Something totally different and unique to see in Vietnam is Hue’s abandoned waterpark. Just a short drive out of the main town, it’s creepy yet beautiful for all the right reasons. If you like to get off the beaten track and discover places, this is definitely for you!
Hue wasn’t one of our main destinations in Vietnam, rather more of a pit-stop in our journey where we had to sell our bike (cry) and carry on North via train, as time on our visa was running out. Having said this, you’ll find a lot of tourists in Hue, as from here South you travel the Hai Van Pass to Danang. The Hai Van Pass is one of the most beautiful stretches of roads I’ve ever travelled, and as many people have seen the famous Top Gear episode, this has become a must-do when travelling Vietnam! After visiting Hue though, I think it’s definitely not somewhere to miss. Not only has it got the Imperial City, but you can also explore an abandoned Water Park – not something you get to do every day!
Its full name if Googling is the ‘Thuy Tien Lake Abandoned Water Park’ – as it is situated on the Thuy Tien Lake. The park was apparently opened in 2004 when it was only half completed and ended up getting overgrown by nature after never being completed and abandoned.
We used the address we found on Google to put into Google Maps and direct us there. We had a motorbike, but it’s not a far drive to hire a moped and drive down to. I’d definitely advise having a bike, as we used it whilst in there too! We were a bit concerned that we were actually going in the right direction, but got there eventually! There were a few other travellers who arrived at the same time as us, so we ended up all giving the guards around 20,000 dong (this is literally 67p) to let us in. When I say guards, there were just a couple guys on bikes standing near the main entrance – whether they’re locals trying their luck or actually meant to be there I have no idea. Either way, we followed them on bikes along a track down to the lake, then were left to our own devices.
The main attraction is a giant dragon in the middle of the lake, which has stairs inside so you can walk up inside the mouth. Now covered in rust and graffiti, you can only imagine how this was meant to be the grand feature at the centre of a busy water park.
Through the teeth of the dragon, you also had the most amazing view across the lake and rest of the park. It really is beautiful – especially as the sun was setting!
We went at sunset, thinking it would be the best time to see it in all its glory. We kinda miscalculated though, and it started to go darker quicker than we’d thought. This meant we didn’t really have time to fully explore, so unfortunately didn’t find the slides that we’d seen in pictures. You can see those here. I’d love to go back in the day time and have a proper look around! As the paths are so overgrown, it’s hard to know where you’re even meant to begin in properly exploring the whole park.
We hopped back on our bikes and drove back the way we’d come in, but followed the lake around this time rather than back to the entrance. Here we found what looked like some sort of theatre for shows. There were concrete tiers of blue rubber seats all facing a pool which looked like it could’ve once been some sort of fountain show.
It’s got a really eery feeling – which is added to by that feeling of being somewhere you’re not meant to! It also made me feel quite sad, as you can imagine how great this place could’ve been if they’d completed it. It seems like such a waste of time and money. The setting of it on the lake is truly stunning, especially for us at sunset. However, we decided it was probably best to head home before it got dark. I’d advise going an hour or two before sunset to fully appreciate it!
If you’re in Vietnam, this is one of the reasons you should definitely add Hue to your map. It’s a truly unique place to experience and something I’ll never forget!
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