Here’s our final itinerary for the Taiwan trip and it’s a really slack one. We felt like we were hotel hopping initially instead of sightseeing.
Day 1: Taoyuan Airport -> Taichung
Having been to Taiwan 6 times, we chose to exclude Taipei this time round and went straight to Taichung on Day 1. The initial plan was to travel straight up to Cing Jing so as to save a day of travelling but having travelled with Baby E on 3 other overseas trips, we knew that Baby E will not take well to the multiple hours of travelling. Hence, we chose to stay at Taichung and continue up to Cing Jing the next day. We touched down at Taoyuan airport at 1.30pm, got lunch, and then took the new MRT to the Airport high speed railway station. We then took the HSR to Taichung HSR station and then the Taiwan railway to Taichung railway station. The cost was double that of the bus that we were intending to take. The outcome was that we paid double the price and arrived later than intended due to the numerous switches involved which incurred a lot of waiting time. We took that route because we were worried about whether Baby E could withstand another 2 hours on the bus after taking a 4.5hours flight. At the end of it, we quite regretted not taking the bus because our backs nearly broke from lugging Baby E and luggage everywhere.
It was evening time when we arrived at Taichung and we spent the evening exploring the vicinity of Plaza Hotel (For reviews please refer to my previous post). It was raining so we didn’t have the chance to explore much. That very night, Baby E had a fever and we were worried sick because we had forgotten to pack Panadol syrup.
Transport: Taoyuan Airport MRT to A18 Taoyuan High Speed Railway Station (NTD35 per adult, no charge for our 2year old), transfer to HSR and proceed to Taichung HSR Station (NTD 540 per adult, no charge for our 2 year old), walk from Taichung HSR station to Xinwuri Railway Station through the connecting railway, then transfer to TRA (NTD17 per adult, no charge for our 2 year old) to proceed to Taichung Railway Station. Plaza hotel was a 5mins walk from the railway station. Note however, that the station was having renovations so we had to walk a longer way to the hotel.
Travel time: Approximately 3 hours when transfers and waiting time is taken into account.
Day 2: Taichung -> Cing Jing
As Baby E had fever the night before, we had to postpone our transport up to buy panadol syrup and the Cing Jing minsu’s host was kind enough to change the timing for us at a short notice.
Transport: Instead of 小黑司机 bus company at 9.30am, our departure became 均亚車公司 company at 11.30am departure at Taichung Railway station (NT400 per adult, no charge for child in arm). We, however, ended up having a seat for Baby E because there were only the 3 of us and another traveller and there were 8 seats in the minibus.
Travel Time: 2hours
Places we went at Cing Jing:
Green Green Grassland (NTD200 per adult, NTD20 as insurance fee for our 2 year old): We arrived at Cing Jing’s Sen Love minsu at about 1.30pm and the host was kind enough to drive us out. There was a traffic jam on the roads so we hiked the rest of the way to Green Green Grassland’s north gate. The sheep shearing shows happen at 9.30am and 2.30pm on weekends so we managed to catch the 2.30pm show. Apparently the shows don’t happen everyday for weekdays so do be sure to check when you are at Cing Jing.
We chose to hike from Green Green Grassland south gate all the way back up the mountain to the eateries at the main road near the minsu. It was quite a hike! That night, Baby E had a fever again and we were thankful to have purchased ibuprofen and a thermometer. Her fever subsided after the ibuprofen and we were thankful to get some sleep.
Day 3: Cing Jing
We spent the whole day at Cing Jing and visited the 步步高升步道 (My awkward translation: “With Every Step Comes Properity” Walkway) and other walkways. We also visited the Little Swiss Garden, then returned to the minsu early and had the hotpot there.
Day 4: Cing Jing -> Taichung
Again, the original intention was to travel to Tainan directly after reaching Taichung but we were unsure about how Baby E would travel so we chose to stay the night at Taichung’s Holiday Inn Express hotel. We arrived at the hotel at about 2.30pm (Cing Jing minsu’s host was kind enough to ask the 小黑司机 driver to send us to Holiday Inn directly) and spent the afternoon doing laundry and walking around the neighborhood. It then started to pour and we had an early night.
Transport: 小黑司机 bus company at 12noon (NTD350 per adult, NTD100 for Baby E)
Travel time: Approximately 2.5 hours
Day 5: Taichung -> Tainan
This is the day when we get access to our rental car and things started to get fun. From here on, transport is all by driving on our own. We chilled in the hotel in the morning, then picked up the car at 2pm, then drove to Tainan, reaching there at 6pm.
Places we went: Wusheng Night Market (Note that they open only 2 times a week on Weds and Sat nights so plan according if you intend to go)
Day 6: Tainan
The original plan was to go to Cow’s Home, Wanpi Zoo and then to the Flower Garden Night Market (Again, this only opens 3 times a week on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday so plan before you go) but we ended up only going to Cow’s Home and then to Beimen. We saw the glass chapel and had fun taking pictures at the wall art and art installations there. We skipped the night market and went back to Deely House earlier for Baby E to enjoy the toys, ballpit and slide there.
Places we went: Cow’s Home (NTD80 per adult to enter, with a NTD30 voucher to exchange for merchandise or food to feed the animals), Beimen (free)
Our Review: For the distance we drove out to go to Cow’s Home, we were rather disappointed by the place. Animals were lined up in pens on two sides of the farm and we saw one of the mother cows pee and then drink up its own pee. I guess this was like one of those old school farms. We very much enjoyed Yinong farm more. We did, however, exchange our NT30 vouchers for a bottle of milk and some grass to feed the baby animals and cows. Baby E was too afraid of the baby pigs which were bigger than she was to feed them. She was also taken aback by the pigs squealing and fighting for milk.
Day 7: Tainan -> Yilan
This was the day we drove up north, but met with a lot of traffic congestion. There were a few major accidents and the expressway was all jammed up, and it kept raining the entire day. We intended to set off at 9am but the GPS address of the minsu (carpark is located a distance away from Deely House) was in my phone and the hubs went to pick up the car without it. Baby E and I ended up waiting at the minsu’s lobby till 10am, sick with worry, as the hubs drove around in circles trying to find the minsu. It took us almost the entire day to reach and we finally arrived at Pokara Resort after dark, at about 6pm.
Day 8: Yilan
Again, if you had seen our very ambitious pre-trip plan, you would have noticed that we intended to drive to Taipingshan initially. However, after a long day of driving yesterday, we abandoned our plan to drive 75km to and fro the mountains, and chose to spend the day around Yilan instead.
Places we went:
1. Pumpkin Kingdom Farm (I can’t remember the exact entry fee, but it was definitely less than NTD100, and you get a NTD30 voucher to purchase merchandise or feeds for the fishes/ducks/chickens there)
2. Lucky Art Crayon Factory (NTD200 per adult, free for our 2 year old)
3. Yinong Farm (NTD30 per adult, buy feeds separately.)
4. Luodong Night Market
1. Pumpkin Farm: We were a little bored perhaps because we did not sign up for the DIY popiah making class, but Baby E had some fun feeding ducks and fishes. If you are driving through, this is probably worth a visit but if you have to take a taxi out to this location, then it’s better to just give it a miss.
2. Lucky Art Crayon Factory: The highlight of our trip. Both Baby E and ourselves had fun. We made crayons and markers and really enjoyed ourselves. Out of the NT200 entry fee, we were allowed to use NTD100 to offset for items in the shop. It was really crowded there probably because we visited on a Saturday, perhaps a weekday would have been nicer. Definitely worth a visit for those with children!
3. Yinong Farm: We enjoyed visiting this farm more than Cow’s Home and it’s likely because they had chickens and turkeys running around and the barricades for the pigs were lower so we could get closer and feed them. There were also these really adorable baby pigs that were oh-so-tiny! They also have swings for little kids and seats for people. All in all, it was easier to pass time here than Cow’s Home, where we kept wondering how to entertain Baby E for so many hours. Although entry was cheaper than Cow’s Home, you do have to fork out money for feeds and they have ‘feeding packages’ where you can pay NT80 for an assortment of feeds etc.
4. Luodong Night Market: We had this amazingly good sushi here that cost us NTD500 for a chirashi and a dish of 8 sushi. The raw fish melts in our mouth. It was our most expensive meal there but we enjoyed ourselves. Parking and roads get a little crazy in that area once the night market starts so get there early! We were lucky enough to get a parking lot because we arrived at about 6.30pm.
Day 9: Yilan
We chose to chill the entire day and only went to Art Spa Hotel’s hot spring theme park. I concluded that one should never go to a hot spring theme park during summer because it was way too hot! We did enjoy ourselves though, although paying NTD300 per adult and NTD200 for Baby E seemed really like a rip off. We could have enjoyed ourselves at an indoor water playground in Singapore at that price! But well, we were on holiday so we ignored that fact. Baby E was really excited to frolic in the water.
Day 10: Yilan -> Taoyuan Airport
Home Sweet Home!
And next post, in the last of the Taiwan series, I’ll share on our lessons learnt during our 10day trip in Taiwan. It was the longest we’ve ever taken, and we learnt a lot.