Splashing in pools, zipping down slides, floating on the river-rapids, the elements to a perfect day at the water park. Not in Hue, Vietnam, this is more Jurassic Park than it is water park. A little spooky, a lot overgrown and full of graffiti, we found a new abandoned place to explore.
Abandoned places are now something we seek whilst travelling following the crazy day we had at the Airplane Graveyard, Bangkok. An abandoned water park didn’t disappoint. Surrounding Thuy Thien Lake, the park originally opened in 2004, even though it was unfinished. A few years later it shut down due to ‘business problems’. Like the airplanes, if this was in the UK it would be boarded up, knocked down and new apartment blocks would be replacing it; “it is in a prime location with fantastic views over the lake…”. But here in Vietnam, it is untouched and left for tourists and locals to explore the wonders of the water park.
…the auditorium is now full of mud and plants taking back what was theirs.
We got a taxi to the park as there is little public transport across Vietnam. This cost around 100,000 dong (around £3.50). Note: We have found in Vietnam that a lot of taxi drivers have tried to over-charge us as tourists. The best way to avoid this is by asking to pay by meter. Also, if you can, keep an eye on the route via your GPS. We had to direct one driver as he was weaving a little too much.
Once there, we strolled around, first heading to the auditorium. With the capacity of up to 1000 people, the auditorium is now full of mud and plants taking back what was theirs. The seats overlook a huge fountain lay dormant in a pool with a concrete ‘stage’ in front. Was it for a show, would it be set to music? Would there be performers there? Fire-breathers or dancers maybe? Who knows?
The focal point of the park is the humongous dragon dome, mouth agape, watching over the park, ready to spout fire to all who trespass. The detail in this building is phenomenal, he even has a ribcage underneath. You can climb high up into the mouth and look out over the park, or walk underneath into his belly where an old aquarium lives. All the glass is smashed and there is trash on the floor so be careful. It is here which reminded me most of Jurassic Park, the scene with the raptors in the kitchen, or even Jurassic World where the young boys find the original car from the first film.
At any minute a lost child could crawl out from under the slide, crying and asking for help.
The water slides in the park which have been left to nature, show signs of what could have been. The pool at the base is full of green, stagnant rain water. We spoke to another couple who climbed down one of the slides! We raced to the bottom to see how they were going to stop themselves entering the toxic water. Hot and exhausted from trying to stay on their feet through a tiny tunnel, they made it and climbed out the bottom. Still dry. We on the other hand, just stood at the bottom!
Next to the slides lives what would have been the children’s playground and river rapids. This eerie place is like ghost town, like Zombieland or The Day After Tomorrow. At any minute a lost child could crawl out from under the slide, crying and asking for help.
Mouldy, eerie and a really cool, the water park is a must for anyone travelling to Hue. This place looks like a film set and great for photographs, so expect local teens and other tourists to be there too. But if you are like us, you prefer to do something a little different, if you enjoy scouting for something new, or you’re a fan of Jurassic Park, then head to the abandoned water park of Hue.