Not very far from this tomb is a “villa for the dead.” There is a stone-covered tomb, protected by a big pair of dragons, a big incense burner, all made by blue stone. In the corner of this villa is a small temple. This “villa” is worth several billion dong (hundreds of USD).
According to an official of Toan Cau Trade JS Company, the investor of Lac Hong Vien cemetery, all plots of land which are located at nice positions in the cemetery are sold to rich families. To own a plot of land of around 200sq.m here, customers have to pay at least VND1 billion ($50,000), plus hundreds of million dong for construction fees.
Smaller plots of land, from 30 to 45sq.m and worth of VND200-300 million ($10,000-15,000), are favored by middle-class customers. Single tomb is 4.5sq.m each, priced at least VND30 million ($1,500).
There are a dozen of vast plots of land of between 300 to 500sq.m to build family cemeteries, which are sold for super-rich families since their prices are at least VND5-6 billion ($250,000-300,000)/plot.
Rich families also hire ornamental tree and worshipping service, with hundreds of million dong (tens of thousands of USD) a year.
“Large plots of land which are located at nice positions and have sufficient facilities are sold very easily though their prices are hundreds of USD. Before purchasing land, customers often take fengshui experts with them to choose land,” said the cemetery’s official.
Those who are buried here are taken care very carefully. If their relatives cannot visit them on their dead anniversaries, the cemetery’s staff will make rituals on behalf of their relatives.
There are also big tombs worth billion dong at Vinh Hang Cemetery in Ba Vi, Hanoi. On a 20-hectare hill are tombs which are covered by blue stones and decorated by flowers, ornamental trees, family temples which look like big pagodas, etc.
Different from Lac Hong Vien, where tombs must be built in a same design, tombs are built freely at Vinh Hang Cemetery. As a result, many tombs are designed very specifically. They are also cost billion dong each, including VND300-500 million ($150,000-250,000) for land only and hundreds of million dong for construction expenditures.
Building cemetery parks have become a new trend in Vietnam. Many cemeteries of this type are being built around Hanoi, such as Thien Duong in Soc Son district, Yen Ky, etc. To purchase land in these cemeteries, customers do not need to be Hanoi’s residents.
HCM City to reclaim 60 State-owned villas
The HCM City People's Committee has decided to take back 60 State-owned villas which were being leased or used ineffectively.
The State-owned villas, which will not be sold, will be used for public projects such as parks, schools, hospitals, State offices and apartment buildings for relocated people and civil servants.
The State-owned villas are located in 10 districts, and more than half of them have an average area of 1,000sq.m.
Of the villas, one at 373-374 Le Van Huu Street in Thu Duc District's Binh Tho Ward has the largest area, with 3,583sq.m.
Many of the villas
are located in prime areas and are being used improperly.
The villa at 2 Pham Van Hai Street in Tan Binh District's Ward 2, which faces Hoang Van Thu and Pham Van Hai streets and Hoang Van Thu Park, is being rented to sell food and motorbikes.
Similarly, the villa
at 5A Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in District 1's Ben Nghe Ward is being used as a restaurant. It is located in the city's zoo precinct and is part of an expansion project for the HCM City-based Viet Nam History Museum, which is inside the zoo premises.
Most of the villas have been rented for housing or offices, or to families, according to the Department of Construction. Fourteen households that own space in the villas were allowed to buy space in the State-owned villas under Government Decree 61.
Of the total 60 villas which will be taken back by the city, there are another 293 households that are renting. Six State agencies rent offices and two villas are still vacant. Most are old and in disrepair.
Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the city People's Committee, has told departments and agencies that they must use the villas in an effective way after they take them back from residents and companies.
The People's Committee has also set up a steering committee to manage the 60 villas
. This year, it will make plans to relocate and compensate households and on how to use each villa.
, which have a total area of 35,000sq.m, will be managed by the Department of Construction and the HCM City Housing Management and Trading Company.