Scariest Amusement Park Ride Ever
As many of you know aside from loving to travel I love Disney and more generally amusement parks and roller coasters. Thankfully all of my hobbies tend to work well together and that means I have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few unique and local amusement parks around the globe.
One such park is Dam Sen Park in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Admittedly we visited back in 2008, but I’ll never forget what we saw there. First off, the park is huge and is home to a number of traditional looking rides, many of which were knock off versions built by Chinese manufacturers.
Rides Looks Similarish
Speaking of Chinese knock-offs, the park has a few coasters made by Chinese companies as well. In total you’ll find four coasters at Dam Sen Park, including some that look familiar to what you have seen at home, but have been designed by companies that seemingly copied the designs from others.
And the copying can be seen in other areas as well. Disney is well represented in Dam Sen Park for example. While not quite as well kept up as you would see in the Magic Kingdom, you can find Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and tons of other characters around the park. Something tells me that they aren’t officially authorized to be using the characters, but that adds to the fun.
And the fun didn’t stop there. This park was actually quite a surprise when it came to attractions. It had a couple of themed boat rides, a giant ferris wheel with amazing views of the park’s central lake, one of the better mirror mazes I have been in and even an entire indoor ice sculpture garden featuring the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.
Overall it was all much more elaborate than I was expecting.
But that isn’t what I’ll remember most about Dam Sen Park.
The Scariest Amusement Park Ride in the World
Dam Sen Park was also home to the scariest amusement park ride I have ever seen anywhere. It was closed during the day of our visit, but looked to be regularly open and in use. To start, let’s look at these advertisement photos surrounding the attraction. Yikes.
As you can see, people actually get out on those boats with meat in hand and feed the crocodiles. Now, these aren’t giant vessels bringing guests out to their certain doom, but simple little pontoon boats on a pond full of hungry crocs. I get that they are balanced, but something tells me that chain link fence on the side won’t do much if the boat tips over.
For reference, here is what the inside of a boat looks like:
It looks a bit more like a death trap than an amusement park attraction to me! 😉
Feeding the Crocs
While the boats were closed on the relatively quiet day of our visit, they still allowed guests to purchase a hunk of meet for about $1 and use that to feed the crocs from shore. During the “shore feedings” a couple of things became immediately apparent to me.
First, there are seemingly way too many of them for such a small area of water. The crocs were on top of each other and were more active than I have ever seen. Which leads me to my second point. They were all starving! I don’t believe I have ever seen crocs so active. I believe this was because they were all very hungry.
In other words, I don’t think you could pay me any amount of money to actually get on one of those boats. Here is a video of Shawn Reece feeding them from the shore. It was quite interesting to see the force with which they grab the meat.
While I think this is a fun story about sharing another culture, I personally don’t agree with keeping animals in these conditions. The crocs at this attraction were clearly starving and not treated well. We did pay $1 to feed them, because it looked like the only way they actually get food. I don’t try to project my own morals onto a place when traveling. Instead, I try to recognize and experience the culture. In this way Dam Sen and this attraction were fascinating, but also sad and a bit scary.
I have been on the world’s tallest, fastest and scariest rides, but nothing prepared me for the idea of getting on one of those terror boats at Dam Sen Park in Vietnam. While I did manage to feed one of the crocs from the sideline, I can’t imagine what it would be like riding on what I consider to be the scariest amusement park ride in the world.
Have you seen anything stranger or scarier while traveling? Share your experiences in the comments!