Dutch online travel firm Booking.com has compiled a list of uncanny destinations in Vietnam that are ideal for adventurers looking to spice up their Halloween experience.
Along with the custom of trick-or-treating, attending masquerade parties, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies during Halloween, exploring haunted locations is another popular activity among people across the world.
Below are some Booking’s recommendations for destinations in Vietnam to visit on this occasion:
Cac Co Cave, Quoc Oai District, Hanoi
Cac Co Cave in Hanoi. Photo by Xom Nhiep Anh
Cac Co Cave, a part of the Thay Pagoda Relic, is at the foot of the Sai Mountain. This is where Zen Master Tu Dao Hanh, a well-known monk during the reign of Emperor Ly Nhan Tong, made his pilgrimage.
The cave is renowned for tales about its “bone tank” holding skeletons of soldiers who fought for Prime Minister Lu Gia in a war against the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago.
Visitors to Quoc Oai can also explore the Baara Land amusement park, home to Hanoi’s first artificial beach.
Some 55 kilometers from Thay Pagoda is Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, another option for people who prefer to visit a spiritual site.
Hoa Lo Prison Relic, Hanoi
Visitors take a night tour at Hoa Lo. Photo by Ngan Duong
Hoa Lo was named one of Southeast Asia’s scariest locations by CNN in 2014.
The prison was built by the French in 1896, its original name being Maison Centrale, a traditional French euphemism for prisons, to hold Vietnamese inmates, especially political prisoners fighting for independence.
During the Vietnam War, between 1964 and 1973, Vietnam used the prison to hold captured American pilots, including former U.S. Senator John McCain, former U.S. Air Force Captain Douglas B. Peterson, and former U.S. Air Force Colonel Norman Carl Gaddis.
The facility was famously dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs incarcerated there.
In 1990, the prison was shut down and most of its buildings demolished to make room for real estate projects. The remaining part of the facility and the main gate was kept.
A night tour of the prison is available.
Thuy Tien Water Park, Thua Thien-Hue Province
Thuy Tien Water Park in Hue. Photo by Weeatfish
The Thuy Tien Water Park was built over more than 20 hectares in the early 2000s and inaugurated in 2004. But it was shut down in a mere six months due to lack of patronage, and it has since remained abandoned.
Over the years it has become decrepit and moss-covered, giving it a somewhat gloomy and eerie look, as reported by a number of international newspapers.
In July the Thua Thien-Hue Department of Natural Resources and Environment decided to spend VND20 billion ($805,478) to renovate the dragon-shaped water park into a public park.
Thus this year’s Halloween will possibly be the last chance for risktakers seeking to visit it.
The villa on Prenn Pass, Da Lat
A once abandoned villa on Prenn Pass in Da Lat. Photo by Booking
Da Lat, the “City of Love,” is a popular tourist destination due to its cool weather and breathtaking surroundings.
But it is also the subject of spooky tales related to certain places: like the villa on Prenn Pass. This property was once the abandoned home of a French general.
In 2018 a travel company bought the property and had it refurbished into a tourist destination. The estate, which is only accessible during the day, contains numerous Buddhist altars and retains its intrigue for those who enjoy exploring.
Con Dao Prison Complex, Con Dao Island
Statues of prisoners at Con Dao Prison Complex. Photo by Tam Linh
The most renowned landmark on Con Dao Island off the southern coast and often dubbed “Hell on Earth” is the prison complex constructed by the French in 1862 to imprison and torture Vietnamese freedom fighters.
After the Vietnam War ended the prison was closed and transformed into a historical site.
Besides the prison, visitors can also visit and explore the unspoiled beauty of Con Dao with its fine sands beaches, clear blue waters and fresh seafood.
The Hua Villa (Museum of Fine Arts), Ho Chi Minh City
Hua Villa in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
At the beginning of the 20th century the villa was owned by Hua Bon Hoa, a wealthy businessman in Saigon.
The beauty of its architecture that combines European and Asia’s styles has not dimmed after more than a century. However, the place is renowned for reported sightings of the ghost of Hua’s daughter.
The Hua family villa remains a magnet for thrill-seekers. In 1992 it was turned into the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts.
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