The Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village is a theme park/ cultural heritage exhibition in the mountains of Nantou county, Yuchi township, near Sun Moon Lake. While i’d expected it to be pretty lame, I was pleasantly surprise by the cultural exhibition and learned quite a bit. With good company, the trip was well worth it.
Getting there is the difficult part. I think the Fillipinos got it right by hiring a van to take us to The park and pick us up at the railway station next to Sun Moon Lake. As it is, it was a 2 hour trip to get there. If we were to take a bus from Taichung city, it would have taken 8-9 hours. Not gona sugar coat it; if you get motion sick, you are going to want to opt for a light breakfast and maybe suck on some ginger root. All the turns and switch backs while driving past Sun Moon Lake made me absolutely miserable. Be prepared for that and don’t let it mar an otherwise pleasant trip.
The main entrance
We manage to get there right around opening time which is 9:30am. Entry is 780 for individuals or 700 per head if you come in a group. Since a lot of the attractions don’t open up until 10:30 am anyways, I recommend starting with some photography of the Ritz Palace and the gardens in front of it. The Fillipinas, of course, wanted to “play model” and shamelessly spent an hour posing and taking pictures of each other.
The gardens in front of the mansion
The Maya themed area features the Maya Adventure roller coaster. It is, to my knowledge, the greatest roller coaster in Taiwan! This suspended roller coaster had my butthole puckered so tight, you’d think it was prison orientation day. The usually hyper-expressive Fillipinas lost their shit and didn’t recover said shit until at least half an hour after disembarking. I was equally excited but better composed. Straight ahead, after getting off, there is a plastic, mushroom and candy forest cave. It was cheesy as a bowl of Krafts, but the girls spent half an hour posing and taking pictures.
We’re going to Candy Mountain Chaaaaarlie!
The Arabian themed portion has more carnival games, a swinging ship, a counterfeit Space Mountain and a log flume tour of animatronic dinosaurs that wouldn’t have put my 6 year old , dino crazed nephew t o sleep. The swinging ship was just a regular, no frills swinging ship but truthfully: swinging ships kick ass. That it made one of the girls cry makes it a personal highlight of the park for me. Space Mountain (they even named it Space Mountain) is just like the Dinsneyland Space Mountain before they aquired Star Wars but a little shittier. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely worth going on, but don’t expect it to be on par with the OG Space Mountain in Cali or even the Maya Adventure I mentioned earlier. The dinosaur ride you can go ahead and skip. The most fun we had in there was from making fun of the animatronics.
There are other rides, including a miniature free fall attraction that didnt pique anyones interest, a roller coaster called the Gold Mine Adventure that the girls refused to go on for fear of getting wet and a log flume called Caribbean Splash that was closed down for maintenance.
It took us only 2 hours to ride all the attraction we wanted and by this time, everyone was hungry so we went to the restaurant next to the Maya Adventure. If you have ever been to a theme park before then you would expect overpriced, low quality food in tiny portions. However, this place was pretty reasonable. Most of us opted for the fried pork steak. It came with: rice, miso soup and strange, fermented vegetables all for 240 NT. This is identical in price and quality to what a meal in a mid-range, Japanese restaurant in the rest of Taiwan.
Nothing here can even compare to Disneyland but was pretty great by Taiwanese standards. I wouldn’t consider the theme park worth the long trip up but the cultural heritage park is well worth it so you may as well enjoy the theme park while you are there. In the next post, ill talk about said aboriginal cultural heritage park.