Saturday, March 19, 2011

Twice Taiwan: Taipei with a toddler

The next leg of the trip was spent at a farm, but I thought I'd post about that another time.  The final few days were spent wandering around Taipei, while navigating their MRT system with pram in tow (btw, their trains come every 1-2 minutes even during off peak hours, and everyone queues up, which sorta puts another MRT system to shame.  And if you carry a child, you are always guaranteed a seat!).

We made a slight detour on the way to the hotel to visit Maokong, which was a tea growing area, but the trip took longer than expected.  So we arrived at the tea promotion centre, feeling rather hungry, to be told there was no food there.  However, the slopes of the area are dotted with many teahouses which serve food, so we just walked to the nearest and had a really late lunch.  The food was rather disappointing (very dried up bits of chicken, but the veggies were freshly harvested from the garden, and the owner's cat kept harassing Junior J while he was eating), and we felt overpriced (1000 NT for a meal plus tea, probably the most expensive meal we had for the trip!)... and we went back to the promotion centre to find that it had closed!  Oh well.

The first full day in Taipei we spent at the zoo.  The weather forecast was rainy, but we decided to visit anyway, and the weather turned out perfect as it was cloudy instead. :)  Spent 5 hours walking around as the zoo has loads of animals to see (granted, our local zoo probably has better landscapes, but I think the Taipei zoo has more animals):

There is something just so cute and cuddly about pandas!

And if you get tired, you could always take a nap:

The little boy LOVES beavers, so we had to visit this enclosure twice as he was sleeping the first time.  

The next day we popped by to Elim bookstore (one of the largest Christian bookstores in Taiwan) to buy Chinese Christian CDs for the little boy, and chanced upon a branch of Din Tai Fung across the street.  Of course we had to eat there, since the branches in Taiwan serve way better food than the ones we get here... (and I think I've raved about the service, which is amazing.  They have dedicated waiters roving with teapot in hand just to top up your tea, and toddler cutlery pops up at your table immediately when you sit down with your child.)

We always eat this 8 treasure dessert.  Can you spot a giraffe and zebra?
We got those for the little boy from the zoo gift shop (These are from Collecta), and thought they were really realistic!

After a toddler meltdown at the bookstore as little boy had missed his nap (due to us being unable to pop him in the pram earlier as the bookstore was only accessible via a long flight of steps), we managed to settle the little boy down in the nursing room in the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall.  This was after alot of crying, and the iPhone initially helped to calm him a little, but little boy managed to turn off the flight mode on the phone and call his godma!  I got a shock of my life when I peered into the pram to see him holding the phone to his ear and trying to say hello!

So, yes, we had two peaceful hours or so to explore the Memorial Hall, where there were many exhibits to view, with all sorts of interesting paintings and photos:

Eveready batteries, anyone?

There were loads of gorgeous Chinese paintings, but everything was glass-fronted so it was tough trying to take photos that didn't have reflections of lights all over them!

We also manage to witness part of the changing of the guard ceremony, however all the leg stamping was so loud we had to beat a hasty retreat lest the little boy got woken up...

The weather was pretty dreary the second day in Taipei, but it was a pretty fruitful day!

View outside the memorial hall.  You can see Taipei 101 shrounded in mist, and it rained the whole day.


  1. hahah! Toddlers these days are so hightech =P I was babysitting my 3yr old cousin once and he got hold of my uncle's handphone (it was lying around on the sofa) and called the emergency services!!! Thankfully I was able to hang it up before it started ringing.
    The zebra and giraffe do look quite realistic, except the giraffe's neck is probably a bit short...hmm, maybe a baby giraffe? =)

    Loving the pictures of the scenery and all of you <3

  2. Evergreen: Oh dear! I'm glad he only called the godma, and not the police then, haha... And thanks!

    Pooi: Thanks thanks!



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