By Josh Saunders
An abandoned jungle theme park is slowly being reclaimed by nature and giant spiders after its closure following a devastating earthquake.
Encore Gardens was one of the most popular theme parks in Taiwan, prior to the 7.7 magnitude Jiji earthquake that killed 2,415 people and injured 11,305.
Left with only remnants of rusty rides and bumper cars burgeoning with moss and vegetation, long after the devastation nature is reclaiming the land.
The site situated in the mountains near to Taichung, the Taiwan’s third largest city, still blooms with bright colour that springs out from the overgrowth.
Instead of bringing joy to visitors the site remains an eerily beautiful reminder that over time nature reclaims all.
Further shown by numerous Golden Orb Weaver spiders that roam the grounds, they are one of the largest spiders in the world – growing so big they can eat snakes and birds.
Urban explorer and videographer Bob Thissen, 32, from Heerlen, the Netherlands, visited the site with adventurers Exploring the Unbeaten path.
He said: “I had a long list of abandoned theme parks in Taiwan and this one that I longed to visit, it’s one of the more popular sites.
“The bumper cars and the carousel were the best parts of the park, they probably never moved after closure and are slowly disappearing under a thick layer of mud.
“Vegetation is growing there as well and it’s cool that nature is taking over again.
“The park is littered with giant insects, I saw more spiders here than in the jungles of Asia, they are huge, but probably pretty harmless.
“I am not afraid for spiders but can imagine it’s a hell for people with arachnophobia – we just watched carefully while walking.
“The atmosphere was great, we had great weather and it was like walking in the jungle with some extra surprises.
“It was nice to hear all kind of animal noises in the background.
“Taiwan has a sub-tropical climate in the north and tropical climate in the south, so vegetation grows very fast which makes it nice for pictures.
“People also have a lot of respect for abandoned places, so you barely will see vandalism or graffity on locations.”
Bob who runs Exploring the Unbeaten path a vlog series for visiting abandoned locations, was almost caught by security when initially trying to visit the site.
He added: “The people in Taiwan are very friendly and I guess they just kick you out if you get caught.
“I guess they would be flabbergasted why tourists – there are not many in Taiwan – are taking pictures in an old, ugly park.”
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