Ask any Vietnamese outside of Nha Trang what they know of the city and they will enthusiastically declare “Vinpearl Land!” Located on Hon Tre (Bamboo Island), Vinpearl Land Nha Trang is the Disneyland of Vietnam and to add to the excitement, you get there via the world’s longest oversea cable car (3,320 metres), included in the 600,000 VND general admission.
Located in Nha Trang Bay, this 200,000 square metre amusement park is renowned throughout Vietnam and crowds swell with domestic tourists, especially during the school holiday months of July and August. This is whom the park caters to, so don’t expect a dazzling Disney-calibre experience (though funnily enough, Disney music plays throughout).
Some attractions are better than others — we passed on the trained monkey show and tacky shopping street — but at least there’s something for everyone. Rides are of the up and down or round and round variety and probably won’t blow your mind, yet it’s fun to watch locals be delighted. There’s a 3D cinema, games arcade and performances such as breakdancing troupes. By Vietnam standards, the whole park is quite well run and it’s a rubbish-free place to turn off your mind and stretch your legs without having to worry about being hit by a motorbike.
It’s not a bad idea to get there early. The sweet, cheap way to get there is by the white and blue #4 bus (Hon Xen – Vinpearl) south bound. It is air-conditioned and costs only 7,000 VND per ride. Catch the bus along Nguyen Thien Thuat in the tourist centre – there’s a stop at 48D Nguyen Thien Thuat, right across from the Vietnam Airlines booking office. Bus runs every 15 minutes from 05:35 to 19:00. Take it to the end of the line.
Queue for the cable car — sometimes visitors have to wait as long as an hour — and get whisked 60 metres above the sea, a 12-minute journey (note: if you look to the nine pillars lit up at night, you’ll notice they are mini Eiffel Towers).
The aquarium will please those who like interesting underwater creatures and reptiles. There are impressively sized tanks with turtles, colourful tropical fish, moray eels and rays. A moving walkway winds its way through a tunnel so you can watch enormous fish swim overhead.
The highlight for many is the 50,000 square metre waterpark. The slides, a lazy river, wave pool and kids splash pad are a great way to cool down in scorching Nha Trang heat. The waterpark is included in the admission. Lockers and change rooms are available. There’s a small but lovely beach of clean white sand and sparkling waters with a view to the city skyline. Watercraft like jet-skis, parasailing and new-fangled water hoverboards can be rented.
Before the park was built, beautiful Bai Tru beach was once open to the public, but it is now behemoth Vinpearl Nha Trang Resort’s private beachfront. Access to non-guests is pricey. It costs 1,100,000 VND per person, including speedboat transfers from/to the mainland, buffet lunch and use of the beach and swimming pool.
Bringing food into the park is prohibited and they do check your bags. Western food is limited to fast-food type restaurant Lotteria, and Vietnamese food is of the rice plus meat and veg variety. Snack stands sell cold drinks, ice cream, beer and fruit. Prices are reasonable and there’s some great oceanfront dining terraces. Overall, Vinpearl Land Nha Trang won’t knock your socks off but you get what you pay for: a fun day full of amusement.
By Cindy Fan.
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