5 Awesome Things About Chinese Theme Parks

I told you I'd be back with some positives! Like I said, not everything about China was bad or difficult, but for some reason those things are more fun to write about so I ended up posting about them first. Yep, China is a weird and wonderful place that's definitely not without its charm, even if it is in it's own, absolutely mental way. Here's some of the more awesome things we experienced on our trip to China.

I bloody adore Chinese food. Granted I wasn't exactly expecting lemon chicken and prawn balls, but I'm a fussy eater at the best of times so I took solace in the fact that I could solidly expect at least some kind of meat-and-rice combo wherever we went. So yh, it was actually really refreshing to not have to select from some kind of vaguely grey-ish meat substitute parading as a burger or limp soggy sorry-for-itself pizza. Pretty much everywhere we went the food was bloody delicious, from steamed buns and chow mein to delicious meat-on-a-stick or Conor's favourite - grilled octopus. I never tired of the food the entire time and I loved the excitement of never knowing quite what we were going to get.

Yeah, another signifier of what a fat, lazy shit I am, but come on - who can honestly say they haven't been stood in a mind-numbing queue with your feet throbbing wanting nothing more than a good sit down. The Chinese do it so, so right. Sure, their operations are dire, but you don't mind a cattlepen quite as much when there are benches throughout the whole queueline. I honestly have no idea why no other countries do this, it's genius.

If there's anything China's not, it's predictable. I've never been to a country where you literally have zero idea what's around the corner. Especially in the likes of the Fantawild parks - such an incredible variety of dark rides. Literally like an absolute pick n mix bag - all of the attractions are housed in huge buildings, all completely covered so with that, plus the fact that we can't read Chinese, meant that we literally had NO idea what was coming. I think with European and American parks you get used to a specific kind of formula with theme parks - even the more unique ones like Efteling and Phantasialand. You know you'll get some kind of line-up of coasters, flat rides and water rides. Not in China, the variety is so broad it makes it very hard to get bored!

As much as a lot of the Chinese general public were a little...difficult at times, the complete opposite could be said of the theme park staff. Everybody was so incredibly helpful and excited that they really made our day whenever we spoke to them. When we arrived at our first Fantawild park speaking little to no Chinese and them speaking no English, they didn't let that stop them from doing everything they could to figure out what the bloody hell we wanted (two park - one day ticket), and even walked us all the way through the turnstiles helping us scan our tickets.

And then there were the Happy Valley Shanghai staff - we had originally arranged to visit the park on the Sunday but there were some complications and we ended up doing the Monday instead. When we arrived, the marketing lady Christine came out to meet us in person to explain everything as she preferred to talk to us face to face! Nothing was too much hassle, and it really did add to our experience.

I mean this strictly in the theme parks only though. The train workers can go fuck themselves.

Oh hot damn do the Chinese love themselves some mega OTT theming. Obviously you expect ridiculous levels of detail in the Disney parks, but even the smaller parks seem to put a lot of emphasis on creating huge, decadent theming pieces. You literally can't walk around any park without finding yourself suddenly surrounded by a giant mountain rage or confronted by towering mythical beasts. I was worried these pieces would look a little tacky in real life, like at Rainbow MagicLand in Rome, and I mean...I wasn't wrong but somehow it worked? I don't know how they got away with it not feeling tacky in all the wrong ways, but they did. It just brought a smile to my face every time we saw the next big ridiculous thing, even at the thought of this stuff being discussed during the planning stages: "So you want a giant mountain, but carved into the shape of walrus?" "Yep, sounds about right." "Sweet, can do." Love it.

See - there were some things I liked about China! Writing this has just made me have a new appreciation for what an obscene place it is - on both ends of the scale. If good food, overly helpful staff and obscenely decadent theming is your thing then I would definitely recommend China!

Talk later xoxo,