Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

Alisan Girls

This was one of the places I was looking forward to visiting in Taiwan. I’ve heard much about the Taiwanese aborigines, although I’m only familiar with the Amis and wanted to know more about them. It turned out to the one of the highlights of my trip!

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

I can’t say it’s THE HIGHLIGHT of my trip since it’s just my second day in Taiwan but I was totally blown away by the Amis performance. It’s a courtship ritual dance and it starts with the girls slowly trooping down from the back of the open courtyard to meet in the middle with their male counterparts.

You won’t regret watching this 5 minute video coz I certainly was very proud of being in the right place at the right time at the right angle to capture everything from beginning till end.

Theme Park

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village is actually a theme park that has several components to it – there’s literally something for everyone, from the European Village to the Amusement Isle, which is an amusement park and waterpark rolled into one. It’s like having multiple attractions and rides that appeals to both young and old in one place.

Taiwan Aboriginal House

That’s exactly what it is – a place for everyone. Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village opened in 1986 and is originally a cultural village for people to observe and experience a Taiwanese traditional tribal lifestyle. That was why I wanted to go. It expanded to be a lot more than that to capture a larger audience for just NTD 780 (about RM 100) for adults, which gives you access to everything.

Amis Woman

There was an actual, real-life Amis woman who dressed up and gave us a commentary throughout the day. I thought that was awesome, coz she spoke English well and she was a veritable fountain of knowledge. Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village actually has two places that tells the history of the Taiwanese aboriginals via rides.

Discovering Sun Moon Lake

The first is at Dynamic Movie and called Time Travel – Discovering Sun Moon Lake. This is one of those motion 3D simulators which has intense levels of gyro action and alarming tilts. It’s fully animated and it’s a production that’s completely done in Taiwan! Stuff like this is usually imported, so a locally made rendering makes it all the more meaningful and it tells the story well – just more geared towards the younger ones.

Illusion Fusion

The other is a beautiful medley of theatre and interactive elements called ILLUSION FUSION. The show started with two girls coming together…

Taiwan Theatre

…and segues into a man shooting down the sun (more about that later), people chasing a white deer etc.

It’s The Origins of Taiwan in abstract form and I think theatre lovers would totally dig it.

Taiwan Aboriginal Hut

I really enjoyed it but I wouldn’t have understood the symbolism if I hadn’t watched Discovering Sun Lake Moon earlier. You can say both serves their purpose, I would definitely go for the 3D motion simulator first to get the mythology straight before delving into the heavier Illusion Fusion.

Taiwan Aboriginal Tribe

There are a lot of roller-coasters and water slides around but I skipped all that to delve into the proper Taiwanese aboriginal history. Yup, even UFO Adventures, Taiwan’s tallest free-fall ride at 85 meters.

Longest Cable Car Taiwan

There was a poll on who wanted to go and I went for Taiwan’s first cable car system instead, the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway. The significance of this cable car is in the name – you actually descend down (or up, depending on where you’re coming from) to the aforementioned lake.

The legend about how Taiwan started goes like this. There was a group of hunters who saw a white deer and wanted to kill it, chasing it to Sun Moon Lake. However, they didn’t catch it but they settled down here instead. These were the original inhabitants of Taiwan – the Amis and other Taiwanese aboriginals.

Sun Moon Lake

It was nice to see the beautiful blue lake and you can even go on boat rides if you want.

Ceremony for Good Luck

There was also a ceremony where we were blessed with fire and had to “jump” over a flaming pit to get rid of bad luck, the traditional Taiwan aboriginal way.

Jumping Flaming Pit

I love the interactive portions, I did it twice, once for real and once for the camera…does that mean I reversed my good luck? smirk

Amis Performance

The Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Museum was very interesting too – everything has both Chinese and English descriptions, even the digital screens, so I could understand the history and culture behind the Taiwanese original inhabitants.

Paiwan Wood Lintels

They also own the largest collection of real Paiwan status wood lintels in Taiwan! It’s quite impressive to see all the ancient artefacts and learn about the culture of the 19 recognized tribes of Aboriginals.

I decided to spend more time at the actual Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village and caught a couple of shows, including the natives’ flagship song. Naruwan actually means “Hello“. You’ll hear this multiple times as the people there greet you in this format.

Alisan Courtship Ritual

Try and catch all the performances if you can, they’re the best thing about this place. I managed to get involved in an impromptu dance where a Taiwanese girl came over to grab my hand to join the circle of dancers.

Bunan Dance

I was trying to get the dance right, kicking and switching stances when prompted when one of the guys (who really is a Bunun – one of the Aboriginal people of Taiwan) handed me a drink. It was their version of fermented rice wine and I drank it. Surprisingly fruity, it was good. I was wondering why they didn’t grab children to join in the dances until I realized it was alcohol. Haha!

Alisan Dance

That was a lot of fun and it made for a great photo op – thanks to the resident Amis for taking the photos. I highly recommend coming if you love visiting a country to learn more about the cultural elements. :)

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village
555, Nantou County, Yuchi Township
Nantou County, Taiwan

Posted: 12:06 am Taiwan time (GMT/UTC +8)

AMPLIFY @ The Rabbit Hole, Changkat Bukit Bintang

amplify

The number one question I’ve received from friends visiting from abroad is invariable – “Where can I chill with a couple of beers and a live band?”. You ever notice that? It’s never “Where’s the hottest club in town?” (once you get past college) or “Where’s the best place to pick up girls?” (unless you have a creepy set of friends).

live music

People just want to have a good time and kick back at night with a good brew in hand and some live music while they chat with friends.

rabbit hole changkat bb

I was out last Saturday night at The Rabbit Hole @ Changkat Bukit Bintang to check out one of the first iterations of Amplify. Guinness Amplify is a brand new music platform from Guinness – described as a journey of sound and sensation, it’s a celebration of the journey of talented, dedicated and passionate musicians.

amplify jumero

The Rabbit Hole was nicely decked out with a feature stage and a great sound system. It was packed by the time I got there for the JUMERO set. There’s a nice mix of locals and foreigners there too. There’s nothing better than listening to the best local bands that we have while downing a couple of pints of Guinness on tap!

jumero

There are three live sets each Saturday night – JUMERO was followed by THE MARQUEE before the headlining act OJ LAW. Each set lasted from 30 – 45 minutes and each had it’s own character. I particularly liked Jumero’s stage presence and how The Marquee got the crowd’s support with great covers. It’s so different from other music events – the musicians doing their gigs here is definitely made of more – they have the passion and dedication which makes them a cut above.

Here’s a video of The Marquee in action!

rabbit hole

The best thing about the live stage music is that it showcases local talent – they’re all bands from Klang Valley and a lot of the names will be familiar to you. I browsed through the bands that will be performing and recognized a lot of the bands. Yup, there’s going to be a Guinness Amplify event every Saturday night till October 11:

SEPT 20
Bierhaus @ Austin, Johor
AN HONEST MISTAKE
BIHZHU
FROYA

SEPT 27
Foley’s Irish Bar @ Oasis Ara Damansara
TEMPERED MENTAL
NICK DAVIS
DASH

pint music

OCT 4
SOHO Gastro Pub @ Precinct 10, Penang
THE ENDLEAVES
FROYA
KYOTO PROTOCOL

OCT 11
Laundry Bar @ The Curve
HALFWAY KINGS
PAPERPLANE PURSUIT
THEY WILL KILL US ALL

amplify tour

Entry is FREE for all events. There are no tickets required except for the finale show. Come early to grab your seats coz it’ll be pretty full once the first set starts! Guinness on tap was at RM 10 all night long at The Rabbit Hole and you’ll get 1 Guinness free for every 2 Guinness you buy, and there are give-aways between sets for the exclusive finale show at KL Live at every one of the Saturday night live events.

guinness amplify

Also, have I mentioned that Guinness will celebrate the Finale Show with a bang? It would be “Rude” of me if I didn’t reveal that Canadian band MAGIC! will definitely be performing alongside our local talents OJ Law and DASH in this much anticipated finale.

the marquee

You’ll love this – it’s all about passionate musicians showcasing their passion. It’s really different from other live band venues. Get more details about the weekly Saturday night events and how to win tickets to the phenomenal final show at KL Live @ www.amplify.com.my!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...