In Taipei: Taiwan Storyland

1 11 2007

After spending a few relaxing days in Central Taiwan, we boarded another train and headed north to Taipei.  We passed by more vignettes of small town Taiwan (by the train tracks).

Small Town

The mountains reappeared behind storm clouds and/or smog.

Countryside

I love seeing the mountains in the background.  It’s also good feng shui!

Countryside

After we arrived in Taipei, we dropped off our bags at the hotel.  Since (of course) it was raining, we decided to check out some indoor activities until it lightened up outside. 

My guidebook suggested a place called Taiwan Storyland, an underground replica of Taiwan from the 1950s – 1970s.  Taiwan Storyland is located across the street from Taipei Main Station and next to the local branch of the Shinkong Mitsukoshi department store in the basement of the K-Mall.  We found this attraction to be very stange but interesting at the same time.  Think of it as the Disney version of 1950-1970s Taiwan, complete with snack stands and restaurants every couple of feet, except that you are allowed to take pictures and there are no rides. 

Taiwan Storyland

When we first walked in, it was a little creepy because everything is so dark and since it was 1 PM on a weekday, it was a literal ghost town.  Music popular from the 1950s played softly in the background, and you really felt like you were out of time and place.  If you have ever read that children’s book, “Help I’m a Prisoner in the Library,” that was the feeling I got when we first entered.  The snack stands looked good, but since there was no one around, we weren’t sure if they were real or not.

Taiwan Storyland

This snack stand (below) was real enough for me, and they served my favorite – dan dan!  The server pours batter into these hot molds, waits for a few minutes, and then pops out little crepe/sponge cakes.  The ones we got in particular were in the shape of different objects, such as a bicycle and a gun.

Dan Dan Stand

There is an entrance fee of NT$250 for each person, but you get $250 in Storyland vouchers you can use to redeem anything inside the attraction.  We used ours to buy some snacks and lunch.  There are snack stands and themed restaurants scattered throughout, including a Japanese place, a Chinese place, and a traditional Taiwanese place.  The food was nothing to write home about (or blog about).

Taiwan Storyland definitely has atmosphere.  The signs and many of the objects found here are collectibles from the private collection of Mr. Franky Wu, as described in this article from the Taipei Times.  I was impressed by the attention to detail.

Taiwan Storyland

There were some very interesting exhibits, such as this replica of an old schoolroom.

Taiwan Storyland

Notice the picture of Sun Yat-Sen, Taiwan’s founding father, next to the chalkboard.  I guess there are two pictures.

Taiwan Storyland

Here’s an apothecary.

Taiwan Storyland

And… a torture chamber/dentist’s chair.  I told you this place is scary!

Taiwan Storyland

There were many “streets” to wander through, much like a neighborhood.  There was even a police station and a little section of old children’s games.  There didn’t seem to be a lot of labels explaining things, at least in English, but it was easy enough to figure things out.

Taiwan Storyland

All in all, we were amused by our hour there and thought it was a great way to see some Taiwanese history, albeit a cleaned up version. 

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2 responses

15 04 2009
Taiwan’s Storyland at Taipei | Fili’s world

[…] (Sandy and Liao have a bit more, if you want a second opinion from an expat and a local) Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to the RSS Feed or register for email updates […]

11 07 2015
Taiwan’s Storyland at Taipei | Fili’s World Travel

[…] (Sandy and Liao have a bit more, if you want a second opinion from an expat and a local) […]

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