Linyi Amusement Park Part I

Safety First!

A few weeks ago we were invited for a little fun at a local Linyi amusement park. Our friend D. likes to go there for the crazy go carts. I’ve seen go cart tracks in Spain. They were fairly small and very controlled. The go carts were well-maintained and riders were required to wear helmets and seat belts. You’d get kicked out if you even attempted a little rough driving. But not at the Linyi amusement park go cart track!

The whole place is surreal from the entrance. It was completely empty and dusty, and the few employees we saw looked genuinely shocked to see anyone there. I kept looking around for the film crew that was obviously filming a slasher flick, but no, it was real. Scattered around the “park like setting” were several small roller coasters and other abandoned rides. (Evidently they are not abandoned. If you show enough interest, someone will come out of somewhere and offer to turn it on.) There were also various carnival like games, where you have to throw a ball or shoot a bb-gun to win some prizes. The prizes are mainly of the cheesy stuffed animal variety, with a lot of dust. They seemed to have been sitting out for years waiting for someone to win them. The whole scene was enhanced by a lovely power plant at the perimeter of the park. With the abandoned rides in the foreground and the absolute lack of people, it might as well have been a nuclear plant, but I believe it is coal.

Linyi amusement park 1

The go cart track is the biggest I’ve ever seen. It stretches across a wide field right next to the plant. The track is lined with the customary tires, and from what I saw, is also full of dust. When we arrived, a few Chinese guys were just finishing up their laps. One guy had abandoned his cart on the far side of the track after it ran out of gas, or the engine died. It stayed there throughout our stay. D. (who speaks Chinese) found out that 4 carts were available that day. (The workers there maintain the carts somewhat sporadically, and usually only 2 or 3 are usable at a time.) This was perfect, as there were 4 guys. (Count me out!) Each lap cost 10RMB (about a $1.25). The guys bought 10 laps each.

go cart track 1

Upon closer inspection, I got a little concerned.

Go carts

No seat belts, no helmets, no worries!

Ivan in his go cart

The four guys raced each other around the track, occasionally slamming into the tires along the edges and once or twice – each other. They spun around like Shriners in a holiday parade. The only casualty? A slashed tire and a broken rib. (Our friend D., he is a little sore, but fine now.)

After the race, we headed to the “zoo”… I ‘ll leave that for tomorrow.



One Response to “Linyi Amusement Park Part I”

  1. Kim Cofino Says:

    Oh my! That certainly sounds like an adventure… I would have stood on the sidelines with you. Even at Oktoberfest in Munich I usually didn’t ride the rides because they are the portable kind and I was not convinced of their safety – and that was in the land of well built, extra safe, transportation. I definitely can’t cope with this kind of stuff in Asia 😉

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