So it's hot, real hot. hThe moment you step out the
door , sweat pours out of every pore and the humid air feels
thick enough to cut with a knife. All you can think
about is heading for the next air-conditioned room or grabbing
a cold drink.
For millions of Taiwan residents, the months of April through
October are an annual struggle to stay cool. Sales
of anything liquid and cold explode and Taipower begins
issuing warnings about over-use of electricity, as air conditioners
suck up the megawatts.
However, when the heat comes, the one place that
Greater Taichung people generally do not head for
is the beach, namely because there are no decent beaches
to head for. Swimming pools do provide some
options (see About Town)
but the practice of making the best of a hot situation
by soaking up the rays on the sand or while paddling
through the waves remains an alien one for central
Thanks to an exciting, impressive new addition that
may begin to change. On July 1, the owners of
Mala Bay water park proudly cut the ribbon on the
island's biggest facility of its kind.
The forgettable little Taichung county town of Houli,
located within a few hundred meters of the North-South Freeway
not far from the coastal town of Tachia, is home to this
impressive development which covers several hectares of
hillside land overlooking the highway.
The park is only a taste of what is yet to come--the international-class
theme park, Discovery World, taking up about 20 hectares
next door to Mala Bay and scheduled to open early next year.
It is all part of a NT$25 billion investment by the Yamay
International Develoment Company which should help cement
Greater Taichung's position as a leading Taiwan tourist
For local residents and tourists alike looking to cool
off and have a lot of fun, the most significant facet of
Mala Bay is not its size, but its world-class quality.
This didn't come cheaply or randomly. Yamay has hired
a virtual army of leading foreign water and amusement park
consultants from around the world to plan, design, construct
and oversee operations of the park and its soon-to-come
neighbor. Given the fact that Disney is the benchmark
for all such parks, it is significant to note that California-based
LEDO International, made up of ex-Disney executives, oversees
overall operations. The park is also the brainchild
of US-based White Water, designer of many world-class water
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