An abandoned Water Park is hidden in the ancient Imperial city of Hue in Vietnam. Let’s explore how this park went from “the region’s go-to attraction”, to a scattered collection of graffiti-covered walls, overgrown slides, and brown pools falling into decay.

About the park.

In 2004 the “Ho Thuy Tien waterpark” was built and funded by the state-owned Hue Capital Tourism Company. The company spend 70 billion VND ($3 million USD) and rushed to open the park before construction was fully finished. When the park opened it had 3 slides, a lazy river, kids play structure, and a wavepool. Besides the waterpark, there were also gardens a small amphitheater, animal exhibitions, a cultural village, food courts, gaming areas, and some guest accommodations. The key feature is a three-story tall Dragon Sculpture with a small Aquarium with some sharks, manta rays, and crocodiles. The dragon Statue has given the park the nickname: Dragon Water Park (Not to be confused with a new water park project called Dragon Water Park in Malaysia.).

Why the park closed.

Within a few years of opening, the park closed. More than 15 years later, it is clear to see why the park was unsuccessful. The capacity is extremely low. The lazy river hardly has the width for 1 person to walk, let alone for a family to enjoy together. The wavepool is tiny and the area is devoid of theming or shade. The layout is strange and the scattered offering wasn’t fully built and operational when the park opened. The area is very large and gets hot to walk around the very few attractions that were built. In 2004 the total population in Hue was only around 267.000. All of these factors resulted in a below expectation revenue and low financial turnover and the decision to close the park within a few years after opening. There are also rumors that the park was closed within months of opening and that visitation was low due to it being cursed from nearby burial grounds.

New plans and current situation.

In 2013 (due to pressure from banks and investors), ownership was transferred to a company called HACO. They had a dream to restructure and revive the area for eco-tourism, including restaurants, spas, accommodation, arts, a convention center, and a space for outdoor events. These plans also failed, resulting in an unfinished and abandoned water park. The abandoned water park became a site for visiting backpackers and in 2018, the U.S. news site Huffington Post listed Thuy Tien Park among the 10 most creepy destinations. The crocodiles housed in the park, years after the abandonment, were relocated by the Vietnamese government after pressure from PETA and WWF in 2015.

In 2018 the park was officially closed for safety reasons by the government, years after it was already abandoned. There are many blog posts outlining the process of visiting the abandoned water park in Hue, Vietnam. We won’t elaborate any further since it is officially closed and a safety hazard.

Takeaways:

  • Choose the right type of attractions for your visitor demographic
  • Design your Water Park to the right size for your expected visitation (design day).
  • Don’t open a Water Park before it’s ready to receive guests. First opinions are vital!

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