Photo TR: Taiwan

Final Day on p. 7: E-DA Theme Park, HSR, and Taipei 101!
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Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby milst1 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:33 am

Day 1: Farglory Ocean Park, See Below
Day 2: ShanGriLa, Window on China, Leofoo Village
Day 3: Atayal and Discovery World
Day 4: Janfusun Fancy World
Day 5: Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village
Final Days: E-DA Theme Park, Taiwan High Speed Rail, and Taipei 101


In our never ending search for credits that will (hopefully) not duplicate future TPR trips that we would like to do, Cheryl and I found ourselves going to Taiwan for my Spring Break. Yes, this kind of trip is a major pain in the ass if you don't speak/read Mandarin and you don't have Robb and Elissa doing all the work for you!

Nonetheless, we met on the other side of the world, with Cheryl going JFK-NRT-TPE and me going AMS-BKK-TPE.

Taiwan is an interesting place. The official name is Republic of China, as opposed to the much bigger People's Republic of China. The ROC took power from the Emperor on the mainland back in 1911, but then had to retreat to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War when the Maoist Communists revolted in 1949.

Since then, Taiwan has been able to behave as an independent country, thanks to U.S. aid, although the U.S. shifted its formal recognition to the PRC in 1979. Taiwan has become a democracy, so the U.S. remains supportive, even while the PRC has threatened to take Taiwan by force. In spite of the ever-present Chinese threat, the Taiwanese are friendly and tolerant. They don't have a seat at the U.N. and they get called "Chinese Taiwan" in the Olympics. Nonetheless, Taiwan is economically successful and industrially developed. We really enjoyed our visit.

Day One: A lovely little park called Farglory Ocean Park in Hualien, a city on the eastern coast of the island.
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Yay! Notice that the women don't wear no tops. Actually, there are a lot of hot springs in Taiwan.
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Yikes. But apparently just a precaution. Cheryl flew from NRT but didn't have to get checked.
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The reasonable rate for the hotel made sense when we realized that we had to share our room with the hotel's mascot.
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The next morning we found ourselves at Songshan, the mainly domestic airport in Taipei.
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Because, yes, some stupid people will get on a plane for the chance to ride a Vekoma Junior.
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The drive from Taipei to Hualien is simply too arduous, and the train was too slow for us to do a day trip.
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Beautiful downtown Hualien, Taiwan.
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Welcome to Farglory Ocean Park!
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Most Taiwanese parks have a zany cast of mascot characters.
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Nice theming. The park is on a mountainside, so everything is on levels like Tibidabo, and you have to take escalators or ramps to get up and down.
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The payoff is these amazing Pacific views as you get to higher levels of the park.
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Unfortunately this great looking flume, Pirates of El Dorado, was down.
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Beach Balls ride. Notice that the park is sort of dead. This was a mixed blessing. Small crowds and short queues were great, but since school is still in session and the weather is good, parks do a lot of maintenance work, which led to more than one credit missed.
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But we didn't miss this credit.
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One of the nicest settings for a Vekoma Junior ever!
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Here it is in action!
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Here's that sign.
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Here's that section of the park from the sky ride.
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Great sky ride views.
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Swingin' Shells and Castle
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Alas, the missed flume ride.
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We did not watch any shows, but the park is big on seal and dolphin shows, plus other aquatic exhibits.
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Gotta love these views.
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Ferris wheel and flume.
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We were very pleased with the merch selection.
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After the park, we visited the Taroko Gorge, Taiwan's most popular natural attraction. It's within an hour's drive from Farglory Ocean Park.
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One could easily do a report just on the gorge, but I'll just give you a few looks. It's pretty amazing.
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Gotta wear a helmet in some places. Tourists have been bonked and killed by falling rocks.
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There are a lot of shrines and buddhas too.
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Well, thanks for checking out Day One of our Taiwan coaster tour! Go to page 2 for Day Two at Shangrila, Window on China, and Leofoo!
Last edited by milst1 on Mon May 23, 2011 2:45 pm.
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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby SharkTums » Sun May 01, 2011 11:59 am

Very cool park, kind of has that Ocean Park vibe to it!

BTW, not sure how much help that helmet will be when the giant rock comes tumbling down several hundred feet!! :wtf:

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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby tiger01 » Sun May 01, 2011 12:27 pm

It looks like a beautiful park! Too bad you missed the log flume.It looked pretty sweet! I love those rides!
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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby Crazy_Behemoth_Lady_Jess » Sun May 01, 2011 12:46 pm

Haha, radiation monitors.

Looks like a nice little park, very well maintained too. Noticing a resemblence to Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

If you look carefully at the girl with the hard hat, I can sorta make out the words "coaster club" on her lanyard. Any idea what coaster club she's from?

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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby TPDave » Sun May 01, 2011 1:08 pm

SharkTums wrote:BTW, not sure how much help that helmet will be when the giant rock comes tumbling down several hundred feet!! :wtf:


Yeah, it does seem more of a psychological precaution! Nice report so far Martin, I enjoyed the little history/politics lesson too.

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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby SharkTums » Sun May 01, 2011 1:11 pm

^^That's Cheryl, Martin's wife! Read the TR and captions, don't just look at the pretty pictures next time.

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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby Noxegon » Sun May 01, 2011 2:29 pm

^^^ That's a European Coaster Club lanyard.

For what it's worth, I'd agree that the drive to Hualien is a distinctly bad idea. When we went there we drove, and there's no way in hell I'd go through that again, even for a park as beautiful as Farglory. Domestic flights are definitely the way to go.

Also, though Hualien is theoretically sixty kilometers from Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, it is a five hour drive. You have been warned.

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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby beatle11 » Sun May 01, 2011 4:30 pm

I love seeing TR's from these rarely visited places. Too bad you missed some of the credits but it looks like a really nice little park.
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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby milst1 » Sun May 01, 2011 10:17 pm

Noxegon wrote:^^^ That's a European Coaster Club lanyard.

For what it's worth, I'd agree that the drive to Hualien is a distinctly bad idea. When we went there we drove, and there's no way in hell I'd go through that again, even for a park as beautiful as Farglory. Domestic flights are definitely the way to go.

Also, though Hualien is theoretically sixty kilometers from Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, it is a five hour drive. You have been warned.


Let me publicly credit Richard with advising us on our itinerary and helping us avoid the crazy driving, although there were some difficult stretches, namely to Atayal from Taipei and then from Sun Moon Lake (near Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village) back to Janfusun. All of this will be coming in future installments.

Incidentally, Richard, did you have a truly English-language GPS? I bought a GPS in Taiwan with operation buttons that were easily set to English (a nice Garmin nuvi 1300 for about US$150), but all destination listings and street names were in Chinese characters. I managed to work with it and it proved invaluable, but I wondered, did you have pinyin listings? The GPS offered by the car rental firm had the same issue. Just wondering. I was unable to buy Taiwan maps for the two Garmin GPS units that I already had in my possession. Disclaimer: I own shares of Garmin. :lol:

And yes Indeed, that is an ECC lanyard. And that is my wife Cheryl (thanks, Elissa!). We have a few of those lanyards and we're ECC members, although we've only done a single ECC event.

beatle11 wrote:I love seeing TR's from these rarely visited places. Too bad you missed some of the credits but it looks like a really nice little park.


Thanks for checking out the report. As you know, missing credits due to both reasonable and unreasonable circumstances is a big part of this game.

Thanks everyone for taking a look.
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Re: Photo TR: Taiwan

Postby Noxegon » Mon May 02, 2011 12:19 am

Incidentally, Richard, did you have a truly English-language GPS?


Not really. I managed to load Taiwan maps onto my existing Garmin, and you're right, they were in Chinese. However I had exact locations for the parks pre-entered via latitude/longitude coordinates and the GPS was sufficient to give me "turn left" and "turn right" :)

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