A day in a Vietnam Theme Park
Experience a different kind of theme park, visit Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Ho Chi Minh.
This park is located in District 9 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This place can be reach by bus, taxi, or by private vehicle. We opted to go there from our hotel in District 1 via GRAB car, on the return trip we took the bus.
Some say Suoi Tien is the Disneyland of HCMC but you won’t find any princesses or Mickey Mouse here, instead, you will see statues of Buddha and Buddhist deities, zodiac sign statues, dragons, tigers, unicorn palace with its 18 gates of hell, trains, snow world, crocodiles, and . . . . wait for it . . . . A Harry Potter inspired attraction. Lol. Really!
Anyhow, now that I am writing this post, seeing Harry Potter stuff inside the park is not totally weird considering that there is a crocodile-feeding section and thrilling rides in this buddhist-inspired theme park. Suoi Tien is a hodgepodge, a mix of this and that, kind of entertainment place.
If you are bringing kids, this park has a section for children rides and games.
Titus and I entered their “Mystery of Ancient Treasures” ride or the Động Châu Báu just for the fun of it, lol. We paid additional 25K VND each person since we did not avail the combo pass ticket. It was a short boat ride along a dark passageway with tableaus of ancient Egypt, Mayan, a ‘jewels and treasure’ hall, etc.
There were also ‘scary things’ that drop-off you like winged creatures and figures that hovers on the wall with weapons poised to hit passersby. Imagine a horror house, only that it is not scary because you expected the surprises. We just laughed all throughout the ride. Lol.
Is this ride worth the entrance fee? Hmmm not really for adults like us haha but small kids may dig it. 😊
By the way, this park is divided into two, the Water Park and the Amusement Park.
Last Sunday, we choose to visit the amusement park section only and paid the entrance fee of 120,000 VND per adult, it’s 60,000 VND for kids. The ticket just covered the gate fee and access to the Amusement park, special attractions not included with the entrance fee.
120,000 VND is about PHP 274.
120,000 VND is about USD 5.20.
There are also available “COMBO Ticket” which allows the holder access to 15 games/attractions, just inquire at the ticketing booth if you are interested.
You can buy the separate entrance tickets for the Water Park once you are inside Suoi Tien.
You may also check this site for the list of attractions and entrance fee updated for 2018.
Opening time of Suoi Tien Park is at 8 AM and closing time is 5:30 PM.
Note: Foreign exchange rate VND to PHP, VND to USD are the prevailing forex rate when this post was first published, August 11, 2018.
What is weather like in Ho Chi Minh City?
It was hot when we got to Suoi Tien, then it drizzled, then back to hot again, then rain, then hot. When we left the park and was onboard the city bus, weather turn for worse, we thought there was a surprised typhoon with the heavy rain, strong winds, and flooded roads, lol.
Because of the on and off rain, the “Sea God and Mountain God” live cultural presentation in front of the Turtle area was cancelled. Too bad, it might have been interesting.
This is Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Vietnam!
This park is frequented by locals, we only noticed very few foreigners like us exploring the place.
A good thing about Suoi Tien is the abundance of restaurants scattered all over the park. I had a rice with bbq pork chop meal and 7 UP drinks, all for 49,000 VND or about 112 pesos / USD 2.10.
You can also bring your own food and set-up picnic-style in designated places.
This park is HUGE. There were sections we were not able to visit like the Crocodile and Fishing area. But my cousins with their daughter did. When we met-up again, Eiuhon was regaling us with stories of them feeding the crocodiles and about the park handlers cleaning inside the crocs enclosure with all the crocodiles surrounding them.
The Tree of Wishes
There is an area inside the park where you can find the 12 animal zodiac statues.
2018 is the Year of the Dog, hence the Mậu Tuất red arch is on the statue of the zodiac animal sign Dog.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT GOING TO and FROM SUOI TIEN
How far is Suoi Tien from District 1? Distance from Paradise Saigon Boutique Hotel to Suoi Tien Amusement Park is about 17 kilometers. For added reference, our hotel is about 700 meters from Ben Than market.
To go there, we took a Grab Car good for 7 pax since we were 5 in our group. We paid 559,000 VND for the Grab ride to Suoi Tien. Traveling time was only about 35 minutes via express way.
559,000 VND to PHP = 1,269.17 in Philippine Peso
559,000 VND to USD = 23.89 US Dollars
The Grab fee is cheaper if you will take the regular Grab car good for 4 persons.
On the return trip, we climbed the overpass to cross to the other side of the road. Once there, we boarded the District 1 bound bus No. 19 (blue city bus) and paid only 6,000 VND per person.
We requested the bus inspector to drop-us off in Ben Than area. Travel time from Suoi Tien to District 1 Ben Than bus station is about 1 hour and 15 minutes, following city roads and picking-up and dropping-off passengers along the way.
6,000 VND to PHP = P13.62
6,000 VND to USD = $0.26
The bus ride was hundred thousands dong cheaper versus commuting via Grab car or taxi, but it took a lot longer to get back to District 1 from Suoi Tien. *You really do pay for convenience and faster travel time.
Is there a bus that goes from District 1 to Suoi Tien theme park?
I am pretty sure that the answer is ‘yes’. When we arrived in the park, there are lots of different colored city buses dropping of passengers in the front of the park.
Plus, the day after our visit to Suoi Tien we went for a historical walking tour in Ho Chi Minh City center, and in the side of the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, a girl flagged-down a blue bus and boarded it; this bus has a signboard in front with label “Soui Tien”.
To be 100% sure if the bus you are about to board will go to Suoi Tien, SHOW the driver a picture of the theme park and ask if the bus will go there. Or use Google Translate and show the translated question to the bus inspector or driver.
In general, I notice that Vietnamese do not speak English, except those who works in hotels, restaurants, and sellers in touristy places. This is also the reason why we prefer taking a Grab car instead of taxi because with Grab, the drop-off location is already made known to the driver. You don’t have to speak except to say ‘Hi’ when you board and ‘Thank You’ at the ride’s end.
This is a day well spent discovering something new on our first trip to Vietnam.
Hope this post gives you one more idea of what to do while in Ho Chi Minh City. If you have an extra day, check-out their famous theme park, Suoi Tien!
This post is part of the Penfires Vietnam Series. Please check out the other blogs from Ho Chi Minh. Thank you!