the breakfast, we went back to room to use the bathroom before walking over to TheSinhTourist (5 mins away). We were told to check-in half hour prior to the departure timing but I think 15 mins earlier would be fine so as not too spend too much time waiting. But still no worries if you come early as there are seats, washroom and even free internet (2 terminals) available in TheSinhTourist office!

As our group is rather small, we were assigned a minibus instead of the usual big bus coach. Our group consists of a couple from Singapore (us!), a couple from Czech Republic, 2 males from South Korea and 6 males from Sarawak, Malaysia.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

After about an hour of journey towards Cao Dai Temple, we alighted at an area to view handicapped handicrafts (tour guide mentioned to us that it was to visit the washroom).

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Seems like a popular spot to use to the washroom as there are also other tour buses with tourists here too! LOL!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

The art pieces here are pretty amazing as you can see that artists are re-using egg shells by cutting it to smaller sizes and then pasting it on to the vases. Various kind of designs are available too!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

One of the completed art pieces. Amazing, is it? You can buy the artworks, if any catches your liking.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Another 1.5 hours journey on the minibus and we finally reached Cao Dai Temple (front view) in Tay Ninh. Tour Guide told us that Cao Dai means “High Tower” and is a religion that is a combination of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, Geniism, and Taoism.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Side view of the high tower at Cao Dai Temple.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Side view of Cao Dai Temple, which stretches for quite a distance. Built in 1933, with a unique architectural style that reflects it’s blended traditions.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

A garden behind Cao Dai Temple.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

The high tower at the end of Cao Dai Temple.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Restroom that is behind Cao Dai Temple. Rather primitive experience!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Inside Cao Dai Temple, males will entered the temple from the right side and females from the left. Both are seated separately. As for tourists, this does no applies! Need to remove shoes before entering too!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

A spiral staircase which was decorated with intrinsic design of a dragon.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

The Divine Eye, a symbol of God.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Beautiful craving design on the door.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Notice some of them are wearing different colour robes? It symbolize the three principal colors of Cao Dai – yellow for Buddhism, blue for Taoism and red for Christianity. Cao Dai disciples are dress in white robes.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Visitor are only allowed to watch the ceremony from 2nd floor, which actually stretches along the Cao Dai Temple. There are fans available and I chose a position where it’s blowing directly at me. Also. please be silent during the ceremony!


Short video on the noontime prayer and ceremony.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Took a photo of the whole Cao Dai Temple when leaving. Such a enlightening place!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Tour guide then drove us to a nearby Nam Thanh Restaurant to have lunch (at own costs). Prices are relatively reasonable and I grab a Saigon beer at VND 15,000. Haha!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Chicken with mushrooms and vegetables VND 35,000. Decided to go for more vegetables due to fear of constipation!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Chicken with fresh chilli and lemon grass VND 35,000.

Lunch totaled up to VND 97,000 which also included 1 Saigon Beer at VND 15,000 and 1 Coca-Cola at VND 12,000.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Next destination is Cu Chi Tunnels and we paid VND 150,000 for the entrance fee (not included in the tour package) for 2 persons. We were then ushered into a bunker to watch a video on the history of Cu Chi.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Tiger trap, as the name imply, it is used for hunting tigers but during Vietnam War, it was used to trap American soldiers! The bottom of the pit comes with metal spikes but bamboo was the key material during then.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Small camouflage hole which seems impossible for a human to fit it.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Ta-da! A demonstration to show how it’s done – you fit into the hole first, put some leaves on top of the cover, slide down into the hole and cover up. The tour guide mentioned to me that I won’t fit at all. Haha!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Two tunnel path shown here. It’s actually a Y-fork which you can either take the left or the right path.
1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Ventilation hole for the tunnel. There are many of them spread around so that the enemies can’t suffocate them.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

One of the many booby traps. This is the clipping armpit trap, which will actually injure your arm pit if you fall in. Dangerous!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

This booby trap is attached behind a door (think with weights too!) and if you open the door, it will slam right into you and the spikes will pierce into your body!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

A bunker which showcase how bombs was made during the Vietnam War.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

You can pay for bullets at this counter and then fire-off at the firing range. Different weapons such as M16, AK47, M30, etc are available!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Rifles are mounted and can’t move freely so you can rest your mind! No counterstrike goofing around here!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

One of the tunnel that is open to tourist to have a feel of wriggling in dark and squeezy space. There are several exits along the way and I did went in to experience. My feedback – it’s hot (might be due to weather) and the space is really tight (maybe of my size & also carrying a backpack). But I still encourage tourists to still go ahead and try!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

After don’t-know-how-many-hours of back-breaking bus ride, we are back at De Tham Street in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) around 630pm. First thing I did after I alighted was to grab a cool beer! πŸ™‚

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Kim Cafe (272 De Tham), just a few steps away from TheSinhTourist and is popular with both local and foreigners. They serve typical Vietnamese cuisine and is reasonably priced. I noticed this restaurant during my first day in HCMC when I was having dinner at Allez Boo and noted that a lot of customers do patronise them. Told myself that will try the next day. πŸ™‚

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Stir Fry Beef with Vegetables.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Vietnamese Chicken Curry – it’s tasty but very oily as well!

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Morning Glory with Garlic.

Total for dinner is VND 193,000. Other then the above, our dinner also included 2 steam rice, 2 Saigon (Green) beer at VND 12,000 each and 1 Heineken Beer at VND 20,000.

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Lobby area of Elios Hotel. On the left side is the front desk reception. For the rest of the hotel photos, you may want to refer to my last post (A Day in Ho Chi Minh City).

1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Back at hotel room, Wifey having a Blueberry Apple Feuillete at VND 10,000 that we bought along Pham Ngu Lao street (think a few shops away from our hotel).

It was a long and tiring day! The weather didn’t make it any better as the sun was really shining bright. Next day, we will be going for 1 Day Cai Be – Vinh Long via the Mekong Delta (VND 210,000/person) so we went to sleep early. Lookout for the next blog post on “1 Day Cai Be – Vinh Long via the Mekong Delta Tour.”

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  • Wklew_211

    Hi ronald,
    How much money for 1 day trip Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels Tour? including meals?
    I plan buy a big backpack at there?is that can find over there n cheap in price?

  • Hi, I booked the 1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels tour at VND 120,000/person at TheSinhTourist (not including meals). Please do check out http://ronald-tan.com/2010/04/24/a-day-in-ho-ch… too.

    There are various vendors around in HCMC selling backpacks and they are relatively cheap though the range could be real, fakes or knock offs. It also depends on the place that you are getting the backpack and your bargaining skills. My partner bought a mid-sized β€œThe North Face” branded backpack at Cho Binh Tay at VND 180,000.

    Please also visit http://vietnam720.com/ for Vietnam travel information and tips. πŸ™‚

  • Hey i loved your photo blog of the temple…..yummmy that food picture :D……..I also love to visit temples…Cheers!!!!

    • Thanks, Prateek. Glad that you love it!