Visiting Central Vietnam’s abandoned water park of Thuy Tien in 2019 was a highlight of Huế for me.
I’ve written this post for all those visiting Thuy Tien in 2019 as some of the information about coming here is out of date, as well as including a lovely photo gallery for your perusal!
Despite what you may have heard, Huế’s abandoned water park IS open for business and we’ve had friends who visited in June after we left so never fear!
There are a few ways to get to the park, you can get a taxi (they have Grab taxi here), cycle there or take a moped or motorbike.
We came here on a moped and you can easily find the entrance as it’s clearly labelled on Maps.me. Its also bright pink with a shark on it so you can’t miss it.
There is a sign that says ‘no visitors’ but just ignore that as the guard will come out and ask for a 20,000 dong entrance fee per person. Don’t pay any more as that is the ‘official’ unofficial rate.
If you have a bike, they’ll ask you to park it next to the building site opposite, so nobody can see it. The charge to park your motorbike is 10,000 dong and the bloke there does look after it.
The guard will ask you not to climb on anything or smoke weed while you’re there, then you take a small path through the forest to get to the dragon.
The walk takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the dragon’s lake and there are some women selling food and drinks down there.
It’s better to go in the early morning before lunch and it gets too hot. There’s also less tourists here in the morning which will make your pictures look more abandoned than if people were wandering around!
The dragon lake is by far the most interesting place, but there are also waterslides, a small outdoor theatre and a few statues dotted about. You may also see a herd of cows wandering around. It’s also a popular make-out spot for Vietnamese couples.
The park was abandoned as they ran out of money and couldn’t find any more investors to bankroll it. Ironically, it is more of a tourist attraction now that it’s not allowed to come here.
You can climb the stairs to the top of the dragon and look out of its mouth, then poke around inside to look at its spine, broken tanks and various underwater frescoes.
Thuy Tien is classic quirky Vietnam and it’s really the opposite of Huế’s imperial heritage of palaces and tombs. It’s a bit of a rebellion to visit the heavily-graffitied dragon sculpture and that’s exactly the fun of coming here in 2019. It also looks great on Instagram.
If you like abandoned places, check out my posts on visiting and photographing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
We stayed at Huế Nino Hotel in the centre of Huế, which was great, with nice staff and a decent location and breakfast. Check for deals and reviews by clicking on the Tripadvisor link below:
Have you been to Huế’s abandoned water park of Thuy Tien? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!
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