I finish my posts about last year's Taiwan trip with the first place I visited: Shangri-La Paradise. It's a small theme park with a large garden located almost in the middle of nowhere.
To get there from Taiwan, I took a local train to a small, unmanned station, where I thought I could take a bus the 2-3km to the park. Asking around, it seems that there is no bus - perhaps they lied to me (, but that doesn't really matter. I asked at the police station and a taxi was called. I think this is the only taxi in Zaociao. Anyway, it wasn't expensive compared to Japanese or US taxis, and I arrived at the park pretty quickly.
Upstairs in one part of the building is a bowling alley and arcade. You could probably watch the show from the railing too.
There isn't a whole lot to do at the park, but my tight schedule that day allowed me only a very limited amount of time. If I had had more time, I probably would have stayed to see a show. Also, it seems that the park as a whole is much larger than I was able to see, and there might be some historical or cultural artifacts to look at. And then there's the garden which is great for strolling.
I must say the staff here was very friendly, especially what must have been a manager working in the front office. He was very accommodating given the serious language barrier and everyone was very helpful in getting me toward the rides. On the same note, since I left so early, the same manager gave me two return passes for free which I hope I am able to use at some point in the future, because I'd love to spend more time at the park.
The park is open from 9-5 daily, with admission at NT$400-500. The closest rail stations are Zaoqiao and Fengfu. I highly recommend having the park's name written (in Chinese) along with a Chinese language map, and be prepared to ask for a taxi at the police station in Zaoqiao. As I mentioned, there might be a bus; you can ask at the tourist information center in Taipei. If you're going just for the coaster, you can be in and out pretty quickly, but it is a time eater due to transportation. The shows look interesting though and it might be worth it to stay a few hours and enjoy the rest of the park too!
That should wrap up my Taiwan trip! After nearly 40 posts since late July, I've finally reported on all the locations I visited and the experiences I have had. While the trip had its ups and downs, overall I had a good time there is still a lot I want to do or even return to. But there's still a lot of Asia to explore, and next year I hope my travels will bring me to Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea (for a return trip!). And then there's Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Malaysia...