Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

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Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City

As we’ve mentioned before, we love Ho Chi Minh City. If you happen to be in southern Vietnam with kids, we’d suggest jumping on a bus to the outskirts of town for a visit to Suoi Tein Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City. We were given the impression that it was some sort of Buddhist answer to Disneyland, but “with Vietnamese characteristics,” whatever that means.

The reviews of this theme park are mixed, but generally favorable for the place. Thus, we decided to see the place for ourselves. It was as bizarre as I expected. No, more so, because we went a week before the water park opened. The place was damn near deserted, making the broad paths and colorful attractions even more surreal.

Suoi Tein entrance — Vietnam with Kids: An Epic Education

Temple? No. Amusement Park!

It took us a while to get from one end of the park to the other. For one, the place is huge, but despite the paths being devoid of people, I couldn’t help but stop and snap picture after picture of the surroundings. Keep in mind that this is not a place or worship, really, but an amusement park. What looks like a temple here or a religious icon there would turn out to be the entrance to a restaurant or water ride.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Water Park

Unfortunately, the water park hadn’t opened for the season — another week, they said. All the water rides were still closed, so despite the sweltering heat, we couldn’t cool down in the pools and slides. Wish we had checked the schedule. Here’s the closest to the water park entrance we could go.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Huge Empty Park

The sun was like a microwave, but fortunately they offered a lot of covered pathways and restaurants. Being so empty (we saw only handful visitors), the park looked like a ghost town. I had read that this place is packed with kids when the water park is open. That made the emptiness that much more bizarre. We saw so many restaurants, rides and seating areas everywhere. It felt like looking at an empty football stadium. This is one of many banquet-hall-sized food courts.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Fun for little ones

There were huge covered playgrounds as well — the kind with padded floors and smooth plastic jungle-gym equipment devoid of sharp edges. Families with little kids could spend a day in these.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Fun for older kids

Mine wanted something a little more dangerous, so we went for a round of laser-tag. The unventilated, slightly-air-conditioned room added to the drama. After this sweltering event, we trotted over to the roller coaster.

Unfortunately, being there off season, they only run it with four people or more. Keiko doesn’t “do” coasters, as they make her wretch. We waited around for someone — anyone — to get in line, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we headed down to the race cars for a few rounds on the track.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family TravelRace cars for 8 y/o?

No eight-year-old would be allowed to drive these cars in the US or Japan, but we’re not in the US or Japan, are we? Granted, our girl is the size of a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl.

In retrospect, it appears that perhaps she shouldn’t have driven. It was too much power for her, and she spent most of the time spun out or jammed against the track wall.

Full of bizarre elements

There are so many little details in this place that it’s hard to describe them all. There was the alligator farm, the laughably knocked-off Harry Potter House, and a white dollhouse-like structure known as the “Snow House” — yes, a house with actual manufactured snowfall.

We didn’t go in any of these because of the obvious depressing nature of seeing a bunch of caged animals fight for scraps of meat. It’s also because of the price — each ride and venue charges separately. There were, however, plenty of other details everywhere we went.

Gigantic statues and decorative features along walls and fences seemed to honor a Vietnamese myth or fairy tale that we were not privy to. There were anthropomorphic fruit kings, massive toads with coins in their mouths, and teams of bats and deer pulling ropes to an unknown location. Then there were elephants, with their jaws open as entrances, or with tusks protruding from their mouths as their disembodied heads sat atop the backs of frustrated tigers.

It was all quite strange — the good kind of strange, like a David Lynch movie, where you want the origins left unknown because the mystery of it all is more fascinating than any explanation.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

Pay per ride

There is a basic entrance fee, and then, as mentioned previously, you pay for rides and attractions as you go. There is combo ticket available according to their website, but there was zero English signage at the ticket counter. Also, we just weren’t sure we’d need all that.

Even with the water park closed, we hung out for around three or four hours, barely covering the entire grounds, then headed back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Easy access

You can take buses 19, 50, 52, 53 or 150 to the park from downtown. We found ours at the bus station near Ben Thanh Market. For the the return bus, you have to walk out of the park and then take a pedestrian walkway over the highway, so allow yourself an additional 5-10 minutes more to get to the bus station.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam Family Travel

We didn’t make it to Dam Sen, the other major water park in town. We wish we could have been to both just for the comparison. If you’re in Vietnam with kids, especially if you have a soft spot for the odd, then you will enjoy Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh City.

Interested in Vietnam Family Travel?

Check out our other posts to learn more about traveling Vietnam with kids!

Have you been to any theme park in Vietnam? How did you like it?

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Comments

  1. What a fun blog–and I love your “About” page. You are a talented writer 🙂 Thanks for the pingback on our HCMC post, and I hope you found it, and others helpful when you visited Vietnam!!

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