Metropolis Youth Park, Hanoi’s Semi-Abandoned Amusement Park

The abandoned water slides at Metropolis Youth Park

photography by: Omri Westmark

Reading time: minutes

In a city rife with incessant hubbub, smog and hectic traffic, green lungs often offer a much-needed respite from the otherwise boisterous scenery. While the Vietnamese capital boasts multiple recreational getaways, one park in Hai Bà Trưng District stands out for its surreal abandonment. With several rusty rides throughout its premises, Metropolis Youth Park rewards intrepid visitors with a treasure trove of dereliction.

Across Hanoi one can find numerous enclaves of greenery that contrast the city’s notorious hustle and bustle. On first glance, Metropolis Youth Park (Công viên Tuổi Trẻ Thủ Đô) might seem like any of its counterparts, yet dig deeper and you’ll find out that this place is anything but usual.


Prior to 1998, this 26.43-hectare tract of land was home to an informal settlement by the name of Thanh Nhan, sitting along the shores of a lake with which it shared its name. It was during this year that Hanoi city government, together with Hanoi Youth Association and the Communist Youth Union, opted to evict the inhabitants of the hamlet and transform it into an urban oasis, aptly naming it Metropolis Youth Park as a tribute to the place’s prime movers.


The start was promising, in a matter of six years, the once neglected area turned into a verdant park, whose centerpiece was a sleek water park and a 32-meter-tall Ferris wheel, imported especially from Japan. However, the days of glory were short lived as in 2007, merely 3 years after its inauguration, the amusement park was abandoned and shortly after fell into a state of disrepair.


Given the city’s extreme humidity and frequent rainfalls, the water slides as well as the observation wheel became rustier with every day that passed, so much so, that in October 2023, the municipal authorities dismantled the wheel, which by that point, was on the brink of collapse.


Those who are plucky enough to visit the remaining waterpark should take into account that the place is heavily fenced and guarded, albeit with sufficient will power, it is possible to find a couple of breaches and sneak in. Suffice to say that following years of neglect and corrosion, the slides are not safe to climb on and should be enjoyed from a distance.


Aside from the derelict rides, Metropolis Youth Park is also home to a dense woodland, crisscrossed by several walkways. Likewise, the adjacent Thanh Nhan Lake offers its fair share of scenic views, best appreciated from a monumental concrete bridge that crosses its narrowest part.