Sunday, 26 June 2016

Abandoned Water Park (Hồ Thủy Tiên)

(Picture by Richard Huckvale)
Firstly this place is no longer as mysterious as it once was, The stories of backpackers passing on directions on how to get there and having to break into the abandoned water park are long long gone. It is however still incredible. But like everything in South East Asia being turned into a tourist attraction.
So the stories go this place is near impossible to find, locals don't like to talk about it and the so called only way to get there is to know a backpacker who knew a backpacker who's brothers, sisters boyfriends next door neighbours dogs uncle went there once and he passed the map on. Let me tell you we asked a taxi driver to take us, which he did he drove us passed the security guard who now waits at the entrance who asked for 10,000 dong and he waited for us while we spent a couple of hours walking round and exploring the water park. All the while there were locals there selling food and drinks to anyone that wanted it.

This does not however change how incredible and spooky this place is nor does it change the sense you have that you should not be there. That you are in some sort of shit American horror movie where you have taken the wrong dirt road to your mates aunties cabin in the woods. Stumbling across the destination where you are going to be chased and eaten alive by a hillbilly in dungarees. The fact that it was just about to rain and an epic thunder storm was brewing over head made it all the more scary.

The first part we explored was some sort of auditorium or show arena a little like a modern amphitheatre there wasn't much to see here but having a sense that not too long ago people were sat in the seats watching whatever show was being put on was very strange indeed. The rooms underneath the stand were awesome with paperwork, signing in books, speaker systems and a huge safe all still there to be seen, along with a model of the water park in a glass case obviously broken open like every other window or pane of glass it was smashed. There is graffiti on the walls remains of fires and beer cans and cigarette ends as far as the eye can see. It's clearly the place to go in Vietnam if you are a rebel and want to rage against the machine.

To the back of the auditorium there is a hut which from a distance looks nothing special at most a souvenir shop or snack stand, Upon closer inspection inside there was a 3D virtual space ride machine, you know those ones you sit in an it moves around while you watch a movie a simulator thats the word I was looking for.

It was at this point the storm moved over head and to quote Peter Kay you could smell the rain. We could see a huge structure in the middle of the lake so headed over that way as it was clearly under cover. The closer we got we could see this was the huge dragon everyone spoke about this was the aquarium you could walk round with giant marine life animals projecting out of the walls and trees and plants taking over the structure from everywhere. This was where upon till February 2016 the 3 abandoned crocodiles were! yes, 3 real life crocodiles just wandering around sadly these crocodiles only ever got food when backpackers came and bought live chickens from the local village. As you can imagine this was not good for the chicken and especially not good for the crocodiles to not know when or where their next meal was coming from, it was also not very good for anyone wanting to walk round as it was pretty dark inside the dragon. Thankfully as I said in February this year the crocodiles were captured at taken to a local wildlife park in Vietnam.

It was at this point walking round the abandoned aquariums some still with water inside them and signs telling you what used to live here a huge bolt of lightening struck (I am trying to add drama to the blog) and the heavens opened, The noise of the rain echoing round the dragon and certain areas of the roof leaking made the whole hillbilly dungaree wearing mass murdering bearded chaser story all that more real. Walking up the dark spiral stairs through the dragon to the top where you can look out over the park from the dragons mouth was something special, now I'm not sure you could do this when the park was actually open but it seemed safe enough so out we climbed.

We explored a little more using the torches on our iPhones as it was now really dark and lashing down with rain, there was a group of local teenagers hanging out there too having of all things a water balloon fight in the rain. Thankfully there was no other tourists or backpackers so its clear tis place is still not the place to go or see and is still a little unknown but that like everything in South East Asia will soon change. 

There is a third part of the water park, the slides and attractions which you can still only just access and walk along they are being claimed but the jungle day by day, sadly with the weather taking a turn of the worse and the storm getting heavier and heavier we made the decision not to trek through the trees and try and climb the water slides purely for safety reasons. We called it a day and headed back to our taxi who had sat waiting for us as agreed we headed back to the hostel with a sense of relief that we had not been chased or killed by any dungaree wearing maniacs!

Now unlike SEVERAL other blogs and posts on the internet about this abandoned water park I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE DIRECTIONS, I AM NOT GOING TO POST PICTURE AFTER PICTURE and I AM CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO GEOTAG THE LOCATION. 

Anyone travelling through South East Asia find this place, see it for yourself, keep it mysterious, keep it away from the money making men of the government, pass directions round on napkins if you have too.

The place is awesome and its one of those places that needs to be seen to be believed, I heard about the place from a fellow backpacker but it is amazing speaking to people out here who knew or know nothing about the place, LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY

Thanks for reading 


1 comment

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