Tayto Park: The Crisp Themed Amusement Park

Tayto Park: The Crisp Themed Amusement Park

In Ireland, the most beloved Irish crisp that everybody loves are Tayto crisps. Founded in 1954, you would be hard pressed to find an Irish person who doesn’t like a bag of Tayto! So of course, with people here loving everything got to do potatoes, it was just natural for the owner to set up an amusement park!


The Famous Crisps!

The park opened in 2010 and they are continuously expanding it with new amusements and zoo animals! It was in the summer of 2015 when I first visited it, and I remember thinking that it wasn’t too big. Yeah it was nice, but there wasn’t really much in it.This time around however, it has gotten much bigger! This is Irelands first major theme park, so of course it’s extremely popular, especially for families.

We decided to go as a family and we had a great day! Although I feel it is a bit expensive as you need to pay extra if you want to go on the majority of the amusements there, (you can buy tokens at the entrance or inside the park)  but it’s a nice day out even if you don’t decide to splurge on the amusements. You can go and visit the many animals in the zoo, and the kids can even get their faces painted!

It really is catered for families, so I wouldn’t recommend going just as a couple, it’s not the most romantic (or quiet) of places!

The park is located 30 minutes from Dublin, so it would be an ideal day trip if you are coming from the capital.

Parking is free and you will receive a packet of Tayto when leaving!

If you’re curious and want to find out more, you can check out their website here: Tayto Park



My pet hate of being late!

Today was my first day in which I’ve returned to teaching. My long holiday is officially over. And it certainly made me remember this awful fact this morning!

In my old campus, they have asked if they could add two more classes to my schedule. I’ve had these kids before so I know what they are like. They have assured me that they would arrange a company bus driver to pick me up in the morning. They told me they would arrange it so I wouldn’t have to travel 1 hour to the campus, instead it would only take 30 minutes. I used to have a class at 12:30pm. Now I have one at 11:15am. Being me, I like to be super early to work. I hate rushing. I absolutely hate it. Plus, I haven’t had these kids in a few months so I have no idea what they have been doing. I needed to do some preparation!

So I wait outside my complex at 10:15am… no bus. “It’s ok” I think. “I still have plenty of time to get myself sorted”. 10:25am. Getting a bit worried now. The bus comes at 10:27am. I hop in. Theres a Chinese girl with me. I ask her was she going to my campus in which she said she was going to another one. So we sit anyway. The traffic is pretty bad. I start getting nervous.

25minutes pass on the bus, we are quite close at this stage, but the traffic is fierce. I keep checking my map on my phone to see where we are. My campus area was coming up.

11:00am. Fine, I have 15 minutes. I should get most of my preparation done. . . .

But then, I see he keeps continuing straight ahead! At this stage I didn’t know what to think. Did he get lost?.. No, I thought. He’s just dropping this girl to her campus, it wont be far. . . .

Another 10 minutes! By this stage I text my campus manager and said “I’m going to be late, we are at Happy Valley”. . This place was way north of where I was supposed to be!

11:10am. I’m definitely going to be late. No time for prep, not sure where the kids folder is, don’t know where they put my box of pencils/ markers/scissors.

11:15am. The Chinese girl has arrived at her destination. Good for her! However I’m getting calls from my campus saying “Hi Aisling, your students parents are here waiting for you. Where are you?”. I don’t know where I am, I just know I’m not where I’m supposed to be. And that I’m late for work.

11:30am. Still haven’t arrived. Traffic is at a standstill, so I cant do nothing except silently fume in the seat.

11:35am. We are close. Very close. I tell the driver to stop, cheerfully saying BYE BYE to me. I however was not in the mood.

11:40am I start teaching. No prep done. No idea what they know. Someone stole stuff from my box. This lateness then affects my other class which was at 12:30pm. I was hoping that my half hour free time between my first and second class would give me time to prepare for my next two classes that are back to back. But no.

Usually I would come to class 45-60 minutes early. I don’t like to rush, I don’t like to be late. I do my prep, and then for the next 20- 25 minutes I can relax, talk with the other teachers, knowing I’m ready for my class.

And this is why I don’t like going on the bus to school. I’m debating whether to use it next Saturday. I know it doesn’t take as long, but I’d rather know in my head that I’ll be early if I go by myself, even if it takes an hour!

My first day back and I’m late. Well, I suppose the good thing was that I made it!

Better late than never!




So Christmas has come and gone in the blip of an eye. My Christmas day consisted of opening my one lonely present from one of my English corner students, which turned out to be a fantastic flask which I now love. I then had to do oral exams with my Elective students. After that I had to rush back to the apartment and quickly get ready to head to Chengdu city, where I met some other people from the company and had Christmas dinner together. It was good to be with other people during Christmas. I was eating with my knife and fork but I longed for chopsticks. I actually prefer using chopsticks now! At 10:30pm we all rushed to the subway to get home, as it closes at 10:45pm.  At 12 o clock I Skyped  the family, making me miss home and become depressed that I was stuck in China, I didn’t have my Mammy’s Christmas dinner, and I couldn’t sit with them enjoying an Irish coffee and watching Christmas movies.

But we did have a CHRISTMAS TREE! Our lovely Chinese friends got us a Christmas tree, with Christmas decorations and little notes on it saying Happy Christmas. It was great! The apartment looked like a disco with all the lights going.

So last Sunday I headed to the Amusement Park with my Chinese friend. The weather wasn’t great so there wasn’t many people there, meaning NO QUEUES. It was great. We went on the Big Wheel, the bumping cars, which are FAR better than the ones at home. You don’t have to go around in a circle. The only thing is the accelerator and wheel is on the left, meaning I had to use my right foot to make it go. It was too strange using the left. We also went on THE DROP. Now I’ve only been on one of these once, and I said I’d never do it again. My friend said he was never on it before, so I said ‘COME ON, WE’RE GOING ON IT’. I dragged him. But when we reached the top I literally nearly had a heart attack on it… I definitely won’t be going on that again.

Then there was another ride where two people are  together and it puts you upside down on it, literally. The thing is spinning around in circles and we are upside down on it for about 1 minute. We then went on a mini roller coaster. But before we got on it, one of the workers made us do STRETCHES. We had to roll our heads either side, move our bodies and our arms…. Just to go on a ride! Only in China! It was a great day, where we went to a fancy Hot Pot restaurant to end the day.

A deserted looking amusement park.

A deserted looking amusement park.

So yesterday, we were invited out for a fancy meal with some important people from the college, including the vice-president. When we heard we were going to the school canteen, we thought ‘oh….’ But we ended up going into a room adjacent to it, especially reserved for VIP’s. The room was gorgeous, with fancy plates, chopsticks, the lazy susan was electric meaning it turned automatically and plenty of rice wine and red wine. I opted for Beer, and I must say Good Call.

See in China, most of their meetings are held not in a board-room, but in a restaurant. This is where all of their decision making and deals happen in business. Usually a lot of food is eaten and A LOT of beer is drunk.  My Chinese friend said that if a person is going for a meal with their boss, that person NEEDS to be able to drink a lot. This shows, to their boss, that this person is a good, hard worker. If a person hardly drinks any, this will give the boss a bad impression of them. So in China, being able to handle your drink is very important! Although this generally only applies to men, as the lady’s need to be more ‘lady-like’.

At the meal, we were presented with Chinese tea by our bosses, they did a little toast and we started eating. Actually eating was a bit of a struggle, as every 3 minutes someone from the table would come over and toast just you. We were told that we should go and toast our bosses and say something like ‘it’s very nice to meet you…’ So then when I was finished toasting them all, id only be sitting down when ANOTHER person would toast me! This led to us drinking quite a lot of alcohol! After 3 big bottles of beer I was getting quite tipsy, now I’m not one who drinks all the time, so I rarely have 3 bottles of beer. I would fill my glass up with beer, and when I would do that, one of the Bosses kept going, ‘AISLING… GĀN BĒI’ This means ‘DRINK IT ALL’.  When I would fill the glass up again, he would say ‘GĀN BĒI AISLING’ .This happened me a lot. I kept forgetting not to fill it to the top. Most of the people were at least tipsy, including the Belgium’s, so it was a great laugh.

So we left at 9pm… 9PM! The students were just finished class and there we were laughing and joking, they were probably wondering what was wrong with us. It actually was a great night though, and the food was really nice. They keep the nice food for the VIP’s it seems.