We’ve all heard of abandoned places in various destinations around the world. Abandoned castles, hospitals, insane asylums, haunted houses… but have you ever heard of an abandoned waterpark?
I didn’t. At least, I hadn’t heard of an abandoned waterpark up until I arrived in Hue, Vietnam.
And after hearing about and seeing it on a few friends’ snapchat stories, I knew I had to check it out.
Located smack-dab in the middle of Hue, Vietnam, the waterpark opened in 2004 and pretty much immediately failed.
It wasn’t even completely finished.
Not sure why or how, considering how freakin’ hot Vietnam is and I wanted to jump in the pool even though the water was disgusting, but people just didn’t catch onto the idea of it.
So now, the abandoned waterpark remains a ghostly place with murky waters, overgrown slides, and the odd backpacker.
Interested in learning my top budgeting tips when backpacking Southeast Asia? Click here to read part 3 of my Southeast Asia Backpacking Guide!
And one day in Hue, I was that odd backpacker exploring the abandoned Ho Thuy Tien waterpark.
After hopping on the back of a motorbike with some friends, we made our way to the general location of the waterpark… unsure if we were going to find it or not.
Google maps sent us in the approximate direction but it was up to us to seek out the place.
After about 20 minutes of motorbiking around, we ended up at a random church; supposedly nearby the abandoned waterpark.
Fed up with wandering around the place looking lost, we asked a few locals and they pointed us in the right direction.
Walking down a long and hot road, sweating our asses off, we finally got a peak of the waterpark.
From a good distance away, we spotted the top of the dragons head, the main attraction at the waterpark.
Getting closer and closer, the dragon became larger and larger. Smack dab in the middle of a sparkling manmade lake, it looks otherworldly.
And when you go inside, it’s even more impressive.
A once flourishing three-story aquarium, it now looks like a crashed spaceship; with empty, broken fish tanks and chunks of sparkling glass spewing across the floor, it’s quite a sight to behold.
While wandering by myself within the dragon, a creepy feeling crept over me; the sea animal statues with their broken off fins and the ominous stairway going up into nowhere gave the place a ghostly atmosphere.
Have you considered visiting Northern Thailand? I have the perfect 10-day itinerary! Click here to check out my 10-day Northern Thailand Guide!
And when visitors wander up those ominous stairs of the abandoned waterpark, they’re rewarded with a view of the surrounding areas from the mouth of the towering dragon.
After thoroughly exploring the vast belly of the dragon, we wandered down to the second part of the waterpark where the rusting slides and algae-filled pool were.
Riddled with dried up palm tree leaves, molding waterpark play structures, and murky green waters, one would question if they were still in the middle of a Vietnamese city.
Have you read my super awesome guide on the must-know Vietnam tips? Click here to check out my top 16 tips to know when traveling Vietnam!
And even more fascinating?
The former inhabitants of the abandoned waterpark have been moved to a wildlife refuge. Up until recently, the waterpark was home to three crocodiles who found solace in the dark, algae-filled waters.
So while the abandoned waterpark was never finished and nature has taken over, it’s still a fascinating sight to explore. It fills your head with imagination and makes you wonder what could have been.
Tell me, have you ever been here? Or any other awesome abandoned place? Let me know in the comments!
UPDATE 2020: Sadly, after years of allowing exploration amongst this captivating park, the city officials of Hue have decided to close this place to the public for good. Visitors can no longer wander through here due to questionable safety (which you can clearly see in the photos below!).
However… if you REALLY want to visit, find out how to get into the abandoned water park here! There’s a trick to getting in and these people have discovered it.