What Is Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village? Sun Moon Lake?? | TAIWAN WITH AVA PART 4

Thursday, May 17, 2018

This trip went by so fast, on our 4th day we were speeding again for the train station for our booked tour with Klook. I did not expect this although I was the one who put together the itinerary, we booked TWO DAYS to go to areas that are both in TAICHUNG! Haha! Kulang ako sa research talaga for this trip!!

Anyway, so we went about with the route we took yesterday, but instead of taking the ordinary train, we pushed for the bullet train because we have an early call time for the tour!! And so that's just one comment I have for this tour, the pick up is in Taichung Station na. Hopefully next time they have something man lang na mula Taipei may ride na to make life easier. :) Besides, most tourists or their market manggagaling naman talagang Taipei.

Again, the bullet train from Taipei to Taichung is worth 700 NTD or Php 1200 just one way. Medyo mahalia, but convenient coz 1 hour lang ang travel time.

Again, not much difference in terms of comfort ang bullet train nila vs the regular, 2-hour train. So if hindi naman nagmamadali or maaga kayo nakaalis, then you can just take the regular train for only 375 NTD or Php 660.

We easily spotted our tour guide in Taichung Station since he gave the exit number as our meet up point. We had time to eat our breakfast before going here. Kokonti lang kami, around 7 tourists + the tour guide who is also our driver. Sadly, lahat sila nag Chichinese so medyo nakaka off that he is not even translating his directions and kwentos in English. Huhu.

Medyo masikip din kami since we're in a van lang, dalawa kami ni Ava sa harapan katabi ng driver lol. It's okay if mabilis lang ang ride, but nakatulog pa ako so maybe it took about 40 minutes drive pa to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. Madami na akong na-try na tour groups sa tanang travel life ko haha, but this one is so-so if not medyo meh, haha! Aside from not translating what he is saying in English, wala din small initiatives like free water bottle man lang. Lol, or maybe demanding lang ba ako??? 😄

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

All is well though when we arrived at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. In all honesty, I signed up for this tour not knowing what a Formosan Culture Aboriginal Village is, haha! I picked this activity because it has the SUN MOON LAKE in the itinerary, a place I've read and dreamed of going to around 2-3 years ago when I was planning my spring trip to Taiwan. They said that Sun Moon Lake is one of the best cherry blossom sighting location when you're in Taiwan.

So anyway, the Formosan Aboriginal Village is actually a THEME PARK!!!

What makes it unique is that the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village reminds me of Korean theme parks like Everland and Lotte World where they do not need popular characters to make it an enjoyable experience. They just have the coolest gardens, the scariest rides, and a few shows here and there to entertain their guests the whole day!

I read up online that Taichung is actually where aboriginal Taiwanese lived a long time ago. I will not dwell on too much info and history, but I realized that maybe that's why they named this theme park as such?! In short, medyo hindi tunog theme park, haha! But all good ~ when you go inside the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village you'll get a mismatched, interesting mash-up of both cultural and modern entertainment!

One of our first rides was the Monorail, which just goes around the compound. It's a nice way to scout nadin where to go next.

Mid-day, we were also able to try the water ride, and it was so much fun!! Para syang Log Jam ni EK, grabe nakaka miss mag rides, haha! Don't worry if you have gadgets with you and wala kayong dalang extrang damit. First, they have coin lockers by the entrance of the ride so we left everything there. Second, yung mga asa unahan lang naman nababasa talaga aka ME hahaha!

They have cultural shows listed on the map, but medyo nahirapan kami to look for the different stage.  To be fair, malaki sya a! We accidentally chanced upon just one of them right in front of the entrance of the water ride. Watched for a few minutes before heading in, and I saw that they let the audience wear their trad costumes and taught them a few cultural dance steps. 

Photo corners here and there, sabi ko sa inyo sobrang random ng theme dito! Haha! Ang kulit!

I know that spring in Taiwan is earlier, at around February, but medyo slightly umasa ako na may cherry blossoms pa. We walked around looking for the "cherry blossoms forest" but was told by a roving personnel na wala na talaga. Huhu.

At least pink padin!! Hehe.

Our finale ride, and akala ko ready ako for anything, was the UFO. It's their "drop" ride said to be the tallest in Taiwan!! Akk! 😁 Walang kapila pila so it was our turn na agad when we got there, hehehe walang hinga hinga at pacing. Actually, we can even go for a round two parang dun sa water ride (lol) but no thanks okay na muna isa! Haha!

And of course, food is abundant as with any theme park! Price is ok naman, and best part is may vegetarian meal sila - na madalas wala sa theme parks!! Yey!

Sun Moon Lake

This was actually our first stop in the whole theme park. Naisip namin to look for the cable cars na agad for the Sun Moon Lake habang wala pang tao. Turns out, it's a pretty chill day all throughout. Never kami nainip o pumila, which is extra extra points for the whole experience!

So the two-way cable car ride is free for all, or technically already part of the ticket / tour. There's an option to get the clear glass car hanggang flooring, so we opted for that para cool. I am not so afraid of heights, so I enjoyed the view from the different angles of the gondola. I love the lush greeneries on this side of Taiwan! I even got a comment on my Instagram stories na parang nasa computer game lang daw ako--it seems unreal when you think about it!

We passed by a few constructions, so mag eexpand and lalaki pa talaga this theme park:

The Sun Moon Lake. Hello, finally! ❤

Heading down.....

A few fun facts about Sun Moon Lake:

1) It is the largest body of water in the whole of Taiwan, popular for its clear blue water and picturesque mountain backdrop!

2) Around the lake is home of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, the Thao tribe.

3) Where the name came from: East side of the lake resembles a sun, while the west side resembles a moon!

4) They also hold an interesting festival here every Mid-Autumn, where more than one hundred swimmers plunge into the Sun Moon Lake and swim 3KM across!

5) You can also see the Wenwu Temple or the biggest temple on the Northern bank of the lake.

Spot the torii gate, another touch of Japan in Taiwan:

European Palace Garden

Our final stop before we headed back to the van is right next to the theme park's entrance. We already spent long hours in a garden the day before so this was least of our priority, but when we saw it, it's also so so beautiful to resist! It started to rain when we were taking photos in this huge park, but again, no rain can ruin Anagon's parade! Haha!

Ang ganda noh!? It's so hard to appreciate it while we were battling with the on-off rain, and constantly checking the time baka ma late kami sa call-time. Maybe this is just one of those moments I do not regret being trigger happy. Ang sarap balik-balikan! ❤

The mag-ina found a cute shade while it was raining:

Will never get tired of lavender fields:

Wenwu Temple

A quick stop-over before our tour guide dropped us back to the train station, Wenwu Temple or Sun Moon Lake's temple is just one of the supposed two in the area. It was rebuilt in the 60s after being torn down along the other one during the Japanese colonial government.

We had no temple visits for the trip, so I welcomed the quick detour just for the change of scenery.

Dinner at Jamie Oliver In Taiwan Resto!

We got back in the main city with just an hour in the bullet train. We were chance passengers since it was rush hour, and tita had restaurant reservations that we cannot miss so hindi na din kami nagpa late. It's my first time to take a long train ride standing up, but well trained ako sa Alabang buses pag really bad day and gusto ko na maka uwi so naka tayo din talaga, haha! I just transferred camera pictures to my phone and started editing, and in no time asa Taipei na pala kami!

Hallo chef Jamie Oliver!

I am honestly not familiar with Jamie Oliver, but I learned from Ava and even my Ate that he is a popular chef and super big deal to dine in any of his resto and try the foods. I was so excited to eat!

We ordered A LOT and walang talo naman talaga. I even had the best caesar salad in my life, drowning in feta cheese that satisfied my cheesy heart hehehe.

My First Love, Ximending

We ended the day in my favorite Taipei destination back in 2014, during my first time here. Ximending is a shopping and food destination where I was introduced to Taiwan street food, Mala Hot Pot, Airbnbs, Coco Curry, cheap shopping, and even ABC Mart! Before Japan and even Korea, I fell in love at first sight with Taiwan!

The Titas of Taipei treated us with Taiwanese street snacks and drinks even though we were still full from Jamie Oliver. Can't say no to that since it's already our last night! I also went separate shopping for the rest of the night so I can buy panindas and pasalubongs, and also to look for last minute gifts for Ava. Clock was ticking, and it was almost 12mn!

We celebrated Ava's birthday on the train, and I felt a bit sad and disappointed at myself at hindi ako ready. Usually madami akong paandar for a friend's birthday but super nabusy na sa trip, and hindi na ako nakakita ng gift in Ximending na hindi pilit, huhu. I tried na makabawi by being the first one to greet Ava offline and online, hahaha, and of course the next day naka bili na ako ng simple gifts for her.

Last few thoughts before ending this post:

1) The Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is recommended if you really plan to go to a theme park on your Taiwan trip. May minor boo-boos lang that needs improvement from the tour, but overall it's an enjoyable experience naman lalo na if ma rides and nature trip ka. They have everything in just that one area--rides, gardens, temples, nature!

2) I can't get enough of all the foods we had during this trip, and this is all thanks to Ava's mom! Wala akong inulit from my 2014 Taiwan trip, so yey for trying something new. Also, we tried both sides of the spectrum, from street to Michelin star, and super appreciate that I get to enjoy them all in just 5 days in Taiwan!

3) I appreciate the simple friendship I have with Ava. She and her fam welcomed me in Taiwan as if I am already family. I never felt deprived especially sa food and especially na vegetarian ako! I am forever grateful for this, and although hindi ako naka prepare for Ava's day, she said that it's no biggie and ang important is andun din ako, present sa Taiwan to celebrate with her. HUHUHU. I really don't know why I am blessed with this friendship but I thank God for this everyday!

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1 comment

  1. Ana! Chen here :) Loved your taiwan entries. Will visit this theme park pag balik ko sa Taiwan. I super love your style writing talaga! Nakakaentertain, parang nandun din ako sa trip mo. Keep on writing!


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