We decided on a Taiwan trip end of Nov 2015 because it was to be a “graduation trip” (kindergarten only!) for Xi En cum an extended family trip with my in-laws.
I find Taiwan a very suitable place for families and big families! There are many suitable activities for young and old. And the best thing: you can travel comfortably in a mini-van with hired drivers cum guides.
Before we head off, I visited the Taiwan Tourist Office at Raffles Place/Chevron House. Bring along a flight ticket print out or accommodation booking confirmation to redeem free gifts for everyone on the trip. For that month, there were free metro passes which came in really useful as we needed them on the last leg of the trip. There are different freebies every month so don’t miss out. There are some maps and brochures to pick up at the office too.
Address: 30 Raffles Place, #10-01 Chervon House
Here’s sharing our itinerary for last year; Nov 2015. I know. I procrastinated! If I don’t write now, I probably will never.
With Taiwan set as a year-end travel destination, we decided to go with Eva Air because there were decent deals and we I wanted to try the Hello Kitty airplanes! If you are interested in the Hello Kitty planes you can check their route availabilities on the EVA Hello Kitty website.
I have 2 boys so it didn’t exactly thrilled them. But the novelty still worked (more on me than them).
Our flight plans were:
BR 215 SIN – TPE (Taoyuan Airport): 1545hr – 2015hrs
BR216 TPE – SIN: 955hrs – 1430hrs
We decided to travel with the constraints of the plane being a “Hello Kitty” plane as I heard the other EVA planes were older.
In any case, both plane flights went well with no major events unlike our Melbourne trip. Xi En learnt now that he has to take a break after watching the entertainment TV and he needs to eat moderately and he needs to sleep. He did it with clockwork! *thumbs up*
Hello Kitty Airplane photos galore; too cute! :
Upon arrival, there was a miscommunication that I thought our prearranged driver will be waiting at the arrival area. Only to realise, after buying our prepaid cards, that he is in his car circling around the airport. Maybe it is expensive to park and walk to wait for us? In any case, glad we found each other and started our long drive to Yilan – our accommodation for the night. We took about 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Yilan from Taoyuan Airport.
Note: It is useful to buy the telco cards/packages at the airport if you need connectivity on the go. It isn’t too expensive and there are different no. of days packages. It is useful to connect with your drivers.
Our accommodation for the next 2 nights was at Full Sweet Inn. It is a “minsu” （民属) – otherwise known as a homestay/B&B. Talking of which, it can be somewhat difficult if you don’t speak/read/write Mandarin. Though I do have mandarin education, I still face trouble trying to read the mandarin instructions on some of the localised hotel/minsu’s websites. One small tip: you can use google translate or type in the chinese names of the minsu and you might be able to find the original minsu’s website or someone who wrote about it in English.
There are just too many options in the Taiwan for minsu – reviews on Tripadvisor/Agoda/Expedia – might be able to give good indication of the place.
Full Sweet Inn was nested among paddy fields giving it an idyllic feel. The hosts – Jonanthan and his wife – were friendly and helpful from answering questions to booking, payment and hosting. Rooms were clean and spacious. Breakfast was homely and yummy. There was little to complain about. As we hired a driver, it was easy to move around. Otherwise, I think you do need a cab to get in and out.
Photos of Full Sweet Inn and their reviews on Tripadvisor.
As our flight came in late, we didn’t do much on the first night except to stock up at the nearby Family Mart. We started Day 2 with proper itinerary which I will share more on the second Taiwan post.
More details on our each day’s itinerary as below:
Day 1: Taipei (Taoyuan) > Yilan
Day 3: Yilan > Miaoli
Day 4: Miaoli (Flying Cow Ranch)
Day 6: Taichung > Taipei
Day 7 & 8: Taipei