Derek and I wanted to do something special with Owen today, so we took him to a giant amusement park here in Saigon. It is located in District 9, but it is just a ways up the Hanoi Highway from us. I read that it can be really crowded on weekends, so we opted for a Monday morning visit. Plus, then Oliver could chill with the nanny because we didn't really know if it would be appropriate for a two-year old.
Turns out, the place is deserted on Monday mornings. I'm pretty sure there were more employees than paying visitors. In the amusement park area, it was very quiet (minus the blaring loud-speakers), and in the water park area, we were literally the only people there. The only ones. It was a little awkward.
Owen got to jump in a bounce castle, then we rode a paddle boat around a lake filled with fish and watched some kids zip-line over us. Along the way we saw some very interesting decorations: elephant tusks coming from the ground, giant pieces of anthropomorphic fruit, and a ridiculous number of Buddha statues.
Then we found the crocodiles. Hundreds upon hundreds of crocodiles. And we got there right at feeding time. There was a group of guys with crates of dead fish walking around the shore of the enclosure dumping the fish in for the crocodiles. Their only protection against these huge beasts was a stick. Not a job I would want.
Walking around later, we got to see the holding tanks for dozens on baby crocodiles as well as a separate enclosure for the poor crocs that had lost tails. There were also several types of monkeys snacking on fruit. They animals here seemed to be in much better condition than the ones we saw at the zoo over the summer.
They supposedly have dolphins as well, but the map that they give you is pretty useless. We couldn't find them, and Owen was pretty tired of walking by this point. So we headed around the grounds to the water park area. On our way, we saw an ice castle, more massive Buddhist statutes, and very few people.
The water park area was massive and could have easily accommodated over a thousand guests, but there were only three: Derek, Owen, and me. It was weird. I think next time we will arrange to go with a group. Owen had a blast splashing around and going down every single slide he was allowed to go down.
Overall, it was a fun day out. There was a lot of construction going on--just right out in the open, so watch your step. It was relatively clean: as far as parks in Asia go. The locker room at the water park was pretty gross, but I never feared for my safety. I even think we will bring Ollie next time we go.