A Day of Culture, Amusement Park Style

I'm getting redder and redder. How could I have forgotten sunscreen? It's not too bad but it seems to be growing every day. I'm going to have a nice tan when I get back to Japan.

Another early start to my day and again some difficulty getting to the bus stop. Things seem to be overly complicated here for no reason, especially when it comes to touristy places. Thankfully today is part of the holiday period so there was an extra bus leaving soon after I arrived.

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is a small amusement park spread out in a downhill valley between two mountains. The rides are at the bottom, and the culture stuff is the top two thirds or so v

Thanks to the extra bus, I got there right on time and quickly rode the indoor coaster, which was good luck since it was the only ride with any real line most of the day. I tried a few other rides and then took the cable car (think gondolas, not San Francisco-style).

The culture portion of the park teaches about the aboriginal tribes throughout Taiwan, mainly through reproduction buildings and artifacts. Plus there's a decent artifact museum with more explanations. I think everything was available with English text! There are also aboriginals throughout the park making crafts or putting on shows. I watched some girls practice their dancing before a stage show for a while, and tried some nice food. Meat on sticks is the go-to staple in Taiwan, I think, because I had a hot dog on a stick, bacon on a stick (very thick cut), and chicken on a stick. I also tried bamboo rice, which is rice cooked inside a bamboo stalk. Very sticky and decently good.

A lot of the structures are various layouts of housing, and they look more or less the same, with some building technique differences. I guess on a small island things tend to evolve about the same as technologies are shared.

After finishing my walk down the mountain and getting my fill of culture, I took a ride on the water ride and then spent the rest of the afternoon shooting pictures and trying a few rides. There was one ride down that looked kind of fun (a heavily-themed log flume ride) and the still-standing-but-apparently-not-operating-ever-again Waikiki Wave. I knew this ride existed at the park last year and I was hoping that it still was there and would be running. It wasn't listed on the website or anywhere else as being in operation so I didn't get my hopes up too high, but it was a bit of a disappointment seeing it there but neglected. I really want to try one of these, and there are only a few left in the world. Oh well. I still had a good time!

I spent the evening at one of Taichung's night markets. I saw a lot of clothes for sale (didn't buy any) and won an Angry Birds window cling stuffed toy. I didn't sample any special food but I certainly smelled the stinky tofu.

So today was another day with struggles, but again I had a good time. The amusement park escapades continue tomorrow with Fancyworld. This is supposed to be one of the best parks in Taiwan (there aren't many to begin with, but I'd say this and E-Da World are the country's premier parks). Another early day though, and possibly a long one! I am hoping to see another baseball game tomorrow night. Until then...

And again, I can't control the order of the pictures. Sorry!

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