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E-Da World is the brainchild of steel magnate Lin Yi-shou. Lin is the founder of E-United Group and is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Taiwan.
Lin had a vision of creating a top class university, residential area, and tourist attraction all rolled into one. He choose the south of Taiwan outside of Kaohsiung City as he felt this was the place where he started out as a youth and worked hard to be successful.
Lin created E-Da world in the late 1990's, and it has slowly developed into a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike. The area includes a university, (I- Shou University), an International School (I- Shou International School) , a theme park with rides and rollercoasters, Italian villa style residential neighborhoods, a large outlet mall, two hotels including the Crowne Plaza Hotel, movie theaters, and a driving range to boot.
Lin also was quoted as saying "We want to build E-Da World into Taiwan's 'Disneyland. Lin also expressed hope that the theme park's mascots, conceived by prominent local designer Demos Chiang, will become as popular as Japan's famous mascot "Hello Kitty" in the Chinese-speaking world.
E-Da World is located just outside Kaohsiung City amongst rolling hills in the district of Da Shu. It’s easily accessible by freeway or local roads by scooter.
Outlet shopping does in fact exist in Taiwan. The E-Da Outlet Mall boasts low prices on name brand clothing and accessories and the mall doesn’t disappoint.
With over 300 well-known brand name shops from Coach to Polo to Tommy Hilfiger to Armani Exchange , stores offer big discounts off their normally high priced items. Discounts can be as much as 75%! The Coach store is so popular on weekends that you need to wait in line just to browse around.
The E-Da Outlet Mall has over 8 stories of stores. There is even an ice-rink in the lower levels where shoppers can rent skates and have a go around the ice for a few hours. There are restaurants, go-carts, and even a large Ferris Wheel on the roof.
The service at the mall is excellent and one could easily spend several hours walking throughout the decorative hallways. The mall is busy due to an influx of tour buses dropping off tourists who are looking for a bargain.
E-Da Theme Park義大遊樂世界
The E-Da theme park is not the largest in the world, but for an affordable cost you could have a few hours of fun. There is a small rollercoaster, a free fall ride, swing rides at high speeds, and even rides for children.
There are several types of ticket deals you can choose so there is something for everyone’s budget.
As part of their tourist experience, E-Da hosts international performances at the E-Da theatre. In the past there have been Russian Dance Troupes, and shows akin to Cirque de Soleil.
Shows will stay in town for up to 6 months. Tickets are on sale at the theater. Check the website (Chinese only) for details.
I’m not sure why there is a golf range at E-Da world, but it’s actually quite nice and you can enjoy the outside country air. There are golf courses nearby and the hotels offer golfing packages for guests. Prices during the week are 20NT for 30 balls, but rise up to 30NT for 30 on the weekend.
It’s easy to spot the university and international school once you’re inside E-Da World. The university is private and has an affiliation with the I-De Hospital nearby (also funded by Lin).
The international school is for day students and boarding students. It offers a full English language curriculum and is an accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
There is a gated entrance into the university so you won’t be able to roam around the campus without registering.
I-Shou International School website: http://www.isis.ks.edu.tw
The Crowne Plaza Hotel is a nice attraction itself at E-Da World. It’s a five star hotel and offers top quality accommodation and service. Nowadays, rooms are usually booked by tour groups who have stopped in for the day/evening to enjoy E-Da world.
The hotel has restaurants, a pool, and a gym. It’s next to the movie theaters and across the street from the E-Da Outlet Mall. Every building is connected by overpasses and walkways, so there is no problem walking to any part of the area.
The Skylark Hotel is also a nice option to stay. It is connected to the E-Da Outlet Mall.
Here are the websites:
E-Da World Website:http://www.edaworld.com.tw/
By Car:Having a car is the easiest way to get to E-Da World. Take Route 10 and follow the signs to the exit and then to the park. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Kaohsiung City.
By Shuttle Bus: No car? No problem. Take the E-Da Shuttle.
E-Da has made it easy to get to E-Da World via their extensive shuttle bus system.
The E-Da Purple buses (easy to spot) drive a route around Kaohsiung City all day to pick up passengers.
The most convenient way to get there is from the Kaohsiung High Speed Rail station. The E-Da shuttle buses run every 20 minutes to and from the park. The trip takes 20 minutes.
There are also shuttle buses at the Kaohsiung International Airport. The trip takes 30 minutes.
Buses run from 7:00am until 11:30 pm.
Ticket prices are between 14-37 NT depending on how long you travel.
EDA Shuttle Bus to Foguang Shan Buddhist Memorial Center: If you don't have a car and are on the tourist path, the EDA shuttle bus also runs to the Foguang Shan Buddhist Memorial Center, a must see destination in Kaohsiung.
E-Da transportation website (Chinese only) : www.edabus.com.tw