Hsinchu 2019 Day 6 – Home Sweet Home

Woke up earlier than usual as I thought I would take a morning run in this city. After much contemplation on the bed, I got up to get dressed only to find that I didn’t bring the tee for running. Went back to bed instead but I was surprised to see the sky brightly lit at 6 in the morning.

The next time I woke up it was already 9 and we quickly we got out of bed to get ready for breakfast. At the breakfast table, K was again taking in some toasted garlic bread as other items didn’t interest him. I tried some of the small dish items that I didn’t take yesterday and they were ok.

Breakfast for the last day

Even though we didn’t really have any itinerary today, we were all checked out by 1030 and on the vehicle as the driver was going to bring us to a few more stores to shop before getting onto the plane home. First stop was to a local peanut butter jam store, called Fuyuan peanut butter store (福源花生醬).

We arrived shortly after a drive to a shop that looked like any other shop around the area. Everyone got off except K and I as we stayed in the vehicle since we weren’t all that interested in peanut butter. This was supposedly one of the best peanut butter store that produce their own peanut butter. As usual, there were some shopping for the in-laws and mommy didn’t get any.

Peanut butter store

Our next stop was to the Central market as that looked very much like the one where we visited the temple. Similarly, we stayed behind while the rest got off to some marketing, in the hopes to get some fresh fruits to bring back to Singapore.

Central market area

The last but the most important of the stops was at a meatball store, called Hai Rui Gong Wan (海瑞貢丸). This time we all got off to visit the store which had a small area with tables for visitors to eat immediately after the meatballs were cooked in the pot. While the in-laws got their purchases, we managed to try one of the meatballs and I was really impressed by the bounciness of the meatball! Even the picky K took another bite! Unfortunately we were too far to eat and I couldn’t get a picture of the meatball.

Hai Rui Gong Wan store
Inside the store

After getting some batteries for K’s camera from a nearby convenience store, we left for the airport. We arrived into Taoyuan airport after about an hour of driving and bade the driver, whom had been a very friendly and diligent driver guide, goodbye before lining up to check in. Mommy did the machine check in while we lined up with 4 trolley full of luggage to check in, half of these were boxes of shopping items bought (by the in laws). The check in was thankfully ok with the boxes being distributed amongst all the ticket holders, but amongst the chaos K lost my pokeball and I had to reprimand him.

Before going thru immigrations, we found that one of the luggage was rejected due to prohibited item being found inside the checked-in luggage. Returning to the check-in counter, we realized that it belonged to my father-in-law whom left a rechargeable torchlight inside the luggage.

After meeting up with K and mommy at Starbucks who were there to get some food, probably because the MIL thinks that there were a lot of time and her grandson needed to eat something, we quickly return to pass through the gate to immigrations. Our family was given the short cut as K was identified by the security as a small child in tow and thus given priority to pass.

We passed through without much problems and soon found our way to the gate where we met the others there. While waiting to board this codeshare plane that would fly towards Surabaya after Singapore, we were informed that the flight would be delayed by 30mins and so we took the opportunity to return to the shops to have a look since we did have quite a bit of NT left to spend.

It was a short while before we returned for the boarding, and I had to bring the stroller onboard since the airline staff could not pick it up. We had to wait for them to decide on the sitting arrangements (again) before settling in. The rest of the journey was not much drama, except for the time when K was asking for food as he got hungry and the main meal was only served at about 3pm and another time when he had to take a dump near the end of the flight.

This was a second time in a year that we attempted to travel with the extended family, partly as a way to spend time with the in-laws and mostly for the kids to go together. I personally didn’t enjoy this compared to the earlier one as we didn’t have a lot of flexibility since a big part of the time we were together whereas we had more smaller family time / kids time during Korea. While we were spending time back as a smaller family, each of us at least get what we wanted and thus everyone was happy whereas in Taiwan, we all had to go thru all the activities together and unfortunately 3 generations of people would have 3 different expectations of what fun was and most of time, it wasn’t fun for the kids. As much as how proactive the driver was, what he catered for the group was mainly for the interests of the adults and although that was welcomed by the in-laws, it didn’t played out well for the kids who were bored. This was made worst when we had to spend so much time outside and left little time back at the room and K was left frustrated not having enough play time for himself. For this, I would think twice about another trip with them, taking into considerations the trip itinerary and country of visit as most important deciding factor.

Hsinchu 2019 Day 5 – Window on China Theme Park, Leofoo Village and Hsinchu City God Temple

The dreadful weather continued into day 5 with the overcast clouds stubbornly dripping droplets till day broke. We were all up by 9 and pretty smoothly with the morning routine – I used in Korea seemed to work here as well.

We managed to get ready and go for breakfast on the 4th floor. There weren’t many people and the variety was limited as it was only serving continental breakfast. K was struggling with his cereal but I found the garlic spread that when applied to sliced bread and toasted, gave the perfect formula for K’s fussy tastebuds.

My breakfast

At 10, we all gathered on the ground floor ready to board the vehicle for our last day trip. We were going to the Window On China theme park to see miniature models of famous landmarks. It was an open air theme park so the bad weather was going to be a bummer to the visit. We paid the price of 5 full price tickets of NT499 and 3 at reduced price of NT399 for the seniors and K.

Window on China theme park
Gigantic bugs

The theme park was quite well done I thought as the models were pretty realistic and there were quite a variety of buildings that I could relate too. It also garnered the interest K’s interest.

Miniature train that moved!
Building with an army parade
Panoramic of the little buildings
Model of a interesting builiding
Forbidden city in tiny size
Fountain in the WOC

After the landmarks of Taiwan and China, we took a mini train that brought us to the other section. Here we found an indoor theme park, an outdoor one which was mostly closed and a theatre. There were also European miniature landmarks and American ones.

Train to the other section
Egyptian theme section

We saw the European ones and proceeded to look for the NASA space rocket in America before returning to the theatre for a show that had magic and comedy and the Chinese traditional art of face changing. It was interactive show as the performers came down from the stage and got close to the audience, giving the kids high fives and at times requiring “help” from the kids to do something.

European building
Moscow famous church
Outdoor them parkl
NASA space shuttle
Inca pyramids
Indoor theme park
Performers up close!

After the show, we went to the restaurant serving fast food nearby to have our lunch. K had not much of a problem eating that as there were his favorite fries.

Ferris Wheel restaurant
Our lunch

We headed for the exit after our lunch after deciding to pay Leofoo village theme park a visit, considering that there would be not much time left as it would close at 5pm and that the rain would limit the amount of outdoor activity at the park. It would have been fine too if we had chosen to stay as there were also indoor and outdoor rides at the Window on China.

Store from Window of China

The drive to the park was quick since the distance between the 2 parks was really close. I made a purchase quickly on Klook and plus entering a promo code ended up with us paying only $157 for 5 adults, 1 child and 2 seniors, less than $20 per pax. Got my tickets from the customer service office and we entered the park that wasn’t crowded (because of the weather of course).

Leofoo village entrance

The target visit was the animals and thus we checked out the white tigers, and the many many types of monkeys there. Later, we returned to board the safari bus ride that brought us to see bear, lions and tigers, these animals were free roaming as the bus entered their compound thus the experience felt like a safari. It was an interesting experience with the animals very close by.

Monkey running
Another type of monkey
Inside the safari bus
Tigers roaming about
Lion lying around in compound

K wanted to visit the birds enclosure while mommy and the rest went on to take the train. While at the enclosure, one of the staff handed K a syringe to feed the parrots and that ended up with parrots standing on both of our heads, fearless of getting close to humans when it comes to food.

We walked to the goat enclosures and saw them baaing at the visitors waiting to be fed with goat feed that could be purchased there. K wasn’t interested since he had done a lot of that at the Flying Cow Ranch. We walked to the Alcapa enclosure but couldn’t see those animals as they might have gone into the shelter.

Baaing goat on a elevated rock

Then at one time, the meerkats were out in full force as the staff fed them. It was easy to identify the one on guard duty as it was doing that role diligently up atop a rock. Soon mommy returned with the rest to join us and we walked out of the animal theme section to have a look at others.

Meerkat on the rock as a lookout

Barely touched the palace section before I brought K to the America section where he vaguely remembered playing an arcade machine of firefighters and wanted to see that again. As I ran there, we found that place was closed and instead, we tried our luck at the air rifle games instead. That gave K some experience with a air rifle (not a real one) of loading the cock and shooting, though we didn’t win any prizes from that game. Mommy joined us and tried as well but also in vain.

Hippos with fountains
Shooting carnival games

Before leaving, we watched the last fountain show and that was pretty disappointing compared to the various fountains that we have seen in throughout our travels. The unimpressive water fountain that had some of their nozzles choked ended up with a messy and lazy kind of a water display. They would need something better than that to attract people.

Disappointing fountain show

We exited the park at closing time and got aboard our vehicle for a visit to another adhoc location, recommended by the guide, the Hsinchu City God Temple.

It was about a 40mins drive back to the city and we arrived into a busy place that was lined with lots of food stores. We got off to the temple walking through a doorway that seemed too obscured to know that it leads to the main temple. While in the temple, we lighted up the joss sticks and did the prayers before visiting the toilet and looking around.

Busy central area where the temple was
Hsinchu City God Temple
Within the temlple compound

K and I returned to the vehicle a short while later while mommy and the rest visited a store selling meatballs to get some local food before joining us.

Next we were off to our dinner location, a popular roast chicken store that originated from Yilan, where they would roast their chicken in dome shaped kilns, Weng Yao Ji, 甕窯雞, . We arrived at the restaurant which quite empty though, however the many Taiwanese celebrities photos on the walls convinced me that it should be quite good to garner the interest of these people.

At Weng Yao Ji restaurant
Kilns for roasting chicken

Our food came and the main dish of the roast chicken came last since it had to take time to roost. Being a fan of roost chicken, I did find the chicken tasted better than those I am familiar with because the meat did feel juicier, even at those sections that were particularly dry. The rest of the other food was ok but the free soup tasted bad.

Fried prawns
Fish fillet
Roast chicken

Before returning to the hotel, we informed the driver that we regretted not getting any bubble tea and so he made a short detour to drop us off to get our boba milk tea from 50 Lan, aka Koi in Sg. With just NT50 we got to satisfy our milk tea cravings before we went back to the hotel.

50 lan
Huge boba milk tea

Night was the usual stuff plus some packing. There wasn’t anything planned for the next morning before flying home so we just chilled for the night.

Hsinchu 2019 Day 4 – Flying Cow Ranch and Little Ding Dong Science Theme Park

The entire night was raining and it continued through day break. We awoke to drizzling sounds that alternate between soft and loud. The most problematic weather of any holiday trip – rain. It went on till everyone was awake and we couldn’t even go out for breakfast so we ate in the room, having the yummy Hong Rui Zhen (洪瑞珍三文治) sandwiches from Taichung and instant noodles that we bought yesterday which also tasted really good.

We called the reception to check whether activities were still going to proceed and were informed that it was. So we borrowed umbrellas from the staff and suited up K in his yellow rain coat and went to the farm.

The distant whistle for the duck parade urged us to walk faster and we managed to see the ducks waddle towards us and had the chance to feed them. After they retreated back to their rest area, we walked towards the baby goats and ducklings area to feed them too. I remembered fondly the mountain goats that would walk up the ramp to the top to wait for the can of food being pull up to them and this time it was no difference. There wasn’t any goats up at the ramp at first but I called out to them with one of the packet of feed in hand and sure enough one started to climb the ramp up to the top. Then it was about pulling the can up the pulley that K enjoyed doing for the goat at the top. We were even surprised when the can went up by itself, only found out that it was the goat that had taken matters into own hands (feet) and stepped on the wheel to move it up!

Ducks following the bells
Up close for feeding
Fenced up area for little ducklings
Baby goats
Deer up close
Goat on the ramp
Feeding goats

We went to the rabbit house for more feeding but eventually K returned to the mountain goats to spend time there while I returned to the room to pack and get ready for check out by 11am.

Rabbit in the barn

I informed the staff for help to pick up the luggage with their pick up truck that and quickly got ours ready for collection. Then I returned to look for K and mommy who was still at the same location and we continued with a few more feedings. We returned to the main entrance before heading to the DIY classrooms.

We didn’t expect those classrooms to be so far, which was down the hill and as we rushed to the ice cream class, it was too late by the time we arrived. Had to climb all the way back up the hill before K had a meltdown for being too tired and disappointed that he couldn’t go back to the playground due to rain (as he so wanted to reminisce how it was when he was younger).

DIY classes at the bottom of the hill

We ended up in the fast food joint to get burgers for the kids. It was not too bad I thought although it may not be something that the in-laws were interested in. We stuck around for a bit there before going to the loo and boarding the vehicle for the next destination.

Fast food for lunch

We drove to the Little Ding Dong theme park. I didn’t realized that it wasn’t Doraemon until we arrived to find that the Little Ding Dong was another character locally. However the more disappointing side of this visit was the weather as the drizzle was relentlessly going on and on.

We got the tickets and proceeded in, going to the sheltered area first, which was the science museum. We made our way quickly and entered the mildly crowded area. It was a rather small area but quite a few interactive games that we could play together. One of which was a pass-the-ball game that we had to balance with rotation ladles across the entire length from one starting point to the hoop at the other end. There was also a space game that K and his cousin H had fun playing before leaving for another location. One that got my attention was a staff led exhibit that allowed people to get a feel of static electricity by making their hair stand which was really funny.

Little Ding Dong science theme park
Display at the entrance
Water play
Inside science museum
Old style game of ball and luck
Inside the dark room where there were space related stuff

We went on to the next sheltered area which was the ski area but stopped short of entering because nobody wanted to get cold.

Indoor ski park

Thought we would try something outdoor and walked towards the Alice maze. We made it there but did not try entering because suddenly there was an influx of mosquitoes attacking us (my wife and the rest cause I wasn’t aware until they screamed in terror). I managed to try a couple of the water related exhibits there and I thought it could have been fun if not for the rain or the mosquitoes. We were soon walking quickly back towards the exit.

Water related display
Panoramic view of the maze

We arrived and walked through the shop of the park leaving behind a huge area unexplored. K chose something that he wanted from the store and his grandma bought it for him. Then we boarded the vehicle towards our hotel to check in first.


Our accommodation for the night was Dar Lon hotel, situated in a not so convenient location as it seemed very distant from the hustle and bustle. The check in was done quickly and we were given rooms on the same floor. Mommy had booked a supposedly better room and we were rewarded with one that had a huge bathroom with integrated steam room function and a nicely decorated room. There was a fruit platter too which I conveniently placed into the standard size fridge. We didn’t have much time there before we had to leave the room for dinner.

Bed with sitting corner
Standard size fridge
Tub and toilet
Mini bar
Fruit platter

The driver brought us to a Moon of Wind City restaurant, a restaurant was designed in the oldies theme and the design was really impressive. The Hakka food served for dinner was not too bad and better then what we had the compared to the one we had at the train station. But the walk around the restaurant after the dinner was even better and quite an eye opener for both K and ourselves as we explained to him what those stuff were and how things looked so different now.

Moon of Wind City restaurant
Hakka restaurant
Inside the restaurant
Fried vegetables
Fried tofu
Braised meat
Steamed fish
Old convenience store
One of the display on the 2nd level
View from the 2nd level
Post man figurines

After dinner, the driver drove us to a CD store and a shoe store as our in-laws wanted to buy some stuff. There weren’t anything interesting for me though but we just went with the flow until it was time for us to return to the hotel.

Hsinchu town at night

The room was nice and we spent the night playing the toys that was bought (at the theme park and the restaurant) and quite some time at the huge tub. Then it was lights out after the usual routine.

Escape Plan to Taichung June 2019

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Taichung:

Total duration 6D5N
Singapore is on same timezone as Taiwan.
Flight time is 4hrs 45mins on China Airlines from Singapore to Taipei. Return flight is 4hrs 45mins on China Airlines from Taipei to Singapore.

Morning flight on 20th Jun at 1030am and arrival in Taipei in the afternoon at 310pm. Return flight from Taipei on the 25th Jun at 230pm and  arrival in Singapore at 715pm.

Day 1 Arrival into Taiwan, drive to Taichung and Feng Chia Night Market
Day 2 Natural Science Museum, Farm visits and Gao Mei Wetlands
Day 3 Sheng Hsing Station, Long Teng Bridge and Flying Cow Ranch
Day 4 Flying Cow Ranch and Little Ding Dong Science Theme Park
Day 5 Window on China Theme Park, Leofoo Village and Hsinchu City God Temple
Day 6 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was the first time that we travel with my wife’s extended family. I didn’t participate in any of the planning and just went with the flow. As such, some parts of the trip didn’t turn out to be as enjoyable as I thought it would be.

Budget nature: Not too bad 

The bulk of the costs were the plane tickets and accommodation which was paid off by extended family members and I only had to pay for the attractions which weren’t all that expensive. Food was affordable too (and paid by FIL).

Complexity: Easy

As it was planned with a daily driver, we didn’t need to know how to move around since the driver would bring us around. We only need to know where we wanted to go.

Also, we targeted attractions within Taichung and northwards towards Taoyuan, it was easy to cover these with the driver.

Taiwan 2016 Day 9 – Home Sweet Home

We woke up at about 730 and prepared for the trip home. Beyond the curtains was a muddy scene in a dark drizzle. We only managed to see zebras. Mommy prepared to cook porridge and k wanted milk. He couldn’t return to sleep so we got him to look outside the window to look at the zebras. They weren’t close.

Morning view of safari

Zoomed in on zebras

We hurried to breakfast but was stuck at the walking path as there weren’t enough umbrellas. We waited a while for some people to return. After we arrived at restaurant we were informed that the restaurant was full and we had to go to the restaurant in the theme park to have it. They have a shuttle bus but we had to wait for a while. As it was going through a side gate, we couldn’t drive there ourselves too.

Bus to the breakfast area

On board the bus it took just 3mins before we arrived at the back side of the restaurant. The restaurant was crowded as well and it was a huge western cowboy design hall. There was a buffet line as well and had a variety of food. Got K some bread and cereal and he was happy munching on them. Coffee machine was making a line and I gave up lining for it. Had to wait for the bus back.

Breakfast vouchers

Breakfast hall

Breakfast table

The same route back and it was still drizzling. The giraffes were out and at the sheltered feeding zones. From our room we could see them away from our window. We had to pack for the airport and by the time we were done, it was about 11. Checked out and loaded the luggage and as we left, we were greeted with some African dancing at the main entrance, in the light drizzle.

Giraffes awake for breakfast

Animals and people out in the open

Drove to the car return which was in Dayuan, 5mins drive from Taoyuan airport. Pumped at the gas station at 50meters before the rental company for 200NT to get back to the original amount when it was handed over to me. The staff did a final check and charged us for the 1hr overtime of 204NT and usage of expressway fees 377NT, these fees to be paid in cash. I didn’t have anymore cash so had to go over to 7-11’s ATM to draw a minimum of 1000NT to pay it off.

They offered a free shuttle trip back to the airport but we had to wait for another group of customers before leaving. By the time we arrived at the terminal 1 for Tigerair, it was already 1230. Quickly checked in and left for the gates after some last minute shopping at Godiva. Fed K his porridge before boarding the plane back, the flight was on time. The flight back had a couple of turbulence as it left the cloudy region of Taiwan and en route to Singapore but K was well behaved and even slept 2 hours on the flight, now 2 had his own seat.

Godiva ice cream

Taipei airport

At the gate

This was a trip to celebrate K birthday by going for farmstay and also an experience at the safari hotel. It was however not going well as expected due to the week long drizzle and road closures and the constant vomiting of K. However he was still happy with the cake and with our company and I guessed this met the objective of our trip.

Taiwan 2016 Day 8 – Flying Cow Ranch and Leofoo Village

Woke up at 530 to make milk for K and stayed awake to check that he didn’t puke. Too be more certain, I made much less in quantity as well.

It was very much the same routine again but we had to pack for the last change of accommodation for the trip so packing was included in the morning. K woke up at about 9 and quickly we had to get him changed so that we could meet the breakfast ending timing of 930. It was his birthday today and hopefully we wouldn’t get frustrated with his whining. He woke up fine.

The breakfast was buffet style held at a big dining hall just opposite the accommodation, a short walk there. We saw quite a crowd of people on the ranch grounds, kinda expected of it since it was a Saturday after all. The buffet table wasn’t having a lot of variety, mostly Taiwanese cuisine, typical of the Min Su that we have been staying. K had some of this and that and soon he was about wanting to get out of the baby seat already.

Breakfast buffet area


Cows statues in the restaurant

After breakfast, we first went to the big tractors that K was playing the evening earlier to play on it again. While on the way there, we saw a real tractor pulling a passenger carriage parked nearby, waiting for people to board for a tour around, for 50NT per adult. We skipped.

Tractor pulled carriage

Next we brought him to the playground nearby as we didn’t had time to go the day earlier. There were a couple of interesting things such as a kids manual excavator on sand, a couple of bells that he was very fascinated about and a slide that was designed to look like a huge tractor on the outside. We stayed for a while and then proceeded to the animals.

More cows statues


Early in the morning, there were more animals to see that we didn’t see the day before. Young goat kids and ducklings were out in the fence where we could buy feed to feed them and give the kids milk. There was also an activity called the duck march where the staff rang bells to bring the duck towards them to feed them and it was lovely to watch them flock here and there. We also fed the mountain goat and the rabbits before leaving, K feeling tired with all the feeding.

Duck march

Ducks gathering for the food

Goat kid drinking milk from a bottle

Feeding ducklings

Feeding rabbits

We returned to the room to pack the lunch and luggage and checked out at about 11am. Our next destination was the fun place known as Leofoo village, about an hour away. It was a short drive and K didn’t fall asleep although there were signs.

The weather wasn’t playing ball and it was getting cloudy. We arrived at Leofoo resort, past the main parking for the theme park (free when we were guests of the resort) and many cars were found parked there already. Got off the car to check in at about 1215 but rooms weren’t ready. While waiting, we managed to catch some lemur in action, jumping here and there and saw some rhinos. One of the lemur actually jumped onto the walking path to the hotel rooms. We then decided to buy tickets to the theme park as there weren’t much we could do at the resort. The tickets were sold at the resort shop at a price of 900NT per adult (99NT less). Then it started to drizzle.

Leofoo resort

Safari next to the rooms

Giraffe and zebras feeding

Jumping lemurs

And onto the walk path

We then drove to the game room just 100meters away from the main reception to have our free photo taken. Then as we were shown the samples for the free tiny calendar, we couldn’t help but purchased another 2 photos for souvenir at 500NT.

Library next to the photo souvenir center

Then we drove to the theme park and got mommy and K to alight first before I found a parking spot in the crowded car park, that was available behind a bus parking area. The drizzle wasn’t heavy but wasn’t letting up either. We entered while many were seen leaving.

Leofoo village entrance

The theme park was arranged like the RWS in Singapore with different areas representing different continents. Went to the west first, of cowboy themes and got ourselves some lunch near the condor ride ( one that the running men took as one of their punishment if I remembered). K had his lunch too and as we tried to finish our big meal pack, mommy brought K to the nearby arcade to keep him happy. It was getting chilly as we had our lunch in a those tables with a huge sun umbrella – it only shielded us from the rain but not the wind.

Wild West side

Cute lunch box

Sumptuous meal

Where we bought lunch

Screaming Condor ride

After I was finally done with my lunch, we then walked around the shops and also took K onto a kids ferry wheel. He was interested for a bit before wanting to get off, maybe because it was constantly stopping to let passengers on and off.

South Pacific zone

Ferris wheel for kids

We proceeded to walk to the next area and got in line for a ride featuring big birds which went around but also upwards and downwards. As the queue was long, K fell asleep waiting and so I got out of the queue. Mommy and I decided to just roam around to see what were the other rides available, with reference from the map that gave a recommended ride route to follow.

Bird ride that we didn’t have a chance to take

Water rides

and down

We walked through the glamorously designed Aladdin world and then finally the Africa theme where it was a mini zoo cum theme park. We saw Alcapa in real life which looked adorable and there was a enclosure with 2 huge white tigers, which allowed people to be able look at them very closely (unlike our zoo). Then we sat in one of the sheltered cafe to just rest and chat while K snoozed.


4 horns goat

White tiger

The next time K woke was already 415pm and we brought him to the huge carousel of horses at the Aladdin world as he liked that. I sat with him on a horse that could go up and down as mommy took photos from the outside. There were 4 rows of horses and many could get onboard.

Nice looking place, better if not raining


Then we walked towards the flying horse ride but it was closed already at 445pm. It was disappointing as K said he wanted to take it but he didn’t seem to show. Then we proceeded to the exit since the theme park official closure was 5pm, which was very early in my opinion.

We got ourselves some popcorn and souvenir from the gift shop near the entrance and I picked up the car to fetch mommy and K, minimizing exposure to the rain. While we headed in the opposite direction towards the resort, many cars were heading outwards.

I let mommy and K off at the entrance first for mommy to do the check in while I parked the car. We got a room from the Giraffe wing, room 112 which was said to be one of the better ones (according to some online blog like bumblebeemum and tips), as there was ample space below our room for animals to walk and that gave us a chance to see the animals up close if they do choose to roam around.

The staff helped with our 2 huge luggage and as I carried K with an umbrella and mommy carried some other bags with another umbrella, as the path was unsheltered and it was still drizzling. The room was huge as it was designed for a family of 4, having one huge King and 2 singles. The toilet was big too with 2 showers and 2 sinks. This was of course with a price, 11900NT to be exact. We managed to see zebras silhouette nearby as the sun had already set at 6 and have to switch off all the lights to see them better.

Big room

Toilet with double sink


View from the room at night

Zebra silhouette at the foreground

We had earlier reserved to dine in the resort at a time slot of 715pm. In the meantime K was watching his YouTube videos on bells on my Hp while we relaxed on the beds. I called reception to asked for baby tub and it was delivered to our room after a while. It was great as I didn’t even need to pump up the air tub for the entire trip. Got K to bath in the tub and changed before we headed to dinner.

There was a huge dining area on the 2nd floor near the reception and a buffet line again. This time there were more choices, a small part for kids and a small area for vegetarians. Still mostly Taiwanese with some meat and Japanese selection and pastries and a free flow of San Miguel but I wasn’t having any.


Dinner hall

Dinner buffet

K was a little cranky and didn’t want to eat much nor did he want to sit there for too long. He made a ruckus sometimes. We left to join one of the activity that was supposed to be at 830pm but we only finished dinner at 850 and didn’t know the time. After checking with reception and they called the staff in charge of the activity to hold it just for us! We were embarrassed but K had a lot of fun, throwing the triangular cushion for mommy to catch, most often throwing everywhere else except towards mommy whom was supposed to catch it with a newspaper and folding it into half every time she was successful. It didn’t carry on for too long as K was not focusing and throwing it anywhere and we called it a day, not to take too long of the staff’s time.

We went to the cafe below to buy a piece of cheese cake to celebrate Ks birthday and they didn’t have any matches. We asked the reception and they arranged for a staff to help us with it. After setting up the candle on the tiny cheesecake, the staff lighted the candle for us and we all sang the birthday song. K was happy constantly chuckling and very interested in the fire. Pity that he couldn’t blow out the candle as we took too long and it burnt through.

The night was spent cleaning up and packing and then going to sleep, a nice finish to a fun filled day, a weary taiwan trip and a welcome of the terrible age of 2.

Escape plan to Taiwan November 2016

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Taiwan 2016:

Total duration 9D9N
There is no time difference between Singapore and Taiwan.
Flight time is 5hrs 35mins on Scoot from Singapore to Taipei.
Return is almost 5hrs on Tigerair from Taipei to Singapore.

Flight from Singapore to Taipei at 1255am, arriving at 530am in Taipei. Return flight from Taipei to Singapore is at 155pm and touching down in Singapore at 650pm.

Day 1 Arrival in Taipei and some shopping
Day 2 Cat Village, Jiufen and Shifen
Day 3 To Hualien and Qi Xing Tan
Day 4 Tokoro Gorge
Day 5 Landslide on the way to Cingjing
Day 6 Arrival in Cingjing farm and Old England tea and Swiss Garden
Day 7 Cingjing farm visit and arrival in Flying cow ranch
Day 8 Flying cow ranch, Leofoo village and stay
Day 9 Home Sweet Home

This trip was planned to celebrate our boy’s 2nd birthday. Therefore, most of the destinations in the itinerary were more catered towards his interests ( but since he arrived, most of our trips were already like these).

Budget – affordable most of the journey until the visit to Leofoo village which was quite expensive.

Taiwan was a country known to be affordable if we want it to be. Taking public transport such as the trains and staying in Airbnb helps keep the costs down. However, travel in less developed areas required us to book a driver or self drive which was not too bad. The only big spendings we had was the Flying cow ranch farmstay in a private villa and safari hotel in Leofoo village which was expected to be expensive.

Complexity – High without car. Ours made easy due to car and Google maps on data plan.

The public transportation in Taipei city was easy to use and therefore getting around was straightforward. Out of the main city and into the mountains and farms then a car is a must or private car is a must as public transportation would require quite a bit of planning and a lot time. Road signs would require a little to get used to but it’s not too difficult if you know Chinese. When going through the mountains, we learnt to read road blockages due to landslide. Knowing where to get the most updated news is essential as most of the mountainous roads are single lane and only one way there and planning ahead helps to avoid a long detour. Sometimes there are no data signals on the mountainous area but it is not difficult since there is only one road to navigate.