Most people can agree: abandoned places are wildly intriguing and eerie as hell at the same time. Ho Thuy Tien Waterpark (AKA Waterpark Hue) possesses this winning combination of traits—an unrealized dream that now makes for a one-of-a-kind, off-beat adventure. A visit to the park is easily one of the best things to do in Vietnam, but you won’t find any sunbathers here: only overgrown plants, years of graffiti, and broken glass. Post-apocalyptic vibes at their finest.
When waterparks dry up, they’re pretty damn creepy
What makes a $3 million dollar project go extinct before it’s even completed? Good question. Since its screeching halt of production in 2004, the reasoning has remained unknown, and the land undeveloped. Floating rumors have alluded to the idea that the park could be cursed. With horror movie charm like this, it wouldn’t come as a massive surprise.
Forgotten slides, remnants of aquariums, and a towering dragon
Once in the park, you’ll feel as though you stepped into some dystopian parallel universe where humanity has disappeared…and long since been forgotten. The jungle has sunken its grip back into the land with mold-covered waterslides, decay-dusted concrete, and scarily dark algae-filled pools. Lazy river, anyone?
The grandest sight of all is the dragon structure in the center of the lake, which can be explored from within. The peeling paint covered creature wraps around a dome shaped aquarium, comprised of three levels. Fish tanks remain filled with water, but without any marine life to be seen. Maneuver your way up the dark, serpentine staircase for a topside view from the dragon’s mouth. It sounds like the setting of a science fiction novel, because it probably should be.
Getting to the abandoned attraction
After years of unofficial visits from word of mouth, the park has gained some notoriety. Nowadays, it’s even listed on Google Maps as Thuy Tien Lake Abandoned Water Park. It’s a bit odd for abandoned ruins, but perhaps that’s technology for you.
Technically, the park is closed to the public, but a few local enterprising gentlemen have found a way to make some money off of curious backpackers and adventure seekers. If you encounter these guards upon arrival, fear not, for the small price of 50,000 Vietnamese Dong (about $2) you’ll be well on your way for this peculiar experience.
The best way to arrive is by motorbike or scooter. Regular GPS directions will take you to the front gate, where your friendly guards will be waiting. If you care to squint on Google Maps, you can find a smaller back road by instead inputting Thuy Tien Lake, where there’s less likelihood of having to pay for entry.
Pack your sense of adventure, and some closed toe shoes
Decrepit conditions have led to lots of broken glass, sharp corners, and random gravel that might cause a slip when you’re too focused on the scenery. Put on your finest protective shoes and watch your step while you’re tramping around the area. Needless to say, the first aid tent is out of commission here.
With increased curiosity and press coverage in recent years, it’s no secret that the waterpark is worth a visit. However, it certainly won’t be anything near crowded, retaining its bizarrely alluring aura.