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IT’S REAL! :: SuperVinpearlLand

March 25th, 2011 by

End of February, 2011

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be 10 years old again, rich, famous and on an incredible no-downer drug trip in a tropical location all at once? It can happen. You only have to travel to Nha Trang, Vietnam and buy a ticket to Vinpearl Land.

**As I read in a blog before going to this magical land, I have to copy that writer’s sentiment: This was NOT a cultural experience. Not at all. It was tacky, cheesy, over-priced and ridiculous. But MAN it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

Ryan and I had been stuck for a few days in Nha Trang while he finished up some work. We’d been trying to time our visit to VinPearl so that it fell on a weekday vs. a weekend, but work had made that impossible. On Sunday, as we rounded the corner to the entrance in a taxi, our faces both drained of all color. I had never in my life seen such a long line. Seriously. And not only was this a long, snaking line, it looked intense, cramped and sweaty. No sign of movement. Flat lined.

Since we had been looking forward to this for days, we decided to do some adjusting to our schedule, exchange our train ticket for Tuesday and give it another go on  Monday. The security guard told us “much less people” so we rounded the corner again the next day with crossed fingers. Score! Not a soul in sight.

IMG_1983I should mention that the entrance to VinPearl is located a few kilometers (that’s right…I’m using K’s instead of M’s, don’t hate) outside the city of Nha Trang, on the mainland. You wait for a sky tram (supposedly the longest cable car ride over the ocean in the world) to ferry you across the ocean and over to the island of VinPearl, which not only holds the amusement and water park, but also a shmancy resort with private beach.  Since I was accustomed to riding the tram at OHSU, I thought this little capsule that went over the ocean for 15 minutes would be no sweat. Look at my face. It was scary/awesome!IMG_1982

We couldn’t have picked a better day to visit. It was hot enough to not feel chilled while riding the water rides, and as I mentioned there were barely any other tourists around. The place feels set up to accommodate the hordes, though.

Ryan immediately rode a medieval looking contraption that spins and hurls your body upside down high in the air (Ryan’s note: amazing views of the bay, even though they were upside down!). Fun times, for him, but what we were really aiming for was the 20+ slides in the water park. We moseyed over, locked our bag up, and began touring the different offerings. First IMG_2041was a pretty lame rainbow slide but a good initiation for the others. We dove right into the body slides. Bad idea. We went side-by-side on two similar slides and as soon as the body hurtling, wedgie-inducing ride was over we looked at each other and admitted we hated it. Ryan got a gnarly looking cut on his arm from that slide. Fortunately for us, there were many more thrilling raft water slides to partake in (Ryan: including our favorite, the soon-to-be-insensitively-named Tsunami, stay tuned for a video).

IMG_2044The employees were either in short supply or they operated on a skeleton crew during the week (or in slow season) so different clusters of rides were running at different times. We checked the schedule, planned the day, and spent the next 5 hours running around like maniacs, squealing, bruising our feet running up the stairs and barreling down these huge chutes. I’ve never experienced a water park with no lines. Totes wicked.

Not only does SuperVinpearl Land (our new name for it) have an excellent water park, they also have a private beach, with palapas, fine white sand and calm water.IMG_2016There’s MORE. A better than expected aquarium (Ryan: in fact, an amazing aquarium with a people mover that took us underneath the water through a “series of tubes”). IMG_2050

An “indoor game” auditorium, with FREE games (Ryan: OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD). Anything you want to play…free. Dance Dance Revolution, air hockey, bumper cars, a game where you ride a plastic horse and my favorite, this little beauty, “Screaming Challenge.” Can you imagine a busy day at the arcade, with kids going wild on this thing? You SCREAM LOUDLY to win. Kids have so much more fun these days, I swear. IMG_2081

We were hesitant to leave, especially since a line for the tram back to the city was forming, but we figured that 7 hours at a theme park was probably good. Oh one more thing…they serve very basic “fast food” there, but what else do you really want to eat at a Disney/Epcot/Vegas-style theme park other than fries and fried chicken?

IMG_2008 Ryan might censor that photo (Ryan: hell no. Look at this bronzed god… the god of…uh,  fast food, beer, and television-watching, apparently)

Nha Trang:

While at first we loathed the small incredibly touristy blocks of NT immediately surrounding our guesthouse, eventually we broke the mold, rented a moto, discovered the beach, and fell in love with the city. Okay maybe not love. I liked it, though, a lot. There was enough there to keep us entertained for nearly a week.

You do sort of feel pushed along through the tourist trail here, as in much of the north-south journey along Vietnam’s coast. We followed the pack and took the motorbike about 6 KM out of town to Thap Ba Hot Springs, a well-organized mud and hot spring bath mecca. I don’t know what I expected…the mud to feel thicker, maybe? But this particular mud was warm and water-y.


Later dudes!

One Response to “IT’S REAL! :: SuperVinpearlLand”

  1. Lil' Babie says:

    Baahahahaa. Oh, I love you babies sho much.


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