Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup has begun construction of Vietnam’s largest theme park in the northern port of Haiphong.
The $1bn VinWonders development will take the form of an entertainment, housing and eco-park at the intersection of three rivers in the northern outskirts of the city.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the 50ha attraction took place on Sunday, 21 June, attended by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the prime minister of Vietnam.
The park will consist of six indoor and outdoor entertainment zones aimed at different age groups.
The area for children will have science, sports, virtual reality and "extreme games".
"Coaster World", in the centre of the park, will have a variety of roller coasters, and there will be a "safari" area – a zoo with local wildlife that will inform visitors about wildlife protection. There will also be a water park and the areas devoted to retail and food.
The park project was first announced in March 2015, when Haiphong authorities suggested it should also have a casino, five-star hotel, marina and 36-hole golf course. In the event, only the Vinpearl golf course was built, opening in April 2017.
Nguyen Viet Quang, vice chairman and general director of Vingroup, said VinWonders would be the company’s fourth theme park in the country and its first in northern Vietnam.
When complete, it will be the largest park in the country, overtaking the company’s VinPearl park in Phu Quoc island, in the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Hao.
The new park will follow the basic formula established at VinPearl, which also combines wildlife, food and fun with educational overtones.
The water park at Phu Quoc includes "a tornado water ride, free-falling giant boomerang, 120m-high speed slide, while the Wave Pool and Lazy River is suitable for all family members", according to its publicity.
Vingroup, which was founded in 1993 in the Ukraine by entrepreneur Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s first official billionaire.
To begin with, it was a maker of instant noodles. It came to Vietnam in 2000 and diversified into supermarkets, ecommerce and property development. It is presently Vietnam’s largest private company by market capitalisation.
Image: The waterpark at Phu Quoc (Vinpeal Land Amusement Park)