Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pearl Land

With a big exciting weekend approaching (very long awaited wedding of some good friends is here at last!!), here is another nostalgic blog from China. This was from a few months into my time in Zhuhai when we all decided to check out the theme park outside the city. There was a really fancy looking roller coaster that could be seen from the road, but I'm still yet to find anyone that ever actually saw it in operation and so can only conclude it was used to lure people in. Anyway, it was a unique place, I have to give it that :P


So on Thursday after winning a small victory over a scheduling conflict with TPR admin, Hanne and I met Kim, Caris, Ashley, Brandy, Amanda, Anny and Kevin at the school and headed out to Pearl Land, an amusement park just out of town. Kind of reminded me of the end of National Lampoon's Vacation because there were hardly any people there (we actually had to stand around trying to round people up because they wouldn't run one of the rides with less than 15 people) but it meant no lines for anything so it was all good. 

Spent a while indulging in China's favourite national past time (posing for photos with the random collection of animal, cartoon character and old west statues scattered around the park) and then took a couple trips on the roller coaster (securely strapped in as we were with one old seatbelt looped around our shoulders). Took a spin on the worlds slowest (and hottest) ferris wheel from which we got a great view of the rest of the park and the rarely seen Chinese suburbia and then went on a couple kids rides and the carousel which ended abruptly when the ride operator got sick of all the pole dancing (not me for the record).
Went on a couple fast show rides that were pretty fun. Luckily we were properly strapped in this time and let me tell you, nothing makes you feel more confident about being thrown up in the air and spun upside down than looking down at your harness to see a giant "Made in China" label on it. The rides pretty much went downhill from there. There was a log ride on which I think i actually ended up drier than before i got on, the world’s most pathetic haunted house (the only scary part was that it was so dark you faced the very real danger of smacking into a wall) and a mirror maze.

A highlight was "Experience world" which took us from a Chinese speaking King Tut in ancient Egypt to a polar bear dropping from the ceiling, a replica of the Bocca della Verita (ancient roman  lie detector) - that was entertaining actually because Amanda tried it and jumped a mile when it pretended to bite her fingers off, a model of New York in which the Statue of Liberty was missing an arm and finally a volcano. Did a lap on the oddball cycles (Hanne and I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to steer ours since the handlebars didn't move and one wheel didn't quite reach the ground properly) and got queasy on the spinning tulips ride (or Flower Cupry if you will).

Can you feel the excitement?

Overwhelmed with all the excitement we eventually headed out of the park where we were all delighted to find a selection of fairy floss, BBQ and drinks being sold off the back of bicycles, which we gobbled up pretty quickly and headed for home.

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