Today’s Mission: Break Into an Empty Amusement Park.

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

Mission accomplished.

If you’ve been following my past week in Hanoi, you’ll know that it was (to use a phrase I seriously despise) somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. (Eurgh. I feel dirty now). But I kind of had to say it, because it ties pretty neatly in with today’s post.

I didn’t wake up planning to break some rules, exactly, but knew it was a day for some action. I slept pretty badly (because COLD!) and have a few things on my mind, and when I opened my windows glimpsed the first hint of sunlight I’ve seen in days. The sun and chilly temperature reminded me of my beloved New Zealand — and when I’m in New Zealand, I explore. So that’s exactly what I chose to do.

Quite ambitiously, I chose to walk the entire circumference of West Lake, right outside my house. Naturally, I got about a third of the way in and realised, “Oh yeah — the path around this lake is about a billion kilometres long”. But, stubborn git that I am, I wanted to at least reach the ferris wheel I saw looming in the distance. I had no idea why it was there, and I wanted to find out (and maybe have a joy ride).

I finally arrived, and found an amusement park that appeared totally deserted. My first thought was, “That’s probably locked up”. My second thought was, “Well, if that’s the case, why don’t I just…break in? That’d be cool”. My psyche, it seemed, was unnaturally devious, and potentially out to get me arrested in my first week in Vietnam.

I shrugged, and resorted to the typical blogger’s excuse for doing something stupid: at least it’ll make a cool story. Then, I scouted the perimeter for my entry point.

I found the front gate, but also a security guard. Having lost my shame somewhere in Bali, I approached him and asked if he’d let me in for free and take some photos. After all, none of the rides were running, and there was no one else about. But he insisted (albeit lazily) I go and get a ticket.

“But none of the rides are running! I just want to get some photos — I’ll be quick. Please let me take a walk around?” I asked, flashing my biggest arse-kissing grin.

“No. You go over there and buy ticket,” he replied.

Just as I was contemplating sneaking through mud and grass to find another way in, the guard received a call on his walkie-talkie. He took one last, slightly anxious look at me, and hurried out the gates. Not waiting for the angel on my shoulder to stop by, I raced into the park and snapped as many photos as I could, before sneaking back out — cackling manically — before the guy realised what was happening.

Here’s what I got. I also encountered a retro cafe filled with old cars, and a random pop-up, Dutch-themed garden. (I was too cheap to pay to go into either, and snapped away from the outside).

Enjoy the visual metaphor that represents my week in Hanoi: unpredictable, lucky, and rather a lot of cheeky fun.

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, vintage, cars

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, vintage, cars, VW

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, scooters

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, bus, vintage, cars

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, train, thomas the tank engine

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, flowers, garden, dutch, windmill

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, flowers, garden, dutch

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, flowers, garden, dutch

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, flowers, garden, dutch

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam, flowers, garden, dutch

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

amusement, theme, park, empty, rides, rollercoaster, ferris wheel, hanoi, vietnam

And before any of you nitpickers say it: I know I didn’t technically break in to the park. The only things that got broken today were the rulez…’cuz I’m fly.

Have you ever gone to extreme, marginally criminal lengths to get some photos? The comments section is right down there if you want to show off. (Unless your story is better than mine — in which case, you’ll just make me look bad).

2 Comments

  • Anne Crabbe says:

    I wrote a comment but, alas, it disappeared, so again I’ll try.

    The photography is quite remarkable and its not all due to having a great camera. Lauren, you have an ability to observe and implement what is visually rewarding for all to see. Where are you National Geographic???

    The poor guard…lets hope he didn’t realise that you outwitted him, to spoil his otherwise stress free day!1

    Love your work Lauren ….love it all!

    Mum xxx

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