Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 22 - Vinpearl Land Waterpark/Amusement Park/Resort

One of the attractions that the city of Nha Trang boasts is a huge island resort that includes an amusement park, waterpark, arcade, private beach, hotel, spa, golfing range, and the worlds longest cable car system over water. I think the entire resort is owned by the company, Vinpearl, as you see a huge Hollywood-like sign when you head towards the island by cable car.

This would be the first time I would ever go to a waterpark, so it would be a new experience. When we got to the ticket office, there was a huge one-hour line just to get onto the cable car to the island. Quang said that it is NEVER crowded and there are never any lines, but I guess everyone was in town for the Beach Festival and decided to take a visit.

We noticed a lot of flashy Vietnamese people with their LV purses and iPhones. Many electronics in Vietnam are much more expensive compared to the U.S. Quang told me about the some Vietnamese people's obsessions with the latest technology. People end up saving all their money to buy the new iPhone or latest designer purses, even though they could use the money to live in a better home or save it for something more important. I guess it's the same there as it is in the U.S. where consumer debt runs rampant and people save money just to show off their material possessions. I asked Quang how he could tell whether someone was actually wealthy vs. just playing the part...he said that everyone at the waterpark with iPhones and designers purses probably are just saving their money for these possessions, because the real wealthy people would be staying at the resort and spa on the other side of the island.

We had our first English lesson of the day, where he asked me to differentiate between the pronunciation of Sheet, Seat, Shit, and Sit. You never realize how hard it is to pronounce some of these words until you hear someone else attempt to do so. I gave him a sentence to recite for the rest of my stay:

"Sit on the toilet seat to take a shit and use the tissue sheet"

The water park was very fun, and there were not a lot of people in line, despite what we saw at the cable cars. Quang said that most Vietnamese people hate the sun (they desire light skin), so they didn't not go to the waterpark at high noon when we went. We went on most of the rides and I survived, although some of the slides hurt a little, especially the ones where you didn't use a raft or lifesaver.

After that, we headed to the aquarium which housed a huge walk-through underwater tank and a mermaid show. Towards the end of the night, we headed to the arcade to play some games (all of which were free, included in the price of admission) before watching a magic show and a part of the light/water show that had similar elements to the World of Color show at Disney's California Adventure. We left early and raced to the cable car line to ensure we'd get a quick ride back so that we could make it for dinner at his home. The cable car ride back in the darkness was scary. The ride took about 10 minutes to get from one side to the other, and all I could think about was what would happen if we were to drop from the cable line into the ocean...I don't think we'd survive!

Everytime Quang goes home to Nha Trang, his family has a seafood BBQ with his relatives on their roof. It was great to be included in the occasion, and everyone was so hospitable and friendly. They seemed to be a close-knit family, and I got to see 4 of his mother's sisters, all of who looked alike. The night was spent sipping beers and pepsi, and eating crabs, squid, and clams.

Another English Lesson for the day came up - The pronunciation of Squid vs. Sweet. To the native english speaker, you wouldn't think these words were very similar, but its difficult for a Vietnamese native to pronounce them.

Quang and I had an interesting conversation about the international issues regarding North Korea after dinner. It was interesting to see his view of the United States as a "superpower." I told him about the human rights issues in North Korea and he was skeptical about it because it was probably skewed by the U.S. media. I told him that there were first-hand accounts of some of these violations by people who escaped the country. He also wondered what gave the U.S. the right to tell North Korea to disarm it's nuclear weapons...which I had a hard time explaining without furthering the view of the omnipotence of the United States...

This homestay is turning out to be a very positive experience, being able to share, learn, and teach each other about random things in our lives. I even got to do laundry at his home, which would be the first time all trip that'd I'd be able to use a washing machine. I found out that I'd been using fabric softener instead of detergent for the majority of my hand washes...No wonder none of my clothes looked clean, although they smelled nice...

Cable Car ride to Vinpearl Land with the "Hollywood-esque" sign in the back.

Great views of the Nha Trang beach in the distance

The Multi-slide at the waterpark

The "Mermaid" show in the underground aquarium

Another homecooked meal - Probably one of the best soups I've had, which included sweet potatoes in a broth with small shrimps and ground pork.

Family Rooftop BBQ with Quang's family!


  1. That resort seems like a fun place for kids as well as adults! I love taking my family to water parks, we usually go to this park near us called the Great Wolf Lodge and my kids love it.