What was the best sand castle you created as a child? I’m willing to bet it didn’t look anything like these:
Every summer, international sand sculptors congregate to create stunning sand masterpieces on the northern coast of Taiwan for the International Sand Sculpture Festival. Selective artists from around the world are invited to Fulong Beach, where they are given a heap of golden sand from which to create their masterpieces.
This year’s chosen theme was ‘Childhood Memories’. The creativity that goes into these works of art is truly astonishing, not to mention the detail, depth and feeling achieved from such a simple resource. When the sculptures are finished, they are sprayed with a biodegradable, non-toxic glue to keep the sand safe from the wind and rain so prevalent in Taiwan. At the end of the festival, the local sand used to create the masterpieces is leveled back down, returning to its natural state. Quite a sustainable way to boost tourism and promote the arts.
Two sculptures were easily our favorite, and they happened to be the judges’ picks as well. Casey’s favorite (second place) was named Through the Eyes of Babes, portraying what all crazy adults must look like when they oogle and google at infants. Dan’s top choice (first prize) was named Dragon Reality and depicted a child sketching a dragon, vividly coming to life as the viewer revolves around the sculpture.
Technically, access to the sand sculptures is free; however, you must pay $100NT to enter Fulong Beach (the most popular beach in Northern Taiwan). The weekends are insanely crowded with Taiwanese tourists elbowing for prime photo ops with the ‘castles’, so try to time your visit with a weekday. There is an area of the beach to sunbathe after enjoying the sand sculptures, just remember you’ll be sharing it with swarms of people. The swimming area is partitioned to an extremely small area of the ocean.
To reach the International Sand Sculpture Festival: Take the train to Fulong Train Station. Go straight until you hit the main road, take a left, and you will soon stumble upon the parking lot for Fulong Beach. The walk should only take about five minutes. All else failing, follow the crowds.
Wow, how are these even possible?! Incredible. I love the ones of Psy and Sesame Street but the concepts are the third, second and first placed sculptures are amazing!
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The attention to detail was absolutely incredible. The PSY sculpture was by far one of the most popular on the beach. I don’t know about elsewhere but the craze in Taiwan is far from over (especially the kids). I still have at least one student a day break out and “Gangnam Style” in my ESL class :-P
Wow, I am speechless. I am without speech.
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Holy sandbox Batman, these are incredible! How is it possible to create that level of detail with sand? The eyes on the Curious Baby look so real! Amazing.
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We couldn’t believe it either! These artists have got serious talent.
Wow, this place is truly impressive. Didn’t know you can create something that huge and high with sand. I’m speechless. Definitely going to go there once I make it to South Korea. Whoop Whoop Whoop Gangnam style :)
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When we heard ‘sand sculpture’ we were thinking extravagant castles or little mermaids. We were very surprised when the beach appeared and there were massive structures built everywhere. We definitely didn’t expect PSY to make an appearance :-p
These are freaking AMAZING! My sand castles as a child can’t even come close to comparing.
Glad you like ’em! Can you imagine having one of these artists as a parent? Best take your kid to work day EVER!
We’re going to see it this weekend – so super excited, they look awesome!!
YAY! You’re gunna love it! Just be prepared for the crowds :-) Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I have been to a sand sculpture festival last year, but the sculptures came no where close to the ones one these photos. WoW very impressive. haha you don’t want to know how the sand castles I build as a child looked like, it didn’t even look like a castle :)
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I know what you mean. These guys take castle building to a whole new level!
It’s amazing what people can create out of sand. Lots of really good art there. The Psy sculpture made me laugh. We were talking about him in one of my classes last week (I teach English in Korea).
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If Korea is anything like Taiwan, then Psy is still going strong :-) I actually just recorded one of my students doing the most hilarious version of Gangnam style. How do you like teaching English in Korea? We actually considered Jeju Island before settling on Taiwan. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve only been in Suwon for 11-days now but so far so good. I just went to Hwaseong Fortress yesterday which was pretty cool. I’m hoping to check out Jeju Island when I get some time off. I’ve heard it’s really nice and I’d like to hike up Mount Hallasan. I’ve heard good things about Taiwan. How is it treating you so far?
Adventure Strong recently posted…Photo Friday #23: Suwon, South Korea
Glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far! Taiwan is a pretty amazing place. We’ve spent the past (nearly) 2 years here and will be sad to say goodbye in August to move on to the rest of the world. If you get the chance you should come check it out! It’s a shame more travelers don’t get the chance to. We look forward to reading more about your adventures! :-)
Wow! Amazing! I cannot even decide which one I like best. They are all so great!
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Every single one was truly amazing. I’d hate to have to be a judge.
The dragon and the Sesame Street ones take the cake for me, but they are ALL phenomenal sculptures. Kudos to the artistical badasses!
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Wow! These sand sculptures are very impressive pieces of art, I’ve never seen so many and so well made.
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These are really gorgeous and I love how each artist interpreted the theme. I have never seen sand (or ice) sculptures with my own eyes before but I’d love to do so. Great photos!
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Thanks Mandy! You are so right about the theme interpretations. We’ve never seen ice sculptures either, but we would certainly love to. Although I think I prefer the beach to an icebox!
I am one of the sculptors that participated, I did the Star Wars piece in the competition section. The theme that year was “childhood memories”. The weather in Taiwan is certainly a challenge, way to much rain!for me, but the sculptures hold up amazingly well. The quality of the work has gone up every year since Joo Heng Tan took over the project in 2013. And yes, my kids love it, every day at the beach is a bring your kid to work day!!