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Biking full day Cuchi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh
We headed out of the busy city, the Cu Chi tunnels. The Cu Chi region was pivotal in the defeat of the US during the Vietnamese
war. Almost completely devastated by continual bombing and napalming overland, many Viet Cong still survived by digging and hiding in underground tunnel networks, initially built in the war against the French.
It was also used to counter attack American forces who were bamboozled completely by the system. Large-scale bombing failed to destroy the networks, gassing the tunnels largely failed and American troops called ‘tunnel rats’ sent down were often killed by the inhabitants within. Despite the Viet Cong winning the war, only around 6,000 of the 16,000 who hid survived.
Bike ride start after the trip inside Cuchi tunnels to Cao Dai temple. First stop was the Cao Dai temple. Cao Daism is an attempt to create a super-religion from existing philosophies of both East and West: from Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism and Taoism.
During the Vietnamese-American war, 25-000 members of the Cao Dai army were used to fight the Viet Cong. It is still most prevalent in Vietnam in the Tay Ninh area and Mekong Delta. At the temple, there are four non-compulsory services a day, one of which we were allowed to witness. I, like you, initially thought it sounds a little nuts, but I enjoyed the service, if not for the temple, then for the colours of the temple and those worn by people at prayer. Transfer back to Saigon.
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