Hue is a city with the rich history and culture and is definitely worth visiting. However, few people know about an amazing place, situated at about 30 km from the city. Known as the City of Ghosts, the An Bang Cemetery is impressive not only in size but also in architecture. An Bang Cemetery has become a tourist attraction in the central city of Hue.
Why An Bang Cemetery is called the City of Ghosts?
The City of Ghosts is located in the village of An Bang, Phu Vang district of Thua Thien Hue province. Follow the 49B road travelers will see the place with hundreds of colossal, colored tombs of all shapes, etc that stretches along the side of the road for 3 kilometers. The locals called it as “City of Ghost”.
The An Bang town is originally a poor fishing village, the people’s life here mainly depends on the fishing near the shore, so the life of the people is still poverty and misery.
However, in the early 1990s, when the government of Vietnam allowed overseas people to send money to their relatives in the country, the village quickly changed. According to AFP, about 90 percents of the villagers have overseas relatives. The family members who live in western countries or in the USA who have been sending money to their home, and the money is used to build graves. There are a lot of luxury graves which costes up to fifty thousand US dollars for their ancestors or even for family members who have not died yet. They even built the grave in advance to be ready for their death.
Vietnamese people are strong believers in the after-life. Therefore, some graves are fully equipped with bathroom, kitchen and personal items. The tombs prove their position and properties, that’s why they invest in the construction of the graves.
There are many reasons why creating a splendid, expensive cemetery – An Bang Cemetery – City of Ghosts Hue.
It is worth to visit The City of Ghosts?
The tombs in An Bang constructed with the descendants contribution. The avarage cost of each tomb is about 30,000 USD. The Truong lineage’s graves are the most costly and largest in this town of ghosts in Hue, it costs 50, 000 USD.
The An Bang Cemetery- “City of Ghosts Vietnam” will make you overwhelmed by many royal stone lions and glittering mosaic dragons, unicorns, phoenixes which inlaid in the roof. It is such a great combination of different architectures such as Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Vietnamese, Chinese and Western. There are copies of the Nguyen dynasty Emperor’s tombs and the Citadel of Hue in some graves there.
These days, the graves surround the home of the villagers. The city of ghosts no longer has the border between the living and the dead.
In An Bang town, it is normal when someone living in front of a piece of land to build a grave for themselves. It has a custom that is after a person died, if the tomb can not build within 50 days, it must be build after 3 years.Therefore, the family built their own tombs for themselves and for others in the family before die. The tombs extend, spreading to he roads along the village. The richness of the tomb seems to be more of a concern than the problems of the living. Mr Nga – a senior here shared that “Many of the mausoleum here is lighted up at night”, and the story of building a tomb with several billions is quite normal.
As a result of this richness, according to the people here, the young man in the village mostly do not have to work, and in the afternoon they gather to drink alcohol. Most of the people here have a comfortable life. The fishing is probably in the past, the boats and ships are now lagging behind the white beach next to the magnificent tombs.
Opening hours and entrance fee
An Bang cemetery opens all day and it is totally free. Therefore, you could visit here whenever you want. The best time that you should come here is in the late afternoon or in autumn, in spring to find solemnity and avoiding sunny part of the day.
How to get to An Bang Cemetery?
“City of Ghosts Hue“- An Bang Cemetery is about 30 km from Hue city center. The best way to com there would be to book the Hue To Hoi An by car or Private Car From Hoi An to Hue. During this tour, you can also see Lap An Lagoon, Hai Van Pass, Thanh Toan Bridge, Marble mountains, as well as Elephant springs. Please do not hesitate to book tours with VN Cars to have the fantastic experiences!