I’ve been following Over The City’s Hidden Taiwan map for a few months now and check it every time I’m in a new place. My weekend trip to Taichung was no different. Through the map we found an abandoned amusement park called Encore Garden and set off to look for it.
Driving in we were surprised to find several cars already parked and we thought maybe the park wasn’t so abandoned after all. However, upon walking in, the reality was even better than expected. Half the park had been repurposed into an indie racetrack for modded cars!
We stayed to watch a race for a few minutes, two small cars drove quickly through the tracks one veering to the right, one veering to the left. Close to the finish line, the little green car crashed into a bundle of tires. It dragged itself back onto the parking lot where a team came to check on the cars condition.
We were unsure if the abandoned park still existed until we looked into the overgrown shrubbery and plants and saw the unmistakeable tip of the merry go round. (See if you can spot it in the picture above.)
Walking in you are first greeted with an expansive auditorium ground. Trees who’s roots have cracked through their cement pots circled several steps that doubled as seats. The seats faced a shabby looking stage, the banner for a flower expo from 2008 was falling apart but stayed stapled to it’s walls.
To the back near the original entrance, an interesting tree spiraled around itself. What makes a tree grow like that?
To the right several chimney like structures stood around the auditorium. One of them had a basement underneath which led to a dark and echoey kitchen. The hallway kept going in, but I did not want to follow it through.
We came back out into the sun to walk towards this building. Because of the painted waterfall I guessed it had used to be a place for water shows. The pool still had puddles of water but it was now green and filled with spiders and leaves.
After walking around and disturbing a bunch of ants, we decided to head back towards the auditorium to find the merry go round that we had spotted earlier. On the way we passed by several more interesting spots.
I loved the angel statues that perched on the white pillars. I didn’t check the second floor incase it was falling apart, but we ventured into the dusty cafeteria and kitchen below. Tinsel was still taped to the bannerhead, while party hats lay on the counter. A poster of a birthday cake was pinned up by the menu board. All that was missing was a creepy track of children laughing.
Walking up some steps we found an abandoned outdoor arcade. It looked so peaceful we decided to move on and find that merry go round!
We actually found a much easier path as we were leaving that didn’t require walking through any bushes, but where’s the fun in that.
Finally! Actual rides.
All the rides were grouped together. We saw the rocket ship, a roundabout swing set (pictured above), and finally the merry go round (pictured below).
I was surprised to find the merry go round surrounded by shrubbery, it looked like it had been placed in the middle of the jungle. Our legs and arms were turning into a buffet for the mosquitoes so we decided against going in, and decided to head back out. There was more to explore in Taichung.
As we were leaving, the cars from the race zoomed by, turns out they were also using some of the larger paths within the park as their racing ground. We watched and waited before heading back to our car.
Overall a successful trip. Thanks to the best group to explore with!