Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue is a must-see when you explore the area, but entering it can be hard. Discover the 3 ways to explore it in 2021!
Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue and is no more than 2 kilometers away from some of the city’s most popular attractions. Build by the Hue Tourism Company, the now-abandoned water park opened back in 2004 and closed less than two years later. And the reasons for the closure are somewhat mysterious.
I first heard of Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue two years before I visited it myself. One day, drone footage of the place ended up on my Facebook feed and I added it to my list of places I would love to see with my own eyes. Back then I did not really know anything about the park or even where it was, but it seemed like a cool location.
In a way, the already Abandoned Ho Thuy Tien Water Park officially closed in 2018 when access to the property became restricted as the current owners were afraid of lawsuits if someone was to injure themselves while on the property. Or at least that is the word of mouth about the situation. Like with everything concerning this water park, no one really knows, what is a fact is and what is fiction. And I guess the mystery is just part of Ho Thuy Tien’s charm.
And while it has become a lot harder to visit it over the last few years and security guards roam the perimeter of the Abandoned Water Park in Hue, a trip there is more than worth it.
After all, going there feels like the ultimate urban exploration adventure in Vietnam. The graffiti-covered structures, the murky water, and the shattered aquariums inside of the dragon are a special setting that even seasoned travelers do not encounter every day.
You do not have to climb any fences and there are no ‘no trespassing’ signs, so I would say that visiting the Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park is somewhere in a grey zone. In the end, it would be possible to just stumble upon the place while walking through the forest in the area and as you walk there is no indication at all that it is private property.
Why did Thuy Tien Water Park close?
No one really knows why the Abandoned Water Park in Hue closed, but there are several rumors. The circumstances are all very mysterious, which only adds to the mystical atmosphere of the park.
How to get to the Abandoned Water Park in Hue?
The Abandoned Water Park in Hue is only 2 km away from the city center, so a visit here should definitely be on your list of things to do in Hue.
Some might tell you that the location of the Abandoned Water Park in Hue is a secret that is only shared on napkins in some bars. These days are long gone. And while the napkin story might sound like a great adventure you could tell your friends, you can easily find the location on Google Maps or Maps Me if you search the name the name of the water park.
Therefore, the easiest way to get to Ho Thuy Tien Water Park is to just drive there yourself or to get a Grab ride there.
Depending on where you park your scooter while you explore the water park, you might have to pay a parking fee. Especially if you park your scooter close to the old main entrance.
And if you want your story to include the famous napkin, you could always draw a map of the Abandoned Water Park on one. Feel free to use the map down below as a template for your napkin art. Just do me a favor and share a photo of your masterpiece with the rest of the world.
How to enter Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in 2021?
These days there are three different ways to enter it. You might have to try all of them before you are successful.
The easiest and best entrance to Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park is close to the Nano Eco Hotel. Alternatively you can walk around the guarded official entrance by walking along that diverges the road approximately 200 m before the entrance. As a third option you can try the old route of dropping around 20K VND.
The first two ways described below are the best options, so always attempt these two first. The third alternative is the old one that worked prior to November 2019. However I only recommend attempting this one after you were unsuccessful when you tried to enter the Abandoned Water Park in Hue via the first two option.
If someone does not want to let you enter or wants to escort you to the nearest exist, you can always try to convince them to let you stay. say that you won’t climb the dragon. Some people thought it was a good idea the climb onto its head and the photos of their stunts are likely the reason why access to this abandoned water park is now restricted. Do not argue if they say you have to leave regardless of your promise. It is up to the guards to let you stay or to make you leave, so please accept their decision.
Entrance Options No. 1 & 2
Enter at the Barrier at the Nano Eco Hostel
The easiest way to enter Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue is via the northern part of the property. There is a barrier at Nano Eco Hostel and while it is sometimes guarded, the guard often does leave the position to patrol the dragon area before returning to his post. So just wait until the guard is gone and then quickly go down the right path.
Take the long way round
This option to enter the Abandoned Water Park in Hue includes the longest walk but is the one that is supposedly the easiest one as the entry point itself is not guarded. Instead of heading towards the old entrance, you take a left towards the Thien An Monastery. Keep following the road until you reach a bigger building with a red roof. Go to the right and keep following the road.
Old Way to Enter the Abandoned Waterpark in Hue
The old way to enter Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue was close to the main entrance. And it essentially included dropping some money to the ground so the guard guarding the main entrance would allow you to walk down a path approximately 100 m before the entrance.
Hereby the standard rate was 20K, but there are some reports that people had to pay 50K. Those that managed to enter the park via this route after November 2019 still report the same amounts.
It looks like how much guards that do let you enter the property ask varies from day to day, so do not be surprised.
Some days it is still possible to enter the park this way, but since November 2019 the access via this route has become more restricted. Therefore, it is best to try the other two access paths first as using this one as your first option just alerts the guards of your presence. These days it is up to luck if you get in or not, so it is best not to make it harder than it has to be.
If you end up entering the Abandoned Water Park of Hue this way, it is recommended to park your scooter at the granny parking. You do have to pay a small fee to park your bike there, but it is better than a stolen bike or someone calling the police on you because you parked at the side of the street.
You enter the park by walking down a dirt path that is to approximately 150 meters before the main gate and on the left side. You have to walk for around six to seven minutes before you spot the dragon. Just keep walking until you reach it and then continue onwards to explore the other parts of the park first.
The dragon is the area that is now frequently patrolled. And while the guards will only blow their whistle and escort you back to the main gate, you would have to leave the park and would miss out on the rest the water park has to offer.
Are there Crocodiles in Hue’s Abandoned Water Park?
No, there are no crocodiles in the lake and pools of Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park.
However, there is an urban legend that there used to be crocodiles in the Abandoned Water Park. I did not see any and up to this point, no one actually has. Then again there are some reports, that PETA allegedly removed them some time ago after the animals had somehow been released from the tanks inside the dragon buildings. Ultimately there is not a single picture that proves that there were ever crocodiles in the water park, but if you see the lake and the environment, you can easily imagine that it would be a great home for the reptiles.
I would still recommend staying away from the water’s edge as it does not look like getting in contact with the water would be a good idea. And if miraculously end up seeing a crocodile while there, I can only ask you to please send me a photo of it, because I would love to see it.
Why should you visit the Abandoned Water Park?
The way I see it, it is the coolest place to explore in Hue. While the Imperial Palace and the Royal Thombs in Hue have a rich history, this earie places allows you to see what happens when human leave a place. To a certain degree, it even resembles a less disastrous version of Pripyat in the Ukraine.
If you have already been in Asia for a while, you will have likely seen a large number of temples and the likes. And while exploring them is really interesting, it is great to mix up your Vietnam itinerary by doing some urban exploring. It is a nice change of scenery for a few hours and just creates this stark contrast between the old and the new of Vietnam.
If you want to do some urban exploring while in Vietnam, the Abandoned Water Park on Hue is the place to go. And the fact that it has gotten harder to visit this somewhat hidden gem of Vietnam, has only adds a certain thrill.
The water park has changed ownership a lot since it closed its doors and new plans for the property are being made all the time, so there is a chance that it will eventually reopen in some form and therefore sadly lose the feeling of adventure. Therefore you should visit it as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss out on this great place full of disrepair and decay. After all, that is what makes it so special.
Things to See in Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park in Hue
The three most popular locations of the Abandoned Water Park in Hue are the Dragon, the slides with the children’s play area, and the amphitheater. However, there are also other smaller attractions such as painted cement car, located close to the dragon building, and the abandoned villas and huts.
As you explore the nearly 50 hectares large property, you will notice that some parts of Ho Thuy Tien were abandoned mid-construction, while the work on other parts of the park of the park continued for a while. The huts are a perfect example of this as some of them never had a roof.
Be careful if you do decide to climb the stairs of any structures. No one checks how stable the buildings are, so please be aware of the risk. And do not try to climb places you would not be allowed to climb if the water park was still open.
Slides + Children’s Area
The slides and the children’s area with a smaller slide are connected and form one island in the jungle. It has been reclaimed by the jungle flora and the pools are algae-filled. And while water no longer looks like you should swim in it, the water is great, because it is very reflective thanks to its very dark color. It really makes you see the beautiful side of the water parks state of disrepair.
If you want to attempt climbing one of the slider you should opt for the blue one in the middle. It is the only one that is still completely stable while the other two start shacking when you climb over them.
The amphitheater of Ho Thuy Tien water park once had 2500 yellow and blue seats. Nowadays some of them are gone, but if you are there you can still imagine what a show here used to be like. Facing the Thuy Tien lake, the stage used to have a great backdrop with palm trees.
The 3-stories high dragon was and is the main attraction of the Abandoned Water Park in Hue. With its design it is stunning and provides a great view from every angle.
The center of the building used to house an aquarium room where visitors could see tropical fish and allegedly the crocodiles. At this point the aquarium room on the inside of the dragon is nothing but a room with shattered fish tank glass on the floor. Everything that used to be interesting about it has sadly been removed or destroyed.
Inside the Dragon
Walk up the winding staircase to enter the dragon’s head and to reach its mouth. It is possible to enter the mouth which gives you a great view over the lake by climbing over a 40 cm high wall. A lot of people do it. However, we are talking about a decaying structure so you should at least consider this fact before you walk to the very edge of the mouth. After all, you can enjoy the same view if you stay just a little bit further in the back of the mouth.
More Photos of Ho Thuy Tien Abandoned Water Park
The entire area is a wonderful playground for photographers as there is a certain beauty in the decay of Thuy Tien. Seeing nature reclaim an area like this is not something you see every day, so be sure to plan a slightly longer stay if you want to capture as much of Hue’s Abandoned Water Park as possible.
Planning a Trip to Vietnam? Also read these Guides:
Other Things to Do in Hue
Overview: Traveling in Vietnam
Backpacker Budget in Vietnam – Spending Diary
Ultimate 14 Days Vietnam Itinerary
2 Days in Ninh Binh
Cruising Ha Long Bay on a Budget