Taiwan – Leofoo Village (六福村)

Both marketing and publicity play an extremely important role in tourism and I think these are some areas that Taiwan Tourism Bureau can do a better job. Most of my friends do not consider Taiwan as their top choice when it comes to holidays and more often than not, they are usually very amazed when they learnt that I could spend more than 10 days in Taiwan. They are even more surprised when they realize that my itinerary has at least one day in a theme park. Not many people know that there are theme parks in Taiwan, it seems. ◕ิ‿◕ิ

e-go bus stop outside Jingan MRT

There are actually quite a few theme parks in Taiwan and in fact, there is a pretty good one (Leofoo theme park / 六福村) near Taipei, which is about 1.5 hours away from Taipei train station. The park is located in Hsinchu area and you can hop onto an e-go bus to get to Leofoo. The bus would depart Songshan airport to Zhongxiao Dunhua (忠孝敦化) MRT station to Jingan (景安) MRT station and then finally to Leofoo theme park. You can board the bus from any of the stops mentioned and we chose to board from Jingan MRT as I reckoned that MRT is faster than bus. Thus we should reach our destination faster and probably more comfortably too, as compared if we take the bus directly from Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station. If you follow our route, the e-go bus stop is just outside Jingan MRT station; no need to cross any roads. You can check the e-go bus schedule here.

The bus will make a brief stop at 龍潭總站 where you make payment for the bus fare. The journey from Jingan MRT to Leofoo was about 1 hour, if my memory serves me right.

Before you go to Leofoo, you may want to do some homework first. 😉 Firstly, check the e-go website for the bus schedule as it’s not very frequent. Secondly, the admission to Leofoo theme park is NT$890 per adult if you get the tickets at the park entrance. However, if you buy the tickets from ibon machines (found in major 7-11 stores) beforehand, each ticket is less than NT$700, depending on whether it’s adult or child ticket. If you are more diligent, you can also check with Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Singapore before your departure as their goodies bags sometimes include free admission passes to theme parks.

If I say Leofoo Village is the Disneyland of Taiwan, I bet a lot of people will raise their eyebrows. But if I say Leofoo is a Disneyland wannabe, I think more will agree. The park is similar to Disneyland, both in terms of themes, layout and even mascots. Whether Leofoo is of Disneyland’s standard or not is actually immaterial cos the kids will have a great time anyway. 😉

The park is suitable for all ages, I would say. It has some thrilling rides and some kiddy ones too. The most exciting ride should be the the Screaming Condor (笑傲飞鹰) which goes up high in the sky in almost 90° and then drag you down. You can check Leofoo’s website for more information on the various rides. I am sorry that this blog entry will be on the kiddy stuff as this day was promised to be theirs, i.e. my 2 girls. Thus please do not be mistaken that Leofoo is only for kids. I don’t want to do any injustice to Leofoo Village. 😉

Inside Wild West zone

The first thing we did was to catch the 飛行部落 show, which is inside the Wild West zone, at 11am. If you have seen the shows in Singapore Bird Park, you can skip this if you like (as it’s about the same). But for us, shows are part of the fun of a theme park and we will usually try to catch one or two shows, if possible.

Grand Welcome … LOL

This macaw knows how to pick up and where to throw the litter!

These Pelicans were, strictly speaking, not performing. They were merely chasing after their food to amuse the crowd. 😉

As with most shows, there were some interactions with the audience and we were pleasantly surprised when our 6-year-old volunteered to participate one of the activities. I think our little one has grown up. 😉

That’s my little girl, Clarissa.

She had one of the easiest job – just stay still.

There are four main zones in Leofoo, namely “Wild West”, “South Pacific”, “Arabian Kingdom” and “African Safari”. I think most of the kiddy rides are in the “Wild West” zone.

The park has rides that are suitable for all ages, including toddlers. 😉

Two Step Twister – A kiddy ride

A little too boring for my girls as well

Something like “Tea Cup” – An all-time favourite

Another slow and easy ride

Another sign that my little Clarissa has grown up – She finally mustered her courage and took the very first roller coaster ride of her life !

No 360° looping .. Just some toss and turns

The proud moment after the ride

Ring of Fire – The carriage will basically loop in circles – Giddy !!!

Sea Serpent

After her maiden roller coaster ride, Clarissa was more confident and tried almost all the rides. She was fine and cheery until this one – Deep Sea Adventure. She cried when she was half way through the ride as she was tossed in all directions, including upside down. ;-(


If you are into parade of the mascots, be sure to gather around the central water fountain area at around 1.30pm to catch the only live parade. Maybe it was a weekday, there wasn’t many people watching the live parade. However, the performers were very professional and they put up a fantastic song and dance nevertheless.

Professional performance despite the small crowd

The kids and Leofoo’s mascot

As mentioned earlier, there are four main zones in Leofoo and each zone has its own attractions and shows. Personally, I enjoyed the “African Safari” the most as it gave the children the opportunity to get real close to the animals. Take for example in the “Zulu Petting Zoo”, domesticated animals such as goats and horses roam freely and you are free to touch them if you wish.

There are three activities that are highly recommended and if time does not permit, just go for the “Nairobi Express”. You won’t regret this decision. 😉

  1. Feed the goats. The kids will have a great time when the goats lick their palms
  2. Take the “Monkey Trail”, which is a slow cycling trail above the ground. You will get to see the various species of monkeys from high vantage points
  3. Take the “Nairobi Express”, which will bring you close to some magnificent animals such as American Bison and White Rhinoceros

Inside “African Safari”

Food for the goats at a token sum

The kids loved feeding the goats

The tickling sensation

Close encounter with a Macaw

White tiger

Monkey Trail

Hyperactive monkeys …

Nairobi Express – My Favourite !

Very stable ride

White Rhinoceros

American Bison

I think the Nairobi Express ride took about 20 minutes and by the time we were done, the sky was getting dark. Since we had to catch the bus back to Taipei (another 1.5 hour journey), we didn’t have enough time to explore the rest of the park. Below are some photos that we quickly snapped before we left the park.

The kids and Sponge Bob

Bye bye, Leofoo Village

On the whole, we had an enjoyable day at the park. If you are planning a trip to Taipei with kids, Leofoo Village is definitely a must-do!

Useful Information – Leofoo Village:

Opening Hours:

  • 09:00-17:00 weekdays, 09:00-19:00 weekends and public holidays

Directions:

  • MRT to 景安 Station
  • Take e-go bus to Leofoo Village. The bus-stop is just outside the MRT station; no need to cross any road

Useful Links:

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Taiwan – Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村)

Ita Thao Pier

We started the day early as we knew time was not on our side; it was winter (December), days were short and public transportation was practically non-existent after 6pm. We had one day to spend at Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村) and the kids were looking forward to a fun day at the amusement park. As expected, there were no complaints when we woke them up early to catch the first ferry from Shuishe Pier (水社碼頭) to Ita Thao Pier (伊達紹碼頭).

Our ferry ride

A fishing boat in Sun Moon Lake

As far as I know, there are two ways to get to the culture village. You can either drive up the mountains or take a cable car from Ita Thao. We chose the latter as we didn’t have a car. The cable car station is about 10 minutes of leisure walk from Ita Thao pier, including a scenic broadwalk that skirts around the lake.

That’s the cable car station at the far end

A closer look at the cable car station

Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirit

Into the cloud

As you can see from the map below, the Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village is really a huge place. The cable car from Ita Thao will bring you to the top half of the village, where the cultural show and artifacts are. From the entrance, you can either take a foot path to the lower half to the amusement rides, or take an internal cable car ride. The admission cost includes the internal cable car ride, but not the one from Ita Thao.

Since we were new to the place (and thus didn’t know where to start), we instinctively followed the local Taiwanese students who immediately zoomed into the internal cable car station to the lower half. I am glad we did that cos shortly after we reached the base, it started pouring and we had to take shelter in the Aladdin Plaza (an indoor amusement park). Well, at least there were enough rides / activities to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours while we waited for the rain to stop. 😉

Our first game – Whack a mole

Finally, the rain stopped and we got to explore the other places

We barely had enough time to explore the place and it was almost time to go. It’s not going to be funny if we miss the last ferry. ;(

Since we took the internal cable car when we arrived, we decided to take the footpath back to the main cable car station instead. The walk up the slope was not as bad as I had expected. I think we took about 45 minutes of strolling, with some rest stops. You will see some souvenir shops, handicraft workshops and of course the cultural show performance along the way. We were lucky to catch the last few minutes of cultural show before we bid farewell to the village.

The cultural show

Click on the Map of Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village to see a bigger map

Our original plan was to spend some time shopping at Ita Thao after Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village. But the rain caused some delay and we didn’t have much time to walk around the area as we had to catch the last ferry back to Shuishe Pier at 6pm. It was rather unfortunate that the sky had to open up on this day; a day that the kids were very much looking forward to. We didn’t really explore the park, I must say. But I am glad the kids did have some fun at the Aladdin Plaza.

Along the way back to the pier, we spotted some food stalls (what else? ) and everyone bought a wild boar (山猪) sausage each. Me? I had my favourite tea-leaves egg. 😉

The kids’ favourite taiwan sausage

Shortly after we departed Ita Thao Pier, something interesting (or rather scary) happened. The ferry that we took suddenly slowed down to a crawling speed as there was a change in weather that resulted in a transient thick fog. The visibility was barely 2 metres and according to the captain, this phenomenon happens about twice a year and it’s not predictable. So what was supposed to be a short 30 minutes ride turned out to be more than 1 hour but at least we reached our hotel safely. 😉

A sudden thick fog on our way back to Shuishe Pier

Useful Information – Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village:

Opening Hours:

  • Village 09:00-17:00 hrs daily
  • Cable car (weekdays) 10:30-16:00 hrs
  • Cable car (weekends) 10:00-16:30 hrs

Directions:

  • Take ferry to Ita Thao Pier and follow the signage to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. The general direction is towards your left once you left the pier.
  • Alternatively, you can take the Round-the-lake bus and alight at Cable Car station stop (纜車站)

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