Kuo Tai Glass Park in Zhunan was one of the places we visited during our stay at the Miaoli Maison De Chine Hotel. In addition to our own research (which didn’t reveal much information, hence this post), we were also introduced to this Zhunan attraction by the concierge at our hotel. If you’re thinking of the things to do in Miaoli, do check out Kuo Tai Glass Park as it promises to be a fun-filled venue for the entire family!
Whats there at Kuo Tai Glass Park Zhunan?
After a 15 minutes walk from our hotel, we arrived at Kuo Tai Glass Park (aka 國泰玻璃觀光工廠) and we were just in time for the next guided tour! The tour starts with a glass blowing session where even kids are allowed to join in!
When you arrive at Kuo Tai Glass Park, the receptionist will welcome you and bring you into the glass store where you will be introduced to the entry fees. It costs NT250 per person. But, the NT250 can also be used as store credits. Hence, if there are 2 of you, although the entry fee would be NT500, you would also have a store credit of NT500. To participate in the glass blowing session (and blow your own glass to be taken home as a souvenir), it costs NT350. Hence, we still had NT150 which we used to get 3 small glass pieces to be taken home.
Our recommendation? Participate in the glass blowing session! We did not have the chance when we were in Venice!
During this weekend, there were also several parents who brought their kids along. The kids seemed to have lots of fun participating in the glass blowing session and answering the quizzes from the guide. When the kids got an answer correct, they would be rewarded with a glass souvenir (worth NT50)!
During the glass blowing session, we were instructed by the master to blow VERY gently and rotate the rod that holds the glass. This is because as you blow, the glass becomes lob sided and you would have to continuously rotate the rod to balance it. But don’t worry, the master is always on hand in case the glass goes “out of shape”. He even does moulding, shaping and refining at the end so that your product is still in a “presentable” state when you go home with it
During the live demonstration, we were really impressed by 2 procedures that the master did. Firstly, the brothers (together – both of whom are master glass makers) did a “bridging” so that the vase can be disconnected from its original base. Secondly, he did this TWIRLING action at the end that formed the flowery opening at the top of the vase. The other interesting was that newspapers (YES NEWSPAPERS!) were used in forming the glass! This is because newspapers have ink that helped to provide a layer of (oil) protection, preventing scratches on the glass wares! Cheap and good!
Take a look at this live demonstration where the process of “bridging” is shown!
After the awesome demonstration, the guide continued to bring us around the glass factory, showing us the tools that were formerly used to produce glass ware in the factory. Lastly, the tour ended at the factory’s museum where we were introduced to some of the masterpieces that were produced, including
1. A green vase with a huge opening at the top. If you think about it, the greater the opening, the greater the skill of the master as it really requires alot of experience to know whether “stretching” the glass further would break the product or not. Hence, for this particular piece, ALOT of skill was required!
2. Red glass ware that are NOT painted red. It is rather difficult to do red glass wares because the colour red, can only be produced in glass wares WITHIN a certain temperature range. Hence, all the crafting and heating must be done within this particular range. If the temperature is not controlled well, the colour may change outside of this range and therefore the master will have to re-craft again.
3. Bamboo glassware. According to our guide, it took about 3 years for the master to be able to create this bamboo glassware. It was then proven that it had some qualities that allowed the drinks held within these glass ware to taste better. No change to the flavour per se, but it is supposed to make the drinks smoother to the taste.
How to get to Kuo Tai Glass Park Zhunan?
From Miaoli Maison De Chine, it is relatively easy to get to Kuo Tai Glass Park. It is in fact just a 15 minutes walk along Gongyuan Road. Once you have reached Kanding Street, continue walking till you reach an overhead crossing. Just before this overhead crossing, you will see a sign on the right leading to Kuo Tai Glass Park. Head on the small path and you will arrive at Kuo Tai Glass Park Zhunan!
Address of Kuo Tai Glass Park : 350, Taiwan, Miaoli County, 新南里崁頂151號
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At the end of the tour, we were taken back to the glass store again to choose items that we could bring home with our remaining NT150 credit. We were also shown our glass product (after the master’s refinement) before it was packaged in a box for us to bring home. It is in fact still safe and sound in our house!
If you’re visiting Miaoli, Zhunan some time in the future, do stop by Kuo Tai Glass Factory (國泰玻璃觀光工廠) and you’ll be sure to have an awesome time, especially with the glass blowing demonstration!
You have just finished a post on our Taiwan Trip in 2014 which started here. Here is the full list of posts written about Taiwan Trip 2014…
Singapore to Tainan : Taiwan Trip Day 1
Things to do in Tainan Taiwan Trip Day 2
鹿早茶屋 Opposite 1967 Hotel Tainan
Things to do in Chiayi Taiwan Trip Day 3
Chiayi Attractions Taiwan Trip Day 4
Changhua Meatballs (彰化肉圓) : Which is the Best?
What to eat at Feng Jia Night Market (逢甲夜市)?
Changhua Taichung Taiwan Trip Day 5
Things to do in Taichung Taiwan Trip Day 6
Things to do in Miaoli Taiwan Trip Day 7
Kuo Tai Glass Park Zhunan Day Trip
Things to do in Taoyuan Taiwan Trip Day 8
Taoyuan Attractions Taiwan Trip Day 9
Things to do in Taipei Taiwan Trip Day 10