The grand opening of Taroko Park (大魯閣草衙道) , Taiwan's first shopping center and sports-themed amusement park hybrid kicked off in Kaohsiung on Monday, May 9 2016 with Kaohsiung Madame Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), Taroko Group Chairman Columbia Alum Jeff Tsai (蔡明璋, GSAPP '96), and many more attending the festivities and touring the park's major attractions.
“Taroko Park’s entertainment and shopping offerings are expected to attract 12 million visitors annually,” Taroko Development Chairman Jeff Tsai said last week, adding that the mall is also expected to generate about 5,000 jobs in Kaohsiung, as well as boost ridership of the city’s metro system by 6 million.
Front row from the left, Chairman Jeff Tsai and Kaohsiung Madame Mayor Chen
Located in Kaohsiung City's downtown area and accessible via Kaohsiung International Airport and Kaohsiung's metro system, Taroko Park is a 26,400 ping (87,120 square meter) venue that combines recreation, shopping, restaurants and sports facilities all in one location. The park, aiming to solidify its standing as an international-grade shopping center, is also the largest in Taiwan.
The park does not require entrance tickets, allowing visitors to relax and having fun without the stress of lining up for rides. Instead, visitors pay for each amusement park ride using Kaohsiung's iPASS (一卡通), the equivalent of Taipei's EasyCard.
Taroko Park's Must-Sees
Billed as "Asia's most entertaining world-class shopping area," Taroko Park contains over 220 retailers and boasts the only authorized Suzuka Circuit Park racetrack outside of Japan at 600 meters in length — one tenth of the size of the original F1 racing track in Japan. Visitors can enjoy the thrill of racing through the eight-figure shaped pathway in go-karts, with Taroko Group expecting it to be a popular attraction with the younger scene.
Also included in the Suzuka Circuit Park are multitudes of amusement facilities that allow visitors to drive on their own, such as an off-road vehicle ride, where people can experience the adventure of driving across challenging terrain, zooming through water or climbing up steep hills. The circuit park also boasts Taiwan's largest carousel, which can carry up to 88 people at once.
Another key experience at Taroko is Taiwan's only trolley car that meanders along Taroko Park's European-styled shopping lane. Designed to resemble a vintage streetcar and decorated with a deep red furnish, visitors can take the Taroko Park Trolley from the park's main entrance all the way to Suzuka Circuit Park. One trip costs NT$60 for the general public, NT$50 for children aged 3 to 12, and NT$30 for senior citizens.
Visitors can retreat into the park's indoor three-story outlet mall, of which 25 percent comprises sports and recreation retail stores. Other shops in the outlet mall also boast claims such as "Taiwan's largest"and "the only store in southern Taiwan or Kaohsiung," especially flagship stores for popular, trendy brands.
董事長：蔡明璋 (Jeff Tsai, GSAPP '96)
Reports and Photos credited to China Times, Taipei Times, UDN and Apple Daily online news sources and blgger AJ的旅行地圖