Since Taiwan opened up to Filipinos with VISA-free entry, it became one of the hottest destinations from Manila. I have always wondered what Taiwan looks like having seen the large island country on a clear day from Batanes. It is so close from our farthest island at only 218km distance. That’s why I got so excited when I got a chance to experience Taiwan for a week courtesy of Taiwan Tourism Board. And our first stop upon landing at Taoyuan International Airport is Liphao Land in Taichung. The biggest theme park in the country. Let’s get started. It’s time for Taiwan!
1. Largest Theme Park in Taiwan
We rode a coaster heading to midwest Taiwan for Taichung City. It was interesting to see how Taiwan has kept its lush vegetation intact despite the city’s development. I like seeing the greens as we rolled on the elevated highway. It took us at least an hour and a half to reach Houli village, where the expansive 200 hectare Liphao Land is located. What used to be a ranch owned by Taiwan Sugar Corporation was established as Yamay Discovery World back in 1998. Steadily grew as the largest land and water theme park in Tawian, it was renamed as Liphao Land in 2012. Adding more facilities and attractions to cater to a wide range of visitors to families, group of friends and thrill-seekers. Setting world class standards that Taiwanese need not fly out of the country to enjoy.
2. Tallest Ferris Wheel in Taiwan
First night in Taiwan and I got the chance to see the night scape of Taichung at the country’s tallest ferris wheel, the Sky Dream Ferris Wheel. It reaches 394 feet (120 meters) high, has 60 cars and takes around 30 minutes for a full rotation. Perfect place to chill for the night and appreciate the views with friends and family.
3. Most Daring Rides
Liphao Land’s amusement park, Discovery Land, is 25 hectares wide and divided into three main themes: The daring rides at Exciting Paradise, the moderate and just-the-right-pump of excitement at Magic Forest and POPA Kingdom mainly targeted for the young ones.
I must say its the most thrilling ride at the park is Gravity Max. Just looking at this one of a kind, world’s first, 90-degree drop tilt of a roller coaster already mades me feel quesy. But I was able to gather up enough courage to make my way up and try the ride. The long wait at the riding platform was agonizing but worth it. As our coaster ascended to the tilt, the coasters dropped to 90 degrees. For a brief moment, we were all staring down, blood rushing to our face and was wondering what the hell we were thinking. Then gravity happened. Out coaster plummeted down and shocked our senses inside a short tunnel. And before we could recover, we were already at the 360 degree track. It was definitely exhilarating and one of a kind roller coaster ride I’ve have ever rode!
The other rides we tried were the easy-breezy Stinger ride that gave us a nice view of the park while we spun up on air. And the deceptively gut-wrenching Energy Storm, that turned us in all directions while the whole octopus tentacles spun. I was literally shookt!
4. International Standard Race Tracks
Feel like a winner at the newly opened Liphao International Circuit. Racing aficionados would enjoy viewing the vehicles on display at the park. Shop for race-branded items at the boutique store. Try the 1.2km go-kart race track on high quality Sodi karts. And another thing to be excited about is the soon to be opened international standard Formula 3 raceway. A Virtual Reality game with friends is also available here.
5. Shopping and Age Old Olive Trees
Avid shoppers won’t miss out on top brands available at the Liphao Outlet Mall. The Portofino Italy-inspired architecture houses more than a 100 brands on its three-level Grand Mall and two-story Garden Mall. Do check out the lovely olive trees imported from Italy spread out at the garden. One is at least 500 years old. There are also a lot of dining options available here. Taichung is known for its Bubble Milk Tea and several stalls offer them here.
6. 5-Star Luxury Stay
What better way to enjoy all what Liphao Land has to offer is to stay at the heart of the resort. The 5-star Fullon Hotel Liphao Land provides easy access to all facilities within the theme park while giving guest the utmost comfort during their stay. I stayed at their Single Superior Room and the room was just overwhelmingly spacious. Two big beds in a 46 sqm room. A sofa, work desk, fast wifi and 2 toilets. There are dining options at the ground floor, fitness center and a couple of swimming pools but it was too cold to use.Book Fullon Hotel Liphao Land here.
Experience Liphao Land
What a way to start my journey in Taiwan. Liphao Land is an all-around amusement and entertainment package that can be enjoyed by families and a group of friends. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
How to go to Liphao Land
- By Bus: From the Taipei Bus Station, take an Ubus bus that departs hourly. Travel time is one hour.
- By Train: From Taipei, take a Taiwan High Speed Rail train to THSR Taichung Station. At Platform 10, ride a free Liphao Land Bus that departs regularly at 9:50am, 11:50am and 1:50am. Travel time is 30 minutes.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.