Lonely Planet Writer

Not for the faint-hearted: a new attraction in China lets you experience what it's like to die and be cremated

We’ve probably all at one time or another wondered what it’s like to die. But if you’re one of those impatient folk who simply can’t wait – but don’t actually want to die yet – then perhaps spending two hours in a death simulator is the answer to your prayers (/nightmares). This new attraction in Shanghai – named Xinglai, which translates as “awaken” – gives volunteers the opportunity to experience what it’s like to die and be cremated. And for just £48 (or 444 yuan).

the participants sit in a room
(Screengrab/YouTube/Reuters)

The group of participants have to answer a series of life-or-death scenario questions. The person who the others think gave the worst answer is then sentenced to “death” (so there’s no room for jokes here). The doomed soul then lies down on a conveyor belt to be “cremated” before re-emerging through a latex “womb” as they are reborn. As you do.

a person goes through the cremation chamber
(Screengrab/YouTube/Reuters)
a person is reborn through a latex womb
(Screengrab/YouTube/Reuters)

But the point behind the project isn’t actually all doom and gloom (well, as little as it can be). Founder Ding Rui hopes the attraction will make participants less scared of death by taking away some of that fear of the unknown. He said: “When we do not fully understand… saying goodbye is really quite a complicated and difficult task. It covers various dimensions, conflicts, and even prevents you from being able to reach a decision, and you don’t know what to do. So I thought of how to be able to come up with a premise on how to educate people on life, so as one approaches the moment just before they face death, they don’t have to think about these problems constantly.”

Maaaaybe we’ll just wait it out instead.

(Press Association)