The Cao Dai Temple, Saigon. May there be Peace on Earth.


VietnamA two hour drive from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), after the most delicious lunch, I visit the Cao Dai Temple, completed in 1955 following the Japanese occupation of Indochina.

Caodaists believe that all religions are ultimately the same and seek to promote tolerance, striving for world peace and harmony. I think I may have found my place at last.

Followers obey the five virtues of Confucianism – humanity, obligation, civility, knowledge and reliability and have belief in the Buddhist principles of rebirth and karma. Watching the Caodiasts at prayer was a highlight; long flowing robes of white, yellow, blue or red.

The building itself is magnificent and ornately decorated with dragon wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras and ceilings of powder sky blue. We left our shoes outside and took up position to share in the worship.

Important not to walk in-front of the main entrance whilst worship is taking place, as they Caodaists believe that their ancestor’s spirits visit the temple at this time, and we do not want to tread on them.


View towards the temple allows a sense of scale. The uniformity and linear lines as the sun peeped in through the doors and stained windows offering a surreal glimpse of the worshipper’s lives.


A privilege to have shared this spiritual experience with a very peace loving group of people.


My guide – the charming and knowledgeable Long, who much enhanced my day.


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Dawn Bradnick Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

Here I bring you narratives, stories, video and photographs from my travels around the globe, including accounts of gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia, turtle rescue in Kenya, setting up temporary home in Lisbon, accommodation and restaurant reviews, as well as details of the conservation efforts that I support.

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