Dam Sen park is just a few blocks down the street from me here in District 11. I had no idea what to expect although I assumed it would be very dirty and run down (apparently I'm not very optimistic). I also thought it was just a water park but turns out there is an amusement park and water park - separate but basically in the same park. So, me and a friend here, Ben, walked over to meet some of his friends one Saturday. It was a hot sunny day, as always, so seemed like a good day for a water park. When we got there we initially paid for tickets to the amusement park and met his friends in their. The amusement park was surprisingly nice and scenic. There's a giant lake in the middle, it's rather quiet, there was hardly anyone there (it was midday, the sun scares off Vietnamese people). We easily jumped on rides without any lines. I actually wasn't even sure if some rides were in service until we approached them and an employee came over to turn it on for us. Even though the park was very nice, the rides were still as Vietnamese as I expected - a little rickety, somewhat unsafe feeling, extra scary.
We went on a few rides including a violent round of bumper carts in which I broke my sunglasses, and then headed to get some food. Even though I'm in Vietnam I half expected the food to be normal amusement park food - cheese fries, hot dogs, pizza, chicken fingers. Of course this was not the case. We had chicken, rice, pho and bun bo hue - two types of noodle soup. I did see some Vietnamese fast food - fish and pork balls on sticks, hot dogs on a stick (tempting but I didn't trust them to be like American hot dogs), and even french fries. I obviously couldn't let a day go by without rice so we opted for the classier food. We hit a few more scary rides after lunch. A small roller coaster where the cart itself spun around as it went around a track made me feel like I was going to fly off. We also did a log flume ride where you floated around bends and up a steep track to get to the top of the ride for what felt like an hour. Then, quickly the log shot down a drop and ended with a huge splash, lunging us forward in the raft. The employees strategically made Ben sit in front since he's the biggest and when we landed we (2 of us girls) ended up squished against his back.
Later we hit the infamous water park. It was also much, much nicer than I expected but with that Vietnamese twang. That is, the rides are kind of violent. In the US, this would be law-suit city. Water slides whip you around and shoot you quickly into a small pool of water and a zip line whips you onto your back and into the water. The worst one is the "Space bowl" or as I call it, the "Toilet bowl". It's literally a tube slide with a straight shot to this big basin that you get shot into at full speed, and then you circle the basin (like circling a drain) a few times and then get dropped onto a cushioned pad that's under about 6 inches of water. When you get into the basin, however, I think there may have been an engineering flaw here because you get thrown into the side of the wall quite forcefully. And then there is the Boomerang - see picture below, it was also a bit terrifying.
The last slide I want to comment on is called "Black Thunder". Sounds normal enough, and it is, but the description on the website translated into English is hilarious: "Exactly as its name, the dark inside of the hole combined with laser special effects will give you the extreme excitement as your feelings change continuously and suddenly."
|The yellow and blue thing on the left is the Toilet bowl|
|The amusement park on the lake.|
|The Boomerang! So scary.|
|The indoor part of the amusement park.|
|It's open, I swear.|
|It looks dead, kind of nice!|
|Bumper boats! The staff was on a lunch break so we couldn't go on ...|
|These kids were very excited to help us out and take a picture with this happy birthday sign.|
|The hype squad.|
|Normal amusement park site.|
|Ben and I.|
|Walking around the ghost-town of a park.|
|There was so few people here it was nuts.|
|The children's pool at the water park.|
|Time to go get Mexican food ...|
|Scary looking play.|