Wealthy people have been spending billions to build spacious 'villas' for their deceased relatives.
People try to 'take it with them' in Lac Hong Vien Cemetery
Spanning nine hills and surrounded by nine streams, Lac Hong Vien Cemetery, in Hoa Binh District, has become something of a retreat for the deceased. The cemetery now resembles a mini urban area, with asphalt roads and street lights.
The Golden Hill was the first completed. The tombs here were built like miniature villas, complete with fences, or even protective walls with gardens inside.
A tomb for a prevalent Hanoi antique dealer was built at the top of the hill, which takes up 100 square metres, with flowers, trees, tables and chairs. The family also paid for the groundskeepers to take care of the garden.
Another businessman spent VND5 billion (USD240,000) for a 500 square metre family tomb. The price of building and upkeep of such a plot can reach tens of billions of VND.
An investor in the cemetery said, "We kept fenshui in mind while designing the grounds, and there are many types of plots to choose from. Some people are willing to pay upwards of a billion VND for one person's tomb. Currently there is one that is still under construction because the custom material requested by the client hasn't arrived yet."
Even the price for tomb of 4 square metres could be billions of VND depend on construction materials and other 'luxuries', such as decorative rocks.
The investor added that they are planning to build real, equipped homes for the deceased. For example, one for a musician might contain a statue of a piano, or one for a writer might have books and a pen. The design would depend completely on the life and career of the person it houses, he said.
Different from Lac Hong Vien, the tombs at the Eternal Cemetery, in Ba Vi District, are completely designed by the clients. One of the most expensive to date is "Tien Canh Nhan Du", which cost VND10 billion (USD480,000) and takes up 200 square metres.
Upkeep a large part of the cost
Some spend billions for family plots
The VND10 billion tomb