The scorching heat of Ho Chi Minh City can drive people insane. Vietnamese try to achieve a more balanced life by engaging in relaxing activities during the weekend not far from the city center. The Dai Nam Tourist Park provides just that. Both locals and tourists can enjoy the great outdoors at the park’s artificial territory to escape the heat produced by the intense city.
The Dai Nam Van Hien Tourist Park is built within a 22 hectare land with a total water surface of 10,000 square meters. Its man-made beach is over one kilometer long and brings in artificial waves to about 1.5 meters high. The park was originally aimed to produce a feeling of experiencing actual waves as if visitors were at a real beach. The surrounding areas are also adorned with green coconut trees with additional tree-covered islets that provide fresh fruit juices.
Aside from the spectacular artificial coastline, there are also man-made mountain ranges and lakes found inside the park. The mock mountain range is made up of five supposed mountains that are about 65 meters high and measure 250 meters long. The highlight of the majestic mountain range is a seven-story tower made to worship historical characters of the country such as the Hung Kings of the 18 dynasties, Leader Ho Chi Minh and a handful of heroes and martyrs who devoted themselves to build and defend Vietnam. The sanctuary also includes many Buddha statues and extremely fragrant incense.
Aside from its spectacular views, the park also gives a taste of Vietnamese history. The Dai Nam Van Hien Temple, also known as the Kim Dien Temple, is one of the park’s most striking structures and features historical displays from the Ngo to Nguyen Dynasties. This three-storey-high temple covers about 5,000 square meters and is dedicated to Buddha and other national heroes. Its dome is covered with fantastic images of birds while the temple itself is beautifully decorated with figures of the four supernatural creatures, namely the dragon, the unicorn, the tortoise and the phoenix. The narrow Bao Giang River that surrounds the temple is home to many kinds of fish.
Another major highlight to visit in the park is the Saigon Zoo, also known as the Dai Nam Zoo. Covering about 12 hectares of land, the zoo is home to hundreds of wild and rare animals such as the white lion, some zebras, giraffes, and even rhinos. For a spectacular photo op, head to the Ngoc Bich Bridge that crosses a river, a giant mountain and the Thanh Van Gate, which is a striking solid wall that represents the feudal times of the Orient. Aligned along the wall are statues of soldiers holding their spears and shields with distant looks as if watching out for enemies.
The huge park also has a rollercoaster, a number of water slides, paddle boats, 4-D movie theaters and even artificial snow. Electronic trains pass through the entire park area and can take visitors where they want to go without having to do too much walking. The Dai Nam Tourist Park is certainly a huge tourism complex that is a cultural and historic zone, and it never fails to leave its visitors in awe.