Taipei

Who Went? One 9mo, mum and dad.

Review: Nice one-stop holiday. Locals are friendly, with a relatively restrained culture. Modern facilities and trendy eating places, with great food available to suit all palates, and plenty of tea. Culture and history, plus a chance to escape to the edges of town for a change of scene. The one-stop format was very simple, and we started to see the value of splitting up for parts of the holiday in order to please more people more of the time. Choosing a hotel near the drop-off point for the airport bus on one side, and a large park containing a kid’s playground on the other side, was a stroke of accidental genius which we have tried to repeat. The gentle sightseeing pace allowed us to cope with the challenges of the holiday described below, as did the excellent coffee shops and tea houses.

Highlights: Palace Museum, Mao Kong hinterlands, Danshui, eating and drinking tea, walking around town taking in the local sights.

Challenges: Again, this was one of our early trips and we hadn’t quite got the hang of it. This time, our biggest mistake was getting the food wrong. First of all, we decided to stock up on jars of baby food to take with us, in case we couldn’t find any there. This made our packs exceedingly heavy, and was useless in any case because it turns out jarred beef and sweet potato casserole doesn’t taste anything like mum’s beef and sweet potato casserole, even though it apparently has all the same ingredients in it. Then, rather than giving in for the duration of our stay (only about a week) and just letting him live on pear, banana, noodles, rice crackers, and offerings from our own plates, we persisted in trying to get him to eat a full variety of baby-specific foods which resulted in him being continuously hungry and demanding copious amounts of breast milk both day and night, which of course made us all very tired. It is a testament to the wonderful city of Taipei and its citizens that we managed to have a great trip despite all this.

Price Bracket: Moderate

Three Photos:

Up top of Taipei 101.

Up top of Taipei 101.

Heading for the hinterlands.

Heading for the hinterlands.

Making friends with local toddlers at Danshui.

Making friends with local toddlers at Danshui.

Itinerary:

You can insert “return to hotel to allow one parent to catch up on sleep during nap time” on nearly every one of these days.

Day One

  • Fly Singapore to Taipei
  • Airport bus to Main Station
  • Walk to hotel
  • Check in, dump bags
  • Wander down the road to the 2-28 Peace Park to stretch legs and use playground, and see park museum
  • Overnight at hotel in Japanese-style room (low bed plus mattress on  floor next to bed for P)

Day Two

  • Taipei 101, Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, walk around city, try out MRT system
  • Overnight at hotel

Day Three

  • Buy jacket for P, having underestimated his propensity to get cold yet again
  • Self-guided walking tour through government district
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial
  • Ximending district, Tian Ho temple
  • Shi Lin Night Markets for dinner

Day Four

  • Mao Kong (hinterlands) by MRT and bus
  • Tea houses with a view
  • Return to hotel in evening, overnight in hotel

Day Five

  • Public bus to Palace Museum
  • Hot pot for dinner
  • Overnight at hotel

Day Six

  • Red Pavillion Theatre
  • Mum gets haircut in Ximending district
  • Mum takes P to playground in peace park whilst Dad has second trip to Palace Museum
  • Overnight at hotel

Day Seven

  • Head out of town by MRT to Danshui to see San Domingo Fort and surrounding area
  • Mum and Dad head out separately to relax in tea and/or coffee shops in the evening

Day Eight

  • Pack, check out of hotel
  • Long Shan temple
  • Pick up bags from hotel lobby, walk to Main Station to catch airport bus
  • Fly Taipei to Singapore
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