I've had many people writing to me to ask about our Taiwan itinerary. I've no time to post about our third trip in detail, and those posts will be up from next week onwards, so stay tuned! For now, I'm just going to share our itinerary overview, in the hopes that it helps those who are planning for their trip this year. If you are interested, here's all the posts from our first trip (with Junior J when he was almost one), and our second trip (with Junior J when he was two). We travelled with our church mates and their kids, so we had 4 adults and 5 kids this round, which made for a pretty noisy trip!
Day 1: Ximending
We stayed at the Diary of Ximen Hotel for one night (chosen because it served breakfast, and had relatively large but affordable rooms that could accomodate us), and spent the rest of the day walking around the area. There's lots of shopping you can do there, and the hotel is conveniently located just next to the main shopping street. We also took a walk down to the Red House, which was about 10 minutes away.
Day 2-4: Toucheng Leisure Farm
We did three days and two nights at the Toucheng Leisure Farm, and I will blog more about our stay soon. We loved this place so much more than the Flying Cow Ranch (read our post on that here), and we booked their 3D2N package, as it meant all meals were provided. The food was really good (fresh from the farm, and organic!), and the grounds were great for exploring. The farm provides rather comfortable rooms, and also provides transport to and from the place, so it was convenient getting there.
Day 5: Yeliu & Shifen
Taiwan receives a lot of rain, so November is popular time to visit because it is a less rainy period. However, this means most places are packed, especially during weekends! We opted to visit Yeliu over the weekend, simply because the weather forecast predicted rain for the weekdays. It turned out to be a clear and very hot day (it was scorching hot, so bring hats, and sunscreen!), and the kids had a lot of fun exploring the geopark.
We booked drivers for a few days, so the drivers drove us from our apartment in Taipei (again, more about that later, if you need a large apartment, the details are here) to Yeliu. They brought us to a restaurant outside the geopark for lunch, then we headed to Shifen. It was crazy crowded at Shifen, so we just did a short walk down the main street and let the kids paint a sky lantern. It was pretty fun releasing the lantern up in the sky!
Day 6: Yang Ming Shan
We had our drivers again for the day, so we spent the day exploring Yang Ming Shan. We did the trails around the calla lily farms, made a lunch stop, and also visited Xiao You Keng. It was crazily crowded at some parts as it was the weekend, so we ended up leaving the area pretty early, and went to visit some relatives. (If you are headed up over the weekend, go early as they restrict the number to people headed up.)
Day 7: Jiufen & Keelung
We paid a visit to Jiufen, walked about and did some shopping and a fair bit of eating! After that, we wanted to head to Keelung's National Museum of Marine Science and Technology, but it was closed, so we ended up going to Eslite instead. (Again, we had drivers for the day.)
Day 8: Taipei Zoo & Raohe Night Market
We cabbed down to the zoo, and spent most of the day walking around, and then headed back to the apartment for a rest before cabbing down to the Raohe Night market. Do note that the best days to visit the zoo (weather permitting) would be Wed-Fri, since it can be really packed over the weekends, many exhibits are closed on Mondays, and the baby panda is not available for viewing on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Day 9: Exploring the local market, and home!
We were flying off in the afternoon, so we spent the morning exploring the local market near our apartment, which turned out to be quite a great shopping experience! The stuff at the local market is cheaper than at the tourist spots, and you can get pretty good deals, like these rainbow hand-sewn leather shoes, which were much cheaper compared to if you buy them in the stores or night markets.
Another great thing about our apartment: it is a 10 minute walk away from the original Din Tai Fung, and pretty near the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall! (Here's Lil J demonstrating how you should gobble up Xiao Long Bao!)
Here's to a great weekend, and I'll dash out those detailed Taiwan posts soon!