Taiwan Trip Day 2: Yilan (whole day tour)

Read more about our first day/night after arrival at Taipei and arrival at Yilan.

Day 2 started with a good hearty breakfast at the minsu we booked for 2 nights. The home cooked breakfast was good especially the pumpkin soya bean milk! I had double glasses!

Thereafter our friendly driver came to pick us up to the first stop of the day:

Happiness 20 Farm (幸福20號農場)

This place was recommended by the travel planner (Hong Tours), Wendy. With young kids, I wanted a place where they can feed some animals and experience some farm activities.

IMG_1331

However, it was a little different from my expectations. There were very few animals to begin with. So don’t come expecting an Australia type of farm where there cows to milk or excited sheep to feed a bottle to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BUT there are many backdrops for photography opportunities if you look for the details that the owner had installed around the small farm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We also had fun with 2 main things:

1) D.I.Y course

After a quick walk through the farm discovered few animals, we opt to take up the D.I.Y. course – Making of Muah Chee (Glutinous Rice Ball). There are different D.I.Y courses available each day. And for bigger groups, you can pre-book pizza making and etc. The boys had fun using flour and water to make the dough and shape the muah chee together with their grandparents. Thereafter, they steam it for us and we ate it! Open-mouthed smile Xi En actually liked the taste of Muah Chee!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2) Bubbles

It takes very little to make a kids’ day actually. There was this huge tank of bubble soap mixture which we discovered a little late during our time at the farm. There were big “wands” to make big bubbles which thrilled the kids! It was just that simple as they didn’t get to experience such big bubbles in Singapore.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I will recommend Happiness 20 Farm if you are travelling with young kids. Also just spend the money to do the D.I.Y courses (worth it!) and eat something at the cafe. French fries with kids and even older grandmother works any time. Smile

IMG_1350

Entrance Fee: NTD100 per person (that’s about S$4.50) – can be offset with spending in the farm/food options

Website: http://www.20happy.com/English/about.html

The good thing about all these little farms/tourist places in Taiwan is that most of the places charge a nominal entrance fee which you can offset with spending. Essentially, that means you don’t actually pay any entrance fee when you redeem it with items/activities.

Lucky Art Crayon Factory (Yilan)

Our 2nd stop was the Lucky Art Crayon Factory. I requested for this place as I heard good reviews from friends.

Here, we moved from one station to another systemically. First we used the crayons to draw and color. Next, check out the erasable crayons.

Thereafter we went on to hammering together marker pens and making some crayons. All of which you can bring home.

I have 7 pax and so you can imagine how many we made and brought home! In the end, we gifted some to friends when we reached home.

There is also a “coloring tattoo” corner for the kids to choose stencils and color them. Those who do not like face/hand painting can busy themselves at the dress-up rooms where there are costumes and masks.

Eizac was extremely tired and uncooperative when we are at the factory and thus half of my time was spent pacifying him and carrying him around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_1363

IMG_1367

Conclusion: Once again, if you have kids who might enjoy D.I.Y , understand how crayons are made or like doodling/painting, this will be a good stop.

Entrance Fee: NTD200 per person – can be offset with spending

National Arts Center (傳統藝術中心)

This is a cultural place with the surroundings set in traditional bricks shop houses building. It is a very touristy place with some shops, eateries, souvenirs shops and some payable courses you are take part in. There are also some operas and artists roaming the streets with performance from time to time.

There is a “foodcourt” in this place in which we settled our lunch. The food isn’t anything to shout about here but they fill the stomach with average standard.

There is also a big field with some kiddy cartoon characters on display for photography opportunity.

You can possibly spend 2 to 3 hours here if you eat, shop and walk around the entire premise.

IMG_4479

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you are not a history buff or not keen in traditional arts, I won’t recommend coming here. It is a little too commercialized in my opinion. Perhaps Jiu Fen or Shi Fen near Taipei will be a better option to sample local foods while walking through the bricks steps.

Entrance Fee: NT150 per person or less for seniors (no offsetting here)

I found this chinese blog site with photos and explanation of this place. I accidentally deleted most of my photos for the first leg so can’t share much photos. If you can read Mandarin: http://viablog.okmall.tw/blogview.php?blogid=221. If you can only read English, just type in National Center for Traditional Arts in Tripadvisor.

After lunch here, it was around 3pm and we headed back to the minsu for a rest and break. Eizac was especially exhausted with the travelling and lack of afternoon nap. Our driver kindly waited at the minsu for us till it was time to head out to Luodong night market. The plus point of hiring a driver is that you can change the itinerary according to your family’s needs.

Luodong night market (羅東夜市)

This is the biggest night market in Luodong/Yilan area. Some people will choose to live around this night market so that they can walk here. Initially we wanted to do so but glad we opt to live 10 mins drive to the market instead. It was quieter to live a bit further away and turned out the kids weren’t a huge fan of Taiwan night markets. They didn’t like the smoke from the BBQ food eateries and generally didn’t like being shorter than the stalls! It was physically tiring for us to carry the kids and so that made the experience quite uncomfortable and tiring.

We ended up eating at a fast food place with aircon and seats! haha..

I love night markets if I were with friends or doing a couple trip. But with kids and older grandparents in the group, I will think twice before doing another night market trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That pretty much ended our tiring 2nd day in Yilan.

For reference, our travel planner, Wendy, initially planned the following:

亞典蛋糕及橘之鄉–幸福二十農場DIY–幾米公園–蠟筆工廠DIY –傳統藝術中心–羅東夜市

Yiadian cake and orange county–happiness 20 DIY—Jimmy Park– Crayon Factory — Traditional Art Center –Luodong market (night)

But we skipped 2 of the places as it’s exhausting enough for the kids.

Read more on our Taiwan trip:

Day 1: Taipei (Taoyuan) > Yilan

Day 2: Yilan (Happiness 20 Farm > Crayon Art Factory > Traditional Art Center > Luodong Night Market)

Day 3: Yilan > Miaoli

Day 4: Miaoli (Hao Wang Jiao Minsu > Picking of seasonal fruits)

Day 4: Miaoli (Flying Cow Ranch)

Day 5: Miaoli > Taichung (Xinshe Sea of Flowers > Master of Mushroom > Go-Kart > Carton King > La Vida Hotel > Feng Chia night market)

Day 6: Taichung > Taipei

Day 7 & 8: Taipei

IMG_4481

Share with us your thoughts & comments! We love to hear them. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s