There’s not much to do in Huế, there are temples if you’re into that sort of thing, but after travelling through Thailand and Cambodia I’m temple’d-out. The only reason I wanted to visit was to take photos at the abandoned water park, you won’t find it listed in any of the official tours and tour agencies won’t have pictures of it in their brochures. I learned about this place how anybody learns about any travel destination these days, the internet. This place is everywhere, blogs, pinterest, From what I have gathered, the park never actually opened. Construction was almost finished in 2004 but the owners ran out of money and it has since become home to nature and nothing much else. A couple of years ago there were some malnourished alligators living in the pool at the bottom of the slides, they were removed for their own safety, and I assume for the safety of tourists.
A local Vietnamese business owner told me that the place had been officially closed off by the government in January 2018. There is a security official stood at the main entrance. A redditor confirmed this by saying as hard as he tried at the start of this year, he couldn’t convince the security guard to let him pass, offering money and begging did little to help. We rode our scooter up to the main entrance blocked by the guard, after much pleading to enter the guard told us there was another entrance if we followed the road around. We did this and drove past a couple of guys sat in the sun who chased us and told us the park was off limits. I offered to pay him 10,000 dong only for him to shake his head. I offered him 20,000 dong for him to suddenly change his mind. He said to us “only stay 40 minutes and no climbing’. We entered and there was parking attendants with refreshments waiting for us.
You can ignore the attendants and drive around the park freely if you want to get around it quickly, which we did, I wanted to spend more time at the sights to get quality pictures.
When arriving at the park I suggest you turn right and go over the skinny bridge and follow it around anti-clockwise. The guard will tell you to do otherwise but he isn’t the boss of you. That way the sights get progressively cooler, starting with the stage/water show seats, followed by the water slides, followed by the impressive dragon which you can climb inside of. Inside the dragon was an aquarium. When photographing this there was ZERO light. Anybody who knows me, knows I’m not a huge fan of flash photography so I instead set my camera on a tri-pod, set the shutter speed to 30 secs and used a pair of phone tourches to paint light onto the walls of the aquarium which I hope you’ll agree, created a nice effect.
The guard will come hunting for you before it gets dark, he eventually left me to my own devices after I pretended to leave behind him, but I could have stayed longer. It’s a perfect place to chill, drink a beer and maybe smoke a joint. Even at night. Just make sure you’re OK to drive back to your hotel.