Leofoo Village Theme Park, Hsinchu County, Taiwan

We, the members of the “CATS” grand prize winner were all excited as we boarded a hired bus going to Leofoo Village Theme Park in Guanxi Town of Hsinchu County. This is part of our Taiwan tour for winning in our 2008 Christmas Party in Manila, another surprise treat apart from our four-day tour in the northern part of Taiwan.

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the excited group of CATS on the way to Leofoo Village Theme Park

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The CATS’s Prize: Trip to Taiwan

Cash and trip to Taiwan were our prizes for winning the grand prize in our 2008 Christmas Party musical dance contest which was held in a prestigious hotel in Manila. We performed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s the “CATS”. As the organizer of our group, it was an overwhelming feeling that for two consecutive years, the Central Area did it again!

cats at airport

waiting for our flight

We were equipped with thick jackets as we head off to our six-day exciting vacation in Taiwan as February is a cold month in that country.

First Day

We arrived in our hotel almost six pm. After our dinner we headed to Shilin Night Market which was often considered to be the most largest and famous in Taipei. We rode in MRT (Tam Shui Line) and stopped at Chien Tan station. We had a long walk going to the market. T-shirts, souvenir items and even foods were at affordable prices. I bought t-shirts for my family and souvenir items for me and to my colleagues. What I enjoyed eating here was the frozen sweetened strawberry threaded in a wooden skewer.

shopping at Shilin Night Market

Though it was very cold outside, we didn’t go back to the hotel yet after our market tour. We explored the busy streets of Taipei and mingled with the crowd. The city lights were beaming. Funny, we ate ice cream albeit the cold weather. I shared a room with Elena and Esther. Time for bed!

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colorful billboard of Taipei at night

Second Day

We headed to North Taiwan to visit our company’s branches. We were so excited as we passed the Hsuehshan Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the country. The long drive wasn’t boring and I was widely awake watching mountainous landscapes in the glass window of our bus.  It was like we were heading to Baguio City.  It’s good that most of our branches were located in shopping malls. From our last store to visit, I bought my favorite Transformer collections, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee for 635 NT with approximately P700 if converted to peso. Not bad.

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We had our dinner in a shabu-shabu restaurant near our hotel. After a little rest in our room, off we went to nearest stores and did some shopping.

shabu shabu

Third Day

The day’s activity was visiting our branches again in Taipei. What we favored for the day was riding in a giant Ferris wheel in Miramar Department Store. It was operated by afternoon. Since it was for free, every one experienced a wonderful ride.

the view from the ferris wheel of Miramar Department Store

Fourth Day

What thrilled me the most was visiting the reining highest building in the world, Taipei 101. The building had 101 floors above ground and five underground. First few floors were filled with stores of foreign luxury goods. There were supermarket and food court underground. We went to the observatory deck in the 89th floor by riding the world’s fastest elevator.

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When the elevator closed, the lights were automatically turned off. We were amused and delighted seeing stars and constellations illuminating in the ceiling. The attendant served as a tourist guide as he was talking about the “Elevator”. He talked so fast, as fast as the ride.  As he stopped talking, the door swung opened. The experience was pretty cool.

There were so many good things to see at the observatory like pictures, reading material behind the construction of the building and lots of tourists that flocked on the deck. We’ve seen Taiwan in its afternoon glory from the glass wall. We stayed there until darkness engulfed the entire city. We proceeded to 91st floor, went outside and enjoyed the cool breeze. It was a chilly evening. We had a good time viewing the top portion of the building where it was brighten by glistening lights.

Taipei 101 at night time

Our company was so generous for providing us a good break.  Though we were so tired, the experience was all worth it.  We had a good nice sleep tonight.

Fifth Day

(whole story was written in another article under Leofoo Village Theme Park)

Another wonderful experience was our tour and ride at Loofoo Village Theme Park which was located in Guanxi, Hsinchu.  It had four sections, Wild West, Arabian Kingdom, South Pacific, Zoo and Safari Park. What we enjoyed most in Arabian Kingdom was riding in Sultan’s Adventure which was a high-speed jeep dark ride.

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Mighty Mountain Flume Adventure

Other exciting rides were Mighty Mountain Flume Adventure, Pagoda’s Revenge, Screaming Condor, Intamin Drop Tower, Ring of Fire, Flying Horses, Monkey Trail and a lot more to enjoy.

We rode a tourist bus in Safari Park. There we saw a group of baboons, lions and white tigers.

lots of monkeys could be seen from the Monkey Trail ride

We ended our day buying various souvenir items in the souvenir shop.

Last Night, Year-End Celebration

This is the most anticipated day that we’ve been waiting for, to showcase our winning dance number in Taiwan. We rehearsed twice in the hotel by afternoon. We promised ourselves that we will do our best so our bosses will be proud of us in bringing the CATS group in their country. Here are some of our pictures…

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After we performed, we changed our costume to evening dress and mingled with the Taiwanese staff and officers. We even participated in their games on stage. It was a good experience dealing with them though they cannot speak in English fluently; they are people who easily smile when greeted.

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the members of the CATS after the performance

This is our third time to perform and for sure this would be the last. But one thing for sure, the memories of our CATS experience are something to be treasured and cherished by everyone. It’s such a wonderful feeling organizing a team where everyone cooperated well from the start of our practice which at times ended up almost midnight, from conceptualizing the costumes and make-up, the laughter, the snack and most of all the bonding which I could say is the best formula for winning.

I will be missing our camaraderie.

Last Day

We ate healthy shabu-shabu in Cash Country for our lunch. The vegetables were all fresh. Pechay leaves were so big. What a nice lunch we had.

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That ends our Taiwan adventure. We were so thankful to our company for pampering us for six wonderful days.

Hoping to get back here in the future!