In our recent trip to Taichung, Taiwan, the last two attractions that we went to was Carton King and Banana New Paradise. If anyone is wondering, we actually planned for a day tour in Taichung because we really miss the Tai Yang Bing [a.k.a Sun Biscuit/Cake] and we found it pretty pointless to spend money on High Speed Rail Tickets to Taichung just for boxes of Tai Yang Bing. Hence, we decided to sniff out other attractions that we haven’t been to so that we could kill multiple birds with one stone.
Last year, we were at the Carton King branch in Nantou and this time round, we went to the Carton King Creativity Park in Taichung. The Carton King Creativity Park in Taichung is way bigger than the one we went to in Nantou and there are also more things to look at and shop for.
Ticket booth made of cardboxes and paper.
Entrance tickets to Carton King Creativity Park cost $200 TWD and it also comes with a voucher that we could use to buy souvenirs or food and beverage.
Almost all of the displays in Carton King Creativity Park is made by corrugated paper.
Sitting on the sofa like a boss. The sofa was made out of cardboards.
If you wish to purchase some of these unique displays, you can do so at the souvenir store but you would have to assemble them from scratch. The souvenir store also has some really interesting cards that you might want to check out and purchase as gifts for your family members and friends.
Apart from the souvenir store, there’s also a mini bee/honey museum, a restaurant, and a candy store! As our next destination was Banana New Paradise [a unique 1900s-themed restaurant], we skipped lunch at Carton King Creativity Park. If you’re planning to visit Carton King Creativity Park, do note that the restaurant only serves lunch from 1100 to 1400 and dinner from 1700 to 2030. A meal for an adult would cost approximately 250 TWD to 400 TWD and for children, it would cost about 150 TWD.
The dining table and seats in the restaurant at Carton King is also made of cardboard.
At the mini honey/bee museum at Carton King Creativity Park. This is the reason why I deserve to be an actor.
Jacqueline’s new found friends.
To go or not to go?
Verdict: Carton King Creativity Park is really unique and there are probably no other places like it. There are tons of opportunities for photos and if you’re an artsy person, Carton King Creativity Park might be your source of inspiration for some creativity. The souvenirs available are reasonably priced and some of the DIY kits are pretty interesting and suitable to be placed at home for decoration purposes. Hence, we personally feel that you ought to have Carton King Creativity Park in your itinerary if you’re planning to visit Taichung. In fact, we would definitely return to get some more stuffs from their souvenir store because they are really unique and inexpensive.
Banana New Paradise
Banana New Paradise is situated near to the Confucius Temple, the Taichung Broadcasting Bureau, and Yizhong Night Market. It was a pity that we didn’t have much time to explore this part of Taichung because we uncovered quite a number of attractions in this vicinity where Banana New Paradise is at.
Banana New Paradise has an old train carriage right outside their restaurant.
Old telephone communication system onboard the old train carriage.
If you wondering what is Banana New Paradise, it is essentially a theme restaurant that serves Chinese and Taiwanese meals. The decorations and displays in the 1900s-themed restaurant is really unique and you will get a taste of what it feels like to be living in Taiwan during that era.
The restaurant even has an entire, authentic-looking replication of a Taiwan street from the 1920s to 1940s. Apart from the colonial-era store fronts and the displays of real antiques, there’s also old mailboxes, signs and posters, a 50-year-old taxi, motorcycles, fully-stocked camera store, dentist office, barber shop, movie theater, and a candy and toy store too. All these can be found in Banana New Paradise and they are really a sight to behold.
The toy and candy shop!
Yes, they even have features from the Ching Dynasty!
Old school barber shop.
An old school cinema booth! We used to have something like this in Singapore too.
Old school cinema posters.
Real antiques that are extremely rare.
I don’t really know what this is but it sure looks like a machine used for shaving ice.
Your eyes ain’t tricking you. This is not some part of an alley. In fact, they are inside the theme restaurant itself!
It’s time for school!
We were quite surprised to see this fire hydrant inside the restaurant too!
Jacqueline posing for a photo with the fire hydrant.
Old school cameras.
Visitors can sit at tables along the “street”, or inside “shops”, and enjoy Chinese and Taiwanese meals.
The super duper unique food menu.
And how was the food?
It was really superb!
When we were there, we did not manage to arrive in time for their normal lunch hours and as a result, we only managed to order some light snacks to fill ourselves. Hence, it was more like a high tea session than lunch.
Char Siew Pau
Fried Beancurd Roll
Fried Sticky Rice
Ice Lemon Tea
To go or not to go?
Verdict: Banana New Paradise is definitely one of the most extraordinary theme restaurants in Taichung and the food is relatively superb as well. The cost of having a meal at Banana New Paradise is reasonable though it is considered to be on the higher end by the locals. If you’re a history buff and you want to have an experience of what living in Taiwan during the 1900s is like, you might want to include Banana New Paradise in your itinerary. Furthermore, there’s no entrance fees and you pay only for what you consume in the restaurant.
Overall, our one day tour at Taichung was a really fruitful one and as you can see, we bought lots of goodies on just one single day.
I was personally very tired from the one-day trip in Taichung and here I am taking a quick power nap before arriving in Taiwan for the rest of our trip.
In our few upcoming blog entries, we will be sharing with you some of the interesting places that we have been to in Taipei and New Taipei so do look out for that! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂