City of Ghosts in Hue in Vietnam

City of Ghosts in Hue in Vietnam is located in the village of An Bang, Phu Vang district of Thua Thien Hue province. By following the 49 B provincial road between Da Nang and Hue, here, travelers will see the place called ‘’Ghost City in Hue'’ with hundreds of colossal, colored tombs of all shapes...

Under the burning sun in Hue but sometimes, I still felt the cool wind blowing from the sea. I followed the little deserted road; sometimes i saw the sea; sometimes i was parallel to the sea. But when i moved more and more far from the sea, the houses were sparse...

City of Ghosts in Hue in Vietnam

Suddenly, one surprising thing happened in front of my eyes: There were many graves of the lineages that were scattered on the road, in the gardens, right next to the houses. I had heard that the inhabitants of Hue place great importance on the construction of tombs for the ancestors. They build the graves of the heads of the lineage and the graves of the dead in the family which gather around, in one place ... But, at your breakfast, if you see a house in Hue with seven huge graves having sophisticated ornament in the garden, you should be surprised to death!

The houses of a village in the countryside of Hue were more and more scattered, giving place to marshes and tombs. First, there were only some tombs, and then i could see the graves seeming to be endless. I had goosebumps! At that moment, it was noon; there was no one in the cemetery.

Curiosity was the first feeling that overwhelmed me when i decided to head for the village. It was a so small fishing village, but I did not see anyone. I walked towards the magnificent tombs of a village called "city of ghosts" during a hot noon in Hue...

More I advanced, more the tombs stretched until to the edge of the coast. These tombs in Hue were built by children living away from the family. These are the villas but uninhabited in the middle of the blowing wind and the sand. The doors were closed, silence reigned...

More i entered the village, more i was surprised. The city of ghosts in Hue was in front of my yes! The tombs were full of different shapes; full of colorful patterns of all sizes ... These tombs resemble the houses of the dead. There were also trees, the flowers ... which grew well.

Instead of being frightened by going to the cemetery, i was curious to discover the most beautiful, the largest tomb ... The graves were meticulously built. I saw many ornamental motifs copied from the tombs of the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty in Hue with the miniature version but also sumptuous: the walls surrounded by dragons, phoenix, marble pavements... which are extremely luxuriant in color. Exquisite decorations are incredible...

I did a great tour but could not see all the graves. I lost myself in the colors, shapes ... I advanced further, towards the pagoda of An Bang near the sea where the statue of Bodhisattva overlooks the sea being so vast. According to the people here, i have to spend three more days to see all the tombs of this city of ghosts in Hue.

City of Ghosts in Hue in Vietnam

The best way to see the panorama of this huge cemetery is to climb the bell tower of An Bang Church. The pagoda and the church are the most peaceful places in the village where local inhabitants solicit peace for the graves and children who left Hue to go to sea several years ago...

I sincerely regret the money to build this city of ghosts. But "the present life is just temporary, life beyond in the New World is eternal" is the explanation of the reason why the inhabitants in Hue have made so many monumental tombs. For the same reason, people are willing to spend the fortune to build their best resting place. There are many graves waiting for death. The news is bigger than the old ones. I heard that it took billions, even tens of billions of VND to make a tomb in this city of ghosts in Hue...

City of ghosts in Hue: History and its peculiarity:

History of the city of ghosts in Hue began in the early 1990s when An Bang was a modest fishing village. But in 1990, when the State began to allow Vietnamese people living in the United States to send money to help their families in Vietnam, the village changed quickly...

Life improves and people here also do not forget to change, to repair the ancient tombs of the ancestors. Thus, in 1991, we suddenly began to see the appearance of the larger and quite magnificent tombs. Even, many tombs are also illuminated with toilets...

According to the elders of the village, most of the tombs at the city of ghosts in Hue took the design of the mausoleum of King Khai Dinh, then more or less according to the preferences of each owner, there are different patterns... According to Mr Dang Van Tam being 79 years old, the city of ghosts has an area of more than 40 ha…

"This village has a total of 44 lineages with nearly 500 years history." The tombs here were built with the descendants' contribution ... "proudly said Mr. Tam. Mr. Ho Thiet, 80 years old, who specializes in the rituals of the villagers, informed: the village of An Binh has about 3,000 tombs. The average cost of each tomb is about 30,000 USD. The Truong lineage’s graves are the most expensive and bigger in this city of ghosts in Hue: A grave costs 50,000 USD.

City of Ghosts in Hue in Vietnam

These tombs in Hue have all styles of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Islam... which were built by the money of overseas children to express their filial piety to the ancestors. Due to the lack of local planning, there are many tombs covering a thousand square meters / each. In a short time, the ancient sand dunes were covered by the graves. The graves surround the house of the inhabitants. The city of the ghosts no longer has the border between the living and the dead ... Even, the colossal tombs are made before death...

It is the place where the dead nourish the living:

The incredible tombs at the city of ghosts in Hue are the livelihood of many people. Curious visitors will meet many masons, vehicles carrying sand and building materials to construction sites. The site becomes so different. Most of the great tombs in the city of ghosts are made up by the artisans from the communes such as: Vinh Thanh, Vinh Xuan... of the Phu Vang district in Thua Thien Hue province.

Mr. Tran Dinh Phuoc, a craftsman in the city of ghosts in Hue, shared: We are very busy in this special environment. There is a new request right after a grave is made. It takes half a year with about 10 employees to make one. But perhaps it takes more time when we work for a difficult family... You have to be good in crafts: stone carving, painting, porcelain mosaics ... but you also have to study the style of construction, the harmony between the royal style and modern architecture. Therefore, there are many artisans who are invited to design tombs abroad ... ''.

Besides the craftsmen, the tombs here are also the livelihood of the calligraphers. Their works are reproduced on the tombs. Transporting building materials, burning incense, lighting electricity at night, cleaning the grave ... are the works of several people in the city of ghosts in Hue...