Cao Dai Holy See

Hòa Thành District, Tây Ninh Province, Vietnam

While this complex for the Cao Dai religion—which was founded in Vietnam in 1926 and combines elements of a number of other faiths—includes offices and a clinic, the real draw for tourists is the great temple. The giant, bright, surreal building is located some 50 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City and it is the most important shrine for the religion’s 2 million followers. The temple has an eclectic design, with front towers that resemble those of a mosque coupled with pagoda-style roofs along the sides. More striking still are the interiors, with brightly colored dragons wrapping themselves around columns and the ubiquitous symbol of a giant eye (the movement’s emblem is an eye inside a triangle), including on the large, orblike main altar.

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