Nicknamed the “ghost town”, An Bang Cemetery is an impressive display of artistic construction and wealth. The history of An Bang cemetery is closely linked to the emigration of residents of An Bang village to Europe and the United States after the reunification of Vietnam in 1975. These emigrants sent money back to their relatives, making An Bang one of the wealthiest villages in the country. The city’s wealth is evident in the grand houses and neatly cobbled alleys seen while driving through the streets. Locals devote their time to constructing extravagant mausoleums in the 250-hectare cemetery, adjacent to a beautiful empty sandy beach.
Construction of these structures began in 1995 and has since grown increasingly lavish, often reaching two or three stories. Adorned with intricate golden carvings of dragons and mythical creatures, these mausoleums even feature fully functional bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. This lavish exhibit not only reflects the residents’ opulent lifestyle, but also their strong belief in the afterlife and the importance of honoring their ancestors.
According to their beliefs, meticulously caring for and decorating the graves will bring good fortune to the family. The cost to build these tombs can reach up to £50,000 (GBP), an extraordinary amount in a country where poverty is widespread. Visiting this unique cemetery, surrounded by imposing tombs, offers a ghostly and awe-inspiring experience, allowing one to imagine the magnificent realm where the spirits of the ancestors reside.
Know before you go
To reach An Bang Cemetery, it is recommended to rent a motorbike, as the small winding streets near the entrance are not accessible by car or public transport. An Bang town is accessible, and from there local assistance or online maps can guide visitors to the cemetery. Public transport and day trips organized by hostels, hotels or tour operators are available, with An Bang Beach serving as a common meeting point. Upon arrival, it is possible to find a motorbike driver for the short drive to the cemetery or even to walk from the beach.