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Saigon Water Park, Ho Chi Minh City

4.0 stars


Dam Sen Water Park

Late one afternoon we decided to head out to Dam Sen Park, which is a bizarre little amusement park on the outskirts of the city. We hailed two bicycle taxis, which are the best way to reach the park, and agreed on a price to the park and back. The ride was long, and it gave us a chance to see many different aspects of the city and experience the incredible traffic, up close and (very) personal! The streets are lined with sidewalk cafes, and everything comes alive as night falls and the temperature cools. The park itself provides miles of tree-lined pathways along the edges of ponds and small lakes, as well as a few carnival rides and games, a small roller coaster, and several souvenir and snack shops. It seemed to be more of a place for locals than for tourists, but we enjoyed wandering around in the cool of the evening. If you are bored in Ho Chi Minh, as is quite likely, in my experience, then Dam Sem provides a good diversion. It also provides a good water park if you need to escape the heat. Be very wary of the bicycle taxis, however. They are notorious for agreeing one price with tourists, then offering to take you to several more destinations, and demanding 5 times the original price at the end of the journey. Either you must be very firm and stick to your planned route, or be prepared to pay extra. The best way is to get out of the cab before beginning to haggle over the final price. Expect to pay a little more than originally agreed upon; I always tell myself that these guys work hard for the money and deserve a little extra. But be firm as well. My travelling companion was once actually pushed by one of these drivers during an argument over the price. If this happens to you, be sure that you don’t reciprocate; hand them the money politely and walk away. I always ask them to drop me off at a distance from my hotel, so they don’t know exactly where I’m staying, and preferably in a well-lit area. It’s not an unsafe way to travel, and in general it’s an interesting and pleasant experience, but you do need to be on your toes! [more ]

Ho Chi Ming City Waterpark

We went to the water park, which is the coolest water park I have ever been to! It was empty so there was just a hand full of people in the water. They had loads of really amazing slides – one of them was a tunnel which was blacked out so you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, so you had no idea what turn was coming next, plus you aren’t allowed on the ride unless your in a double inflatable ring for 2 people. One person sits in the front ring, the other in the back. The slide is fairly steep too so we were both flying down the tunnel, in pitch black, which had loads of sudden corners. Then at the end of the ride there’s an open, almost vertical drop so you fly through mid air before you hit the water and almost drown! There was another slide where you had to lay on a mat face down, headfirst. My sister and I went on at the same time, as there were two slides next to each other. I stopped at the end but she just kept on going, and going, past the end of the slide. There were loads of people that she was heading straight for, they were all running and screaming trying to get out of the way in time. Finally in the middle of the passage way she stopped sending a blast of water over everyone. It was hilarious to watch, I only wish I had a camera! I would definitely recommend going, you will need to get a taxi or motorbike to take you there as its about 20 minutes from the city, but great for a fun day out! [more ]

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