Sunday, April 10, 2016

Farglory Ocean Park (遠雄海洋公園) [Taiwan Day 952: I've Been to Hualien Part 3 “An Ocean Adventure” - April 9, 2016]


Eastern Taiwan is not only blessed with natural wonders. There are a lot of man-made attractions that will surely take away the boredom in your life. Its location near the Pacific Ocean makes it also suitable to build water-themed attractions with the Farglory Ocean Park as the best example It has dolphins and sea lions with fun rides designed for children. Colorful fishes swim in its large aquariums while riding the cable car can give you a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. This place is just wonderful and it deserves to be featured in my Taiwan Day Adventures.

The Hualien Bus Company building where I boarded a bus going to Farglory Ocean Park.  Just walk to the left side of the Hualien Station after getting out from its Front Exit. You will easily notice this orange structure in which buses makes a stop in front of it.


At the entrance of the theme park



How to go to Farglory Ocean Park? Buses 1127, 1140 and 1145 of the Hualien Bus Company will take you to the theme park for a fare of only NTD 40. I boarded Bus 1140 which left at 9:50am and I was asked to swipe my Easy Card upon entering the bus and before alighting the vehicle. It was an exciting 30 minute ride as the bus ran on the road built beside the Pacific Ocean. The bus seems to be going nowhere until the castle towers of the amusement park suddenly appears. I was getting nearer and nearer to the theme park!


magnetic card ticket


the schedule of shows during my visit

I was really excited for this trip. The stunning photos that I saw on the internet really made me crazy even though the price of the tickets were a bit expensive. Regular adult tickets cost NTD 899 and for students the ticket price is only NTD 799. I presented my student ID and I was given a magnetic card and a set of brochures about the park. A kind staff assisted me to insert the card at the gate and I felt that I was like entering an MRT Station.







Visitors can feed the sea lions at these times.

There are many attractions to see at the 51-hectare park but my main purpose of going here was to the see the dolphins and the sea lions. “Where could they be ?”, I asked myself as I looked into the map at the Welcome Plaza. The Sea Lion Theater was just nearby and I hurriedly walked uphill and passed by the iconic lighthouse building. It was already 10:10 am in the morning which means that the visitors have a chance to feed the sea lions. A mother and her kids were holding a cup of fish and they were throwing it into a pool of water with the swimming creatures.















They were very active and vying to get the attention of every person who holds a cup of fish. The sea lions have a dark glossy skin with a noticeable whiskers near their noses. They really looked like dogs with a modified body for swimming. Only 30 minutes were given to the visitors to buy the fish at a cost of NTD 150 per cup. I totally forgot about the sea lion show when I looked into the sky. Blue cable cars called the Sky Lift carry visitors from the Mariner's Cove to the Crystal Castle and I got excited with the idea of riding one immediately so I walked very fast to reach the cable car station.
Farglory Ocean Park faces the Pacific Ocean and riding the cable car is the best way to see the biggest body of water on the planet. Since I was alone I was grouped together with a Taiwanese family but that didn't stop me from getting a video as the cable car goes up in the sky. I saw the child-friendly rides of the theme park as the Sky Lift descends down to the terminal station. It entered the castle complex where the Crystal Theater was just a few meters away.










show schedule at the Crystal Theater

Crystal Theater
I followed the other visitors as they climbed the stairs in the Crystal Castle and I knew that they were going to watch the Fantastic Sea World show. The hilarious live show was already starting when I entered inside the very big theater. It was really huge and I was surprised of its size. Unfortunately, taking photos and videos was not allowed and any visitor who attempts to take a photo or video was requested to stop. I was able to get at least a shot of the audience and half of the stage. haha! The actors and actresses were dressed in mermaid costumes and they were mostly foreigners. The show also included some acts where a man was thrown into the air and only caught by a giant curtain. If only the audience were only a given a chance to take photos then I would be able to give a better documentation.

Before the start of the dolphin show at the Ocean Theater. 




The smiling and happy audience before the start of the dolphin show.

























































After the show at the Crystal Theater, the visitors went down the hill to find seats for the dolphin show which was set to start at 11:50 am at the Ocean Theater. The covered theater has a 2,500 seating capacity with a giant and deep pool of water for the performing dolphins. I have been to Yehliu Ocean Park before in Taiwan Day 400 (Zoomarine) and I had watched the show there but this Ocean Theater in Farglory Ocean Park was bigger and better. The sides of the pool was made up of transparent glass and it enabled the audience to watch the dolphins as it swam on the sides of the pool. I was able to record the whole show and it was amazing how the dolphins jumped high and even threw large balls to the audience using their strong tails.











It was already lunch time and I roamed around the Happy Street to find something to eat. However, the prices of the food were very expensive. A regular lunch meal costs NTD 288 and it was costly. I just satisfied myself for a sandwich and a cold drink for a price of NTD 169. It was still expensive but it was the cheapest that I could afford. There was still enough time before the parade starts so I boarded the Ferris wheel called the Love Wheel and I had a nice time viewing the theme park from above.








A few minutes before the parade starts, I saw the staff of the Farglory Ocean Park was inviting some children to join the parade. The amusement park was really made for Taiwanese kids and they were very lucky to have a place like this in their country. The parade started and I saw Caucasians dressed in sea creature costumes. There was a mermaid and a seaweed man but the one that got my attention was the funny shark man. He created a smile on the face of the audience whenever he was seen dancing.

Sea Lion Theater



Sea lion show Part 1

Sea lion show Part 2

I went down the hill to have a seat at the Sea Lion Theater. The 25-minute show was opened by a giant sea lion and it growled like a real lion. The audience clapped and laughed for every trick that the the sea lions do. The pool stage was not as big as the one in the Sea Theater but it was enough to showcase the talents of the sea creatures. Two lucky audience were also given a chance to get a free kiss from the mammals. It was slowly getting dark in the theme park that didn't stop me from enjoying their other famous attraction which is the Discovery Island Aquarium.









a young sea lion swimming 






a kind of shark that lays an egg

shark's egg
























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Large statues from Easter Island guard the entrance of the aquarium house and when I entered inside I saw giant freshwater fishes that swim in large tanks. I went further inside and I saw different colorful marine species. There was a grouper with blue spots and worm-like fishes that protruded out of the sands. A lone sea snake was also inside its tank. It just lie there as if it was a dead creature. I remember my visit at the Manila Ocean Park many years ago when I entered the area with giant rays. They were very huge and swimming with them were large sharks and other fishes. It was difficult to get a photo with them since the use of flash was not allowed so I just took a video of myself as I got near the aquarium and watched a giant shark swam 'above' me.




The sea lions were already tired before sunset. 






I highly recommend going to Farglory Ocean Park. You can see dolphins, sea lions and other marine creatures. You will also have fun in their cable car and other rides. Visit the amusement park when you come to Hualien and I'm very sure that you will experience an ocean adventure. (To be continued..)
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