Exploring the abandoned waterpark in Hue sneaks in as one of the highlights of my motorbike trip across Vietnam, though it’d be more accurate to give it a place as a highlight from all my travels. Maybe it was the company of talented and creative friends, or maybe it was the thrill of sneaking in to explore somewhere off-limits, but there was something magical about this day in Hue. I actually loved it so much that I returned with my sisters on their trip to Vietnam. This guide shares all the details for how to find the abandoned waterpark in Hue.
What is the abandoned waterpark?
The abandoned waterpark in Hue is exactly what it says on the tin. Built in 2004 for a sum of $3 million, this waterpark on the outskirts of Hue was an unfortunate flop. Apparently, funds ran out and the park opened its doors before it was even completed. Undoubtedly this played a part in its underwhelming success, with the park shutting up for good only a few years later. The site has never been demolished and instead left to be reclaimed by nature.
Exploring the Abandoned Waterpark
It’s rare that you visit somewhere that has been deserted like the abandoned water park in Hue which makes it such a unique travel experience. There are three main parts to the waterpark; an arena, the slides and the dragon aquarium, which you can walk between each part on well-trodden paths.
The first part of the park that we arrived at after getting into the waterpark was an abandoned arena. Once used for performances, all that’s left now are a smattering of seats. The slides are one of my favourite parts, where you can see nature reclaiming the site. In the decade they’ve been abandoned the slides have become plastered in graffiti, while palms have taken over the pool and lazy river.
The iconic pinnacle of the abandoned waterpark is certainly the dragon aquarium found in the middle of Thuy Tien Lake. Once home to exotic fish, sharks and crocodiles, it’s now just empty enclosures with smashed glass and walls covered in graffiti. Apparently, the crocodiles were left to live “wild” in the lake when the site was abandoned, but thankfully they’ve all since been re-homed so there shouldn’t be any croc sightings here. Climb up into the head of the dragon for a view over the whole park.
How to find the abandoned waterpark in Hue
When I first visited, the waterpark was very much still off-limits. However, from my more recent trip, it’s clear that some infrastructure is being created to meet the growing number of people visiting the site. There is now a parking area for motorbikes, complete with security guards to watch your bike. There is also now a set fee of 50k per person to enter the site. This means that there is no longer an issue with having to sneak past security guards, though admittedly this was half the fun on my first trip to was waterpark.
There are two entrances to the waterpark. The original and main entrance is where google maps take you when you search for “Thuy Tien Lake”, but this is not the entrance you should go-to to gain access to the waterpark (on my first visit it was strictly guarded and bribes didn’t work to gain us access). The entrance you want to head to is marked on this map.
At more than 8km outside of Hue city, you will need a form to transport to find the abandoned waterpark. I recommend motorbiking, but you could also cycle.
A 1-day motorbike rental should cost no more than 150k ($6.40). On my last trip, we rented a motorbike for me to drive one sister, and a motorbike and driver to take my other sister around from Hue To Go Tours. I highly recommend them – super simple and easy to rent from, decent motorbikes and the guides were fantastic (we also did the Hai Van Pass with them the following day). Hue motorbike rental also looks like a great option, with automatic motorbikes for 120k a day, and they will deliver the bike to your accommodation*.
You could also bicycle to the abandoned waterpark, though I wouldn’t recommend it during the summer months as the temperatures in Hue soar into the high 30s (I’ve only visited Hue in the summer and it’s exceeded 37°C on both trips). Hue Smile Travel have bicycle rentals starting from 90k a day, with delivery to your accommodation*.
The lowdown on visiting the waterpark
🛵 120 – 150k
📍 Follow the map above to find the entrance to the waterpark
💰 50k per person + smalls for parking