Wulai Thanksgiving

Our recent Thanksgiving vacation to Wulai rewarded us with hot springs, gondola rides, and angry ostriches.

We booked a room at the Full Moon Spa in Wulai – a popular but clearly run down area of Taiwan.  Thankfully, the room had it’s own hot spring tub since the public baths were separated by gender, completely nude, and seemingly used exclusively by people over the age of 1,000.

The food was…weird.  I’m not a huge fan of Taiwan food. Tex on the other hand can eat practically anything and enjoy it.   I ate a couple of boar sausages and a lot of mysterious meats.  I was less than impressed. It made me miss dry turkey. We had the option of either a Western breakfast or a Chinese breakfast. I stuck with the Western breakfast which was served with a salad, and while I don’t generally eat salad for breakfast I was eternally grateful for something that wasn’t boar meat.  After I picked the raisins off and poured on my thousand island dressing I just pretended it was brunch. I can adapt.

All that questionable food really got us revved up for a hike.  In order to get to a trail head we first had to ride this tiny, rickety train through a stunning mountain area.  Then we had to ride a gondola.  I’m less of a fan of heights than I am of boar sausage so I was a bit concerned.  Tex assured me that this particular gondola is the OLDEST in Taiwan.  Thanks, dear.  There’s nothing like hearing you’re going to be taking a 60 year old gondola over a rocky gorge.  It wasn’t too bad and it appeared to be a well cared for machine.

The ride was well worth it because what greeted us at the top of this mountain was more than we could have hoped for: an old, run-down, defunct amusement park with a zoo, multiple abandoned rides, and gorgeous scenery. We assume that the summer months might draw a crowd but the place had about a dozen people in it when we visited.

I think my favorite part was the zoo.  Most of their animals were made of cement and very non-threatening. They had two ostriches and a half-dozen black chickens. The ostriches did not like Tex. I might have a certain video of him fleeing from a caged ostrich.

They “arcade” left much to be desired.


Sad, sad skill crane.


We enjoyed the obstacle ropes course if the mold on the ropes wasn’t too bad.  I got stuck on something called the “pirate swing” and had to be rescued.  I don’t do ‘damsel’ very well.

Despite the weirdness of the park we were able to find a trail head. However, we had to cut our hike short when we saw that the trail was completely washed away.

After our jaunt we sat down at this restaurant to have a lunch of turkey jerky, nuts, and leftover popcorn.  Thank goodness my sister sent me survival food.  I don’t generally trust restaurants that have zero guests next to a zoo with practically zero animals.


We returned to our hotel to soak away the park and compare photos of our incredibly weird but super fun day.