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Huge cemetery in Hue

leicester
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Huge cemetery in Hue

On a motorbike tour a few years ago we rode through a huge cemetery complex outside of Hue which seemed to go for miles and miles. Does anyone know what it is called? We were on the run of the mill pagoda tour if that helps.

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1. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

It sounds like you are referring to the City of Tombs which is located in An Bang Village about an hour or so southeast of Hue by motorbike. It does indeed go on and on for acres of the most brillently colored tombs in all of Vietnam.

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2. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Hi JoLeicester

An Bang is too far away to have been on a regular city tour. I was taken through an extensive cemetery going from Nam Giao temple to the Tomb of Tu Duc and told it was Hue Cemetery. Somewhere in there is also a 'Military vestige" - maybe one of several cemeteries of martyrs in the city. There is another large cemetery, Thuy Bieu, I think, to the west of Tu Duc's tomb and close to the river, which you could have travelled beside rather than through, so less likely to be the one you remember. There is yet another large cemetery called either Kim Long or Huong Long which is north of the river and most easily seen from Van Mieu, Hue's Temple of Literature/Letters beyond the Thien Mieu pagoda. I doubt a tour would drive through it either. You can see the areas clearly on Google satellite maps: browner with small white structures close together aligned in all different directions.

Coolum Beach...
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3. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Hi Jo,

I cannot give you a name of what you saw, sorry. However,I have taken a number of trips with am old VN friend of mine, who was in Hue during the famous " Stand" during the TET offensive ( the sole survivor of his civilian family, in fact) --We have ventured and explored the country within a 20 klm radius of Hue City! There are numerous cemeteries both quite large and small , most of them way " off road".

Some are of military significance,some are the graves of civilians who lost their lives in the " madness " that occurred during the battle ---fighting broke out between the NVA regulars and the Viet Cong, incidents occurred between the US forces and the South Vietnamese forces.

Some of the graves relate to President Diems brother( NHU? ), the Butcher of Hue , where the Buddhist people were victims of his infamous rule in the early 1960's, which led to the self immolation in June 1963 in Saigon of Buddhist Monk, Thich Quang Duc , and the Assassination of Diem and his family in November 1963.

It has been only within the last 10 years that mass graves of the Cities intellectuals, bureaucrats, people of influence who were slaughtered before, during and after the TET Offensive have been unearthed in the surrounds of Hue. Some of the graves are just normal people. Some are small, and unmarked, overgrown and in many cases forgotten . On occasions in the middle of nowhere, we have come upon a very isolated grave with fresh flowers on it--a tale within itself.

There is a bigger cemetery near Thuan An beach ( about 15 klm from Hue ), which have majestic headstones, erected I am told by Viet Kieu , whose ancestors are buried there. I have spent a lot of time in places of learning ( with a VN interpreter ) trying to get a clearer picture of these sad places, but the stories of this old friend have been more helpful ( ? ) , than the written word.

Not much help , I know , but the old people of Hue still remember these dreadful times.

plover

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4. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Jo,

I should add , that my post is subject to conjecture, speculation , highly charged opinion , that exists about the inhabitants of these cemeteries, and the reasons why they are interred!

All in all, a very complex part of Hue's history to unravel !!!

plover

leicester
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5. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Thank you everyone, and very informative plover. It was definitely not a war cemetery, there were family tombs in all shapes and sizes and everywhere we looked we could see them. It went on for miles. We did go on a trip to various tombs so perhaps it was An Bang. I will do a little more digging ( no pun intended!) and see what comes up.

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6. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Jo,

I failed to add , there is a sizeable cemetery near Ngu Binh Mountain, not far from the tombs that are quite elaborate and reasonably well tended. This is the normal burial site of older people that date back some hundreds of years and survived the conflict! HOWEVER, it does not seem like the one you describe!

You have me a little baffled now!---let us know what you turn up!

plover

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7. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

I'm pretty sure now it was An Bang city of tombs. I've just seen a link for a Hue Tour which takes you here as part of the tomb visits and the description is pretty spot on so I'm sure it is that. We go again in May so i will see if we can get back there and then I will know for sure.

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8. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Jo,

I am sure it is An Bang ( near Thuan An )---This is where so much VK money has been spent doing restoration work!---a quite majestic place and little relevance to the bad times!

plover

…vietnamnet.vn/fms/vietnam-in-photos/7736/an…

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9. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Last year we took a motorbike tour to the east of Hue out to Thanh Toan Bridge where there is also a rice museum. The betel chewing old lady was delightful and went through the rice milling process with traditional equipment and also did a buffalo ploughing performance : D

What struck me on this interesting trip was the miles and miles of tombs and cemeteries in the countryside. I couldn't get a clear answer either! We stopped in a tiny village and Duc got the key to one of the more elaborate ones so kids, dogs and all popped in for a look. He shook his head at the cost and said Viet Kieu who fled by boat send the money back.

The year before we were gifted a few nights at Ana Mandara out at Thuan An beach and there is a large cemetery just to the north of the resort with similarly elaborate tombs and headstones. It's right next to the beach and like those in the countryside blue seems to be the most prominent colour.

We're not going to Hue this year and I'm a little bit sad now. Wonderful place.

Edited: 10 January 2014, 01:23
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10. Re: Huge cemetery in Hue

Hi Jo

I am in Hue now and have been shown on Google maps where I was taken that day. . The road running through Hue Cemetery is Thien Thai if you want to view the satellite images. I think it is the area on Ngu Binh that plover refers to. There are some large family tombs there but nothing like the extravagance of An Bang. An Bang is close to 30km south of Thuan An - and 20km from Phu Bai.

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