Reportedly haunted Thuan Kieu Plaza is now a COVID-19 facility

Saigon is not Vietnam’s oldest city, but it doesn’t lack a good share of historic events and urban legends. Every street is imbued with history, from bombing attacks that result in mass casualties to  puzzling unsolved murders. 

If you’re a Saigon resident, you’re bound to hear the otherworldly tales of Thuan Kieu Plaza, a famous building complex in District 5 that was left abandoned for decades. Whether or not the place is really haunted, you’ll probably find out soon from its new inhabitants – COVID-19 patients.  

On 8th July, local authorities announced that Thuan Kieu Plaza would be turned into a makeshift COVID-19 facility to house and treat infected patients.

Thuan Kieu Plaza has been turned into a COVID-19 facility

Image credit: Thanh Nien

On 9th July, hundreds of construction workers are seen going into an overdrive to renovate level 1 and 2 of Thuan Kieu Plaza into a COVID-19 facility. 

Upon completion, the facility has enough capacity for 1,000 beds.

The renovation process will take about 8 to 10 days, according to Thanh Nien

The story of Thuan Kieu Plaza

Thuan Kieu Plaza before renovation
Image credit: Cafebiz

Built in 1994 and painted in pink, Thuan Kieu Plaza was one of Ho Chi Minh City’s first modern complexes. Thanks to its prime location, it was expected to become a vibrant commercial center of the rapidly growing city.

Nonetheless, it was never the case.

Image credit: Soha

For roughly 20 years since its establishment, it always had a high vacancy. With a sense of spookiness seeping through the dusty floors and stained walls, the plaza had the look and feel of a haunted place.

Thuan Kieu Plaza comprises 3 blocks, featuring a commercial zone and residential zone with 648 apartments. Each block has 33 stories and yet has been occupied by just a few households. Meanwhile, the commercial area saw multiple retail stores close down for no specific reasons. 

Image credit: Soha

Rumor has it that a girl died a tragic death inside the plaza and buried alive there, and some workers lost their lives during the construction. Therefore, visitors and residents have reported seeing poltergeists in the corridors or hearing creepy sounds when standing in the lifts. 

Many people, on the other hand, attribute the plaza’s emptiness to its inauspicious design and grave fengshui mistakes. The buildings look like 3 incense sticks, which, superstitiously speaking, attract ghosts. The apartments are also said to be too small and inconvenient for occupation. That’s why many residents moved out, leaving most apartments unoccupied.

Image credit: Cafebiz

In 2014, a developer bought back the plaza and turned the commercial zone into Garden Mall, one of Saigon’s largest shopping malls. 3 blocks were also painted green for a fresher look. 

With that being said, the commercial zone is the only area that’s vibrant and crowded with visitors. The floors upstairs remain relatively unvisited and burst with a spine-chilling vibe as altars are still found in many corners across the plaza. 

Netizens share their spooky encounters in Thuan Kieu Plaza

Hearing of Thuan Kieu Plaza’s conversion into a COVID-19 facility, many netizens are inspired to share their spooky experiences or what they’ve been told.

Image credit: Saigon Viewers

Facebook user Nguyễn Lê Huyền Trân shared, “My sister told me this story. When she opened the door of a restroom in Thuan Kieu Plaza, she heard someone close the door of a cubicle and even saw a foot behind it. As she was doing her makeup, she dropped her lipstick. She stooped down to pick it up and turned her head towards the cubicle. This time she didn’t see any foot behind the door. She picked up the courage to open the cubicle. A few seconds later, she ran out. There was nobody inside that cubicle.”  

Image credit: Saigon Viewers

“I used to rent an apartment here and was disturbed for 1 whole month. I dropped my rental deposit and fled for my life. When I was sleeping, I kept seeing a kid standing by my bed. This kind of dream was repeated 4 to 5 times in a month. When I took the lift late at night, I got chills down my spines and felt someone standing right next to me. My belongings were always hidden mysteriously and my flatmate got this problem too. I couldn’t sleep at all for the whole month and lost 5-6KG. Had I stayed longer, things would have gotten worse for me.” Facebook user Trân Trần, a former tenant at Thuan Kieu Plaza shared. 

Image credit: Saigon Viewers

Facebook user Võ Ngọc Tài shared, “I heard that there was a construction worker who died in a tragic lift accident in the plaza. The residents there who took that particular lift encountered his ghost so often that they put a bowl of incense inside the lift for him. After many residents had moved out, the management locked the lift and stopped using it.”

Don’t let the rumors affect you

After so many years, we’re finally seeing other parts of Thuan Kieu Plaza, aside from the Garden Mall, buzzing with life again. 

We wish our medical workers and patients all the best in your quarantine and treatment in this iconic COVID-19 facility. Don’t let the urban legends or rumors about this place squash your spirits and affect your well-being.  

Truth be told, we’d definitely love to hear you share about your stay here, in case you learn something new.

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Cover image adapted from: Zing News and Vietnam Plus

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