Hue is a hot spot on every tourist’s map when visiting Vietnam. A city with a rich history and beautiful architecture, Hue is definitely worth visiting. However, few people know about an amazing place, situated at about 30 km from the city. This alternative half day trip from Hue is about the An Bang cemetery, also called the City of Ghosts by local people. I know that visiting a cemetery is not on top of your bucket list when traveling, but this place is definitely special and worth visiting.
What makes An Bang cemetery so special and worth visiting?
Once you enter the cemetery, be ready to be amazed. An Bang tombs are decorated with colorful mosaics, dragons and towers. Make sure you won’t get distracted by all these beautifully decorated tombs or else you might get lost. Covering a surface of about 250 hectares, An Bang cemetery is the biggest one in Vietnam and by far the most impressive.
You will have the chance to explore the cemetery in peace since it is not yet on tourists’ radar. This place is the perfect alternative half day trip from Hue.
Interesting facts about the An Bang cemetery
- It is said that some of the tombs at An Bang are worth about $70,000. This is a huge amount of money considering that the average wage in Vietnam is only $145 per month.
- How did the people manage to build such impressive tombs? After Vietnamese reunification in 1975, many people from Hue area left Vietnam for Western countries. After finding jobs, they began to send money back home and their relatives invested a large portion of that money in building these crazy resting places.
- Honoring their ancestors is an important part of Vietnamese people’s lives. This is why building impressive tombs for deceased relatives in not something unusual.
- Vietnamese people are strong believers in the afterlife. Therefore, many tombs are fully equipped with bathrooms, kitchens and personal objects.
- Each tomb at An Bang cemetery is build for an entire family, not for just one person.
How to get to An Bang cemetery
If you are planning to get a tour to the An Bang cemetery, you will be disappointed. Currently, there are no organised tours from Hue to An Bang cemetery. The best way to get to the cemetery is by motorbike. You can rent a motorbike from Hue for about $5/ day and then drive 30 km to the An Bang Cemetery.
My recommendations would be to start your trip at about 2pm. This way, you will avoid the hottest part of the day and when returning to Hue, you will enjoy a beautiful sunset in the rice fields.
For the exact location of An Bang cemetery, see below.
Most of the cemeteries I have visited so far are creepy and unfriendly but surprisingly, An Bang cemetery gave me a good vibe. This was the highlight of my trip to Hue.
I would totally recommend An Bang cemetery as an alternative half day trip from Hue. A unique, yet not touristy place.
May the travel bug bite you!