Sugary Train Ride to Nowhere

November 11 2018, 12:18am

In Taiwan, it’s common to see something old turned into an attraction. Cultural creative centers and old streets are good examples of this. Some of these attractions, though steeped in history, are a bit odd.

Photo from Wikipedia

Case in point, the Suantou Sugar Factory (蒜頭糖廠 / suan tou tang chang) is a curious attraction located in Chiayi county. It’s a part of the larger Zhecheng Cultural Park (蔗埕文化園區 / zhe cheng wen hua yuan qu) which is used an an exposition space.

The main attraction at the Suantou Sugar Factory is a train (火車 / huo che) that runs along the old plantation rails.

I had a chance to ride the train. The experience was probably the most confusing one I had in Taiwan.

The tour guide primarily spoke in Taiwanese, which made it hard to understand what was going on. On top of this, the train simply went forward a few hundred meters (out of the property) then back.

I definitely expected more.

After exiting the train, I went to the market area of the property. There were vendors selling all kinds of items. The best part of this whole experience was the ice cream shop. This ice cream shop is no frills, with austere white walls. The focus is on the frozen treats.

They have a variety of flavors including fresh milk (鮮奶 / xian nai), vanilla (香草 / xiang cao), peanut (花生 / hua sheng), and taro (芋艿 / yu nai).

Yeast (酵母 / jiao mu) flavor anyone?

Getting some vanilla ice cream. They also have bars available.

The ice cream more than made up for the strange train ride I went on.

If you happen to be nearby, drop by to grab some ice cream. Otherwise, don’t worry too much about experiencing the train ride, unless that’s your thing.

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