Hue is a hot spot on every tourist’s map when visiting Vietnam. A city with a rich history and culture, Hue is definitely worth visiting. However, few people know about an amazing place, situated at about 30 km from the city. Alternatively known as the City of Ghosts, the An Bang Cemetery is impressive by size and architecture. 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 and I am going to tell you why.
An Bang Cemetery – why you should visit it
There is nothing ordinary about this place. Cemeteries are not supposed to look happy but the An Bang Cemetery in Vietnam is definitely an exception. It stretches on hundreds and hundreds of meters and it is the biggest cemetery in Vietnam – 250 hectares. This is already quite impressive but there is more to it. The design and patterns of An Bang Cemetery look like they are part of a Gaudi masterpiece. The tombs are decorated with colorful mosaics, dragons and towers.
Apart from the bright colors and beautiful patterns, each tomb has more than 10 square meters. The best advice I can give you is to make sure that you won’t get distracted by all these beautifully decorated tombs or else you might get lost. You don’t want this to happen since most probably, there won’t be anybody in the cemetery.
When I have visited to An Bang Cemetery there wasn’t anybody there. The cemetery was empty, mine to explore and admire. Although I am not a big fan of tourists and crowds, I admit that I would have felt more comfortable if there were a few people in the cemetery not because I wasn’t feeling safe but because I was alone in a cemetery.
If you are looking for a unique place to visit, then you should definitely visit the An Bang Cemetery. You will definitely have a story to tell to your loved ones back home.
An Bang Cemetery – interesting facts
- 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. 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 and I would go back anytime! 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!
More about Vietnam:
- One day itinerary to Da Nang, Vietnam – click here
- Top 5 Hoi An highlights – what to see and do – click here
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