You won't see the Ho Thuy Tien waterpark on a tourists' guide to Vietnam. You won't see it labeled on a map. And if you ask a local to show you the way, there's a good chance they'll have no idea what you're talking about.
It takes a motorbike and some SERIOUS guts to explore this abandoned waterpark-slash-aquarium outside the town of Hue. Here, live crocodiles have mingled among abandoned waterslides, half-full aquarium tanks and a massive dragon structure whose interior looks vaguely like the set of a horror film:
Little is known about the former waterpark. We contacted two accredited agencies that specialize in travel to Southeast Asia -- Hidden Treasure Tours in NYC and ICS Travel Group in San Francisco -- and neither had heard of the place. However, Nguyen Bao Ky, a Vietnamese tourism director for the town of Hue, confirmed the park is indeed located in the lake near Thien An Hill, a spot popular with tourists for its charming nature treks and tranquil monastery.
Because the abandoned waterpark is so cryptic, backpackers pass directions around on scrunched-up napkins, drop pins on Google Maps and show each other photos to get to the right place.
And once inside, it's "spooky as hell, but surreal," visitor Nassim Ait-Kaci told HuffPost. He's one of many backpackers we spoke with who found the park through word-of-mouth directions and explored its vast, eerie interior.
"You can ride your motorbike right up to the front gate, and inside," visitor Ryan McGrath said. "There's this thought of, 'Why is nobody around?'"
Most visitors report a totally empty park, with few locals either roaming around or selling drinks near the dragon. Backpacker Courtney Lambert wrote on her blog that the crocodiles have been removed in recent months. If the past is any indication, there's no question the park itself will remain dormant for long, long time. Take a look.
Mold-covered slides wind through the park's interior. "My adrenaline was flowing the whole time," traveler Ryan McGrath told HuffPost.
Visitors say some abandoned fish tanks are still full of water, though there's no life inside.
A massive dragon lies in the center of the park. Climb up his inner staircase...
...for an epic view of the forest below.
Get out there in 2016!
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