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Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

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An Abandoned Water Park in Hue Vietnam

Written by Joshua Fuglsang on .

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AsiaTravelVietnam
Sitting in one of the old water slides
Sitting in one of the old water slides - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Sit­ting in the com­mon area of my hos­tel, a fel­low back­pack­er told me of an aban­doned wa­ter park on the edge of town, the pro­vin­cial Viet­namese city Hue. My in­ter­est piqued. I im­me­di­ate­ly knew what I would be do­ing the fol­low­ing day and an hour lat­er I had a scoot­er or­gan­ised and was plan­ning the trip.

The wa­ter park is al­so known by its Viet­namese name as Ho Thuy Tien.

Getting There

Entrance to the Amphitheatre
En­trance to the Am­phithe­atre - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

An ear­li­er ar­ti­cle by the Huff­in­g­ton Post wrote that di­rec­tions to the park were se­cret­ly passed from back­pack­er to back­pack­er scrib­bled on crum­bled nap­kins. As po­et­ic as this is, I found it eas­i­er to get di­rec­tions from Google Maps.

It took about twen­ty min­utes to nav­i­gate the eight kilo­me­tre stretch be­tween the tourist dis­trict and to the wa­ter park through Vi­et­namese traf­fic by scoot­er. But if you fol­low Google’s di­rec­tions, then they will take you to the back en­trance rather than the main gate. This is good and bad as by go­ing through the back en­trance you miss the creepy en­trance gate to the park, but you al­so avoid the “ad­mis­sions of­fi­cer”. It seemed to me that a lot of trav­ellers went in the back way, as there were at least a dozen scoot­ers parked here. Maybe if you trav­el with a taxi or Uber then you will be dropped off at the main en­trance.

Ar­riv­ing at the front en­trance, then you may en­counter a “guard” which you need to pay off to get ad­mit­ted to the park. Read­ing on trip ad­vi­sor most peo­ple were pay­ing 10k dong each, how­ev­er chat­ting to an­oth­er trav­eller they had to pay 20k as they didn’t have the cor­rect change. Some trav­ellers re­port­ed just walk­ing straight by him, as this was all “un­of­fi­cial”, to put it po­lite­ly, and he has no pow­er to stop you since you’re both tres­pass­ing. I would have paid if he ap­proached me, as it is cheap re­gard­less. How­ev­er, come with the cor­rect change, as I’m cer­tain he won’t be able to break your 100k notes.

History

Inside the Dragons Head
In­side the Drag­ons Head - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

The park was com­mis­sioned for a cool $3m USD by the Hue Tourism of­fice in the ear­ly 2000’s to at­tract vis­i­tors. Be­fore it was com­plete­ly built the park start­ed to ac­cept ad­mis­sions, the park was nev­er ful­ly con­struct­ed. Pre­sum­ably the busi­ness start­ed to run in to fi­nan­cial trou­bles and strug­gled to make the park vi­able. Sev­er­al years lat­er, the project was aban­doned. Fast for­ward to to­day, and in an un­ex­pect­ed turn of events, the park is at­tract­ing more vis­i­tors now than it ev­er had. Spread by word of mouth through back­pack­ers, Hue has be­come an es­sen­tial des­ti­na­tion of Viet­nam for thrill seek­ers and ad­ven­ture hunters. It cer­tain­ly has been one of the high­lights of my tour of Viet­nam. There is a cer­tain sense of ad­ven­ture that one gets when un­law­ful­ly ex­plor­ing derelict build­ings.

Attractions

The Empty Amphitheatre

The Empty Amphitheatre
The Emp­ty Am­phithe­atre - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
Graffiti on the Amphitheatre walls
Graf­fi­ti on the Am­phithe­atre walls - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Eeri­ly sit­ting at the back of the park is the emp­ty am­phithe­atre. Once it en­ter­tained a crowd of hun­dreds, now its seats are emp­ty and the ap­plause long gone.

The Water Slides

The Yellow Slide
The Yel­low Slide - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
Sitting in one of the old water slides
Sit­ting in one of the old wa­ter slides - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

In the cen­tre of the park are three wa­ter­slides. Come here on the right day, and you can see Viet­namese kids rid­ing their skate­boards and BMX bikes down the slides. Oc­ca­sion­al­ly trav­ellers will risk walk­ing up the di­lap­i­dat­ed struc­tures.

The Dragon Aquarium

The Dragon Aquarium
The Drag­on Aquar­i­um - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang
The Dragons Ribs
The Drag­ons Ribs - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Slow­ly dis­in­te­grat­ing is the main draw­card of the park; an enor­mous drag­on aquar­i­um sit­u­at­ed in the cen­tre of a fetid man made lake. Just a few years ago croc­o­diles could be found in the aquar­i­um’s tanks, kept alive by vis­it­ing back­pack­ers. Yet now the tanks are emp­ty, the glass shat­tered by youth­ful graf­fi­ti artists.

Fin!

Thanks for read­ing, I thor­ough­ly en­joyed my time vis­it­ing the aban­doned wa­ter park. I would rec­om­mend it to any­one trav­el­ling through the area.

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AsiaTravelVietnam

About

Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.