Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Day 5: Leofoo and Window on China -- Taiwan with TPR!
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Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby rctneil » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:19 am


Thought I might as well put up a quick overview of Theme Park Review's run around of Taiwan earlier this year. Enjoy!

I landed around mid afternoon at TPE and after an hour or so in the customs line got into the arrivals hall only to be met with what looked like thousands of people holding signs. I knew someone would be waiting for me and it took around 15 minutes before I spotted our guide.

Due to Anth getting stuck in Shanghai and his flighting arriving several hours later it was decided that I should go to the meeting hotel in Taipei. The drive was about 1 hour from the airport to the Howard Plaza Hotel. I checked in and then decided to have a wander down the street to see what was around. I bumped into Robb & Elissa and a couple of others who were returning from their wanderings.

I set off in search of a coffee and eventually managed to come across a Starbucks and surprised myself in (just about) managing to order a drink using my extremely limited Mandarin phrases that I could sort of remember from last years China trip. (Knowing a few, even a tiny amount of a foreign language and at least attempting to say it really does help in people actually wanting to help and try to understand what you are getting at.)

I returned to the hotel to have a nap after not being able to sleep on the flights.

View from the hotel window. I spent several minutes sat watching all the bikes jumping to the front of the queue at the lights and then all speed off when they changed. (oh what an interesting evening! :-) )

The Howard Plaza even had a piano inside a pool. Strange but it works I guess!

The next day was culture and travel day. So we met up and said hello first thing in the lobby and then set off for what is Taiwan's tallest building, Taipei 101. Our guide took us to an area a short distance from the tower where we could take some photos and then we headed to the tower itself.

Taipei 101! - I bet you can't guess how many floors it has?

The tower has a shopping mall on the lower floors but we headed to grab our tickets and head up the tower in the worlds fastest elevator!

This looks like the correct place

Proof of the worlds fastest elevator.

View from the top

Right in the centre of the tower at the top was the damper. (This counter balances the shaking from earthquakes). You could walk into the room with the damper to see it.

The aforementioned damper

There was only a small portion of the outdoor section open for people to observe from and they kindly let people know that jumping was strictly prohibited.


Looking up inside the shopping mall part

After a trip up the tower we met up at Din Tai Fung, thanks to R&E's excellent recommendation, and had our first group meal of the trip. Excellent food and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Our dumplings at din Tai Fung being hand crafted!

After lunch we started our long drive from Taipei to the Kiohsiung area ready to hit our first theme park E-DA the very next day.

Random photo out the bus window during the long drive

On the journey we actually passed by several of the places we would be visiting over the next week. We passed Leofoo and saw a sad sight of their Intamin Impulse all scaffolded up after the incident there earlier in the year. We also passed by pretty much the main attraction of the trip even though we were all terrified of the thought of it - Gravity Max at Lihpao Land, the Vekoma Tilt Coaster.

THE SCARY LOOKING VEKOMA TILT COASTER! - We'll see you in a few days time!

The hotel restaurant provided a chinese meal for us that evening

Evening meal at the hotel

We then wandered around the hotel area and a few of us took a ride on the huge Ferris Wheel ontop of the mall opposite the hotel. The hotel also had a mini Bellagio fountain show, whcih turned out to be very strange indeed. It started out with it's fair share of music but then a track started and was "All I want for Christmas, is you!". It was very strange hearing that as I thought "I'm in Taiwan, watching a dancing fountain show, synced to christmas music in this hot weather at just before midnight". At that point I knew the whole trip was going to be totally crazy and bizarre (including the following Japan trip).

Dancing Fountains

Ferris Wheel ontop of the hotel shopping mall.

The hotel itself was situated in a very strange place. It had the E-DA Theme Park right next-door and the hotel was very nice but was surrounded by a load of buildings that were just shells, totally empty and unfinished. It did make it all seem a bit creepy and deserted.

Anyway, Enjoy and E-DA should be following soon.
Last edited by rctneil on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:42 pm.
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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby FreeFaller » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:37 am

Nice to see a report from TPR's Taiwan trip! I'm really excited about your updates! Asia seems to be a weird but amazing country!

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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby gerstlaueringvar » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:50 am

Wow! Nice to see how Taiwan looks like! I was wondering why the Intamin impulse coaster was scaffolded up since the girl was frightened to death instead of anything like Texas Giant?

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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby DJeXeL » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:30 am

Taiwan looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby PKI Jizzman » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:48 pm

I've heard about that dumpling place. It was awarded one Michelin star, that's so awesome! I hope I get to eat at a Michelin restaurant some day.
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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby rctneil » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:21 am

Day 2 - E-DA Theme Park

After driving all the way down south to Kiohsiung, we might as well spend some time at E-DA Theme Park.

E-DA looked a relatively new park and it sounded like it had some pretty interesting attractions so we spent the day just wandering around and seeing what they had.

At least we knew where to store our luggage that morning.

We then set off on the small park shuttle bus to E-DA Theme Park and awaited at the entrance ready for the time they would allow us into the park to have some ERT on the very unique Vekoma Big Air.

The E-DA characters

First coaster of the trip - Big Air!

Big Air seemed to be guarded by the giant Cyclops



The park has a really nicely themed Splash Battle. Shame the water guns didn't seem to work though

The Splash Battle

Trojan Horse

This is where you stock up on DooDoo apparently

Our next coaster was called Dark Ride and was a brand new Vekoma indoor roller skater. Nice little ride and it had the new roller skater trains that are also used on Drayton Manor's Ben 10: Ultimate Mission Junior Boomerang. The ride did have one point that smelled weirdly of farts. I didn't believe Robb at first when he mentioned it but on the second ride around, he was right, it strangely did smell like that!


Surely this is a tease of a certain park coming up at the end of a future trip?

New roller skater!

The 3rd and final coaster at E-DA was Rooftop Junior Coaster. This was a spinner on the top of the big indoor attractions building and over the side of the cliff. It span a lot.


The Taiwan trip was similar in a way to last years China trip in way of guides. Thankfully our guide in Taiwan, Michelle was much better than any that we had in China. This was mostly due to the fact that A guide was hired rather than mandatory and I think this made all the difference. It took several days for her to figure out the group but as the trip progressed she got to know about TPR and how crazy everyone is.

Michelle, our Taiwan tour guide

They had a knockoff version of Soarin' called Fly over Taiwan and literally did what it said on the tin!


The entrance was themed to an airport, even including the departure gates

The seats, ready to Fly over Taiwan! - Note the sickbags

The group

We then visited one of the most bizarre attractions I have ever seen, it was called the Mermaid Aquarium and none of us quite knew what to expect and it turned out to be a room with loads of full wall screens showing underwater scenes with mermaids swimming about! odd.


The park also had a Haunted Ghost Ship walkthrough. Can't say I was a fan of this.

Now, there was also a simulator attraction and I think the story had a car and a dog in it but due to an incident I never got to experience it. Keith, Anth and I queued up, we went in, sat in the front row on the left hand side and were wearing our glasses and then suddenly, the left side slowly tilted down and then shot down so the front left corner smacked into the floor of the room with such a crash that i'm sure some damage must have been caused. We were evacuated, (sort of clumsily) and never got to see anymore. I think our, side of the pod had somehow lost it's hydraulic pressure and failed but it didn't reopen before we had to leave so that was that!

Where's Anth going?

Yeh, random games for sale. This one was titled, "Hit the Bum"

Some afternoon entertainment

After leaving E-DA we drove about an hour and a half north up to our next hotel, The Nice Prince Hotel Chiayi, which was about an hour away from Janfusun Fancyworld.


I took this shot due to the fact that during our meal that evening which turned out to be an amazing help your self international buffet, that I suddenly received a text from Robb stating "We can see you" so I looked around at the above 7 floors trying to spot where he was hiding. The trouble was the corridors of the above floors went around all 4 sides of the hotel so it did take me a while. :-)

my photo attempt of trying to search for Robb

This buffet also had UNLIMITED HAAGEN-DAAS ice cream. Yum!


Next up, the hottest day ever at Janfusun Fancyworld and my new favourite roller coaster Insane Speed!!!!!!!! (Only kidding)
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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby cfc » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:56 pm

I suddenly received a text from Robb stating "We can see you"

Much like Santa Claus, Robb sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake. :wtf:

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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby Ginny » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:46 pm

That buffet was awesome!!

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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby SharkTums » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:02 pm

That spinning coaster scared me more than the tilt coaster! It felt so rickety and would fly around the corners over a 1000ft cliff!!!! I assumed one of the cars would just fly right off!

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Re: Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013

Postby SuperShawn » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Someone better have purchased that Hit the Bum game! And what noise did it make when you hit the bum?


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