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

Atlas Obscura
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June 16 2014 2:58 PM

The Wonders and Horrors of Suoi Tien Buddhist Theme Park

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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.

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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.


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