Guardian of a ghost town

The Ho Thuy Tien water park near Hue in Vietnam closed down years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the gigantic dragon in this abandoned park from being a highly photogenic attraction.

Guardian of a ghost town
© Josef Hochlehner

The dragon of Ho Thuy Tien glares menacingly out over his deserted realm – a lost place that exudes a morbid appeal. The paint peels from the waterslides, pools, stone sculptures; the dragon’s skin has lost much of its original color and his inside has been redecorated with feral graffiti and scribbles. The scaly body is a staircase leading up to the dragon’s mouth where, through the teeth, one can look out over the 50-hectare park that opened in 2004, only to close down again shortly afterward due to mismanagement.