The Theme Park Where You Can Tour Hell and Fish For Crocodiles

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 16 2014 2:58 PM

The Wonders and Horrors of Suoi Tien Buddhist Theme Park

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

You would think that a theme park attraction called the Palace of Unicorns would be a charming fantasy world. You'd be wrong. Located within Suoi Tien Cultural Theme Park in Ho Chi Minh City, the Palace of Unicorns is a graphic depiction of Buddhist hell. But the sight of torture and violence being inflicted on drug addicts, gamblers, and adulterers is just one small part of Suoi Tien's diverse and colorful offerings.

Located next to a garbage dump, the amusement park, which opened in 1995, is full of huge sculpted dragons, tortoises, phoenixes, and Buddhas. Employees dressed as golden monkeys scamper around the grounds, tasked with creating mischief.

Advertisement

The aquatic attractions are among the most striking. You can get your feet exfoliated by sticking them in a little pond where shoals of eager fish will nibble at your dead skin. Then there's Crocodile Farm, a much bigger pond where hundreds of the tightly packed reptiles climb over one another. Join in the croc-taunting fun by grabbing one of the bamboo fishing poles with raw meat attached to the end. If you'd rather not get that close, you could always ride the "mid-air bicycle" on a wire strung above the Crocodile Farm.

Once you've toured the technicolor monuments, swung in one of the hammocks, and paddled around a lake in a turtle-shaped boat, finish your day with a few trips down Suoi Tien's water slides—several of which emerge from the beards of sculpted Buddhist sages.


View Suoi Tien Amusement Park in a larger map

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 22 2014 3:33 PM Killing With Kindness My in-laws want to throw me a get-well-from-cancer bash. There’s no way I can go.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 3:16 PM Watch the Best Part of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.