Saturday, 6 September 2014

Day 4: Exploring Kaoshiung - Eda World 義大世界, Love River 愛河, Rui Feng Night Market 瑞豐夜市,

Day 4 in Taiwan was also our 2nd day in Kaoshiung (15 Jul 2014, Tuesday).

I really like being on vacation! I can go anywhere I want and simply explore everywhere and anywhere!

Writing this diary really brings me back the sweet moments of travelling.

Just to re-cap, the itinerary for day 2 in Kaoshiung goes this way:
2nd Day:

Eda World 義大世界, 
accessible via Zuoying Station BUT requires a 15-min shuttle bus ride provided by Eda World

Love River 愛河, 

accessible via Shi Yi Hui Station (1 stop before Xiziwan)

Rui Feng Night Market 瑞豐夜市, 
accessible via Ju Dan Station (is that the right pinyin? -_-)

The day started with our breakfast at ICON Hotel.

Maybe we are too used to having those buffet spread breakfast, so when we saw this was merely a set breakfast, we were pretty disappointed. 

Nevertheless, this was filling and acceptably tasty (acceptable only cos it was served in room temperature).

Pretty artistic breakfast cafe - located at the basement of ICON Hotel.

-----Eda World 義大世界-----

I opted to stay in Kaoshiung for 2 nights (instead of 1) mainly because I simply LOVE going to theme parks and Kaoshiung had a theme park to offer!

When I did my research on Kaoshiung, this "Eda World Greek-Inspired Theme Park" kept popping up. I simply  couldn't resist!

Beautiful, isn't it?

"E-Da World is the brainchild of steel magnate Lin Yi-shou. Lin is the founder of E-United Group and is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Taiwan.

Lin had a vision of creating a top class university, residential area, and tourist attraction all rolled into one. He choose the south of Taiwan outside of Kaohsiung City as he felt this was the place where he started out as a youth and worked hard to be successful.

Lin created E-Da world in the late 1990's, and it has slowly developed into a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike. The area includes a university, (I- Shou University), an International School (I- Shou International School) , a theme park with rides and rollercoasters, Italian villa style residential neighborhoods, a large outlet mall, two hotels including the Crowne Plaza Hotel, movie theaters, and a driving range to boot."

Going there wasn't too hard:

KRT to Zuoying Station >> Shuttle Bus (15-20 mins) @ 37 NT/pax which drops you directly at Eda World.

As our location required us to transit at the Formosa Boulevard Station (美麗島站), might as well take a walk around that specific station which was known for it's "Dome of Light" interior decor., known for it's largest glass work in the world.

"It was designed by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, 30 metres in diameter and covers an area of 2,180 square metres. It is made up of 4,500 glass panels.The dome will be offered as venues for weddings."


Happily, we arrived at the Bus Stop just outside Zuoying Station and asked around for the right platform to wait for the bus as there were too many signs and we were too lazy to read the sign board (or is it that we forgot how to read mandarin? hmmm)

You see, unlike here in Singapore, both Taiwan and Korea (as I discovered) have huge and elongated bus stops with multiple "platforms" all located in that same bus stop, almost like a mini bus interchange right at the main road.

So if you don't wait at the right platform for your bus number, you will never board it even if you are at the right bus stop!

The platform we were told to wait at was NUMBER 3 and lo & behold, the queue was unexpectedly long!

Mostly were Taiwanese families, some couples and kids, along with their big luggage and barang. That was when I realise there is a hotel in Eda World - why didn't I think of checking in there?

Oh well, thankfully, I came to discover after that, that I was better off staying in ICON. haha


The bus has only limited capacity and because the queue was so long, I was worried, we had to wait for the next bus - and I was literally melting already!

Thank God we managed to board the bus - and we were the last 2!

The entrance to Eda World surely looked grand!

So we alighted at the shopping mall, thinking that we could walk around a little before heading to the theme park.

Obviously empty.

The mall was really H.U.G.E.

And there is just something about Taiwanese shopping malls -  they like building Ferris Wheel on the roofs of their malls!

Ferris Wheel(s) are EVERYWHERE! (Dream Mall that I visited the night before and also at Miramar Shopping Centre in Taipei)

We actually planned to arrive earlier so as to buy more time for the theme park, but looking at how warm it was it (and it's not even noon!), it's prolly better to just push everything backwards and take it slow -  so we literally took out own sweet time to explore the mall. 

Eventually, we found a place to chill out while we got organized for the next day - the top floor - near the entrance to the Ferris Wheel. (Told you I had a soft spot for Ferris Wheel! Always end up there!)

It was a theme concept cafe place, like a palace. 

Funny how it seemed so empty! And ironically - Such a happy, fun-filled looking place kinda looked sad without the crowd and kids running around!

Well, the mall is well-connected to the hotel & the Greek-inspired theme park, so after we were done, we headed to the end of the mall where the entrance to the theme park was located.

And here are some snap shots within the mall where we went in search the in-house "Trevis Fountain" whilst on the way to the theme park.

Nice scenery even within the mall... *happy*

OH! There it was! Found!

I took alot more pictures than this one - but the rest were filled with this "photo bomber" Taiwanese lady who was there with a personal photographer taking way.too.many.shots!

I ran out of patience waiting for her to finish (more like get lost!) and this was the 1 best shot without her!

And here is the entrance to my highly-anticipated theme park visit.

Why am I not-so-excited? -_-

Looking at how these Q-poles are being placed, I guess they do have peak seasons, and thankfully it didn't seem like this was the peak period.


It IS the summer vacations right now - if this is not the peak, I wonder when?)

Apparently, the entrance fee to the theme park was cheaper @ 650 NT ( if you entered after 3pm. Otherwise it would have been 899 NT)

Being truly Singaporeans, since it was already close to 2pm, we decided to hang around some more till 3pm.

Darn, we should have researched more, and could have visited one more location (like the Dragon & Tiger Pagodas) before coming here. -_-

Finally, we entered at slightly past 3pm and the sun was exceptionally kind that day. Thankfully! It was still warm, but bearable.

This is one of the better shots that captured the view of the park upon entering!

The park featured an outdoor and indoor arena.

OUTDOOR: Consists of multiple thrill rides including about 4 or 5 roller-coaster / 360 degree thrill rides meant for the strong-hearted folks; Some restaurants, a Greek village (as you see in the above photo) and candy house-inspired hall-way featuring cute interiors meant for photo-taking. 

INDOOR: Consists of a 4 level complex which features restaurants, fun-fair style game booths, games arcade and alot of kiddy rides for children! ALOT!

I guess kids will have a whale of a time here - when I have a kid, I will most prolly wanna bring him/her/them here. Afterall, this place is really child-friendly!

As displayed in this map above, the theme park wasn't a big one. Probably half (or even 1/3) the size of Universal Studios Singapore.

(Cannot be compared to Lotte World in Seoul... and don't even mention Everland in Seoul)

But nevertheless, it is a theme park - a little off-the-beaten-track, but still enjoyable!

Super huge Trojan Horse at the entrance to the Kids' Complex.

So here is a series of pictures showcasing the outdoor thrill rides, some of which are water-based!

I took this scary ride! (below)

Strange how we usually have to wait in line for our turns at the various other theme parks because of the humongous dragon-like queues to such rides, yet, over here, instead of waiting for the people to finish their rides, we were waiting because there wasn't enough people to fill the ride!

There was a 15-20 minute interval for each ride to operate because we had to wait for more people to come!


And some more shots of the Candy House-inspired hallway. 

I appreciate how Mr Chan played along with my fun-shots!
And he looks really cute! haha

Not forgetting - more shots of the little Greek Village

And finally we come to the Indoor Arena - more like a kids' land!

I was too shy to get on this Carousel ride. haha

That pretty much sums up the day at Eda World!

Overall, we spent about 3 hours in the theme park and while it was a happy land and all fun, I think one of the things I valued most was the quality time spent hanging out with my loved one.

It "sweetens" the entire theme park experience!

-----Love River 愛河-----
accessible via Shi Yi Hui Station (1 stop before Xiziwan)

Next stop for us was Love River.

We were right on time because we planned to take a nice stroll just as the sun set. 


The sun ... has already set!

So, we were slightly behind time! bleh - who cares, I am on holiday - chill yo.

While we fumbled around the neighbourhood upon exit from the KRT station looking for the river, we spotted these really cute hand-painted walls which were the facade of what looked like an old school (I wonder if it was still in operation?)

Then we found the "river" bank - live river - with a walking pathway (somewhat looks like Singapore River).

It was uncluttered, without loud music, and not alot of people hanging out there either, so it was quite a romantic stroll.

As we approached the end of the river, there was this neon-lit gondola "hanging out" in the river and we thought it looked pretty cute.

There was this relatively huge opened-air pub/cafe place where there was some live music - looks very cosy for a nice dinner actually. But we are planning on saving our tummies for the night market's food later!

As the sky was getting darker, lit buildings and lights from the city made the scenery a lil more romantic, and since we had some time, we decided to take a boat ride along the Love River.

It wasn't a magnificent scenery to speak of, but, I guess the boat ride experience was very much to round up the trip to Love River.

There were in fact 2 different type of ride options available: 
(1) Conventional Boat Ride in a "mini-ferry-like" boat that could possibly take about 15 people, with a shelter over-head 

(2) Gondola Boat Ride that can accommodate a maximum of 6 people. An open-air boat with not over-head shelter that very much resembles a traditional fishing boat - inspired by those Gondolas in Venice.  

Since the Gondola Boast Ride was something we had not tried before, our votes went to that!

And we were told that this was the only Gondola Ride in Taiwan. (Or was it Kaoshiung?) Hmm... 

500 NT (about 21 SGD) for 2 persons for a 20 min gondola ride and also redeemable for a drink in the Love River cafe.

It was interesting how the boat captain started singing a chinese song in the middle of the ride - to give us the effect of the Venice Gondola? Thankfully she has a pretty nice voice. haha

These were the folks operating the Gondolas. 
There is only 2 in the whole city!, so don;t miss out on riding it if you are in Kaoshiung for a visit!

Well, they do a great job in bringing more entertaining/interesting activities along this other-wise boring river and I sincerely hope they get more business because when we were there, we really felt for these folks - whether they were running cafes or operating road-side stalls along the river selling cute little souvenirs, the whole area just felt a little "dim" because of the lack of people/tourists, ultimately, lack of "live".

These people work all day, regardless of the number of people buying/hiring their services.

Regardless how much they make, they too, show up to work - and that is livelihood for them.

So, yep, hopefully, if you happen to plan a trip to Kaoshiung, do drop by to absorb the ambiance of a peaceful river by the city.

Contact Information for Group Bookings:
Contact: Neia Liu
Tel: 0922-282680 / 04-26651131

-----Rui Feng Night Market 瑞豐夜市-----
 Accessible via Ju Dan Station

AND, the 1 night market that YOU MUST GO!

If you could only spend a night in Kaoshiung! 

Please visit this night market! I'd tell you why!

Of course, after the ride, we were famished and headed straight for the Rui Feng Night Market.

As mentioned a couple of times earlier and in the previous entry about how I felt Kaoshiung was such a quiet and peaceful place with little people everywhere - it seems like all the people in the city gathers that Rui Feng Night Market.

The moment we got off the train, we could literally smell our way to Rui Feng Market and the crowds of people going to & fro there made me feel the city is ACTUALLY ALIVE!


Do I seriously want to enter the market and get squashed?!

Yes, I do! 



Once you enter, there is just no turning back. 

You gotta keep going with the flow.

Even if you don't, you are likely to just drift along...

I must say Ruifeng Market was ALOT BETTER than the one we visited last night (which was Kai Xuan Night Market).

Not only was there a WIDEEEEEEeeeeee variety of FOOD that range from sweet to savory - plus  alot of innovative "fusion" type of food spotted (somewhat different from those conventional Taiwanese snacks, though the conventional ones were also available in abundance), there was also 1 alley that resembles somewhat a "food canteen" where proper tables & chairs were set-up in the entire lane for people to eat in comfort! 

 See what I mean but the conventional?

And the not so conventional

And some more!

Salivating already! Slurp!

Ruifeng was simply H.U.G.E! 

And pretty organised too, consisting of many lanes, 
each lane featuring different "specialties" 

i.e. one lane all food, the other, all clothes, the other all gadgets etc.

 You can even get a manicure service!!


You doze of fashion

And ladies accessories... too

And even beauty essentials and make-up?!!

Footwear too!


Even massage

What do they not have?


As if it was not enough, they had plentiful game booths catered for kids and adults. 
And even computer gadgets!

Ruifeng Night Market was definitely worth going to even though we had had a long day already!


I think these pictures speak 1,000 words for itself.


This entry pretty much sums up the 2nd day in Kaoshiung!

 (Ate till we couldn't even take a proper selfie!)

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