Located at the center of Da Nang City, Cao Dai Temple has long become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Vietnam. The magnificent structure has successfully attracted thousands of tourists from all over the world, especially the ones who are interested in the Cao Dai religion as well as the diverse culture of the S-shaped country. If you are looking for peace and relaxation, Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang is considered to be the ideal place.
- Location: No. 63D Hai Phong Street, Thach Thang ward, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City, Vietnam
Opening Hours: From 05:30 A.M to 09:00 P.M every day
I. The History of Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang is not the first pagoda of Caodaism in Vietnam (the first one was the Cao Dai Great Temple in Tay Ninh), but it might be considered as one of the most famous destinations for Caodaism followers in the S-shaped country. Cao Daism is a perfect combination of different religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, Geniism, and Taoism. Some people even think of Caodaism as the most ideal synthesis of the world’s most powerful beliefs. That is one of the reasons why Cao Dai Temple has become such a famous place.
In the early 1920s, Caodaism was established and popularized in Vietnam, but it was not until 1926 that the religion became official. The Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang was also built during that time, along with the temples in Hanoi, Tay Ninh and Ho Chi Minh City. To be specific, it was officially done in 1956. The place had become the official religious destination of the Caodaism, as well as some other beliefs.
The Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang represents the true spirit of the Caodaism, which is to show faithfully to one’s self, one’s family, society and the world in general. Throughout the years, Cao Dai Temple has always been a wonderful place for one to express their feelings, their trust and their beliefs, as well as find inner peace and refresh their minds.
II. Best Time to Visit Cao Dai Temple
Visitors 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.
According to visitors that have been to Cao Dai 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 City.
III. Highlights of Cao Dai Temple
1. Structures of Cao Dai Temple
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.
From the outside, the Cao Dai Temple is really outstanding with the bright main colors, with yellow walls and pink roofs. These are the radiant colors that represent world tranquility and freedom. Some visitors have said that the outside of Cao Dai Temple was not that impressive, but once going inside, they all had to change their minds.
One of the most outstanding architects of the Cao Dai Temple is the large sign that reads “van giao nhat ly”, 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 tourists 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.
2. Location of Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple is located on Hai Phong Street, which means the center of Da Nang City. The street is the symbol of the North-South twinning movement during the war, taking place between the Northern and Southern provinces of Vietnam, especially between Da Nang and Hai Phong.
Besides the heroic history, the Hai Phong Street also contains peaceful sceneries as well as the famous tourist destinations, such as the Da Nang station. Many foreign tourists have come to the Hai Phong Street to experience the wonderful view as well as tasting delicious specialties of Da Nang. Therefore, coming to Cao Dai Temple, international travelers can have many things to do besides exploring the temple. It is no exaggeration when saying that the Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang has a really special and ideal location.
3. The Daily Chanting Hours in Cao Dai Temple
Another feature of the Cao Dai Temple that impresses most international tourists is the daily chanting hours. 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. The sight of dozens of people wearing white ropes doing their religious activities is quite interesting. This is a special thing of Cao Dai Temple that is very hard to find in other places.
IV. Activities in Cao Dai Temple
1. 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. Tourists are welcome to watch during that time. 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.
2. 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.
3. Researching Caodaism
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.
V. How To Get 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 for visitors to find their way to the Cao Dai Temple. There are many options for travelers to go to Cao Dai Temple, from cheap to expensive.
The cheapest means of transportation to get to Cao Dai Temple is the public bus. In Da Nang, you can take bus number 11 if you want to travel to Cao Dai Temple, with a price of 6.000 VND per ticket for each route. Ask the bus conductor to show you where to get down.
For those who are looking for an adventurous feeling, you can hire a motorbike – which is the most common means of transportation in Vietnam to travel to the Cao Dai Temple. Ask local people for directions to Hai Phong Street and you will see yourself at the temple in no time. It only takes you approximately 5 minutes to drive from Da Nang Railway Station to the Cao Dai Temple, and 15 minutes from Da Nang International Airport – which is not a very far distance.
Finally, the most convenient but also the most expensive transportation is the taxi. If you are tired of walking or want to get to Cao Dai Temple in the fastest way, taxi is the ideal transport. Just tell the driver that you want to get to Cao Dai Temple, then sit down and rest for a bit, you will arrive at your destination very quickly.
VI. Things to Note When Going to Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple has its own rules that every visitor must comply with. There had been some customers that didn’t pay attention to the rules, resulting in them being scolded by the masters of the temple. So before you go to Cao Dai Temple in Da Nang yourself, here are some things you should remember.
- Visitors, especially women, are not allowed to wear open-breasted shirts, or their underarms, short knees or shorts.
- Visitors are forbidden to move or stomp on the kneeling cushions in the Sanctum.
- During the chanting ceremonies, visitors 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 City 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.