Theme parks are probably not the first thing that come to mind when you think of Vietnam but I have found that they make a great day out no matter where you are and it’s always a great way to find a unique perspective on a new country. Below I have compiled a list of the theme parks I managed to visit on my trip to Vietnam and I can safely say all three of them provided completely different and extremely fun experiences.
Vin Pearl Water Park – Vincom Mega Mall Royal City, Hanoi
Deep inside Vietnam’s largest underground shopping centre, you would be forgiven for thinking that this water park was an arcade or a movie theatre if you didn’t read the signs. We visited on a Sunday night and being that it was winter, the entry was half price and the place was pretty much empty. The water park included more than half a dozen big slides and whilst unfortunately for us the two scariest looking rides were closed for maintenance that day, all the other slides were still a whole lot of fun.
The water park also includes a lap pool, a kid’s play-gym equipped with sprinklers and a dunk bucket, a big wave pool and my personal favourite – a surf simulator! The wave pool and surf simulator were operated on a timetable rather than constantly running but the timetable was regular enough that we were able to go enjoy the slides and by the time we were done, they had turned them on.
If you are headed there in the off season you only need to allow a couple of hours to explore this park I would probably allow a little longer in the busier seasons though, especially if you are there during the Lunar new year. If you’re looking for something a little different in Hanoi, it is definitely worth giving this water park a visit.
Dai Nam Van Hien – Bình Dương Province, South Vietnam
Less than 2 hours from Ho Chi Minh city is the colossal Dai Nam Van Hien, an extraordinary sight to behold. The entrance itself is quite long and large, it seems as if it has been styled to look like China’s great wall. The park itself is so large, I recommend hiring a bike for getting around as it is broken up into four sections – a campground, the theme park, Dai Nam Beach and Dai Nam Zoo.
At the ticket booth, you have many options where tickets are concerned as each separate part has its own ticket and of course, there are discounts when buying tickets to two or more sections. The theme park itself is filled with an array of different rides and attractions for all ages. The amount of detail they have put into the park and it’s structures will have you walking around with a gaping jaw and it stands as something that needs to be seen to fully grasp just how amazing this massive park looks.
We visited on a humid 34 degree day in January and barely saw any other visitors in the rides and attractions area, the park was eerily empty which proved great when we didn’t have to line up for anything. Dai Nam beach had a few more people around but still was not crowded by any means, the pools were designed to look like an actual beach and it had the biggest wave pool I’ve ever seen. There was also a rock climbing wall hanging over the water so no ropes were needed and a range of other slides and climbing equipment.
As for Dai Nam zoo, let’s just say if you don’t visit, you’re not really missing anything. As a massive animal lover, I have always loved Australian zoos but Dai Nam really opened my eyes to just how lenient the laws can be in another country. I don’t want to go too much into it but let’s just say while I’m sure there are worse zoos with worse conditions, it was still shockingly depressing and has managed to turn me off all zoos for life. Apart from the disappointing zoo experience, the rest of the park is just wonderful and absolutely worth making the trip out for a whole day of fun and adventure.
Vin Pearl Land – Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang
On our first night in Nha Trang, we went on our balcony to check out the view and noticed some lit up towers in the middle of the ocean. They looked like little Eiffel Towers and we were instantly very curious as to what they were. The following day when the sun was out, we could see that these red and white towers seemed to stretch between the mainland and an island that had Vin Pearl written on it, much like the Hollywood sign in America. When I saw this sign, I knew that it was the theme park I had read about and was so excited to pay it a visit.
We decided to go after 5pm one afternoon and received half price entry as a result but I would actually recommend getting out there as early in the day as possible as there is just so much to do. The towers we could see was a cable car system, which you can take to the island as an alternative to catching the vin pearl ferry and the view from these gondolas was amazing.
You buy your tickets before getting on the gondola and there is a ticket booth at the cable car station. Our taxi driver originally took us to a shop on the side of the road which I assumed was his friends and they had tried to convince us there was no ticket booth there which thankfully we did not believe and managed to save ourselves from being ripped off.
The 5-star Vin Pearl resort is situated on the island along with the Vin Pearl amusement park which also boasts a water park and aquarium. We noticed straight away just how modern this theme park was compared to the others we had been to in Vietnam.
They had a fair few rides ranging from amusement park rides to carnival-style rides as well as an arcade with some very fun and unique games, there was even a mechanical bull. Built into the mountain was a massive toboggan track which we really wanted to try but as we were pressed for time and the line was so long, we decided to skip it. I can say though that the people coming off the ride did not look one bit disappointed.
Because of the time of day that we went, the water park was closed which was a shame as it seemed to be the best water park out of the three parks in this article. Unfortunately, the aquarium proved to be a similar experience to Dai Nam zoo so again I probably would not worry too much about seeing that. Walking around the park at night time, there is a lingering iridescence formed by all the beautiful lights and walking underneath the lanterns that are draped between some of the rooftops is simply magical.
An absolute must see is the light show at the end of the night, they use water and music to create an incredible display that will leave you wanting more. Of course, nothing beats the night time gondola ride back to the mainland in which you get a beautiful view of the lit-up city of Nha Trang which is even more beautiful when the Lunar new year decorations are up which was the case for us. If you find yourself in Nha Trang, you positively must visit Vin Pearl Land – you won’t be sorry!
– Kels xo.