SAND SCULPTURE: 2014 Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival (Photo Essay)

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We had the pleasure of visiting the International Sand Sculpture Art Festival, which runs for the whole of May and June at Fulong Beach, Northeast Taiwan.

There are 4 sections of the sand sculpture display — Incredible Golden Sand Legends, Taiwan World Sculpting Championship, Domestic Sand Sculpture Competition, and Astrology Exhibit.

It was inspiring to see and I would like to share our experience with you…


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You can catch a train at the Taipei Main Station, which is the hub of all major transportation in Taipei.

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We took the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) Yilan Line to Fulong Station.

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The train arrived on Platform 4 at around 7.30am.

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It was very clean and orderly inside the train, with enough leg room to comfortably sleep throughout the trip.

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It’s nice to see the countryside and take some time to rest and sleep.

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The ride to Fulong Station is about one hour and 10 minutes.

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For perspective, Fulong is on the Northeast part of Taiwan.

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You’ll find quirky art installations like this around the station.

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I love the clean provincial vibe.

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You have to walk for a few minutes to reach the Fulong Beach area.

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Welcome to the 2014 Fulong International Sculpture Art Festival!

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These are the featured sand sculptures and the different artists participating in the World Competition.

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You have to walk via the Rainbow Bridge to get to the beach.

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Here’s a view of the Incredible Gold Sand Legends exhibition from the left side of the rainbow bridge.

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And here’s a view of the Astrology exhibition from the right side.  

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It was quite hot when we visited.

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Make sure to wear comfortable shoes or slippers…

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…and comfortable clothes. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella, too.

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The sculptures are quite big. The sand is binded by an organic glue so that the form holds for 2 months even when it rains.



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Theme: “The Travels to See the World in a Grain of Sand

I like the focus on travel, featuring legendary travelers and historical milestones around the world.

The Chinese were the first world travelers, and they did not colonize other countries. Instead, they focused on commerce, trade, and making money from the places they visited.

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SPACE TRAVEL. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” With those words, American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon. His historic first step on 20th July 1969 marked the beginning of man’s long dreamed of journey into outer space. The impact of that day would change space exploration and technology forever.

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IBN BATUTA’S DREAM. Ibn Batuta was a wealthy Muslim from Fez in North Africa. When he was 21, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, in Arabia. On the way, he dreamed that a huge bird was carrying him over the Muslim world and beyond. This dream inspired him to spend his life exploring.

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TOURISM 30TH ANNIVERSARY. June 1st, 2014 will be the 30th anniversary of the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration. Throughout thirty years of development, the Northeast has presented a variety of facets as time goes by, making it a perfect tourist spot for tourists to ride bicycles, have fun watching the whales, and discover the beauty of its mountains and the coast. Let’s celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Northeast.

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THE SILK ROAD. The Silk Road is a network of ancient overland trade routes spanning 5000 miles that extended across the Asian continent and connected China to the mediterranean Sea. This road played a paramount role in the transmission of knowledge and ideas between the Eastern and Western worlds as travelers from around the world gathered there to trade items. 

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MARCO POLO. There are many famous people who were known for their great adventures and their great travel finds of other countries. Marco Polo, a Venetian explorer, was one of those men who excelled all the other travelers in his determination, his writing and his influence. His twenty-four years journey took him through the Middle East and covered the whole of China. He survived to tell the tale and this tale went on to become the world’s greatest travelogue. Till today, his travels still excite the imagination of children and adults alike.

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THE VOYAGE OF ZHENG HE. Zheng He, born in 1371, is one of the most celebrated and laudable explorers of the 14th century. His extraordinary ability and vision caught the eye of the Emperor of China and he was commissioned to make seven voyages to promote trade and enhance China’s prestige and power. With his vast fleet, he travelled to countries such as Brunei, Thailand, Malacca, India, Africa and many more. Some say that Chinese ships, led by Zheng He, had reached America seventy years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan.

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THE VOYAGE OF ZHENG HE. The voyage of Zheng He broke the Haijin (‘sea ban’) order imposed during China’s Ming Dynasty, Hongwu Period. His voyages promoted trade between China and Southeast Asia through maritime activities, leading to Southeast Asian countries obtaining a huge fortune while China bringing back a large quantity of goods.

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THE VOYAGE OF ZHENG HE. Zheng He’s shipping route passed through the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca, and reached the Indian Ocean. Zhen HE led his fleet to India and Persia and further developed a good relationship between China and countries in Asia and Africa. 

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THE VOYAGE OF ZHENG HE. The record of Zheng He’s expedition went to the east coast of Africa, which was believed to have been the farthest. The biggest commotion was caused when a giraffe was delivered as a tribute to China. Zheng He’s seven voyages not only developed a mutual trade between China and other countries, such as Southeast Asian countries, southern Asia, Saudi Arabia, and East Africa, but also created an unprecedented record in the history of marine navigation.

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WRIGHT BROTHERS. Though their flights may not seem like much today, they marked a historical moment in aviation history on 17th December 1903. The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were credited with being the first to achieve sustained flight of a “heavier-than-air” machine. These aviation pioneers have indeed revolutionised the way we travel today.

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XUAN ZANG. Xuan Zang was a 7th century Buddhist monk from the Tan dynasty who made a journey of epic proportions across central Asia to India in search of true words of Buddhism. His astonishing 10000 miles journey included travelling through Silk Road and over treacherous mountains and terrains. He has not only brought Indian Sutra to China, but also brought Chinese culture to the west and contributed to the spread of other cultures throughout the world. His legendary pilgrimage became source materials for Wu Cheng En, who then went to write the famous novel – Journey to the West. This novel depicts his journey to India together with his three disciples, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing.

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SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE. The Basilica of “Santa Maria della Salute” is a strong landmark of the Venice, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian City of Venice. The Church was built in Venetian baroque style, inspired by the architecture of Palladio, in thanksgiving for the end of a terrible epidemic of plague in 1630. 

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GIANT PANDA. Panda-mania has swept Taiwan once again with the birth of Yuan Zai in July last year. This adorable baby panda has melted the hearts of many people around the world. Together with her parents, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, the pandas have become the star attractions at Taipei Zoo.

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYSAround the World in Eighty Days is an adventure novel consisting of an enterprising Englishman, Phileas Fogg and his French valet, Passepartout, circumnavigating the globe in eighty days. Their adventures took them through various countries and cities such as London, India, Hong Kong, and many more.  

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Despite meeting various obstacles and dangers along the way, the pair managed to accomplish their task and return home to tell the tale. The man behind the scenes of this breath-taking rollercoaster ride around the world is none other than French writer, Jules Verne. Using his vivid imagination, he hopes to prove that everyone can achieve great things armed only with a sense of adventure and exploratory spirit.



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Here are the entries to the World Sculpting Championship. I’ve labelled the Top 3 Winners accordingly. 🙂 

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FLYING WITH BIRDS with Brian Turnbough (USA). I’ve been given an amazing gift to be alive and to have the ability to perform the art form that I love. Lately I have a hard time coming up with ideas for sculptures, but I was thinking about how important it is that we all have dreams and the incredible realities that our minds can create inside our heads every night. I always hope that I can realize inside the dream that I am asleep, and that the entire world before me is entirely created by me. That I can take control of it at any moment if I just choose to. And at that moment, what would I do? I would fly with birds. I would fly fast in a vast open sky with friendly birds and beautiful music all around me. This sculpture is dedicated to the dead that we can all take control and fly if we choose to.

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[2nd Place] LOTUS WISDOM by Bob Atisso (Togo). Light is appreciated better when we realize the depth of the darkness. The lotus although taking its roots in the mud, is a flower of beauty and a sweet fragrance: meaning that good can also come from bad situations if we are conscious and act positively.

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COOL BULL by Montserrat Cuesta (Spain). The bull is a symbol in my country. Always is associated with something dangerous, the fight against the beast, a concept come from Greek mythology and other cultures. I want to underline that the times are different, out beats another ones and the bull, is just an animal. In this case, cool animal who plays with the boy. The men must evolve.

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[1st Place] LORDS OF THE STEPPES by Ilya Filimontsev (Russia)Allegory of the nomadic life that embodies the constant movement and the search for, reminding us of the infinity of existence, respect for nature, harmony with the whole universe. 

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[3rd Place] UNFOLDING STORY by David Ducharme (Canada). The sculpture is about the life story everyone holds and the comfort of having someone close when we get old.

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SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT by Sudarsan Pattnaik (India). Destruction of environment causes climate change. We destroy our environment our selves for which the temperature of our globe increases day by day. To protect our globe from global warming we should protect our environment. 

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ENERGY OF THE UNIVERSE by Radovan Zivny (Czech Republic). The free energy is all around us, the Universe is full of it. People like the visionary genius inventor Nicola Tesla showed us that we do not need fossil sources of energy like petrol, neither the dangerous nuclear energy – one of the biggest mistakes of the humankind. All we need to do is to let the real scientists show us the right way, get rid of the enslaving chains of the world elite which does not care about the future of the planet Earth and learn how to catch and generate the free energy of the Universe. There is enough for everyone up there and it can be for free! My sculpture pictures, in a symbolic manner, a kind of energy catcher or an antenna, reaching up to the atmosphere and expressing one’s wish for mankind to do things right before it is too late. 

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THE JOURNEY TO ME by Lars Borst (The Netherlands). Life starts at birth and ends at death. Because we are human we are capable of rational thoughts and having emotions, our lives do not only consist of survival eating and procreation. Our lives are a journey to answer the question who we are, what purpose we have, to discover our strengths and weaknesses, to discover the answer to the question: “Who am I?”

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CHANG-ER (Taiwan). It is said that Chang-er, the wife of Houyi, stole the pill containing the elixir of immortality from her husband and in no time soared to the moon. Though there are Wu Kang chopping a huge cassia tree day and night and Jade Rabbit pounding elixir of the immortality, Chang-er is always lonely living alone on the moon.Sand Sculpture Art Festival-95.jpg
NOT TRUE WEALTH by Daniel Doyle (Ireland). The sculpture depicts a big pile of money with different figures surrounding it each showing the things money can’t buy. Happiness, love, and immortality. We strive so much in life to acquire money, but it will never bring us the things which are really important. 



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At the end are smaller sized sand sculptures for the domestic competition. This exhibit was just OK.

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3rd Place.

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2nd Place.

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1st Place. Day Dream.

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Meet our Tour Guide, Edgar Hu, with the local Fulong tour guide.

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The centerpiece of the domestic sand sculpture exhibit.

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Don’t forget that signature beach jump shot. 🙂



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Here’s a bird’s eye view of the Astrology Sand Sculptures.

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ASTROLOGY. Astrology consists of several systems of divination based on the premise that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes that claim to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and the other celestial objects at the time of their birth. 

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AQUARIUS (21st January – 19th February). In ancient Babylon, Aquarius, the Water Bearer, ruled over a huge area of the sky known as The Sea. These were the fertilizing ‘upper waters’ of the sky, seen as the source of life, through which the sun passed in the rainy season, and where the two fish of Pisces, the Southern Fish and the Dolphin, amongst others marine creatures, can be found. The star, Sad el Melik, ‘the lucky one of the king’, makes Aquarius’ right shoulder.

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PISCES (20th February – 20th March). The two fishes of Pisces date back to the dawn of civilisation on the banks of the Euphrates river. In the temples of the goddess Atagartis and her son-lover, Ichthys, there were sacred fish ponds. Like Christ, Ichthys died and was reborn. There are many links between this pagan cult and Christianity – Christ, the Fisher of Men, was known as Ichthys – fish – in early Christian times. In astrology, the last two thousand years have been the Age of Pisces and the conjunction of the two great planets, Jupiter and Saturn, which occurred in Pisces, may have been the Star of Bethlehem.

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ARIES (21st March – 20th April). Aries is the wake-up call of the zodiac. In ancient times, the spring equinox marked the start of the New Year and festivities were held to honour the birth of new life and the new beginnings that lay in store. The Ram became celebrated in the associated stars as a sacred symbol of resurrection, since its fleece, when shorn, continues to grow and provides a constant, abundant supply.

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TAURUS (21st April – 21st May). Taurus is one of the most ancient signs of the zodiac and celebrates the domestication of the ox, which provided a cultural turning point for mankind. During the Taurean Age (4000-2000 BC), ancient civilisations flourished upon the labour of the bull and the agricultural benefits that arose from the associated invention of the plough. During this period the bull became one of the most important religious symbols, honoured as a powerful symbol of productivity and creativity.

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GEMINI (22nd May –  21st Jun). The sun-sign of ‘the Twins’ take its name from the two bright stars that dominate the Gemini constellation. Duality is a central feature of its symbolism, and in ancient times the constellation Gemini was seen as a reminder that contradictory forces must be brought together and recognized as mutually dependent upon each other. The two pillars that represent the sign signify the incongruous forces of left and right, black and white, ignorance and understanding, evil and good, death and life.

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CANCER (22nd June – 22nd July). As the sign of the Crab, the psychological traits of Cancer are characterised by the image of a creature with a tough, hardened shell protecting a soft and vulnerable centre. Cancer is ruled by the Moon and belongs to the element of water. Unlike most signs, which share their planetary rulers, Cancer claims exclusive rights to the Moon, both sign and planetary ruler termed ‘cold and moist’ in nature. Understanding the essence of that phrase reveals a lot about the complex sensitivity that lies beneath the Cancerian’s thick, crustaceous shell.

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LEO (23rd July – 22nd August). Leo is the sign of the Sun, the central heart of the solar system, majestic ruler of the heavens. In ancient times, the Sun came to its full glory and reached the height of its annual ascent as it joined the stars in the constellations of the Lion. Ever since, lions have been portrayed in art, myth and iconography as powerful symbols of solar strength, supremacy, glory, light and brilliance.

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VIRGO (23rd August – 23rd September). Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac and the second sign to have human representation rather than an animal one. Virgo is often depicted as a young woman holding a sheaf of wheat, for the constellation of Virgo has always been associated with the harvest.

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LIBRA (24th September – 23rd October). Justice, harmony and balance have been associated with the stars of Libra in ancient times. These are the scales of the Roman goddess of justice, Astraea. The Babylonians saw them as the scales in which the souls of the dead were weighed – when the Sun moves into Libra in the Autumn, the days and nights are of equal length, and so finely balanced. The stars of Libra have also been seen as an altar or a mound, connected with the Tower of Babel. Zebeneschimali, Libra’s second brightest star, is one of the only green stars in the sky which can be seen clearly with the naked eye. Libra lies between Virgo and Scorpio on the zodiac band. 

Sand Sculpture Art Festival-125.jpgSCORPIO (24th October – 22nd November). As the Golden Huntsman, Orion, sets in the West each Spring, Scorpio – the scorpion which killed him – rises in the East. Its stars have always been feared by sailors, as its rising promised storms. But for the alchemists, November, Scorpio’s season, when the earth decays, was the best time for making gold. The scorpion in the skies was also sacred to the god of war 7000 years ago in the Euphrates valley. Antares, the great red star that marks the heart of Scorpio is 9000 times brighter than our sun. Scorpio, with its curving tail, lies between Libra and Sagittarius on the zodiac band. 

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SAGITTARIUS (23rd November – 21st December). The legendary centaurs, who were half horse, half man, are said to have lived on the plains of Thessaly in northern Greece. They are immortalised in the heavens as the starry archer, Sagittarius, who aims his arrows at Antares, the great red star that marks the heart of Scorpio, beside him. The star that marks the tip of his arrow points towards the centre of our galaxy – something we have only recently become aware of. 

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CAPRICORN (22nd December – 20th January). Capricorn, the goat with a fish’s tail, is the Babylonian god, Ea, “He of the vast intellect”, “Lord of the Sacred Eye”. He was also known as “the antelope of the subterranean ocean”, from which he emerged to teach man the arts of civilisation. Near his earthly palace on the short of the Persian Gulf grew a great tree with leaves of lapis lazuli, which cast as much shade as a whole forest. 

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It was a bit tiring to explore and appreciate each of the sand sculptures. Make sure to visit early and bring sun protection and an extra shirt.

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On your way back, check out the Taiwanese street food for your snack.

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The Fulong Visitor Center provides more information about the Northeast and Yilan Coastlines.

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The Taiwan Golden Fulong Bus Route takes you from the Fulong Visitor Center to the Gold Museum or Jiufen.

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Overall, I enjoyed the travel-themed Sand Sculptures and the World Sculpting Competition entries from different artists around the world.  

It would be nice to have a similar sand sculpting competition in Boracay or Palawan. 🙂

Related Blog Posts:

TAIWAN: Guide to an Awesome Experience in Taipei! #CometoTaiwan

Awesome Taiwan #CometoTaiwan Series (2014):

Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):

Live an Awesome Life,


Disclosure: Our Taiwan Fam Trip last June 2014 was courtesy of the Taiwan Visitor’s Bureau, Eva Air, and Jeron Travel. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. I wonder how they destroy the sand sculptures after the festival?

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