Whenever you visit another country, you need to consider its cultures and customs. Of course, it’s great to try unfamiliar foods and take in the spectacular sights, but it’s important to remember that they’re all connected to the unique history and lifestyle of the local culture… and sometimes, their traditions can be difficult to understand.
Take Sagada, for example, a unique town in the Philippines. At first glance, it seems like an exotic paradise… until you notice the strange objects hanging from its mountain cliffs and caves. If you think they’re merely strange decorations, think again—the truth is much more disturbing!
The municipality of Sagada in the north of the Philippines is stunningly beautiful. It’s full of fascinating caves, majestic mountains, and breathtaking wilderness. These seemingly endless rice terraces alone, for example, are utterly breathtaking.
Bernard Gagnon / Wikimedia Commons
However, this little village may be best known for something else entirely. Look closely and you’ll see strange, manmade objects hanging off of the mountain cliffs in the Echo Valley region. They’ve fascinated locals and tourists alike for many generations…
Pratyeka / Wikimedia Commons
So, what are those large wooden boxes doing populating such an exquisite natural wonder? Well, they’re not just there for decoration. In fact, they’re of grave cultural, historical, and even personal importance to many living in the area.
That’s because these are “hanging coffins.” Suspending coffins is actually an ancient practice that’s been in place for many centuries all around the world, including several different regions in China, as well as Sulawesi, Indonesia.
By far, the most famous hanging coffins in the world remain in Segada. Curious and adventurous tourists travel from far and wide to appreciate these unique—if morbid—sights. There’s really nothing else like them.