Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017 Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival (福隆國際沙雕藝術節) - Fulong pientang [Travel in Taiwan 170708: A Midsummer Night's Dream Part 7]


Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival. It never gets old. First timers and loyal patrons were all excited to see the 10th year of the festivity. The sand bar, the sculptures, and the sunny weather created a place just perfect for summer. 

Sunbathing with a werewolf

The Hero Stories by Craig Mutch of Canada

A giant King Kong

Exposed under the harmful rays of the sun, the sand sculptures kept their forms even at the harshest conditions on a rainy day. Visiting Fulong Beach during spring in May is a hit and miss because the rain could ruin your trip. But on a hot summer day, going to the festival is a nice way to spend your vacation in Taiwan. 

Fulong Station


 My girlfriend was too excited to see the famous coastline of Gongliao District of New Taipei. It took us one hour to reach Fulong Station from Nangang Station and we were hungry when we get off from the train. Restaurants and bike rental shops line up the street facing the station but there is one store that gets the attention of the arriving passengers. 




Pientang! The Taiwanese are known for this kind of affordable lunch box meal that you can eat inside a TRA train. I was quick to follow the queue together with the hundreds of beach goers. For a price of NTD 60 for one pientang, I bought two boxes.  One piece of boiled egg, side dishes and the rice of course. But the most important food inside was the pork chop. It was so tasty. My girlfriend told me that it was probably homemade. Something that you would not find in any convenience store in Taiwan in which the food is packed with preservatives.

Fulong Beach gate

Fullon Hotel

With our stomachs full, we went to the sand bar under the scorching heat of the sun. Tickets cost NTD 200 and the sales go to Fullon Hotel which manages the Fulong Beach in a public-private partnership with the government. If you have been to Tamsui then you already have an idea on how the Fullon Hotel looks like. Its castle-like appearance makes me wonder on how much it costs to stay there just for one night.





King Sejong by Jihoon Choi of South Korea

The carriage and flying horses.  This horse pulls the carriage below.



The zombie and the vampire



The angel and demon

The angel and demon

A paradise of heroes

Hydra (three-headed dragon)

Charles Darwin by Rachel Clara Stubbs of United Kingdom

Hero of Transcendental Meditation by Paul Hoggard of Ireland

Huli Jing (fox-spirit)

Bull Demon King

The Sand Republic. My post in 2016 was a successful one. Just like last year, local and international sand sculptures had been invited to showcase their talents in Taiwan. But the 2017 edition is grander, better and bigger! It became more magical with an angel and a demon sitting on the opposite side the exhibit area. Blood-thirsty vampires, mighty King Kong and the dark knight Batman were also there. They were made in great detail. With my years of experience in visiting the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival, I can say that this is the best batch of sand artworks that I have ever seen. 


Fulong Golden Sand - a glory of a decade


Every year there is a centerpiece sand sculpture that highlights all the aspirations and the hard work of the men and women who made the festival possible. This year it was a tall sand castle. The highest in Fulong Beach's history! At its height of 13 meters, you are a fool if you haven’t noticed it.


It was so hot in Fulong Beach and I knew of one place that can neutralize this summer weather. Yilan! There is a spring water there that can beat the heat of the blazing sun. It is not a hot sulfuric spring but a cold carbonic one. Rising above its bubbles is the town of Su'ao. My girlfriend and I did not waste any time. We walked back to Fulong Station and boarded a train going to Su'ao Station. (To be continued...)
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