A lesser known among Saigon’s attractions, Suoi Tien Theme Park lies on the Hanoi highway as it exits the city through District 9. A fast growing district it is home to many schools and universities and will be on the Metro Line 1 that is currently being built. The park is very popular among local people, and though completely kitch, it’s a fun place to spend some time.
The park celebrates some of the country’s legendary figures. Heroes like Au Co and Lac Long Quan are honoured as well as the Mountain and River Gods, Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh and the famous battle that they fought. For the little ones there is a dinosaur garden and an artificial seawater swimming pool.
A man-made beach complete with a waterfall containing a stone figure of a former emperor. Everything is completely over the top, with a riotous use of colour. A huge colourful dragon, turtles and phoenixes contrast with more subtle images of Buddha and there is much lush greenery. The park is also home to a small zoo.
As well as the Tien Dong Beach, there are roller coasters, parades, a 4D movie theatre and an aquarium. Staff dress up as golden monkeys, to entertain the younger visitors with tricks and other performances. If you wish you can ride through the park on animal-shaped boats through the meandering waterways that are everywhere.
There is also a crocodile farm here that is home to over 1000 of these giants. Visitors can feed them raw meat from long poles. Somewhat bizarrely is the addition of the weirdly named Unicorn Palace. This is, in fact, a walk-through tunnel that contains really gory displays of the nine levels of Hell (according to Buddhism). These are things like depictions of people getting ripped to pieces by various animals, eaten and dumped into boiling vats.
It is quite a surreal place but does offer some fun and respite from the city centre.