We Went to an Asian Amusement Park. The Most Exciting Ride was the Insane Taxi Back Home.


Michael and I are living in Hoi An, Vietnam, right now, and we recently went to the local amusement park, Vin Pearl Land, with our friends Randi and Peter.

It was fun! And cheap — 550,000 VND, or about $24 US. And deserted. There were maybe fifteen people in the water park — fewer people than actual waterslides — and maybe three hundred people in the entire amusement park.

Since I love amusement parks, but hate crowds, this was a fantastic combination for me.

We had a great time, sliding down into huge funnels in the water park, and battling incredibly bad CGI aliens in the rest of the park. (The whole “safari” land depressed me, because I hate animals in enclosures, no matter how nice, and despite the fact that they had elephants and, like, twenty different big cats.)

But, of course, the most exciting part came when we caught a taxi home.

A tropical storm had hit in the late afternoon, and that’s when we hailed a cab and headed home — only about twenty minutes away.

But the storm was intense. And in the middle of town, a tree had fallen on some power cables, blocking the road right in front of us.

Thinking it would be hours before the tree and downed lines would be removed, we said, “We’ll just walk from here.” Despite the storm, it was only about a kilometer from Peter and Randi’s hotel, where we’d parked our bikes and could just ride home from there.

The cab driver looked at us like we were insane. “What? Why? This is nothing.”

Lighten up, Western Dudes!

Sure enough, the people on scooters and in the other cars and had hopped out and were pushing the cables aside — despite the streets being flooded all around us. And along with all the other traffic, our driver proceeded to push his way through the downed tree and power lines. At one point, these power lines were sliding over the windows of the car all around us, like those sponge strips in a car wash.

Ah, Asia! What’s the problem with driving through potentially live power cables in the middle of a flooded street? We’ll all friends here.

By now, we were looking at him like he was insane.

But the street was knee-deep with water, and we couldn’t exactly get out of the cab. We couldn’t have walked home anyway, since this was the only street into town.

We made it back to our bikes alive. We currently live in the middle of some rice fields on the outskirts, most of which were all flooded from the torrential rain. And by now, a crazy lightning storm had hit.

But maybe we’d learned something from that insane cab driver, because we didn’t think twice about riding home tire-deep in water, with the lightning flashing all around us.

Lighten up, Western Dudes!

Words to live by.

And possibly also be electrocuted by.


P.S. There’s a future blog post to be written about these rice fields and the maze of trails through them. They’re one of the most interesting things I’ve see in all my travels so far!