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PTR:David's EPIC Asia trip! TPR China +Japan, Korea, Taiwan!


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^ Yep.

 

I don't remember anybody actually buying one, though.

It seemed we were all heading out of the park, when we saw

them in the windows. Only photos were taken, sadly.

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When I asked her to translate the Chinese on the shirts for me, she found a site online that was selling them. They weren't made for the park. They're just shirts that the park was selling.

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Day 18, part 2: Tianjin Youth Center, Langfang Children’s Paradise

 

With Victory Kingdom conquered, and plenty of time to spare before our flight that evening, we had time for a bit of credit whoring. Most big cities in China have large parks that the public use for all sorts of activities, including exercise, dance, martial arts, recreation and more. Many of these city parks also have a small amusement park in them. Some of them had combinations of zoos with amusement parks. Sometimes Robb and Elissa had already been to them and knew where we were going. Other times, they hadn’t and we’d have to rely on a combination of the tour guides, maps and common sense to find the amusement parks in these sometimes large parks. Usually, these were small parks with a coaster or two in them, usually something small like a Wacky Worm, a mouse (spinning or not), a kiddie oval coaster, or a small powered coaster (usually a Dragon knockoff.) They’d usually have a handful of kiddie rides and sometimes a few bigger rides. Some members of TPR had already visited a few of these parks on the add-on day before the official starting day of the tour, while some of us were visiting the Forbidden City. But this would be my first experience with these smaller parks.

 

To be honest, after a while, they all became a blur to me. Over the course of the trip, we visited something like 18 of these small parks in three weeks (depending on how you count them), often several of them in one day. There was one two day period in Shanghai in which we visited eight of these parks, plus one decent medium sized park! Without pictures and listings on TPR and RCDB, I probably wouldn’t even remember most of them! When I take overseas trips, I tend to skip parks like this, unless they’re very close and convenient to where I want to be. I always like the credits, but I’d rather spend the time on bigger parks or on sightseeing. But this was a group trip, and the group was definitely up for as much credit whoring as possible. So, that’s what I was in for, like it or not! Still, it was interesting to see these small parks, which seem to be a big part of Chinese culture now that people have more disposable income to spend than they used to. They brought roller coasters and amusement parks to people all over the country who have never seen them before and paved the way for the larger parks like Happy Valley that are now thriving.

 

The first of these parks was (checking my list, because I don’t remember the name offhand!) Tianjin Youth Center, which was near Victory Kingdom in Wuqing. When we got to the amusement park, it was largely deserted. In face the cars on the Crazy Mouse coaster were covered with tarps! Eventually the tour guide found a relaxing staffer and got him to open the ride for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were the only paying customers they had had all day! But hey, 70 tickets for the two coasters would add significantly to the day’s proceeds! So, soon, the tarps came off and TPR was off riding – without any safety cycles or anything! Unfortunately, one of the cars got sent out early, triggering the e-stop, and got stuck at the bottom of the lift hill and needed a push to get going! Basically, it was a typical jungle mouse coaster, of which we’d be riding many on the trip. But it was still fun, if nothing special. Both coasters at this park were form some company called Baoding Hengrui Youle Juxie Co., Ltd, according to RCDB. For the second “coaster”, they had a powered dragon coaster called Gliding Dragon, also one of many we’d be riding on the trip. The park also had a handful of other rides, but we didn’t stick around to ride any of them.

 

We headed back towards Beijing, stopping in Langfang for another quick stop to get a credit. Langfang Children’s Paradise was a small park in a city park, much like Tianjin Youth Center. It fact, 4 of its rides could also be found at that other park. To get to Children’s Paradise, we had to walk by a small outdoor flea market type place in the park. What amused most of us were the large numbers of peppers left out for sale on the ground on towels. We rode the Jungle Mouse coaster, got some refreshments, and quickly moved on. We had a flight to catch.

 

Other than TPR no other group until now has tried to organize a larger group coaster tour of China because of the complications involved. There aren’t that many major parks in China, and they’re fairly spread out all over the country, quite a distance from each other. But Elissa was up to the challenge of organizing a group tour with FOUR group flights and a border crossing in the middle of the tour. The ECC is trying a version of a China trip this summer that is similar to the Shanghai and Hong Kong legs that we did, but their trip involves two long train rides and some VERY tight days, which I’d rather not have tried! The down side of taking flights was that we had to plan to get to the airports early to make absolutely sure that we weren’t late. China’s traffic is unpredictable, and the last thing we’d want to have to deal with is rebooking flights at the last minute and changing the schedule. But that meant that we had extra time at the airport to relax and catch a bite to eat. Overall though, I think that it was a very good idea to fly around China. It could have been a big mess, but everything was organized well. Even when we had a major problem – with our last flight canceled – everything still managed to go smoothly.

 

For this first flight, there was a lot of angst about staying within baggage weight limits. For international flights, you’re usually allowed 25 kg, but for domestic flights, it’s usually 20 kg. On a 3 week trip, that would be tough for most of us, but I was on a 7 week trip! I’d hoped to cram my carryon backpack full of the heaviest stuff, but Elissa warned us that she had seen an airline weighing the carryon bags on a flight on her last trip. I actually saw scales at the boarding gates in Seoul on my flight to Beijing, but luckily, the airline didn’t use them then. The carryon limit was only 5 kg. My backpack was at least twice that heavy! Any overage costs would be our own responsibility. So, most of us frantically moved stuff around passing heavier items to friends who had lighter bags, and weighing the bags ourselves on a scale at an abandoned check-in counter! Luckily, all of that stress turned out to be unnecessary, since Elissa convinced the airlines to take us all as a group and combine our checked bag weight, which kept us under the limits. The best news was that they never weighed our carryon bags on any of our flights! Nor did they weigh them on any of my flights on my extended trip, luckily!

 

Before long, we were on our first group flight of the trip. We discovered that Chinese domestic flights still serve meals, unlike American domestic flights. I might be getting our flights confused, but I think this was the flight with the rougher landing. We did some serious bounce and airtime, which got most people nervous, but had many of us putting out hands up! Soon, we were in Chengdu, ready for the next leg of our journey. All of our bags made it safe and sound, and once we found our new tour guide, we were off on our new bus to the Chengdu Sofitel Hotel.

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A city park in Tianjin.

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Does this count as culture?

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I spy some amusements!

I really wanted to try one of these rides at some point on the trip, but never got around to it. Then again, maybe that's for the best. I'm not sure how much I'd trust one of these in a deserted, rusty, yet fairly new park.

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This doesn't look good!

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Um, now what?

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Yay!

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Big Mike don't need no stinking safety cycles!

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Robb, always working.

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Ka-ching!

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The view from the top.

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I kind of wanted to try one of these at some point, too, but never managed to. But it wasn't going to be one that was still tarped up!

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An oh-so-exciting Gliding Dragon powered "coaster".

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Whores!

(I can't be called a whore for this one, since I didn't count it!)

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Some day I'm going to get a crappy picture of Elissa!

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Moving on to Langfang, past the flea market and the pepper, Bill is getting very comfy in the station of the Jungle Mouse!

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These little parks are right in the cities.

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An odd park mascot! Is that a young female Pan?

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We'd see these elevated UFO pedal rides at many parks (including the last one), but I never found the time to ride any of these either.

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THAT looks safe!

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The mermaid on the Mermaid ride was topless. Yes, I spotted the boobs before Robb did!

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A little more culture in the park.

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And some culture at the airport. (Plus Burger King!)

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Again Great TR. You mentioned that you wanted to ride that weird cyclistic inverting contraption of death. It is one of the most unsafe attractions there are. Most of the small parks have like ZERO maintenance. I was on one of those things in Shanghai Zhonghshan Park where they used to have those. We got stuck like at a 100 degree angle for like ten minutes. Pretty freaky but a unique experience.

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^ Well, that was the thing. I said that I only kind of wanted to try those rides. While timing was an issue, safety was too, which is why I only said kind of. Normally, I'd definitely want to try a new ride I hadn't ridden before. I didn't feel too confident with any of the parks that had those rides, in terms of maintenance. And no one else was riding them at any of the small parks that had them. If I'd seen others riding them AND had time, I probably would have given them a shot. I DID brave the Skyscraper knockoff at Floraland (see the next update soon), which now seems a little foolhardy.

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^ Yep, although I think that the one at Floraland only had the car with seats on one end. A handful of us rode that.

 

While we were riding it, we were thinking, "WE'RE GONNA DIE!" These things are scary enough in America. But here I was in riding one in CHINA, with their practically non-existent safety standards!

 

There were a few rides in China for which I remember thinking at the time "What the hell am I thinking!"

 

I was even going to try to ride the Booster knockoff (similar ride to the Skyscraper) at Knight Valley, except that it was on the top of a mountain range. I was standing in line going, "If this doesn't kill me, nothing will!" After all, this was the park which had the Mission Space knockoff where the cars flew off and killed a bunch of people! And here I was on top of a mountain waiting to get on a huge, tall ride sitting right on the side! No one else in my group was stupid enough to try!

 

Then they told me that I couldn't ride. The weight limit was 75 kg, or only 165 pounds, which I didn't even come close to! On one hand, I was a little disappointed. On the other hand, I was quite relieved!

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Finally got the time to read this fabulous TR! It has been almost a year now, but I still enjoy reading about it and seeing the great pics.

Keep 'em coming David, you're doing a great job!

 

ps: I DID count the alpine coaster at the great wall, just because I'm sad and pathetic...I mean, come on, it has a real chain lift!

And secondly, by not using a poncho on the shoot-the-chute at Victory Kingdom and not getting sick; I prooved that the water, which we all tought contained several diseases, was actually quite safe. However, it was impressive to see a giant brown wall of water coming towards you.

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Out of interest when you say Sky-jump in macau was that the freefall cable or the actual bungee jump? I keep trying to talk myself into the bungee jump since i've done a few bungees before and a solo sky-dive but theres just something about watching those you-tube videos thats making my body go hell-no. Sorry I know i'm jumping ahead on your TR's but just planning a few days in Hong Kong and trying to talk myself into it so another persons thought on it would be great.

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^ Garet, it was the Skyjump on the cable, not the bungee. I've done one bungee before, 15+ years ago at Action Park in NJ. It was only 75 feet, and you jumped backwards, holding on to this big piece of padding on the rope -- and it terrified me! I don't know if I ever could do a diving face-first bungee. Probably only if I was on Amazing Race or something.

 

With the Skyjump, you get harnessed up a lot like with the Skycoasters. They attach you to a rope, and you do a controlled freefall. It's not at freefall speeds, but it's still a terrifying jump off of a tower! Be warned: the Macau Tower Skyjump and bungee jump are RIDICULOUSLY expensive -- much more than the slightly taller version at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas --` especially if you get the photo/video option, which runs something like $100 extra! But it was one of those possibly once in a lifetime things, so what the hell, right? I jumped off a freaking tower! Stepping off was the terrifying part. But once I stepped off, I was fine, and even put my hands up and laughed about it! I'd definitely do it again, if it weren't so expensive!

 

 

Chengdu is coming up next! Tagada! Ice houses! A Mega-Lite! And PANDAS!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been reading this TR little by little over the past couple of weeks, and finally got caught up. Thanks for sharing, great stories and pics so far. I can't wait to read more.

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Correct, Jon. I'm at Europa Park's Hotel Colosseo right now (along with a few people who were on the TPR China trip.)

 

Sorry for the delays. I ended up adding to the beginning and end of the trip fairly at the last minute and left a week and a half early, which gave me a ton of last minute planning to do, and no time to post updates! I've already been in Paris for nearly a week, Prague, Krakow, Auschwitz (yes the Nazi concentration camps -- a VERY intense experience!), Budapest, Vienna, and quite a bit of Germany. From Budapest on was part of the ACE Central Europe trip, which I'll be on just over another week, which will take me through more of Germany, plus bits of the Netherlands. From there, I'll be taking short stops in Lisbon (with Sintra) and Amsterdam, before heading home. Anyone who wants to keep up with that journey can friend me on Facebook, (David Hamburger) since I don't have the time for more than some pictures here and there.

 

Don't worry. I promise I haven't abandoned THIS trip report. When I get back (first week in August) this trip report will resume in Chengdu. China! Hopefully, the break will give people time to catch up, since I've posted a LOT in this thread so far!

 

It's good to hear that some people are enjoying it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm now back from 4 weeks in Europe. I had an awesome time, hitting lots of parks and coasters! Highlights include Disneyland Paris (with Extra Magic Hours, thanks to the discounted season pass I got), OzIris, Tonnere de Zeus, Expedition GeForce (which was running even better than on my previous visit), Wodan and Blue Fire (and pretty much all of Europa Park!), the new Karacho and Olympia Looping. The surprise of the trip was definitely Phantasialand, without a bad coaster in the bunch, particularly it's amazing Colorado Adventure, which was nothing like you'd ever expect from a mine train! But I also got to explore a lot of cities I've always wanted to visit like Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Lisbon, as well as take more time to explore cities like Paris and Amsterdam better. The fun of the parks and coasters was balanced with sobering visits to Auschwitz and the Anne Frank House, reminding me that the same humanity that makes these fun rides is capable of such extreme horrors. All in all, an amazing trip!

 

But this thread is about my PREVIOUS trip to Asia. Now that I'm back, updates will resume shortly with Chengdu, China.

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Well, given how long it's taken me to get last year's TR done -- and to be honest, all of the anti-ACE hate on here (I try to stay out of these fights and not take sides) -- probably not. Until then, I've posted some pics on my Facebook page, though I had them tagged to only be viewable to friends, so that potential thieves wouldn't know I was away. (A good tip for all of us travelers!)

 

Between the two trips, I have over 31,000 pictures to sort through! (19k from the Asia trip and 12k from Europe!) Let me get this one done first before I decide, though.

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Day 19, part 1: Chengdu. Floraland

 

After spending our first night in a new city, Chengdu, we were ready to hit our first park here. Floraland was one of those parks that when we looked at the coaster list, seemed like a place you would only go for the credits and not much else. After all, they had an SLC knockoff and a spinning mouse. Woo hoo. But it turned out to be one of the parks that I enjoyed the most on the trip, for a bunch of other reasons. For a medium sized park, they put quite a bit of money into landscaping and theming, though most of the theming was more for the park itself than for specific rides. The park even had its own mascots, which were pretty reminiscent of Mickey and Minnie.

 

Needless to say, we headed straight for the coasters. The SLC knockoff called Dragon Rider was an SLC knockoff. Do I really need to say more? It wasn’t quite as painful as some – or had we just gotten used to them, and desensitized to the pain? I’m fairly certain that no one rode twice. From there, we headed over to the spinning mouse called Revolving Pulley. Like most of the spinning mice in China, it spun, but not all that much. Check. Check. Now what?

 

Robb insisted that we head over to the Tagada ride. Most of us had never heard of these rides, but those who had were excited. I’d first seen one of those in the TPR video at Gyeongju World in Korea. I’d been particularly disappointed that the ride hadn’t been open on my visit two weeks prior, since it had looked like a CRAZY ride in Robb’s video. And here was my chance to ride one! Watching the ride in motion, we knew it was going to be crazy. For those who don’t know, a Tagada is a round ride that spins. The ride op not only controls the spinning, but can make various parts of the ride bounce. Since this model had padded seats and a padded floor, the ride op was free to literally THROW us all over the place. And he did! The ride op seemed particularly overjoyed to have such a willing group of American victims, and gave us some particularly crazy rides, sincging along to songs like a newer dancier version of ”I Will Survive.” In fact, since we hadn’t all fit on the first ride, I jumped right back on for our second ride! I can’t describe how crazy these rides were, but the floor was covered with experienced enthusiasts rolling and bouncing all over the place, laughing our asses off. On the second ride, I was mostly able to sit up, after being bounced onto the floor – mostly. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard on any ride before or since then! Since then, I’ve ridden two Tagadas at German fairs, but since those rides weren’t padded, they weren’t nearly as much fun, since they kept us in our seats (mostly.) If you haven’t seen the video that Robb posted of our second ride, go look it up now. It’s hysterical! It’s so rare these days for many of us jaded enthusiasts to get a new experience at a park. And this was quite the memorable experience!

 

The other ride that Robb insisted we hit up was the ice house. I’d seen some of these at parks in Japan, where the attraction is mainly a cold house with various ice sculptures and decorations, mainly meant to give you a chance to cool down in the hot summer heat. But this one was one of several in China that had an actual slide made out of ice, hearkening back to the Russian ice slides that are the precursors to modern day roller coasters. (Or montana rusas – Russian mountains – in Spanish.) We had a blast on the slide, even if it wasn’t particularly thrilling. Still, sometimes old-fashioned fun is great.

 

After that, we split up around the park. A bunch of us found a giant frog hopper. Basically, the same ride that parks have for kids, but a larger model for adults. A few of us braved a Booster knockoff, which I didn’t manage to get a picture of. Still, if you know what the ride is, you’re asking yourself what the hell we were thinking, trusting our lives to a very tall Chinese knockoff ride with seats on a very long stick. After I got on the ride, I asked myself the same thing, wondering if we’d made a fatal mistake!

 

I grabbed a couple of “meat on sticks”, which were flavored with the local Sichuan – which our new tour guide made sure to tell us was properly pronounced “soo-chwan” , not “seh-shoo-wan” as most Americans pronounce it. – spices. Luckily, these weren’t as hot as the local fare is known for being, but they were tasty enough that I went back for more! Chengdu is in the Sichuan region of China.

 

Soon, we were on our way to more parks. But as we left Floraland, we noticed another park down the street. Apparently, this was a MAJOR expansion for Floraland that they were building. There were at least three coasters there, including a large multi-looper. The bus pulled over for a short stop, and many people got outside to take pictures, but I opted to just get a few from inside the comfortable air conditioned bus. I’ve never been all that excited to take pictures of coasters and rides that I cannot yet ride!

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Agreed!

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Floraland has an impressive entranceway for a medium sized park!

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We should have paid to have all of our pictures on here, just to confuse the locals!

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There's all this nice theming in the midways, but surprisingly little on the rides, other than in the ice house.

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Why does this seem a little familiar?

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The park has nice landscaping, too.

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What do you mean NO HAMBURGERS?!?!?

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Does that mean I'm not allowed on the SLC knockoff?

(Secretly grateful and releived!)

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Can't you almost hear the screams of pain?

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It's almost over!

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More random theming.

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I feel like I've seen one of these before....

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It spins... a little.

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I'm sure the name makes much more sense in Chinese.

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Robb and Hanno look like they're really enjoying their ride!

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What a cute kiddie ride!

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I don't think I managed to ride any of the Top Scan knockoffs in China. Too bad, because I really enjoy the rides. Then again, I'm still alive, and maybe I might not have been able to say that if I'd ridden them!

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The Tagada. Notice that we're all (mostly) sitting -- for now!

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Oh crap! Here we go!

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While Dan struggles in the middle, I'm happily sitting with my arms up! Then again, it's my second ride.

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I managed to stay up for most of the ride -- on my second ride!

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The really cool ice house.

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Don't you hate it when everyone accidentally wears the same jacket?

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I'm so fashionable!

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Sometimes simple pleasures are the best!

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Do you think Neil will enjoy it?

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I guess so!

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The ice slide is built into a castle setting.

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Some nice ice sculptures in the ice house.

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Hmmmm....

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The ice house was so cold that it fogged up Jon and Brian's glasses -- and my camera lens!

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While my camera lens was still foggy, we apparently travelled to Spain.

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A nice fountain with a Frisbee knockoff in the background.

But wait, what's that I see? Let's zoom in....

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Mermaid boobs!

See, now you're glad you read this update, aren't you? ;-)

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Adult frog hopper.

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Floraland spared no expense in investing in the very latest in cash register technology.

Yes, it's a cardboard box!

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The upcoming major expansion to Floraland, as seen from the bus.

(Cue lots of nerds rushing out to get pictures!) ;-)

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I really liked Floraland also for all the dark rides and the meat sticks. I'm pretty sure I spent twice as much money at Floraland than at any other park in China.

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Thx for the pics David!

 

Floraland was indeed a nice surprise, only to bad that the expansion part wasn't open yet. It seemed even more fun!

 

As for the Revolving Pulley coaster, for me it was actually the best one we did. We spun like crazy! But then again, what do you expect if you have 2 big guys like Karl and me on one side and only Scottish Steve on the other as counterweight.

 

The cardboard cash register isn't the only high-tech system they've got at the park. Remember on both coasters how a guy took pictures of riders (standing under the coaster track), then ran his A$$ off to the photo boot to upload them on the computer? Great way to get your body in shape!

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One of the reasons I wanted to do this set of trip reports was so that I wouldn't forget all of the little details that make trips memorable. Since it's been almost a year already, a lot of them are already fading. (In fact, I left for Tokyo 9 days from today, last year!) So it's good to hear from others on the trip to fill in the holes. Feel free to keep adding in your own reminiscences, everyone, even if you've been to the parks, but not on the TPR trip.

 

One thing I'm discovering is that in the midst of all the fun and dashing around on this trip, I managed to not get pictures of a lot of things I wish I had. At the time, I was expecting that I'd be able to see everyone else's pics, but others may not have cared about or remembered the same things I did. Something to remember for future trips. After all, one of the big advantages of having a digital camera is being able to take TONS of pics. Especially if you upload the pics to a laptop every day or so, like I do. (I've had a friend on another trip lose her camera on a coaster towards the end of a trip, and lose ALL of their pictures of the trip!) Still, it's weird to realize that I took 19,000 pictures on this trip (yes, you read that right) and am still missing lots of things I wish I had pictures of!

 

I don't actually remember riding any dark rides at Floraland. I'm not sure if that's just my memory going bad, with much of the trip a blur, or if I didn't ride any there. I know I didn't get any pictures of any. And I'd usually try to hit them up, since they're always unique. But there were a lot of great flat rides there, so I may have just run out of time. I remember thinking before we got there that we probably had too much time there, but it turned out that we could have used another hour or so.

 

And I'd completely forgotten about the unique "onride photo" system at the coaster there! Thanks for the reminder.

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I was on the first TPR trip there and the only things I remember about the park was the Tagada was awesome. Not sure how someone didn't get seriously hurt. The ice slide was "cool" and we had to come back for the coaster because it was closed the first time we were there.

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Day 19, part 2: People’s Park, Xinhua Park, and Chengdu.

 

(Note to those coming back to this TR after a while away, while I didn't post new updates during my new vacation: there's also a new update for Floraland park just above this one.)

 

After Floraland, it was time for a bit of credit whoring. We stopped in to two more small amusement parks inside two city parks in Chengdu: People’s Park and Xinhua Park. Neither park really stands out in my memory, since both were small and had exactly the same cloned coaster: a Golden Horse Space Car, a small kiddie coaster with a helix, similar to so many other kiddie coasters we’d ridden, and would continue to ride on the trip. For the record, the coasters were called Space Car and Outer Space Flying Car. For both amusement parks, we had to walk through the large city park, past some nice statues and people doing exercise, martial arts and dance routines, to get to the coasters. They seemed to be selling goldfish EVERYWHERE, whether it was in actual aquarium tanks, or makeshift ones in the middle of walkways, or even in small kiddie swimming pools! At Xinhua, one woman was making candy out of melted sugar, making cool lollipops with intricate shapes. Mostly, we just traipsed through the parks, got our credits, walked around a bit, and headed out.

 

After the two parks and dinner, we headed back to our hotel. Martin wasn’t feeling well, so a few of us headed out on a quest to find him some medicine (I gave him some to hold him over, since I always bring a pharmacy with me on trips, especially overseas) and an ATM. Along the way, we found an entire street full of pet stores, bursting with overcrowded pets, most of which were in cages out on the sidewalks. There were the usual goldfish everywhere, but some of the stores actually had some tropical fish. But the other animals were so overcrowded that I just wanted to buy them up just to set them free! I’m not an animal rights activist by any means, but seeing 6 puppies or kittens in a small rabbit cage makes me sad. Eventually, we were successful in our quests for both the ATM and the cold medicine, though the medicine took some working. I used my fine charades skills to mime someone coughing and sneezing to get the pharmacist to understand us! Strangely enough, in order to buy the medicine Martin had to fill out this sheet with all sorts of info about him, including I think his passport number and what hotel we were staying at. I’m not sure if that’s the case for all drugs, or just for foreigners. Or if they were concerned he’d be making crystal meth out of the drugs. (Martin looks a little shady that way!) But it was kind of weird.

 

They headed back to the hotel to rest, while I headed out to see more of the city. It was getting dark out, and I wanted a closer look at all of the bright neon lights on many Chengdu’s taller buildings. As we’d headed into the city the first night, we noted how almost every taller building was all lit up with many colors, making for a gorgeous skyline. Several cities we’d visit would have lots of nice lighting, but I think that Chengdu had the most. Even the smaller hotels or business buildings had some sort of flashing and changing light patterns. So, I headed toward the city’s center, just walking around and taking a ton of pictures. As I hit the main hub, it started to rain lightly. I was a big hungry, so I stopped at some local fried chicken place, and tried a few different very tasty pieces of chicken, which had different spices and seasonings on them. While there, some local kid was fascinated about this visiting white kid and struck up a conversation with me. Needless to say, he was surprised that I was in his city – and his country -- to ride roller coasters, but we talked for a while before I headed back to the hotel. He invited me out clubbing with his group of friends the next night, but there wasn’t really time for that at this point in the trip. Still it was a nice gesture.

 

I walked back to the hotel in the light rain and called it a night. This was actually some of the only rain we got on the trip. And none of it really interfered with our coastering very much. We were VERY lucky, considering that we were there during typhoon season. In fact, right about at this time, a typhoon was threatening Hong Kong and Southeastern China – right where we’d be heading soon. But luckily, it beat us there, and managed to suck most of the moisture out of the air!

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A pond in the park on the way to the coaster at People's Park

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It looks like we're headed in the right direction....

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Getting a little culture on the way.

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A nice landmark to something.

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Now, this looks like something we might be looking for....

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Yes, you're going to have to do some work now!

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This is how crazy busy the coaster was before we got there. Soon the coaster would be full of adult Americans!

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They sell goldfish EVERYWHERE in China. Even in the city park.

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We've actually moved on to Xinhua Park, though you wouldn't know it from looking at the coaster. It's exactly the same model, with a slightly different paint job.

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Whores!

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WHORES!

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And more whores!

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Bjorn seems kind of Zen about his whoriness!

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Yeah, this didn't look too dangerous, right over the helix!

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Watch out!

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Elissa, it's not worth losing your head for the credit!

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The lady making lollipops out of melted sugar. Neil's enjoying his!

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And more goldfish. With a real fancy $2 filter that looks like a blender. Or maybe it IS a blender, and that's why the cocktails taste so weird?

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Some cool building we saw on the road.

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A park fountain on the way to the hotel.

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This was the lovely view from our hotel room!

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Let's get a nice closeup of those fine Chinese construction skills!

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Even the stores have tons of lights and neon!

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The view of the river from the bridge next to our hotel.

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Anyone want some "purple romance"? LOL!

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Once it was dark enough to kind of hide the collapsing building, the view of the city's neon lights was gorgeous! All of the building's lighting patterns were constantly changing.

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Time to see some of those lights up close!

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The TRON building.

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The Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, which I only know because I zoomed in the picture!

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More TRON.

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Our hotel. By this late, many of the city's neon lights were off.

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Our hotel's funky lobby.

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This vase was in our hotel room. Classy!

Edited by David H
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