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Photo TR: TPR Taiwan 2013


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Yes, That spider was MASSIVE and I totally walked straight past it and missed it on the way up to the platform!


Larry, As far as I can remember, I don;t think we were given dessert most times unlike Water Melon at the end of every meal that we had in China. We did get served that sort of purpleish rice pudding that we had in Hong Kong after the first meal at the hotel by E-DA and I remembered that I had enjoyed it so I tried some and this one was stone cold!


I forgot to mention that the PR lady at Janfusun had no idea why we wanted to ride and film on their coasters as she said they were rubbish. and that was the PR person!

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I forgot to mention that the PR lady at Janfusun had no idea why we wanted to ride and film on their coasters as she said they were rubbish. and that was the PR person!

Yes! She was hilarious! She kept saying things to us "Why are you filming our rides? They are terrible!" lol

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Loving these reports! I'm putting Taiwan down on the list of places to head to with TPR. As long as there is a stop at the place with the unlimited Haagen-Dazs buffet.


And that "Whack-a-Butt" toy is amazing. As is that freaking spider.


Can't wait to see more of Gravity Max!

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I forgot to mention that the PR lady at Janfusun had no idea why we wanted to ride and film on their coasters as she said they were rubbish. and that was the PR person!

Yes! She was hilarious! She kept saying things to us "Why are you filming our rides? They are terrible!" lol


That's hilarious! At least she's being honest!

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Day 3 of TPR's Taiwan trip took us to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. The park was about 15 minutes away from the hotel we had stayed at. We arrived nice and early and immediately ran into an issue. The park didn't want to let us in! They couldn't understand what we were there for and thought that we were a bus full of lawyers that had come to attack them for having ride that seemed very similar in name and theme to another popular ride at other parks.


After a bit of negotiation they relented and let us in, closely followed by a member of the parks management team.



View from the deck outside of the hotel that morning across Sun Moon Lake


The park entrance. Looks very aboriginal and cultural don't you think?


Ooops, photo from another da...Nope, This IS at the same park believe it or not.


The park had a lot of themeing based on the popular Japanese anime series of 'One Piece'


Awaiting the rides to open


One of the parks main attractions is a coaster called "Space Mountain", no obvious clues as to what they were worried about to me!. The coasters station was inside a huge indoor section of the park at the far side.




Welcome to Space Mountain. The ride is basically a small Vekoma coaster in the dark. I can't remember any lights during the ride or much theming apart from the station itself which had a huge rocket hanging from the ceiling unlike anywhere else. The coaster had a nice speed to it and we all got plenty of rides in. Robb managed to somehow get the park to turn on the back of house lights so we could ride and see what was in there. It turned out to be a large shed where the park stored a ton of stuff. It was better with the lights off.



Not similar in any shape or form.


Just next to Space Mountain was the Jurassic Boat Ride. Not much more to say really. It was a boat ride around creatures from the Jurassic period!



Much better than the Jurassic Boat Ride in Pigeon Forge



At the other side of the park, opposite the massive indoor section, the park had a really nice looking drop tower themed to a UFO. Really nice ride and it looked like the ops were glad they had someone to finally ride it. Robb has a great video of it so go check it out. I'll wait here...



A really cool Intamin drop tower


...Back?, ok, good



This looks a bit more cultural


The park had what looked like a really nicely themed SLC called Mayan Adventure. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately for us, the park ride had suffered quite a bit of damage during an earthquake and was totally closed. Ah well. Just a reason to go back if we get the urge to want to ride an SLC.



oooh, a Vekoma SLC, Doesn't look too open to me






KT awaiting people to finish riding the drop tower


More hmmmm....


The second major attraction at Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is a Mack water coaster. I had not ridden one and was looking very much forward to finally getting to ride one. I had no idea that the dip in the middle at the top was taken backwards so that was a nice surprise. The whole ride was really well themed and it was great watching the exploding water grenades go off as the boat returned to the station. I think Robb took a video of this but I have not not seen it yet. Must go and scout it out.



Caribbean Splash




One unique part of the park was it's cable cars. You can catch the cable cars which takes you to the top part of the park where you can change to another set which take you high over the hills to see the stunning views over Sun Moon Lake. We were told that it was a must do attraction there and I was so glad we took the time to do it. At the skyride station at the far side we hopped off, walked around and hopped back on.



The Skyride


Not this visit eh


Amazing views


The half way station


OMG, So thankful we didn't have to walk it all!



Sun Moon Lake


Back at the halfway station, we decided we would walk back down to the amusement park through the culture village area. This basically consists of a variety of little downward sloping paths next to displays, small shops, and descriptive signs explaining all about the aboriginees of Taiwan.



You sure it's this way?





Just outside the entrance to the park was the European Garden.



European Garden


Around mid afternoon we left the park and made our way to Atayal Resort. This was a very very nervewrecking drive around extremely windy hills and roads. The bus driver just went for it and at one point overtook a rubbish bin lorry on a bend with a steep cliff on the side!. We made it to Atayal Resort in record time.



We saw this from a distance and had no idea what it was. It turned out that it was at Atayal Resort and we still had no idea what it was!


Park Entrance


What is this?


Bit run down


It was very very busy


Atayal Resort was decidedly empty when we arrived so we found the map of the park and knew that two possible coasters may be found here. The whole park was nicely landscaped but totally dead and things were looking like they hadn;t had much upkeep for a very long time. We started walking to where the map said the first one was and a guy from the park told it was closed for maintenance and that fit in with the sign over it's entrance. Robb persuaded the park staff to let us ride so they let us in and off it went! The second group of us then hopped aboard and the op pressed the "Go" button and nothing happened. We were obviously too heavy we thought, a few people hopped out and she tried again but to no avail. Robb decided that the battery just needed time to charge up and as the op kept pressing the "Go" button keep relieving it of power, it failed to operate correctly. So we hatched a plan to get her away from the control panel.


Robb then declared we all get off and wander around for 10 minutes. We did the aforementioned wandering and then hopped back on and the plan worked! Around it went! Credit got!!! Mission Accomplished. Thanks for the persistence Robb!



Closed, Totally out of order. No way this is operating


Pretty flowers


oooh, We got to ride a closed coaster.


Can't wait to see the POV of this one!


Keith was extremely excited he got the credit


Whilst we did our wandering, JC had gone off to scout out the other coaster that was meant to be at the park but could find no sign of it so we gave up hope of that one. It also seems like our group will be some of the last, if not the last, people to get to ride that Dragon coaster as it didn't seem like that park would be open for much longer.


After the stop at Atayal, (oh, yeh, that park had a very strange extremely loud generator and turbine sound going on. No idea why! Sorry, I just remembered that), we drove to our next hotel (yep, this is a 1 hotel per night trip!).




Taiwan has pylons on stilts! Skillful



The starter of my evening meal. Not my cup of tea. Thanks JC for finishing it off!


After our meal we set off to the local Sogo store (where else?) just to have a wander around and play with the remote control helicopters in the Toys and Games department and then we all called it a night.




Next up SCARY VEKOMA TILT COASTER day!. Till then...

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The FACV was a really weird, but neat place. Part traditional amusement park, part outdoor museum, part cable car to a gorgeous lake. The more modern section to the front center and right (including the building) seemed really out of place, especially with all of the anime theming there.


But outside of the front middle and right section, the rest is supposed to be about the aboriginal peoples. It's not just the Taiwanese ones, either. It's all sorts of aboriginals, including displays of Native Americans and many others. It's also why the SLC is themed to the Mayan native people. That SLC had some of the nicest theming I've seen on a coaster, with the lift and station enclosed by a mock Mayan pyramid and temple. There was also a small waterfall that the train almost runs into. And restaurants inside the temple complex, so you can watch the coaster going around you. Of course, it's still an SLC!


On that long trek down, there were all sorts of outdoor displays of native peoples doing everything from getting married to hunting to playing games. There were also several shows and dance routines and the like that they held in that section of the park, though I didn't try to catch any of them.


I found the setup of the cable cars really interesting. The first one was completely within the park, and was mainly there to get you up and down the long mountain path to the top. But the second one is outside park property and is jointly run by the park and the city/lake. If you are coming from the park, it's free. But you can also pay to come from the lake side, and will have to turn around at the park's station. There is a park entrance in that cable car station. I imagine that it's kind of how they'll run the new train between the parks at Universal Florida.


Was the log flume open? It was closed on my visit, but looked like it had really extensive theming.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, So today was our day at Lihpao Land, formally known as Discovery World. We got to the park nice and early ready to do some morning filming with Travel Channel (only extras this time) on the SCARY VEKOMA TILT COASTER!!!



Colourful to say the least







Our carriages await


I hope this thing holds!



We wandered up to the station platform where testing for the day was just about to begin so we could watch the train make it's first circuit with our own eyes.


It crawled up the lift as a very very slow pace and sat on the tilt section for a very long time before it slowly tilted up and dropped into the tunnel below.


When the train returned, we nervously took our seats and off we went for our first rides expecting the worst. Very surprisingly we arrived back with nothing bad to say about it. It was one of the smoothest Vekomas I have ever ridden and was actually a really awesome and fun ride.










The loop is as smooth as the rest of the ride.


Park map



After a few rounds on Gravity Max (as it was very much a nice re-rideable Vekoma) we wandered off to see what else the park had to offer. We came across the parks snail themed car ride which really must win the award for best name for a snail themed car ride! S-Car-Go




The other coaster at Lihpao Land was Mine Express, this is yet another Vekoma roller skater in the standard layout and is just as everyone would expect.




Mine Express


Is it just me or does this park seem to be very quiet?


JC happy he gained his Mine Express credit


The park also had one of these, but the more exciting thing is the SCARY VEKOMA TIL.... oh, it wasn't that bad.


This park had a very weird metal globe shaped object on some posts around one side of the park. It was a bit of an eyesore, was very rusty and didn;t seem to ahve any use other than to be there for people to take pictures of and wonder what use it actually held!




Other members of the group decided to try out the flume ride. I had already conquered the parks rapids ride and survived so didn't need to go through two water rides in one day.









After foolishly riding the one of these at one of China's Happy Valleys, I passed by this


same with the top spin


Jump Robb, Jump!



Close up of the bottom of the tilt lock mechanism


After Lihpao Land, we headed to ShanGri La Paradise to find their roller coaster. This was a VERY VERY large place and we had a long trek to the coasters area. The walk started through a shop and entrance building, down narrow tree covered pathways, around a nicely landscaped garden and then down a huge long seemingly never ending path until we found what is more like the coaster we should have been worrying about on this day.








Oh No, It's a Blizzard!


They also had a Tagada, we didn't ride as it looked closed but it would never beat the craziness of the one at Floraland!


After ShanGri La we drove to our hotel which was at LeoFoo Amusement Park. This was an animal lodge style hotel with 3 buildings, (1 reception/shop/restaurant building and two room blocks) and in the middle was a small savannah with animals!


I think I pretty much spent the evening wandering about and taking some photos and then went to the buffet style meal with the others.



Trees, in the room.






What else does a Giraffe do when it rains?


Yes, I see you.








Next up, Leofoo!

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Seriously, who knew the Tilt Coaster was one of the best rides in the world??! Why weren't more of these made? Why didn't we all die?!?! These are important questions that need to be answered!

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^ Agreed on all of the above!


I wonder if anyone ever goes to any of these parks. I was there during the week in October, so it wasn't surprising that they were very dead then. There weren't even 100 people at any of the parks in Taiwan I visited except Janfusun which maybe had 100-150 people there, but almost all of them were with one school group.


You guys were there in the middle of the Summer, and they still didn't seem to have many people there. I wonder when they're busy? (Hopefully, you won't find out on the next TPR trip there!)

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I was really surprised by how reliable it was. That thing cycled constantly all day and didn't seem to have any downtime at all. Oh and the fact that the park was empty and it has one of the most unique coasters on the planet in it. What gives?

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I'd love to see some more of these Tilt Coasters sprout up. It reminds me a bit of Deja Vu- it may not look like much, but it delivers in spades as far as ride experience goes. I'm not sure I could think of a park stateside that would go for one, but people were probably saying the same thing about B&M's Dive Coaster.

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  • 1 month later...

So, after a bit of a break, i'm back for the final day in Taiwan!


The final day was at Leofoo Theme Park and Window on China.


Our hotel the previous night was the on park property safari hotel directly besides the park. This made our journey in the morning very short, even so we decided to go via coach!



Wakey Wakey animals!


This little fella and his friends were climbing all over the boardwalk and chasing other animals in their enclosures.


Oooh, What's that?



As Robb had organised some ERT for us this morning we were led into the park via a staff only area which led straight to the arabian themed section.




oooh, Are we at DisneySea? - No, most definitely not


Now, it seemed like the park didn't want to open it's coasters at that time and instead wanted us to have ERT on their ring of fire ride. Myself and Anth subjected ourselves to the torture of the ring of fire whilst everyone else stood and watched in delight! I think Robb has some very strange photos from the GoPro of us in pain on this contraption.



Pain visualised


It is Disney! - No, it most certainly is not.


As the coaster ERT idea didn't seem to be working, Robb managed to wangle us into getting a backstage walkaround of the parks Indy style dark ride:- Sultans Adventure!



oooh, Indy style dark ride!


These things were live! - Not locked off at all and they were encouraging us to take a stroll around and to keep stepping over the rails. I think everyone stepped over very gingerly and only when absolutely necessary!


A jeep vehicle in the circuit


Loving the loudspeaker theming at the back!


A closer look at the front of one of the jeeps.




This was a kind of Pepper's Ghost illusion





Maybe Elissa took Oceanic 814?


A group photo inside Sultan's Adventure courtesy of Robb's phone.


Argh!!!! - It's behind you, err me!


Are you my MUMMY?


Can anyone guess what happens next?


Creepy tall dragony monster things that wiggled above you but made no sound at all!


After our tour we headed to Sahara Twist which is an Intamin Twist and Turn coaster. It was still down and no one around knew nothing about when it would open.




The park was very odd, goats just wandering around


Off we went to find the other coaster, we found "The Lost World" which must be an attraction of some kind but turned out to be a load of small paths and a few dinosaurs scattered around.




The parks second coaster is a standard layout Vekoma Roller Skater called Little Rattler.



We found Little Rattler.




Keith having way too much fun


After riding Little Rattler we sped back to Sahara Twist and were pleased to find it had finally opened. It was actually a cool little ride. You could definitely tell it was an older style coaster but I really enjoyed it!




Sultans Adventure was was nowhere as violent with it's ride motions as the Indy rides are and not a lot of sound effects or moving animatronics at all. It was nice seeing a park have a bash at an Indy system based ride though.



Back to Sultan's Adventure for an actual ride through.


The far side of the Lost World path ride was the flume ride. It looked pretty impressive with the large dinosaurs looming over the drops.



We found dinosaurs





Next we took a ride on the parks drop tower after a huge queue of about 15 people took a good long 35-40 minutes to go through! (The park was not great at their operations) - oh, and this park was quite busy compared to all the other parks in Taiwan that we visited.




NOOOOO!!! Don't hit the Llama!


At the back of the park was Screaming Condor, a lovely sculpture placed here by Intamin. Moving on....



ooooh, Screaming Condor it's an Intamin...


... Pretty sculpture!



Still not DisneySea


If not DisneySea, then maybe UgLand at Alton Towers?, Nope, not even that!



Later in the afternoon, Robb took Kristen on the Horses and he thought the horses would just walk around the small carousel they were attached to, but oh no, this is Taiwan, they sit you on a horse and then a keeper walks the horse around the theme park!






When the horse returned it was time to feed the horse some carrots when we discovered the amazing but totally gross photos we could get. I think we spent a stupidly long ride grabbing shots similar to the below:







Onwards, from Leofoo to Window on China!




Window on China was about 15 minutes away (maybe less) and is primarily a miniatures based park.



Window on China was a very very nicely themed and landscaped park.



This park was split in two so to get to the parks two coasters you had to take a train. It was the fastest miniature train I have ever ridden!



Wheeeee! on the train



First coaster of the park was the Mini Mine Train, this is the smallest of Vekoma's Roller Skater offering




Miles and Keith on Mini Mine Train



The second coaster was indoors and was sort of themed to space and was in the dark with light up multicoloured shapes. I think on this day we rode all the styles of Roller Skater than Vekoma sells! If you are a mad Vekoma fan then Taiwan seems the place to go!


At the time I thought this was my 399th coaster and the following coaster:- Galaxy Express 999 in Japan would be my 400th but it actually turns out that this coaster was my 400th. It wasn't a bad little ride anyway so YAYA!



Number 400 for me!


The aforementioned miniatures


This was a syrup waffle type thing. Tasted amazing.


oooh. Reminders of home


The park also had a Chute the Chutes ride.


The park also had this very weird display of OPEN! I have no idea what it is. Some sort of cartoon, comic? It seemed to involve 7-Eleven and a lot of cats!









Good deed being done for the day







More miniatures including places I visited in China last year!



I'm sure I have been here (Doesn't seem to be any red pandas?)


and here



JCZilla invades Taiwan!!!!!!


The miniatures area also had a nice replica of Taiwan Airport, the planes even moved around.




That evening we stayed at the Taiwanese Airport Hotel. Very nice hotel and seemed very modern. The hotel has a great atmosphere that evening as it was playing host to the MAKE MUSIC TAIWAN mini festival. The good atmosphere was equalled out by a horrible feeling of "trip at it's end" but I had the awesome thought of an amazing upcoming trip in Japan starting the following day!


One thing I learnt at the end of this trip was to not leave my camera unattended! Some photos below:



Looking out the hotel room window over at the airports runways and the MAKE MUSIC TAIWAN festival.



Post and, for some of us Pre, trip drinks


Don't leave your cameras unnattended


Don't leave your cameras unnattended


So, here we are at the end! My highest thanks to Robb & Elissa for organising and running the trip so superbly and thanks to the small group of people that made it all awesome! Hope to see you again soon!


I might do a separate topic with 1 or 2 posts highlighting several of my photos from Japan rather than an entire photo trip report as other people do a much better job at them than I do. Go see Roberts Japan report (it's awesome!)


See you next time...

Edited by rctneil
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I think Syrup Waffle on a Stick is my new favorite food and something Knoebels should certainly look into. Also love the photo of you and the dinosaur.


Taiwan certainly surprised all of us in a good way and we can't wait to go back again!


Thanks Neil!

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