Saigoneer

BackArts & Culture » Travel » [Photos] Hue's Abandoned Waterpark Is a Post-Apocalyptic Beauty

[Photos] Hue's Abandoned Waterpark Is a Post-Apocalyptic Beauty

Just south of Hue sits the Ho Thuy Tien Waterpark. Once a sign of aspirational middle-class family entertainment, it now sits abandoned, creating an eerie, graffiti-splashed destination in its own right.

While some websites claim that Ho Thuy Tien is difficult to find, supposedly requiring secret codes and whispered coordinates, it is actually listed on Google Maps. My taxi driver knew exactly where it was, so finding it was no grand adventure.

A security guard posted at the gate takes a VND10,000 entry fee per person, and then you're in.

According to Atlas Obscura, the park opened in 2004 and cost US$3 million to build. Alas, money quickly ran dry and the property has now sat unused for years. The site even asserts that the crocodiles which filled Ho Thuy Tien's aquarium were left to roam the park after it was closed, though they have since been removed.

Wandering around the grounds, it's not hard to see why things went south. The attractions are well spread out around a lake — maybe a bit too well spread out — so walking from the sculpture garden near the entrance to the striking three-story dragon aquarium centerpiece takes at least 10 minutes.

Getting to the three rusted water slides takes another 10 minutes, and then reaching the ghostly amphitheater where shows would have been held requires 15 minutes on a muddy path.

The rewards were worth it though. Hue's relentlessly dreary weather adds the perfect atmosphere to the park's sad, long-unused and repeatedly tagged attractions. A lazy river filled with dirty water and tree branches meanders around an equally dirty pool. The whole setting looks like it was lifted directly from a Jurassic Park sequel. The name "Thuy Tien" means daffodils, but in its current condition, the park might as well be called the Moss Waterpark.

It's actually quite a beautiful space, with thick stands of pine trees filling the rolling terrain in between the dragon and the slides. I guess one way to preserve a forest in Vietnam, even an artificial one, is to leave it inside an abandoned theme park.

Nobody knows what the future holds for Ho Thuy Tien, though it has been more successful as an abandoned draw than it was as an actual waterpark. Perhaps it can simply remain a mournful reminder of grand ambitions gone awry, much like Hue's royal tombs and Imperial Palace.

Tour the Thuy Tien Waterpark's abandoned attractions below:

The defunct entrance gate to Ho Thuy Tien.

The lake at the center of the park.

Graffiti and trash fill the inside of the dragon structure.

Countless tags cover the park's few structures.

Looking down Ho Thuy Tien's three water slides.

One of the slides curves through overgrown forest.

Reflections on the pool at the bottom of the slides.

The lazy river runs by numerous palm trees.

A children's area with no children.


Related Articles:

- [Photos] Taipei's Ghostly Disused Leprosy Sanitarium

- [Photos] A Peek Inside Da Lat's Abandoned Franciscan Mission

- [Photos] The Hair-Raising Experience of Exploring South Korea's Creepiest Psychiatric Hospital


Related Articles

in Travel

A Pilgrimage to the Grave of Vo Thi Sau on Con Dao Island

“Every time they had a chance to go by the grave, they would put a stone on it, burn an incense stick or stick a flower they had picked up from the roadside on the grave to show their respect and ador...

in Travel

Anatomy of a Teen Magnet: Da Nang's Golden Bridge and the Giant Hands

In the midst of the forest high above Ba Na Hills outside of Da Nang, the Golden Bridge has grabbed visitors’ attention thanks to its striking appearance.

in Travel

Born in California, a Vietnamese-American Returned to Vietnam. This Is What She Saw.

My parents are originally from Vietnam and came to the United States as refugees after the war. I was born in Orange County, California, where many Vietnamese people who came to America made their new...

in Travel

How Hemingway Inspired a Cyclist to Scale the Heights of Northern Vietnam

Former Saigon resident Dale Nottingham has conquered Vietnam’s extreme northern highlands by bicycle, climbing 22,587 meters over 1,306 kilometers during an epic 12-day ride that started in Bac Kan Pr...

in Travel

In Bangkok's Sunday Market 'Baan Yuan,' Flavors of Vietnam Abound

A stroll down the start of Soi Samsen 13 was utterly uninteresting at the beginning: it first appeared to be a typical Thai soi (alley) filled with SUVs and shuttered shops on a typical Sunday morning...

in Travel

Japan Airlines, VietJet Air Enter Strategic Partnership

Japan Airlines and VietJet Air have become strategic partners, an agreement that will allow the airlines to expand their networks and improve service. 

Partner Content

Video »

BUDX HCMC