Taiwan is known for its oddities and unusual attractions. It is also the island that is quite fond of anything cute.
I remember the hype and appeal the yellow duck got in Kaohsiung, with people traveling up to five hours just to see a huge yellow duck floating in the harbor. Then, there were those talks about creating a ‘sex-themed’ park, which I am not sure ever transpired – however, something that even CNN felt necessary to report about and share. And let’s not forget Eva Air’s ‘Hello Kitty’ themed planes, where everything on board has the cute cat’s face plastered all over it.
And now, there is something new that is captivating the nation. Something else that is very different for Taiwanese to check out and to fill their social media with pictures of. And that, my friends, is the enormous blue glass shoe/slipper which has been named the ‘Cinderella High-Heel Church.’
And it seems that the odder and more unusual it is, the more international media attention it gets. I mean, just Google the name of this place and you will have articles from Forbes, BBC, and Cosmopolitan, just to name a few. [And in true Taiwanese style, all of these articles have been printed and are neatly on display, one after the other, on the fence outside the venue – just to make sure that everyone who visits is aware of all the publicity it is getting.]
‘Cinderella High-Heel Church’
First off, don’t let the name fool you. Because even though it contains the word ‘church’ in its name, it is definitely not a church. In fact, it is not even a building that you can enter at all. So, there will be no referencing the nursery rhyme ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’ here. [Can you tell that my pregnancy is making me channel my inner child?]
According to the Forbes article, it consists of 320 glass panels and a total of 1269 glass rods. It took approximately two months to build and had the price tag of $686,000 [of what I am assuming to be U.S. dollars.] It is a whopping 55 foot in height [16.5 meters] and 36 foot wide [10.8 meters].
This blue glass shoe is located smack dab in the center of a little park where a English telephone booth, a LOVE stamp, white iron gazebos, hearts seats and so on are scattered along the path circling the outside perimeter of the park.
Its purpose you may be wondering? Well, it is to serve as a backdrop for engagement and pre-wedding photo shoots. The fairytale-like theme will hopefully attract more brides and grooms to the area and use this place as a venue for photos. Personally, I am pretty sure it will be successful because all brides want to find their prince charming and get their happily ever after.
If you are fascinated with shoes, then this is your place. If you are not, then maybe you can combine a visit and check out some of the other sights in the area. [More on what to see and do in the area in future posts.]
This gigantic shoe is located in Budai – a coastal area in Chaiyi county.
This shoe was finished just in time for Chinese New Year and thus, is pretty new. Also, it has gotten a lot of publicity, so if you go on a weekend, then you will not be the only one there.
If the Shoe Fits, Wear it!
I first set my sights on this shoe via twitter. Someone had shared the Forbes article, which I just happened to click on.
And from first glance, I knew I had to check it out!
[It is funny because this is my second attraction that I found on social media which captured my attention in the last six months.]
See, this is one of the things that fascinates me about Taiwan – the quirky things that pop up from time to time. I mean, it is pretty crazy that someone had a vision to build this giant shoe is a small rural setting and that people [including myself – I know! I am guilty as well, so no finger pointing going on here.] flock to the area to check it out.
It was one of the hottest days so far this year on the day we went, but the heat nor the blazing hot sun didn’t seem to deter anyone. Because when we arrived at around 12 noon, the place was a buzz with activity.
Some were watching a teenage girl drummer as she pounded along to the beat of the song. Others were putting their self-sticks to use. Most women were brave enough to expose themselves long enough from the concealment of their umbrellas to take a photo. I, on the other hand, had neither a selfie-stick nor an umbrella, but was poked by a total of five within a matter of 30 minutes [no wonder selfie-sticks are banned at Walt Disney. And with regards to umbrellas – Welcome to Taiwan!!]
My only hope is that it doesn’t become this ugly, neglected, dirty shoe when the hype ‘wears’ down and the newness ‘wears’ off. But, it is positioned right next to the coastline, with only the harbor wall protecting it, so it always has to deal with the salt water and exposure to the elements. Can you imagine the damage that salt can/will do to those steel rods and the beating the glass could potentially take if the waves were to pound on it during a typhoon?
And as for my husband’s opinion, he had a lot to say about the dead grass surrounding the glass shoe. Where are reputable and knowledgeable landscapers when you need them? [My husband also dually noted that we successfully sodded our backyard and we are by no means working in the industry.]
But, it was a very cool thing to see and to photograph. And the biggest shoe that I have ever seen.
Are you attracted to odd or unusual things? Have you ever went out of your way to see it? Please let me know in the comment box below.
Linking up with Packing My Suitcase for #MondayEscapes
Linking up with A Hole in My Shoe for #TheWeeklyPostcard