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

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 11:36 AM Breaking Up Countries Is Still Hard to Do
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 19 2014 12:08 PM The CIA Used to Have a Commute-By-Canoe Club. One Member's Memories
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 12:10 PM Watch the Trailer for Big Eyes, a Tim Burton Movie About People With Normal-Sized Eyes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 11:40 AM Apple Invented the Perfect Way to Handle Your Giant New Phone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  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.