Thoughts of a Canadian Exchange Student

Leofoo Village Theme Park (六福村)

Posted in Culture, Outdoors, Taipei, Transportation, Weather by J on December 28, 2008

Leofoo Village Amusement Park (六副村) visited on: June 7, 2008

In a land that could almost whisk you away from reality, Leofoo Village Theme Park (六副村) near Hsinchu (新竹), gathers four distinct fantasies into one place. There’s a Wild West section, a African safari section (with a zoo), an Arabian kingdom section and a South Pacific section. The park’s maybe an hour or two away from Taipei by bus but as I fell asleep on the way there, I’m not quite sure. Also, if you miss the bus as we did, be prepared to wait a long time for the next one, especially on Sundays.

Overall, I had a really fun time with my friends, but as I was expecting more thrills, ie scary roller coasters, I found that the park was a little tame. But to the theme park’s credit, one of the scariest rides was out of commission. On the positive side, I liked how much space there was allocated to each of the four sections. However, the day I went, all that space spelled irony to me because it was a rainy-sunshine kind of day. But it meant that lineups weren’t that long!

I also really liked the symbols that were chosen to represent each culture. It’s like a Disney movie where the most emblematic things (ok, stereotypes) are chosen to convey what exactly makes that other culture so special and different from one’s own. For example, cowboys and First Nations people (Native American Indians) were key in the Wild West section and in the Disney movie, Pocahontas, Pocahontas was linked to nature and a less environmentally harmful way of living as compared to John Smith’s world of “modernity,” greed and environmental transformation (destruction). I guess what I’m trying to say is that I liked seeing what the (Taiwanese) creators of the theme park thought were appealing cultural fantasies to Taiwanese customers.

If you do go, check out the foreigner/gaijin guy who makes the ice cream in the Arabian kingdom section. I love how he’s a novelty.

And, oh! It was the first time I got to ride on a camel!!

For a description of the rides in the theme park click here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leofoo_Village_Theme_Park

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