Lifestyle & Belief

Vietnam's swank graveyards


Guards lower a coffin during a burial service in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005.



The Associated Press has published a highly entertaining tour of "Highway to Eternity," one of Vietnam's glitzy new cemeteries catering to the communist nation's nouveau riche.

What makes this cemetery unique isn't its golden gates or burial plots that cost more than homes.

It's the online service that allows the bereaved to buy eggs or bottles of whiskey for dead. After the purchase, a cemetery employee lays the offering at the gravestone and sends off a photo.

Vietnam's TuoiTre news has an image from the cemetery's Web site here.

But fast-growing Vietnam isn't the only Southeast Asian nation with snazzy graveyards.

Indonesia has a five-star cemetery complex with a lovely man-made lake.

And according to this 2004 article by journalist Julie Chao, one mausoleum in the Philippines features a hot tub for the deceased.