Tamkang University (淡江大學) as filming location of Meteor Garden [Travel in Taiwan 180905: The second Ying De University] | Travel in Asia

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tamkang University (淡江大學) as filming location of Meteor Garden [Travel in Taiwan 180905: The second Ying De University]

#5yearsinTaiwan


Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Attention all Meteor Garden fans:  Another Ying De has been discovered!  The luomujie blog did it again in uncovering one of the important filming locations in season 1 of the phenomenal Taiwanese TV series.   There won’t be any need to spend lots of money going to Chiayi just to see National Chung Cheng University (NCCU).  Because the story of Meteor Garden didn’t just happen in one school!   There is another academy near Taipei which also the setting of “Ying De University”.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

I know the whole fandom will get crazy about this.  There is a second Ying De and it is Tamkang University!   Located in New Taipei’s Tamsui District, the school is easily accessible by the MRT Tamsui Station.  Yes! You read it right.  The campus is in the suburbs of Taipei.  Those who have a limited budget in Taiwandering can now live their Meteor Garden dream without spending so much on expensive Taipei-Chiayi high speed rail tickets.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University


And the one-man team luomujie blog didn’t let the opportunity go away.  I went to the school to relive the memories in the drama that are very important in the Meteor Garden universe.  So take a deep breath, because I will discuss important things that the F4, Sanchai and the rest of the gang made us laugh and cry.  

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Guanyinshan as seen from the field

Upon entering the university by Bus Red 28,  my attention got caught by the grandstand.  The sports complex has the track and field and basketball courts.  Do you remember Hua Ze Lei hanging upside down and behind him is a mountain?  The background is Guanyinshan and the “sea” below is the Tamsui River.  I was not expecting to find the filming location.  Almost two decades had passed and many things could have changed in the school so I was having doubts if I can still find it.  But oh boy! Luo-Mu Jie is so lucky. Haha!

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
The Guanyinshan mountain could not be seen anymore because of the plants and trees.
Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
The view from the monkey bars



Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

The three-level monkey bar was still there but the view was already blocked by the bushes and trees.  Time had already turned some portions of the metal into rust.   Back in the 2001 drama, the metal rods were standing on a cemented ground.  In 2018, the bars are now enclosed in a sandbox making it safer to hang on.  I have doubts if it is still strong enough carry a person weighing 65 kilos but I am sure that this is the place where Lei remember the words of Teng Tang Jing to do an upside-down stunt whenever he wants to hold back his tears.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Teng Tang Jing as she was welcomed by the F4


Speaking of Teng Tang Jing she first appeared in episode 2.  The F4 was having a good time when Lei’s love interest arrived in the campus.   The four men welcomed Jing with big smiles, much to the disappointment of Sanchai.  Lei’s “girlfriend” is now in Ying De.  Haha!

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center (CCFAC)

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

It all happened in front of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center (CCFAC).  Opened in 2000, it was one of the newest buildings of Tamkang University.  The building was named after Madame Charrie Chang, the former head of the school’s Board of Trustees.  It was envisioned to become the center of arts in the university.  Be it in the music, arts or even calligraphy.  Anything that involves art should be in this place.  Entrance is free of charge and the facility is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
CCFAC is located beside the Sung-tao Hall (Girl's Dormitory).  This must be the reason why the F4 love to hang out on this place.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Sanchai as she holds a lunch box

If our favorite drama was in its production phase in the year 2000 and broadcasted in Taiwanese televisions in 2001, the timing was right to capture some scenes in the newly opened arts building of TKU.  But beyond this shooting location, Angie Chai (the executive producer of Meteor Garden) showed her brilliance in choosing the location for portraying dramatic scenes. 

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

The floor-to-ceiling glass facade of the CCFAC is like a giant mirror that reflects the dreams, aspirations and emotions of our favorite characters.   Love and hatred.  The pain of seeing someone you love go with another person.  The formula for a great Asian drama is here. 

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
sad Dao Ming Si

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University


While Sanchai and Dao Ming Si have their own scenes standing in front of the building, the most emotional and intense part of Meteor Garden is when they are together.  Like a cat and dog fighting for dominance,  the series will never be complete them.  And this is where TKU’s arts center have its own fair share of Ying De University scenes which fans can never forget.   Do you remember when Dao Ming Si was about to go the to US?  He was talking to the other members of the F4 and he was suddenly slapped by Sanchai?  It happened here in front of the CCFAC.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Meteor Garden is not Meteor Garden without a slap from San Chai and some bullying. Haha!

Aside from that scene, other intense parts of the drama was when Dao Ming Si grabbed San Chai’s fake friend (the one working in Burger King) near the neck.  We know how furious the leader of F4 can be, especially if it is about the love of his life.   We should also not forget when San Chai’s last boyfriend confronted the members of the member together with our female protagonist.  That scene was filmed beside the glass facade.  

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

How about Qing He?  The epitome of being friendzoned forever.  Haha!  Like the scene in the Tranquility Lake in NCCU, the two childhood friends still have some good time together.   It was very easy to identify which place it happened.  It was near the boy statue.  Still, in front of the CCFAC, the two were sitting on the staircase and on the left side of the background scene shows the sculpture.  Well, Lei came and Sanchai left the place together with his crush.  So Qing He was left alone.   Bwahaha!

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
The F4 climbed the staircase of CCFAC.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
The F4 at the second floor of CCFAC.  They were standing on the glass tiles.

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Luo-Mu Jie on the same glass tiles that the F4 had stepped on.  

Not all of the action happened outside the building.  Going on a weekday, I felt so lucky to find it open in the afternoon.    I went inside and saw the glass staircase.  A quick photo of my printed screenshot with the stairs confirmed the location of the segment of the drama.  

At the time of my visit, a calligraphy exhibition was being held on both floors of the building.   I knew that F4 had a scene on this spot in the building so I went upstairs and hit the jackpot again.  The upper floor is another filming location!  A selfie with the right angle of the scene preserved the memory of my trip.  Haha!

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University
Teng Tang Jing in "Ying De" after she had cut her hair.


Perhaps the spot in TKU that can be likened to the lockers of NCCU is the place where Sanchai pleaded Teng Tang Jing to not leave Lei to pursue her dreams in another country.  I tried my very best to find that filming location.  Close to 20 years had passed since Meteor Garden was release and many things have changed in the campus.  But I have a strong hunch that this is the place where Sanchai and Teng Tang Jing had a heart to heart talk that really annoyed Lei. 

My investigation led me to the staircase leading from CCFAC down to the nearest road.   My printed screentshot helped me identify the background of the picture as the Main Enginerring Building.  The camera could have been zoomed to emphasize the face of Lei’s love interest as a short-haired woman.   

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

In the last episode of Meteor Garden Season 1, Xi men and Mei zou were seen walking in front of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center of Tamkang University. I followed their footsteps to know what does it feel to walk like an F4.
Meteor Garden school - Tamkang University

I counted the number of instances where TKU had been part of the drama.  The school had been shown in 11 episodes in 24 different scenes.  This is just my conservative estimate because only the people who worked on the TV series know exactly where all the segments in TKU were shot.   CCFAC was never forgotten even in the last episode.   The last minutes of the drama featured and Sanchai and Dao Ming Si, but before that Ximen and Mei Zuo was seen walking along the arts center for one last moment.   That’s how important Tamkang University is to the creators of “Liúxīng huāyuán”.  You can never ignore it.

Time to add this to your Asian drama notes: If NCCU is the original Meteor Garden school, then TKU is the second Ying De University.

RELATED CONTENT
Meteor Garden real-life university - National Chung Cheng University


Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Taiwan


Sakura Series - Japan


Maple Series


Yehliu to Jiufen? Yehliu to Shifen? Cheaper than yellow taxis

The "Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei) travel series will return on October 3. ;)


Other attractions in Taipei


New Taipei


Post a Comment
Copyright © 2014 Travel in Asia | Designed With By Blogger Templates | Distributed By Gooyaabi Templates
Scroll To Top