Jan 24 2012
Nha Trang is my favourite place in Vietnam that isn’t Saigon. Hanging out on the beach or relaxing in a mud bath at bargain prices suits me. But more than just relaxing, Nha Trang is a fun place too. One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive in Nha Trang is an island, not too far off the beach, with Hollywood style letters spelling out: Vinpearl. This is Vinpearl Land, an island resort and amusement and water park that is definitely worth a visit.
From downtown Nha Trang, take a 15-minute taxi ride to the Vinpearl Land ticket booth. Here you buy your ticket, 400,000 VND for adults and 300,000 VND for children between 1 and 1.4 metres tall, for all-day all-inclusive fun. The fun starts immediately with a ride on a cable car. This is quite a ride, apparently the world’s longest over sea cable car, spanning more than 3,000 metres of beautiful views of the city and the waters below. The ride has you at heights of around 60 metres, so the view is quite good but maybe a tad squeamish if you have a fear of heights. It takes about 10 minutes, which seems to take longer, but from the precarious perch we probably wouldn’t want to rush anything.
Once you’re safely on the island, there are plenty of activities to choose from. If it’s hot, and you want to get wet, head to their water park. Similar to the Dam Sen water park in Saigon,it’s full of slides that have you travelling at break-neck speed. Some things are a little steeper and a little faster; if you’re into that, you’ll have a blast.
Although the slides are, in my opinion at least, better here they do have one major problem: the stairs leading up to them will kill your feet if you plan on going barefoot because they’re made from a sharp metal grating. I had never worn sandals inside a water park before but here they are a necessity; you can rent a pair and a towel from their locker room. For the kids, and those of us who don’t have thrill issues, there is a wave pool and a play area as well as a nicely manicured stretch of private beach that faces the city.
Once you’re done with the slides, head around the corner to Vietnam’s largest aquarium. Inside this two-storey building you’ll see some of the aquatic species that call Asia home, arranged by climate zone. Although the tanks upstairs have some pretty cool sea life inside, the highlight of the aquarium has to be the underwater tunnel on the bottom floor. Here, you hop on a conveyor belt and are taken for a journey through a very large underwater world. This area houses some very large animals and also hosts occasional shows featuring… mermaids.
On the top half of Vinpearl Land there is also an amusement park, featuring eight rides ranging from a small roller coaster to Extreme Carousel, a ride that spins and flips you upside down, plus a free-play arcade. Inside you have unlimited play of every arcade game they have as well as bumper cars, a 4-D cinema, and a mechanical bull. Dozens of games in the arcade make it easy to imagine small children wanting to stay here for hours.
With so much to do, you can easily spend the entire day in Vinpearl Land. There’s enough diversity to keep everyone happy; you can play in the arcade all day, slide around the water park, hang out on the beach, or just watch the fish.
Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang
T: (05) 8359 8188
Mon-Thurs 08:00-21:00, Fri-Sun: 08:00-22:00
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