If you’ve fancied traveling to Vietnam and you’ve spent an ounce of time on google looking for the best things to do here, then I can almost guarantee you’ve seen Hue’s abandoned waterpark.
Weirdly, it’s one of only 2 pins I put in for my whole Asia trip before arriving, and the other one was a waterfall on the Chinese border.
Abandoned places offer a glimpse into the past, an insight into what nature is capable of, and a chance to potentially shit your pants when a rogue rat or bat decides you’re tasty enough for a sniff.
Quick Facts about Vietnam’s Abandoned Waterpark
- It was abandoned after it’s short 2 year opening span in 2004.
- Estimated to have cost £3,000,000 to build.
- Located in Hue, Central Vietnam.
- Rumour has it that the three resident crocodiles were left when they abandoned the place.
- You might have to bribe a guardian to get in.
How to get to Vietnam’s Abandoned Waterpark
Located about 10km south of Hue, this is an ideal spot for your backpacking adventure in Vietnam. It’s likely you’ll be doing the Hai Van Pass, to or from Hue, so this is a stopping point along that journey.
It’s best to reach it via your own motorbike/scooter as it’ll make it an easier journey. However, I can imagine it would be possible to get a grab if you’re visiting from Hue.
When you reach the google pin, you’ll be faced with the main entrance that states no entry is allowed.
There may, or may not, be a guard here and if there is you might have to bribe him to get in. It’ll only be 20,000VIN or so, it’s worth paying if he is gatekeeping.
Alternatively, you can follow the trail to the left and through the woodland. This will bring you out to the famous dragon and at the centre of the waterpark.
My Experience with Vietnam’s Abandoned Waterpark
Abandoned places offer a weird allure to me that allows you to see what the past had to offer, but also what nature’s potential is truly capable of. Reclaiming what was once their own, nature has a wonderful way of entangling structures, windows, and doors and making arguably a better sight out of them.
Thuy Tien lake Abandoned Water Park is no different in that nature has fully staked its claim on this nearly 20-year abandonment.
The dragon is the main feature of the once incredible waterpark. Situated in the middle of the main lake and a prominent feature. Kinda looks like Smaug, so maybe it’s his Vietnamese brother?
The dragon used to house an aquarium and walking around inside said the dragon was incredible. The old walkway for the aquarium where the fish would have been above and around you. Eerily though, there was still water in some of it, despite all of the glass being broken.
Walking up through the spiral staircase, the spine of the Dragon, and being aerially attacked by bats, and assaulted on the ground by rats – all added to the experience on offer at an abandoned building.
The view from the Dragon’s mouth looking out of the later it could quite easily command.
The park itself is massive. Offering slides, a 2500 auditorium, an aquarium, and a whole host of things to do in its hay day. Unfortunately, as the morning sun shone brightly and the sweat beaded on my forehead, I decided urban exploration wasn’t for me today and said goodbye to Smaug’s Vietnamese brother.