Paper Castles and Cardboard Animals – Carton King Creativity Park, Taichung

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Stepping into Carton King Creativity Park in Taichung City is like taking a trip to a make-believe Wonderland. There are colourful baubles hanging from wooden rafters at the entrance, with a host of bright yellow flowers to the left, and fat little bunnies and alpacas at the end of the narrow path. Catch is – they’re all made from corrugated paper and cardboard! 🙂

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The fun family-themed attraction has several branches around Taichung, each with its own unique displays. The one we went to was in Dakeng District, which is also their biggest.

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Paper bunnies; real leaves.

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The Carton King ‘Zoo’ area had different types of animals. Good likenesses! Like a lot of attractions in Taiwan, descriptions were in Chinese. Which I can’t read. Sigh.

When you buy your entry ticket (NTD 200$ – about RM29 or USD6.50), they give you a paper with empty stamp slots. You’re supposed to hunt around the place for stamp ‘stations’ and stamp your card. Once complete, you can then exchange it for a souvenir. The ticket is rather pricey imo, but it also includes a NTD100$ voucher for you to buy gifts, snacks or drinks.

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Beyond the Carton King Zoo area is a large open space, divided into several sections. I initially thought the white mesh-like canopy was only there for aesthetic purposes, but saw that there were people walking on it. Climbed up the stairs and voila !

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The canopy is made from criss crossing steel wires so they can bear the weight of visitors walking around, and it has been fashioned like waves so the surface is uneven. Trees poked up from beneath at intervals. It was quite difficult to walk around without tripping though lol.

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The canopy extended past several elevated attractions, forming bridges to the second floor of buildings nearby. The wooden platforms housed cutesy box-shaped characters – is that Dora the Explorer in a pink dress?

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View from the upper floors. There was a shop selling honey and honey-based products, with – guess what – bee figures made from paper and cardboard honeycombs. There were also real bees in glass tanks.

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Back downstairs.

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Stopping for a quick snack of fried oyster mushrooms, which I used up my coupon for.

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Cikgu Lim

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The main compound, which has large paper replicas of attractions from around the world, including the Coliseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Great for selfies, if you’re into that sort of thing 🙂

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Popping in to the souvenir shop.

20170213_140206-tileThe L’arc de Triomphe.

Managed to collect all the stamps and got a simple paper house set which I could assemble at home. All in all, a fun place to visit for people who like taking photos – although there’s not much in way of culture. Families, especially those with kids, will probably enjoy this place.

CARTON KING 

No. 1, Lane 281, Section 3, Xitun Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Opening hours: 11AM–8PM
PS: Been trying hard to schedule posts daily, but things have just been hectic. Hopefully I’ll be back to regular programming soon! 🙂

The Exploratorium, San Francisco

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WE’RE almost at the end of our San Francisco trip! One of our last stops in the city was the Exploratorium, a massive science and discovery centre located at Piers 15 and 17, Embacadero. A modern, blockish-looking building, the centre was first opened in the 1960s and was relocated to its new place in 2013.

We actually got here late and had to rush through a lot of the exhibits. I recommend spending half a day or more here because there are so many things to try and interact with. Great place for families, geeks, and those who like to experiment with stuff.

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The centre is divided into many sections, each dedicated to a certain science, such as Light and Sound, Human Behaviour, Living Systems and Tinkering (electricity and magnetism). Almost every exhibit can be interacted with, so it was a lot of fun!

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The inside is massive. Here we enter the Human Behaviour section. There were things like card games, experiments related to emotion and psychology, etc.

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E and I sat on opposite sides of a counter where you had to ‘match’ genders with specific keywords/items, such as ‘occupation’ and ‘roles’ which tend to be viewed as either masculine or feminine. For example, the word ‘family’ is often associated with females, and ‘career’ tends to be associated with males.

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Apparently watching yourself in the mirror crying will create feelings of sadness..

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Chairs of differing sizes

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I like how spacious the place is, despite housing thousands of exhibits. The ventilation is good and there’s lots of sunlight.

I couldn’t help but compare it with Malaysia’s old Petrosains… which has not seen an upgrade since 1999.

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The machinery section was closed off to the public, but we could view it from behind a barrier.

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The Exploratorium definitely needed more… exploring, but we ran out of time. Would like to come back for a proper walk through the next time I’m in SF. Great place for the kids and the curious. 🙂

EXPLORATORIUM

Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States

Open 10am – 5pm

Admission: 29$ (pricey, but I think its worth it provided u spend a longer time trying out all the experiments and stuff.)

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For dinner, all you can eat hotpot! Nothing better than that in cold weather.

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Left San Fran with a heavy heart. It was my second last day in America.

Time to pack for the long flight home. The US has been an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of it’s 50 states.