The Mini World: Window on China Theme Park in Taiwan

My favorite toys growing up were the models. I built towns and had my own 3D Sim City using Hot Wheels, Micro Machines, Legos, and the occasional train set. It seems that playing with your hands and building models is only for old retired men or little boys in America, but Asians love little things. It's easy to find stores selling model trains, especially - and they aren't the cheap boxed sets you leave under the tree for your preschooler. So it should come as no surprise that in addition to Taipei's Miniatures Museum, an entire theme park is full of recreated famous buildings and landscapes from around the world.
 Don't worry, this theme park has roller coasters too. But the first thing you see on the way to the rides is a miniature mountain packed with rail lines.
 And behind the mountain lies mini-Taiwan. We'll be back later.
 To get to the rest of the park, visitors board a miniature train (well, similar to the kind of train you'd find at Disneyland) that travels through a farm. I don't remember what they were growing here.
 Finally a ride! This is a water ride, and since it had been rainy that day I didn't bother riding.
 However, I walked through the themed area, all inside, with this nice stage.
 It's a pretty high drop, and seems fun. And just like the rest of Asians, riders here wear ponchos to avoid getting wet.
 There is a giant shed/warehouse building with a bunch of rides on a few levels.
 One of the rides is a tunnel of love style boat ride! I wish I had had time to take a spin... and someone to share the ride with as well.
 There's a nice little carousel...
 And here is a photo of the Wipeout ride in action.
 Across from the boat ride is a restaurant area.
 The horse is watching you.

It's virtually impossible to take a picture of the first roller coaster - Laser Blaster. It's a kid's coaster that runs around inside a pitch-black building. You enter through this neon-lighted entrance in the building. Anyway, it's fun enough for one spin, but I wanted to find the other as well. I just had to find it...
 As I continued heading back to find the roller coaster, I found myself in America. I knew the park was huge, but... Anyway, this is Florida!
 New York sure has a lot of greenery.
 With the government shutdown, there aren't as many people at the monuments...
 The park has a Ferris wheel in the very back, which I reached before finding the second coaster. So I took a spin to get my bearings. They had this kid's ride that looked better from the air than the ground.
 Rock'n Tug!
 Safari train!
 Hand-powered cart ride! I wish the lines hadn't been so long. This park was pretty busy, so I didn't get to ride many of the attractions I probably would have with shorter waits.
 Go for a spin on a strawberry?
 Jumping Star!

Okay, so it turns out the park does have a second coaster, which was really busy. And due to them running pretty slow and my own impatience, I didn't get a picture of it. It's amazing that I took hundreds of pictures at this park but didn't get any of the two roller coasters! I'd like to visit again sometime...
 Meanwhile, back to the models. Here's a building. Is this the Globe Theatre?
 The models are pretty detailed. The European section was scattered around some small hills. As you can see, almost all of them were labeled in several languages.
 I don't remember what most of the buildings are, though.
 I had a lot of fun practicing my photography skills.
 I doubt you could get angles like this on the actual buildings without cranes or helicopters, or access to convenient windows across the street.
 I have never seen a building like this in person. I thought it was a mosque. Jason thinks it's something else (see comments below)...
 Buildings have people, too.
 There are several Japanese buildings. Is this Himeji Castle?
 Sadly, this model doesn't have open windows.
 I tried to work the macro settings on my camera but I had some difficulty. I think the lighting (overcast) didn't help much either.
 Carp! Maybe this is Hiroshima Castle.
 The models with buildings from Taiwan and China are more detailed, as one would expect. In front of the memorial, an entire army is assembled.
 In a nearby plaza, a group of men practice tai chi?
 There are American tourists in the Taiwan models!
 Trasportation isn't ignored.  Here's a four-lane highway with cars that move along the road.
And a monorail which runs through the docks (notice the blue cranes in the background?). There's also a replica of the airport!

If I had the time and desire, it would be an interesting project to photograph all of the buildings and document them. But I don't have the time in Taiwan or desire.

Anyway, Window On China is accessed by bus from Taipei or Zhongli. Buses from Taipei offer a combo discount ticket for the trip and admission to the park. The park opens at 9 or 9:30, with rides opening an hour later; rides close at 4pm on weekdays and 4:45 on weekends. Admission is NT$799 (NT$499 promotional rate - whatever that means). Be aware that the park can be busy and the rides have slow throughput.

I have yet to visit Japan's miniatures theme park - Tobu World Square, located in Nikko. I had plans to go next weekend but those might be canceled.


  1. Despite the onion domes, I think that's Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

  2. I looked up an image and it appears you're right. I'm not familiar with Saint Basil's Cathedral though I guess I had to have seen a picture of it at some point in my life. I guess there is a reason to go sightseeing in Moscow after all!