Miaoli 2019 Day 3 – Sheng Hsing Station, Long Teng Bridge and Flying Cow Ranch

The morning started about the same, we had started packing the night before and thus left with a bit more to pack in the day. Mommy went off to breakfast first while I stayed in bed with K as he snoozed to 9ish. I had to wake him up but he was quick to cooperate and soon we were on our way to breakfast.

I was able to get some other food for breakfast since there were some that I didn’t try the day before. Nonetheless it was filling enough and we returned to the room to check out.

It wasn’t a smooth morning to say the least but something I wouldn’t want to jot down as I would rather forget the incident. Our first destination was to get some stuff that the in laws was searching for, the driver brought us to the wholesale store. After a couple of visits later, we went to the Ruyi Sunny cake store which had the number 1 Sun Cake (太阳饼) for the 4th year. It was an interesting store whereby there was introduction by the staff followed by sampling. Kids had a box of toys that they entertained themselves throughout at a smaller table. We bought so much that these were packed in boxes to be checked in as it was physically not possible to lug them in the luggage.

Ruyi Sunny cake store
Champion pastry
Inside the store

After that, we were driven to Sheng Sing Train Station. Spent some time watching a street performer spinning tops, with different ways of doing it. The highlight was spinning a super big one which was quite impressive given his age. K got 2 souvenir tops in exchange for some cash donations.

Sheng Sing train station
Around the train station
And the highlight of the show…
Giant spinning top

For lunch, we went to one of the supposedly best Hakka restaurant called Seven Sister Eight Brother (七姊八弟山城小店). We had to wait for a bit to get a round table at the back of the restaurant. The dishes came quickly and again lots of dishes packed the table as we chomped down the food. The food unfortunately was too salty for us (but maybe ok for people who liked these).

Seven Sis Eight Bro Hakka restaurant
Steamed chicken
Braised tofu

After lunch, we explored the streets to see what other food there was. Bought a bowl of stinky tofu with pig internals and rice blood from what seemed like a makeshift stall caught Old Metal Horse handmade stinky tofu (老铁马手工臭豆腐), which I thought was ok but mommy didn’t like. K also got to get himself a ice stick for dessert.

View of the railways from the top
Old Metal horse stall
Bowl of stinky tofu with other innards
Cute little post box

We went to the railway to get some photos and the ring the train bells but couldn’t take the railbikes because we couldn’t get the tickets before they were sold out. That was still ok because we had the railbike experience before while in Korea. The driver helped to take many photos for us before we returned to the vehicle.

History of the train station
Restaurant with lots of cats
Panoramic view of the long railroads

A short 10 mins drive later, we found ourselves at the Long Teng broken bridge. It was a bridge that crumbled during an earthquake and that was an interesting sight for K. We took some photos before taking a short walk to another part of the broken bridge that had more dramatic look with trees already growing on it.

Long Teng bridge

K walked the entire journey to that section and back, mostly inspired by his cousin. After returning to the starting point where there were a couple of shops, we rewarded ourselves with ice cream and drinks to cool ourselves in the warm day.

Directions to the south
View along the way
Had to cross this bridge
The south section with overgrown trees
View of the Long Teng bridge from the south section

The driver then recommended a cultural visit to a Sanyi Wood Sculpture museum to let us see Taiwanese wood carving work. When we arrived, we found that we were too late as the museum has already closed. We took a photo with the wood carving on the outside and walked along the street to find many stores that sold wood carving furniture. That didn’t last long before we were back in the vehicle.

Sanyi Wood Sculpture museum
Elephant sculpture that occurred naturally
Street near the museum lined with shops
One of such shops on the inside

Then 30mins of driving we arrived at our rest stop for the night, the Flying Cow ranch. Checked in and we were back to the same rooms that we had when we first visited some years back. Later after dropping our bags, we walked to the farm to see cows feeding and fed some goats but mostly the place had already close for the day for the animals to rest.

Our room at Flying Cow
Grazing cows at Flying Cow ranch
All animals welcome to eat together
Some flower

We walked back to the children’s playground to play a bit and for K to reminisce the last time he was here. He couldn’t really remember but had fun still digging sand with the manual excavator machine.

For dinner, we had to settle at the only restaurant there and we ordered not many dishes as these were actually quite huge portions. I had to eat from K’s dish and FIL chicken including the shared portion with mommy plus the driver gave us some famous and tasty sandwiches from Hong Rui Zhen (洪瑞珍三文治), and ended up being pretty full too.

Kids western meal
Popular sandwich wrapped
Unwrapped – yummy!
Where we claimed our free milk or yoghurt

We picked up the free milk bottles (per pax) from the store there before returning to the room for a quick bath. Then we popped over next door to the cookery class to make rice balls. It was quite a fun activity as K was very enthusiastic about it rolling the little balls of flour. These resulted in a bowl of colourful rice balls in milk based soup with red bean which I thought tasted pretty good. This depended on other participants from the other tables since we were making a colour at each table but cooking all in the same pot. Thankfully they tasted ok, just of different sizes.

After the cooking
Final product, including balls from other tables

Back at the room, I went to bath since I was the only one who had not done that. Then it was a quick run thru of the night activity before lights off.

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 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.

Taiwan 2016 Day 7 – Cingjing farm and Arrival to Flying Cow Ranch

It was only 430am and K asked for milk. Made him a bottle and after drinking, he coughed and vomited. Managed to catch most with plastic bag, that was kept by my side due to his recent vomiting spell. Cleaned up a bit before going back to sleep. He was feeling uncomfortable but soon slept too.

Mommy was feeling tired so she didn’t cook. All we woke up much later, proceeded to clean up and pack. After K woke, we quickly dressed him up and went down for breakfast which was ending at 830. Initially we wanted to sit outside as the view was so inviting but the sun was shining too brightly so we chose inside. As it was already quite late, there wasn’t much left , though there was not much variety to begin with. There was just porridge and the things to go with it. For the porridge, what was left in the pot was almost near the bottom and thus a lot watery. There was milk tea available.


Bright outside

K ate some of the porridge and egg. And we had ours as much as we could before the buffet was cleared. Afterwards, while I went back up to the room to bring down the luggage, K who was quite grouchy, cried loudly when I left for the carpark, so loud that the whole building could hear him.

After I returned, we checked out and drove to Green Green Grassland to see sheeps. No free parking as all the carpark slots were filled so we drove up a level above the road level and parked at a paid parking area, for 200NT per entry. Paid the fees of 160NT per adult and 20NT for K. We followed the walkpath and walked to windmill for pictures and scenery and went to the shop nearby to get a bottle of goat milk for K who was asking for milk.

Path to parking up the slope to the left

Map of Cing Jing farm

Windmill at Green Green Grassland

Statue of a squirrel

Goat milk

Next we proceeded to walk over to the performance tentage to watch a horse riding show, performed by Mongolian riders. We didn’t stay long as we were siting outside the shelter and it was getting hot sitting in the sun. The riders were quite skilled, there a lot of acrobatics done with/on the horse as they ran within the stage.

Horse riding show

Horse rider on a big horse

Team of horse riders

Performance tentage

We trekked back the same road and exited the west part of the park and entered the east one. Since we already got stamped on our arms we could just enter without showing the tickets.

Stalls lined the sheltered walkway to the grassland

Before us was a huge grassland with free roaming sheep. We climbed the steps and got close, touched some of them and took photos of them and with the surrounding. K was not very interested in them though. When we reached the middle of the park, there was a tree sheltered area and stalls where we took a rest. After the short break, we continued towards the castle for more photo taking and to use the toilet outside the east entrance. Bought some souvenirs from the souvenir shop near the entrance and returned to the car all the way back.

One sheep near the steps

Another one with more wool

Grassland with free roaming sheep grazing

Black sheep

Pavillon with a view

Looked like a castle

Cute castle

Walking trail

Drove to 7-11 to buy some milk and drinks and then we were on our way to Puli Carrefour. Downhill for some 30mins drive and K fell asleep. The route down was so much easier than the route up from Hualien.

As we arrived, we parked at the car park at Carrefour behind the supermarket. Mommy got off the car herself to buy while I stayed with sleeping K.

After mommy returned we continued our drive to Flying Cow ranch, pumping 300NT of petrol and getting onto the highway. It was another 1.5 hrs drive and it was very easy. Speed limit of 100 and 110 on different highway and there were speed cameras that GPS would warned. A lot of lorries on the highway and some were hogging. Saw one lorry didn’t allow an ambulance to pass.

The small road leading to the ranch was also mostly empty which made it easy to drive. While at entrance, we were informed to Uturn up the hill for our accommodation and parking. After we parked the car and mommy went to carry out the check in first as K was only just awake.

After a while mommy came back with staff to help with luggage while I brought K later. It was a cabin for 3 as mommy didn’t know if K was counted. Although it wasn’t fantastic for that price but it was definitely more spacious and private then the other rooms we passed along the way.

Inside the cabin

Toilet and shower

Accommodation cabin at Flying cow ranch

We got out to eat first at the restaurant next to the service center where mommy checked in. Ordered rice with meat set and spaghetti which came in huge portions, even though we were all sharing with K, it was a little too much especially for a meal at 4pm. There was a food item in the set that looked like yoghurt then didn’t taste like one, but more like milk curd.

Inside the restaurant

Meat with rice


Milk tea and juice

After the meal, mommy went to exchange her coupons from the check in for milk products and bring back to the room to store first. Then we all walked towards the barn where we saw cows feeding on grass. At the barn, we saw goats and rabbits also but the rabbit enclosure ran out of feed. When it was time for the activity at the barn there was already a queue that we found out was for milking the cow experience which we didn’t want to do. Looked around the souvenir shop nearby and bought some grass to feed goats. K had fun on one of the used stationary tractor which was exhibited for kids to ride.

Flying Cow Ranch

Walk path to the barn

Cows eating grass

Sheep again


Rabbit house

Mountain goats on the bridge

Goats close to the fence

The sun was setting quickly and soon the sky became dark. We walked quickly back to the room to pick up K water bottle before I brought him to the 3 tractors at the service center to ride on them while mommy stayed in the cabin to cook. After a while of riding on each and changing frequently, he had enough and we went back to the room.

Having fun on the used tractor on display

Called the reception to asked for baby bathtub which they have and had it delivered to us. Bathed K and spent some time on YouTube and TV before I went out to pack fried rice for dinner from the restaurant there as it closed at 8, but because it was still too close to our lunch time, we had decided for takeaway. By the time I returned from the restaurant, K had finished his dinner. Mommy went ahead to participate in the 8pm activity of DIY cookie making and baking while I change out K diapers.

Dinner menu

Joined mommy when we were done and she was already making the dough. A lot of people were there, filling up the big room. We watched as mommy kneaded and placed the flatten pieces on the baking tray. Then we sent it to the oven for baking. I contributed some efforts by washing the oily metal bowl while we waited for the baking to complete. The finished product looked a little charred on the sides but overall they tasted nice, and K loved it.

Dough ready to be baked in the oven

Finished product

After the activity, we returned to the room where we had our dinner and then followed by washing up. K watched more TV and I did more cleaning up as he crapped again, while mommy visited the internal supermarket to buy milk. The night ended on a happy note for K with the usual bedtime story reading and milk followed by lights off.

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.