Taiwan: Hualien Farglory Ocean Park: A Marine Ecology Theme Park
In Hualien Ocean Park there rests an almost depressed goofiness that is unmatched in Taiwan. On its face, the park is a marine life themed pit-stop of amusement rides and generic aquatic mascots. However, don’t let the blasé preliminary specs deter you. Hualien Ocean Park takes its modest traits from something kitsch and transcends them into sublime hilarity, not unlike that possum theme park in A Goofy Movie. Hualien Ocean Park is situated on the cliffside of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. If you don’t quite realize the enormity of this while getting soaked on the log flume or while barreling through the miniature roller coaster, the ferris wheel (which hugs the cliff itself) will drive the point home, and the cable car won’t let you forget it. These rides, while straight out of a New Jersey boardwalk, yield a view that is dizzying and divine. The mascots have giant eyes and perpetual grins. As is to be expected with any water park, there are dolphin shows (sans screenings of The Cove). And of course, the park is serves as a contemporary distraction to the region’s main attraction: Taroko Gorge, the grand canyon of the pacific, a massive crevasse of sheer mountain sides, elegant shrines and pools of water.Hualien is located on the Eastern side of Taiwan.Trains from Taipei to Hualien run frequently and the trip takes 2-4 hours. However, the trains are heavily trafficked and can be quite crowded.Hualien is a rural area. Once there, the only way to get around is by foot or by cab.
Written by Jason Summerfield