In June, we did a Taiwan + Okinawa trip with the kids. The main point of the trip was actually to visit Okinawa. But since we were flying through Taipei, we should just tour Taiwan while at it.. right?
Our itinerary was somewhat odd, due to the fact that we had Okinawa in the middle of it all. We did 2 days Taiwan – fly to Okinawa and back – then another 5 days Taiwan. The logical thing to do would have been to fly from Singapore to Okinawa with a short transit in Taipei, then come back for a proper 7 days in Taiwan. But oh well, we were trying to save money and booked the cheapest Taipei – Okinawa air tickets via Peach which resulted in Okinawa being in the middle of our trip.
Let me first share our INITIAL plan – which was a pretty typical kids-friendly Taiwan itinerary. Like 8 out of 10 friends I asked we has been to Taiwan with kids have an itinerary along these lines, so you can’t go wrong with it, can you?
Classic Itinerary for Taiwan with Kids
We had planned to spend the first 2 days in Taipei. Then for the 5 days after coming back from Okinawa, we would follow this route:
Day 1: Taoyuan airport to Leofoo Resort
Day 2: Leofoo Resort to Flying Cow Ranch
Day 3: Flying Cow Ranch to Cingjing
Day 4: Cingjing to Taichung
Day 5: Taichung to Taoyuan airport
Decision to travel by THSR
After discussion with the husband, we decided we weren’t that keen on a farm stay at Flying Cow Ranch after all. We were more interested in visiting night markets and eating. Furthermore, the above itinerary required us to hire a private driver to get around, which would be quite expensive for our family of 4. Hence, we made the decision to move around with Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR).
Our plan was simple: Use the THSR 3-day pass to city hop, visiting a different city each day. Find something fun for the kids to do in the day, then visit a night market at night.
On hindsight, I think we have one of the worst itineraries for a Taiwan trip with kids. I do not recommend our itinerary at all, unless you have a strange fetish for bullet train rides and changing hotels everyday like a refugee. Eventually, this was how our trip ended up:
First Stopover in Taiwan
Day 1: Singapore – Taipei – Leofoo Resort
We arrived in Taipei Taoyuan airport super early in the morning by Scoot.
Since the buses were not running at that hour, we ended up taking a cab to Leofoo Resort Guanshi.
It was too early to check in to our room, so after checking out the animals at the resort, we spent the rest of the day at the amusement park, Leofoo village.
After a day of fun at Leofoo Village, we went back to Leofoo Resort to spend the night.
Day 2: Leofoo Resort – Zhongli
We woke up and took our own sweet time having breakfast, checking out the animals and the resort and bummed until it was check-out time. Hey, we got to make the $500 we paid for the room with a safari view absolutely worthwhile.
After checking out, we took a cab to Zhongli. We dropped off our luggage at the hotel and headed off for lunch at Car Car Hotpot.
After lunch, we went to the playground Bon Bon City, which was in the same building as Car Car Hotpot.
The kids had a whale of time on this day playing non-stop. We had to drag them out of Bon Bon City because we still wanted to visit the night market and didn’t want to sleep too late as we had a morning flight the next morning.
For dinner, we went to Jhongli Night Market. Night markets at Taiwan are the best – and probably the only reason for us to visit Taiwan again. We are such foodies!
We spent the night at Kuva Chateau hotel, which was walking distance from Jhongli Night Market.
The next morning, we woke up and set off bright and early to fly to Okinawa.
5 Days Taiwan Trip with THSR
Day 1: Okinawa – Taipei
We took a morning flight back from Okinawa to Taipei, so we had pretty much the whole day to bum in Taipei. We couldn’t check in yet, and being a huge Hello Kitty fan, the first place we visited was Hello Kitty Cafe Kitchen & Dining in Taipei.
After that, we went back to the hotel to check-in and bum. We were up and about since 4.30am that day. We could really use some bumming.
In the evening, it was off to the night market for dinner! We visited what was probably the most famous night market in Taiwan – Shilin Night Market.
We ate so much that we absolutely could not eat anymore and went back to our hotel, Hotel Puri, for the night.
Day 2: Taipei – Kaohsiung
We left our large luggage case at Hotel Puri and packed a small bag with 2 nights of stuff for our side trip. We activated our THSR 3-Day Pass and took a train all the way to Kaohsiung. After a 2 hour train ride, we arrived at Kaohsiun THSR and took a bus to E-Da World.
E-Da World is an integrated resorts comprising of hotel, theme park, outlet mall, schools, exhibition centre and theatre.
There were lockers located at E-Da World, so we dumped our bag into a locker. We headed for lunch at the food court at the outlet mall.
After lunch, it was FUN TIME at E-Da Theme Park.
E-Da Theme park was awesome fun for the kids. We thought that our kids, aged 2 and 4, would probably not able to take many rides at the theme park and only planned to spend half the day there. But we were SO WRONG. E-Da Theme Park was great for little kids! We did not have enough time to complete all the rides that the kids could ride.
We were at E-Da Theme Park until closing time. After that, we headed for a ride on the Ferris Wheel which was included in our admission to E-Da Theme Park.
We took a cab back to our hotel in Kaohsiung city. After checking in and resting for a bit, we headed out to Liuhe Night Market.
We spent the night at Legend Hotel, which was walking distance from Liuhe Night Market.
Day 3: Kaohsiung – Cingjing – Taichung
We took the THSR in the morning to Taichung. We had booked a driver to bring us to Cingjing, so he picked us up from Taichung THSR station.
At the end of the day trip, the driver dropped us off at our hotel in Taichung. As usual, we checked in and rested for a bit before heading out to the night market – Fengjia Night Market.
We spent the night at Le Parker Hotel which was near Fengjia Night Market.
Day 4: Taichung – Taipei
We had initially planned to spend the day at Taichung. But due to the unplanned trip to the Sunny Cakes shop that our driver brought out to the previous day, we now had our hands full with two big bags of confectionery. (Remember our big luggage case was in Taipei? We only had a small bag so we had to hold the confectionery we bought in our hands) So it was back to Taipei by THSR, where we went back to Hotel Puri to drop off our shopping bags.
We then took a cab to Addiction Aquatic Development because we love our sushi and sashimi and all other fresh seafood. And so many websites online recommended Addiction Aquatic Development for that.
On the cab ride there, the cab driver asked us what’s the fascination with Addiction Aquatic Development. He had no idea why he kept ferrying tourists there and back (although it brings him good and easy business) when he felt the place was no big deal. Listen to the locals dudes! Addiction Aquatic Development was a HUGE disappointment.
Okay, let me say that it was a disappointment for us because he have visited WAY too many good seafood markets in Japan, particularly Hokkaido. The markets at Hokkaido had better selection of seafood at a fraction of the price.
Of course, I shouldn’t be comparing sushi and sashimi in Taiwan with Japan – that’s just DUH. If you compare to what we have in Singapore, then yes, Addiction Aquatic Development definitely had seafood that is hard to find in Singapore and cheaper than in Singapore. (Actually, I’m not quite sure if anything in Taiwan cost more than in Singapore.)
In other words, if you love sushi and sashimi and have never been to any markets in Japan, go ahead and satisfy your sushi and sashimi craving at Addiction Aquatic Development. It is definitely better than what you can get in Singapore. But if you have been to markets in Japan before, don’t bother.
We headed back to the hotel. MY was asleep and my husband and I were pretty stoned. (We had flown to Okinawa and back and spent 3 days zipping from North to South to North on the rail WITH THE KIDS. So yes, we were stoned.) But energizer bunny MF was hopping around, wanting to go and play. So hubby and MY went back to the hotel to sleep, while I brought MF to Mr Tree Station.
And when you are totally stoned but the kids still want to play, what do you do? Find an indoor playground. With a cafe where I can get coffee. It has become such an occupational habit of mine to find indoor playgrounds or cafes with play areas, that I actually had a list of them for this Taiwan trip. C’mon, they are my lifesavers!
Mr Tree Station is an indoor playground near Taipei 101. So while MF went to have fun with sand, water and balls, I stoned at the cafe to replenish the caffeine in my blood.
When our time at Mr Tree Station was up, we headed back to the hotel. Together with the hubby and MY, we headed off to… you guessed it, a night market. We decided to visit Raohe Night Market this time.
We went back to Hotel Puri once again for our last night in Taiwan.
Day 5: Taipei – Singapore
It was the last day of our trip! Our flight back was at 3.30pm, so we squeezed in a visit to Taipei Children’s Amusement Park in the morning.
With perfect timing and some mad scrambling, we managed to get to the airport in time for our flight home.
We achieved what we set out to do: Fun for kids in the day, night markets at night. The kids had tons of fun, that’s for sure. Through reading a lot of Taiwanese blogs (remember what I said about listening to the locals?), we found places like Car Car Hotpot (which led us to Bon Bon City) and Mr Tree Station which were less touristy yet packed with fun for the kids. I wouldn’t advise following our itinerary strictly because it was really very tiring. But I hope our itinerary gives you fresh ideas of places you can visit if you are going to Taiwan with kids!
Official Websites for places we visited
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[Blogged] Nope we did not go to Greece. This was part of our action packed trip with the kids to Taiwan! Read about how we went from Taipei to Kaohsiung and back in 3 days with the Taiwan High Speed Rail: http://bumblebeemum.net/2015/10/27/taiwan-trip-with-kids-itinerary/ #bumblebeemumblog #bumblebeemumtravels #bumblebeemumintaiwan #travelblog #throwbackthursday #taiwantrip #taiwantravel #kaohsiung #edaworld #thsr #railtravel #mondayescapes #traveltuesday #wednesdaywanderlust #travelthursday #familyfunfriday #airhead #airheadsflock #sgmombloggers #sporemombloggers #sgparentblogger #sgparentbloggers
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