Travelogue Wifey's Black Book

Our First Family Holiday – Taiwan with Baby V (Part 1)

Travelling to Taiwan with a baby sounds like a new parenting challenge!

Months before we welcomed baby V, we were toying with the idea of travelling after the confinement period. But after she arrived, we couldn’t bear to leave her here in Singapore while we were miles away. Eventually, we decided to bring her along and my parents as a support team. LOL. Proper planning is definitely required especially when bringing a baby overseas.

For a checklist on what and how to pack the luggage, our previous article might help ease those nerves.

We had about 7 days in Taiwan and our route was: Taipei > Taichung > Cing Jing > Taipei, approx. 2 nights at each area.

As first time parents plus first time flying with a baby, we did have several considerations (including eventually bringing my parents along. Oops!), so to new parents in the same shoes: It’s not undoable (is there such a word??)!! We came back in one piece happy! :P

baby Vera travel to taiwan stroller
Baby V making sure that our luggage get checked in!
baby Vera travel to Taiwan at Changi Airport
We tucked into breakfast at Changi Airport while baby V watches on. Before I could finish my sandwich, she started fussing and wanted to nurse. Mummy needs to fuel up first, darling. High Chair Cover from www.NewBabySingapore.com
our first family selfie before boarding the plane to Taiwan with baby V
Excited to board the plane, but first, a family selfie for our 1st trip together :)

Taiwan Travel with Baby Day 1: Singapore – Taipei – Taichung

Beacon Hotel – Feng Jia Night Market

Almost 4 hours later, we arrived at Taipei International Airport, hopped on the shuttle bus headed for the Taipei High Speed Rail (HSR) Main Station (there’s only 1 bus that goes there! Get tickets from the right counter.) where we were due to take our pre-booked train ride to Taichung. Journey to Taichung takes about 30minutes by the High Speed Rail.

We booked the Business Class seats as my parents wanted a more comfy ride. It was definitely more spacious, chairs are bigger (2-seater instead of 3-seater at Economy Class) and drinks (choice of juice, hot tea, coffee, water) and a small cake was served.

Baby V on the Taiwan HSR with my parents
Our cheeky little girl is obviously very excited though she doesn’t get her share of tea, coffee or cake.. oops! Notice the overhead compartment also allows strollers or luggage to be placed. Those roller types will be parked at a luggage area pretty near our seats.

Upon reaching the Taichung station, we headed to the McDonald’s at the station to meet the local driver uncle who was to send us to the hotel. Journey to Beacon Hotel took about 40 minutes but the ride didn’t seem that long as the traffic was pretty smooth in the evening and it was a 7-seater (yay!) so all’s good.

Despite it being our first time travelling to Taiwan with a baby, my energy level shot up instantly upon discovering that Feng Jia Night Market was literally at our doorsteps! REJOICE!! We checked into the room, freshened up baby Vera and scooted out pronto – that explains the lack of pictures of the room… LOL!

Hotel rooms in Taiwan are usually “just right” or sometimes less spacious. With a king-sized bed plonked in the centre, a mini fridge, full height 2-door wardrobe, 42″ LCD TV, toilet amenities with glass-doored partitioned shower area and a study table + chair; we couldn’t ask for more knowing it’s going to be a place to snooze re-energize. Baby cots are available upon request during booking, and the room came equipped when we entered. Only to realize it became a white elephant because baby Vera has been co-sleeping with us at home anyway, what more with a King sized bed now!

The attentive folks at the reception asked if we needed a bathtub too, so do note to request from them if you’re planning to travel to Taiwan with your baby. It was a simple Combi bathtub, good enough but just be careful if the baby is learning to crawl or likes moving around as it does get slippery in there if you’re used to using a bath mat or other accessories for added friction.

Feng Jia Night Market is hailed as a must-go place when visiting Taichung, and prices are presumably cheaper compared to Taipei city. It covers a pretty big area and there were several food stalls with long queues (especially the 大肠包小肠 stall that was just next to the hotel. Hub immediately proclaimed that he was going for it!), and we noticed quite a few strollers being pushed around.

We opted to skip the stroller and simply put Vera into our carrier since it was already night time when we arrived and we weren’t planning to stay out too late. We were glad about this decision because it freed up our hands when we scouting around for snacks and munching them as dinner. With a carrier, it was also easy for me to nurse her on-the-go whenever she needs.

Exploring Feng Jia Market Taichung
Hub loves kong bah bao, so when he saw this, it immediately caught his attention. Choices of fillings such as chicken, pork, beef and sauces such as thai sweet chilli, black pepper, etc.
Bear Paws spotted at Feng Jia Night Market in Taichung.
Bear Paws spotted at Feng Jia Night Market in Taichung.
Daddy and baby V in Taiwan Feng Jia Night Market Taichung
Vera posing too? Or, maybe she just wants a bite as well…
Oyster omelette and kangkong at Feng Jia Night Market with baby
We had Oyster Omelette that came with kangkong. As I’m still nursing, i don’t really take much seafood. Actually, I’ve been cutting down on seafood since pre-pregnancy days and throughout pregnancy due to cholesterol levels. So all that crunchy kangkong was mine!!

The night ended quite early (by our standards of a usual Taiwan trip) as we didn’t wish to overtire Vera and turn her schedule topsy-turvy. Indeed, she snoozed like a log after nursing to sleep – we actually had some proper rest as she slept right through; it’s been a long time! Things were looking rosy on our first holiday with our baby! :D

Taiwan Travel with Baby Day 2:

Local Produce Store – Hong Rui Zhen Sandwich – Miyahara Eye Hospital – Dong Dong Yu Yuan – Xinshe Castle – Mushroom Town – Feng Jia Night Market

We started the day with breakfast at the hotel’s café and baby V had her share of plain porridge from the buffet line. Seeing that we were all eating, she felt left out I suppose. So we put her on the high chair and took turns “entertaining” her while we gobbled ate.

Happy baby on Beacon hotel bed Taichung
“Mummy, I love this bed! First time sleeping through the night in a while.. hehe.. stretching my legs before we head out!”
Breakfast buffet Beacon Hotel Taichung Taiwan
Breakfast spread at Beacon Hotel.
buffet breakfast at Beacon Hotel Taichung
Waking up to breakfast at Beacon Hotel. 1 meal sorted, making it easy when holidaying in Taiwan with baby V.
taiwan with baby breakfast at Beacon Hotel
Don’t forget some salad for fibre in the morning! The breakfast spread at Beacon Hotel seems quite okay :)
coffee jelly for breakfast Beacon Hotel Taichung
Hmmm, coffee jelly for breakfast? Beacon Hotel folks are pretty creative, haha!
family holiday in taiwan with baby
Not too sure why they had to add “edible” in the tag…
family-friendly hotels in Taichung Beacon Hotel
It’s Fried Kway Teow here. Doesn’t look very appetising, huh?
breakfast at Beacon Hotel Taichung taiwan with baby
The usual guys at a regular breakfast buffet spread.
Porridge and waffles breakfast Beacon Hotel
I like the East meets West breakfast choices at the Beacon Hotel in Taichung :)
Happy baby V holiday in Taiwan
Baby V having her brekkie of plain porridge. We brought along these Summerinfant disposable bibs, and they are really handy! $8.90 for 20pcs from Mothercare Singapore.

After breakfast, driver uncle came to pick us at the lobby and we discussed the itinerary for the day. First stop was a store to get the “best Tai Yang Bing (Sun Cakes)” as he proclaims. They were very generous with samples and gave each of us a full piece. I tried them but wasn’t too impressed, so I didn’t get any and I obviously didn’t remember its name either. Oops.

car seat rental in Taiwan for holiday with baby
We rented a baby car seat and baby V attempted to lick the seat belt area (covered by blue hankie) a few times cos it was right at her mouth level.

Along the way to Miyahara Eye Hospital, we stopped by Hong Rui Zhen Sandwich as driver uncle was sharing that it was popular among the locals for its fresh and soft sandwiches. They have only one store in the whole of Taiwan so we bought some to try. Our verdict: tastes soft and fresh but a tad sweet for me.

Hong Rui Zhen bakery in Taichung itinerary
Trying sandwiches from Hong Rui Zhen in Taichung. Have you eaten them before?
Hong Rui Zhen sandwiches Taiwan
What was the verdict for these Hong Rui Zhen sandwiches? Read to find out!

Before we decided to travel to Taiwan with baby V, I did some research on what to see/do at Taichung. Interestingly, Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) came up, and it looks too pretty to miss!

With a unique story proposition like being converted from an eye hospital, and turning it into a spanking new snacks boutique with pretty packaging. They are part of Dawn Cakes, the same team who are famous for pineapple cakes and the works. But at the eye hospital, packaging sells. There’s a sit-down restaurant on the second floor, so if you’re planning for a date or high tea, this can be a nice option too. Let the pictures tell you more!

Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) Taichung family holiday
Look at that building design! Bet you can’t tell what’s in there!
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) taiwan with baby
A popular tourist attraction, Miyahara Eye Hospital sees swarms of tourists daily!
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) place to visit in Taiwan
Vintage meets modern appeal at the Miyahara Eye Hospital. Can you guess what they’re selling?
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) cakes and desserts
WOW! Mooncakes? How pretty are they!
chocolates at Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke)
Pralines? Dark chocolate? Take your pick from all those sweet treat at Miyahara Eye Hospital.
chocolates at Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke)
MORE chocolate for the sweet tooth!
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) Taichung holiday
These pretty tubs at Miyahara Eye Hospital look like skincare products… but are they? Look closer!
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) taiwan souvenir
These make perfect gifts, don’t they? Very smart of the Miyahara Eye Hospital team!
taiwan with baby Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke)
Look at those slabs of chocolate with a variety of flavours! If you’re visiting Taichung, mark this place.
Miyahara Eye Hospital (宮原眼科- Gong Yuan Yan Ke) food in taichung
MORE pretty food, with equally beautiful boxes. Taiwanese are really meticulous when it comes to details!
interior decor at Miyahara Eye Hospital
The grandeur of Miyahara Eye Hospital – decorative fixtures spotted.
Miyahara Eye Hospital Taichung tourist attractions
Are those books at the eye hospital? Have a closer look!
shopping at Miyahara Eye Hospital taiwan
The place looks somewhat like a TCM shop with their multiple drawers.
visit Miyahara Eye Hospital in Taichung shopping
Getting gifts for family and colleagues is easily sorted at the Miyahara Eye Hospital. HA!
Miyahara Eye Hospital gift shopping Taichung
Taiwanese are known for being meticulous – look at those ribbons! Shoppers can choose from these ribbons to have their gifts packed nicely :)

We didn’t get to try the ice cream cos the queue was soooo long!? I read about others raving about their special flavours. But seriously, with what seemed like 40 pax in the queue – no thanks, man, because queues are blah (to me, at least. not very Singaporean, hor? LOL)

tea leaves at Miyahara Eye Hospital
Facing the walkway, this area sells tea leaves in various flavours.
ice cream at Miyahara Eye Hospital
Only managed to snap a shot of the toppings area near the payment point. The ice cream flavours area was crowded with people in the queue and it wasn’t convenient for me to squeeze in, with baby Vera nursing in the carrier.
ice cream shop at Miyahara Eye Hospital
Look for this sign, and you’ll see the ice cream palour in there!
crowd at Miyahara Eye Hospital taiwan with baby
Who says queues are a Singapore thing? Haha! This was why we skipped the ice cream… oh well…
Miyahara Eye Hospital visit taiwan with baby
Those ants were leading the way to a galore of sweetness in Miyahara Eye Hospital! Enjoy the visual feast too :)

Next stop: Xin She Castle (新社古堡). There’s a Lavender Cottage (薰衣草森林) that some tourists recommended too but my mum isn’t too much a fan of flowers and grass (as she claims), so we skipped that.

Along the way to Xin She Castle, we swung by Dong Dong Yu Yuan for yam balls and sweet potato balls that drive uncle was raving about. Seems like there’s only one of this shop too, and apparently popular with the folks in Taichung.

Dong Dong Yu Yuan dessert in Taichung
Looks like Blackball, right? Haha, it was so filling.
what to eat in Taichung holiday
That’s the shop with green signage!

Xin She Castle is at an open space area with a mini man-made waterfall too. But the weather was scorching, so it wasn’t too enjoyable.

Fortunately, I remembered to whip out baby V’s sunblock! Unfortunately, I forgot about myself applying it on myself, so I had to dig out the sunblock we bought from Watsons’ the day before. It was much cheaper to buy it from Taiwan, especially since it’s Summer, hence, most sunblocks/sunscreens/anti-UV/BB creams/CC creams and whatnots were on sale! Happy bee! :P

Baby V’s Mustela sun protection cream was easy to spread and didn’t leave unsightly white patches on her skin. It didn’t really feel sticky too, so that was a good thing!

For adults (okay, basically I was the only one who bothered to apply sunblock), Biore Super UV Milk was light on the body’s skin, spreads easily due to its watery nature and seems to turn slightly powdery, without a sense of stickiness. On my face, Aqualabel UV Milk (bought from Watsons Singapore) was watery and spreads with no fuss, but it seemed to give me a tinge of white on my face/pearly effect, so it made me look whiter according to Hub.

sunscreen and sunblock for kids and adults singapore taiwan
For mummy: On my face, Shiseido Aqualabel White Protect UV Milk SPF 30 PA++ and on my body, Biore UV Super UV Milk SPF 48 PA+++, bought in Taiwan for almost half the price in Singapore cos of their summer sale! For baby V: Mustela Bebe/Enfant SPF 50 Very High Protection, bought at Takashimaya. Baby V has eczema so we try to take precaution, especially for the affected areas.

We toured the area in under an hour and took some pictures. Skip the gift store – the items are from different parts of the world and tagged with high prices. The entrance ticket comes with vouchers to offset your purchase (I think it was TWD$100?) but nothing was priced at that value and we couldn’t find anything worth buying so we walked out in 5mins.

Along the drive to our next destination, driver uncle mentioned that his 17-year-old daughter was holidaying in Singapore for the first time, with her friend. It was her first overseas trip etc… so we were casually chatting away. Until later, we understood why…

our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
That hat didn’t stay on her for very long… lol.. Oh and we bought it from Mothercare before our trip. After we returned, we saw it on a 50% discount! Sad.
our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
Baby V loves taking selfies! :D
our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
WOW, for the first time I actually spot a V-face, Vera! :P
our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
The man slave with the diaper bag AND baby! He’s strongggg! What would I be without him? *puss in boots eyes*
our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
A family photo snapped at Xin She Castle for keeps!
Xin She Castle taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
That scenic view and peaceful environment were just… calming…
Xin She Castle in taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
Enjoying the serenity of Xin She Castle at the lake.
Swans at Xin She Castle taiwan with baby
Beautiful swans were also spotted idling in the calm lake at Xin She Castle.

It was nearing noon, so driver uncle said that he would bring us to dine at their popular mushroom eateries. Apparently, that whole stretch of road houses various restaurants that focus on mushrooms. Interesting to know, because many of them have their own mushroomy farms so it’s basically hort (hot, geddit, geddit??) off the soil!

We were a tad disappointed with the place he took us to, as it wasn’t like anything he had described. We had a steamboat of mushrooms and veggies, stir-fried veggies and meat. Soup-based tasted herbal but slightly bland. Excuse the lack of pictures here, but I guess you can check out that stretch for many mushroom dining places.

My colleague went to an indoor one and she said the food was good. Ours was a little rundown, it was outdoors, and the weather was rather hot, plus steamboat smoke in our faces! Haha, what were we thinking?!

At this juncture, drive uncle told us that his daughter just rang him and that she was arriving in Taipei soon but didn’t know how to get home from the Taichung airport (?!) so driver uncle needed to pick her from the airport instead.

Thus, he pre-arranged for another driver to send us around. As ours was a 7-seater, we asked him if it’d be the same type of vehicle. Well, after our meal, the other driver came and it was a regular 4-passenger yellow cab! So we squeezed our barang barangs in the boot and ended up like sardines with 3 adults sitting at the back and a baby. Gosh! Oh well, I mean, what can we say or do, right?

mushroom steamboat at Taichung taiwan with baby
Dad entertaining Vera at the mushroom place we dined at.
our first holiday to taiwan with baby singapore mum blogger
Back to Beacon Hotel to shower and freshen up, to get ready to hit Feng Jia Night Market again! HA!

We spoke with this stand-in driver uncle that we wanted to go shopping elsewhere apart from Feng Jia Night Market, so he brought us to another area for shopping. I can’t recall the name, but it’s those typical night market format.

Unfortunately, it started pouring just when we started shopping. The grounds were wet and shelter was limited. The men (my dad and the hub) went to purchase some umbrellas so we walked for another half an hour or so while waiting gingerly for the rain to cease. It started to get heavier, so we decided to call for the driver uncle to pick us up, and we headed back to the hotel to clean up as well as bathe baby Vera before making our way to Feng Jia Night Market for our second round of shopping plus tummy fillers!

By now, you’d realised that our holiday in Taiwan with baby V was planned around having her well-rested too :)

feng jia night market beer taiwan with baby
Barely crossing the road from our hotel to get to Feng JIa Night Market, someone’s eyelids got too heavy and she promptly fell asleep. Poor daddy had to stand while eating.
Taiwan sausage at Feng Jia Night Market food
大肠包小肠 – Taiwan sausage wrapped in glutinous rice…. wasn’t that fantastic, surprisly the queue is never-ending but Hub says it’s because the stall owners took their own sweet time to prepare each other. Oh well!
food at Feng Jia Night Market family holiday
Having a sit-down dinner at Feng Jia Night Market was a good choice. Legs get to rest!
food at Feng Jia Night Market family holiday
Having my dose of western food at Feng Jia Night market. WHAT?!
food at Feng Jia Night Market family holiday
How about some black pepper meat on a hot plate for dinner?
food at Feng Jia Night Market family holiday
Dad’s dinner choice…
family holiday in taiwan with baby
Poor daddy, he had to eat while standing cos baby V fell asleep in the carrier >.<
San You Ding Mei Shi Cha Ting in Taichung
San You Ding Mei Shi Cha Ting – this was where we had dinner in Taichung. A little rowdy but at least our family could sit and rest while eating.
beef snacks at taichung night market
Any room for night market snacks? YES!

Part 2 of our Taiwan holiday itinerary can be found here.

Taiwan travel with baby Day 3:  

Rainbow Village – Cultural Village – King Garden – Paper Dome –  Feeling 18deg Cafe – Cing Jing (Star Villa)

The day started with breakfast at the hotel again, and we were kinda sad as it was pretty much the same food offered. Nonetheless, after a quick breakfast, we hopped onto our 7-seater (our actual driver+car came back! LOL) and started to plan the day with him.

First stop, Rainbow Village (台中彩虹眷村), where we saw vibrant, colourful walls adorned with illustrations. These murals were done by a 90-year old uncle fondly known as Grandpa Rainbow (彩虹爺爺), who was present at the site for autographs too! He beautified the walls in a bid to save the area from redevelopment and successfully turned it into a talking point and a popular must-visit attraction for tourists and locals alike.

There was also a street performer – Rainbow Iron Man – who sang Chinese songs under the scorching Sun. The weather was a killer, seriously but we managed to get some postcards as souvenirs too.

rainbow village in taichung rainbow ironman
Hi, Rainbow Iron Man! Was a tad embarrassed to be in this position with baby Vera undercover… but, oh well…
grandpa rainbow at taichung taiwan with baby
The star of Rainbow Village! Autographs with purchase of memorabilia.

We quickly headed back to the car for aircon while baby Vera was already in dreamland! And got ready to drive to the Cultural Village.

cultural village near taichung
This look like a modern take on someplace retro!

As its name suggests, it was all things cultural there. Traditional toys and games, exhibits, food stalls, food variety and presentation style etc were in sync.

We explored Carton King, one of the places to visit when you’re in Taichung. Also, we were told that there were no admission charges here as opposed to the store at Cing Jing. To be fair, this store was bigger than the Carton King at Cing Jing.

food at cultural village taichung
Our minced pork noodles and rice for lunch!

Lunch was a meal of minced meat noodles (not the same as Bah Chor Mee, okay!) and my legs were getting tired from all the walking. Had to nurse and eat at the same time, which was often done during the trip. Haha, multi-tasking takes on a new level with our first family holiday to Taiwan with a baby! :P

baby vera at honey museum taichung
She obviously ignored the sign… LOL!
baby V at Carton King Taichung holiday
Was tricky trying to get the paper cap to stay on her head.. LOL! This paper hat won’t get wet!
functional paper bags at Carton King taichung
Yup, these are REAL paper bags! Able to withstand weight, water and has functional properties such as inner pockets, zips, velcros to boot! Hub and I couldn’t resist, so we got ourselves one each. Can you guess which bags we bought? :P
paper musical toys taiwan carton king
Gifts for the home or friends? Carton King amazes with its creative use of paper and carton.
carton telephone at carton king taichung
What’s that??
carton giraffe at carton king taichung
Look at that amazing carton-made art piece? How creative!
carton rocking horses shopping in taichung
THIS big carton horse can take the weight of an adult!
carton letter box in taiwan
“You’ve got mail!” That’s a letterbox made of carton!
fish tank at carton king
Yes, you’re looking at a fish tank there!
food at cultural village taichung
Time to check out the Taiwan local cultural food!
what to see at cultural village taichung
Exploring the cultural village in Taichung…
what to see at cultural village taichung
Look ma, there’s a train here!
visitors at cultural village taichung
The place was pretty big, but it was bustling at the food areas.
chicks at cultural village taichung
Look! There were even chicks spotted here.
cultural village taichung rabbits holiday
And, rabbits too! A bite of kampung living to relive those culture, perhaps?
local food at cultural village taichung
The Taiwanese really love yam!
candied treats cultural village food
Sticky candied treats, for you? Evokes a sense of nostalgia, for sure.
cultural village taichung vintage car
Is there my new ride? HAHA just kidding!
exhibition cultural village taichung
Stepping into the exhibition area with more doses of cultural throwbacks.
cultural village taichung family holiday
Step into a space of vintage memories!
vintage items cultural village
These furniture and brick bracks are from the yesteryears…
vintage toys at cultural village
WOW! Those vintage vehicles! Have you played with them before?
chinese cultural at taichung
Haha all those cartoons, comics and popular characters! Bet you can recognise them too, right?
things to buy at cultural village taichung
Interesting washi tapes sold here too! Kinda random, but fits the theme here, I suppose!
games at cultural village taichung
This is apparently TIKAM TIKAM, a childhood game we have it at the mama shops! I’ve never played before, but my husband did when he was a child.
toys at cultural village taiwan holiday
These tin robots are too cute! Simple unwind and they move too!
things to do in taichung cultural village
Colourful figurines adorn this area and visitors snagging a photo moment too.
performances at taichung cultural village
Then, street performers invaded the area with loud music and a troupe of dancers and actors!
family travel itinerary in taichung
This makes an interesting place to add in your holiday itinerary when visiting Taiwan.

Then, we made our way to King Garden (元首館), where an English-looking establishment with giant chess pieces and a horse carriage greeted us. Several visitors were posing with these props for photo moments, and many others were streaming into the building.

With the scorching weather in Taichung when we visited, being indoors was the best bet. Inside, it was akin to stepping into the confectionary section of a department store – displays of snacks such as their local favourites of pineapple cakes and tea were sitting on the shelves. There was even a bakery and that explained the crusty aroma of fresh bakes. The hub couldn’t resist it and we bought some bread to share with the family.

Mum’s attention was caught by a lady selling nougats. These came in multiple flavours from sweet to savoury, even soft or hard types too. Mum sampled a couple of flavours and ended up buy over a dozen sticks! Baby V was also in a jovial mood, flashing cheeky smiles when I whipped out my mobile :P

chinese pastries in taiwan holiday
At King Garden, All kinds of famous Chinese pastries, freshly baked!
visit King Garden Taichung travel with baby vera
Daddy and baby snaps a selfie while shopping at King Garden, Taichung :)
things to eat and buy at king garden taichung
Baby V having fun with the 2 important men her life even while holidaying <3
dustbins at king garden taichung holiday
Taiwanese are known for their earth-friendly ways and recycling efforts. This dustbin says it too :)
giant storybooks at king garden outdoors
Step outside and into the mystical world of stories! Huge storybooks await you for photo moments!
king garden sightseeing travel with kids
Make a stop at King Garden to delight in the local treats indoors, while marrying your senses with the European flavours in its architecture and external decoration.

After getting some food for my colleagues, we left to make our way to Paper Dome (紙教堂).

Driver uncle recommended this place as it held memories of a major earthquake that destroyed the actual church in Kobe. Shigeru Ban, an internationally known Japanese architect, came up with an idea to recreate the temporary church using only paper (cardboard tubes). It has since been transported over to Taichung, sitting in a garden-like area which is opened to the public. NT$100/pax fee applies which can be used to offset purchases in the small shops/stalls within the area.

Tip: In fact, you can simply spend that NT$100 value like money, without any minimum purchase. We got some cute hair clips for baby Vera and hand-sketched postcards from the local folks there from the shops deeper in the area. Skip the first shop you see, unless you’d like to get a drink.

Paper Dome taichung travel with kids
Look out for this sign and enter from here to head towards the Paper Dome. Entrance might seem confusing for some.
Colourful fixtures at paper dome taichung family holiday
Spot these colourful fixtures along the way into the Paper Dome area.
shops at paper dome taichung
I was so tempted to bring these owl cushions home!!!
explore paper dome taichung holiday
Inside the church….. everything made out of paper!

By then, it was around early evening, so we started to drive towards Cing Jing; estimated to take about 2 hours or so on a direct trip.

Before embarking on the route, driver uncle raved about a coffee place that was very popular in Taichung. He asked if we take coffee, and it was a unanimous “yes!” from us. LOL.

The best thing was, everyone gets to drink for free! Why is that? Basically, the FREE coffee and tea serve as crowd pullers (or lost leaders in the business sense), and the real deal comes from the sale of chocolates and cakes. In fact, Feeling 18 deg Café (18巧克力工房) was generous with their cake samples too.

The beat the scorching evening sun, some folks (including us!) “hid” at the bakery to stay in the air-conditioned area. If your skin is thick, you can keep grabbing their cake samples to go along with your free cup of drink. And surprise, surprise! The queue to purchase chocolates was snaking long too! The entire style of the place is clean, minimalist and pretty Japanese-inspired too.

Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) bakery
That’s the shopfront of the bakery.
free coffee at Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) taichung
The queue for coffee or tea moves fast, luckily.
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) Taiwan
The crowd at the chocolate area. There is indoor seating for those dining in.
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) free coffee
Choose your FREE coffee at Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房)!
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) high mountain tea taichung
How about some ‘High Mountain Tea’?
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) bakery
Fancy some fresh bakes from the bakery? This looks just like that Japanese Juchheim’s Baumkuchen cake sold at Takashimaya Singapore, doesn’t it?
shops near Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房)
Exploring the other food displays near Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房).
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) bakery
Bakers and service crew preparing free cake samples for visitors.
desserts at Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) taichung
Other desserts served at Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) in Taichung.
what to eat at Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房)
Despite the free coffee on the other side, there was also a queue to purchase food and drinks at the other side of the road.
Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房) ice cream
The buzzing crowd around the cafe and more desserts!
other food kiosks near Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房)
Other food kiosks near Feeling 18 deg Café (18度巧克力工房).

After we finished our drinks, we hopped onto the van to proceed with our drive to Cing Jing.

Our accommodation for the night was Star Villa at Cing Jing, and the town is known not to have any nightlife. Hence, before we got banished up in the highlands, driver uncle arranged for our dinner near the hotel.

dinner near Cing Jing taiwan with kids
Baby V: “Gong Gong, I want what you’re having too!”
taiwan with kids singapore family blogger
We fed her some rice with water (which she rejected after a few spoons of it) and eagerly fed herself baby biscuits.
dinner near cingjing family holiday
Roasted chicken and veggies – a balanced dinner, I must say! haha
singapore family holiday in cingjing
Typical Chinese dinner with soup and rice to go along :) Homely dishes at this Taiwanese place.
steamed fish dinner near cingjing holiday
Steamed fish for dinner!

My legs started to feel the chilling wind during dinner.

After devouring homecooked local fare to fill our tummies, we popped over to a nearby 7-11 for food or drinks we might need. The men got some alcohol and instant noodles, and off to our mountain home!

Mind you, since Star Villa was on high grounds, lots of climbing expected as there are no lifts. Parents travelling with babies and young children might want to request for rooms on the first level (ours was on 3rd and superbly big, and my parents took the 4th floor) but those rooms might be the smaller ones. You will need to lug PLENTY of things: luggage, stroller, diaper bag – basically, pre-empt your hubby on the impending workout which is part and parcel of travelling with your baby, alright? Keeps him warm, anyway :P

Vera on hotel bed Star Vista Cingjing travel with baby
Someone couldn’t wait to practice crawling on the Super King sized bed!
bathroom of hotel room Star Vista Cingjing travel with baby
Toilet was spacious, housing a bathtub, and a standing area for bath beside the toilet bowl.
spacious room at Star Vista Cingjing travel with baby
The huge space towards the balcony and wardrobe. There’s even a round table as well. No need for aircon since it’s cool up here in the Cingjing highlands.

After checking in and cleaning up baby Vera, we took turns to shower and got ready for a good rest in the uber big bed!

Oh, not forgetting to eat some peaches that we bought along the journey up. Taiwan peaches are famed for being juicy and sweet, but they spoil easily so buy what you can finish so food is not wasted. Off dreamland in the cold mountains! :)

We toured Cing Jing the next day, and made an amazing discovery which many do not know of yet! Look out for the next article as we share our family experience exploring Taiwan with our baby – Baby V’s First Trip – Taiwan Escapade (Part 2)!

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39 comments

  1. Hi, came across your blog post and liked the trip details blogged by you. Oh, do you also mind sharing on the contacts of the 7-seater car driver? Will be heading to Taiwan in 2 weeks time with 3 toddlers.
    Thanks much! :)

    1. Hello Alicia, wow 3 toddlers?! No mean feat! Sure, maybe you can drop me an email and I’ll pass his contact details over. Might not be nice to post up publicly. Haha.. cheers and thank you for reading! :)

      1. Hi, would u mind sharing wif me the contact details n the pricing of the driver too if u could still remember. N also noticed that there’s this high chair cover u r using for Vera where did u get it frm?
        Appreciate yo kind advice.
        Thks

      2. Hello Lynn! Do drop me an email at thehootingpost(at)gmail.com and I’ll be happy to send u his contact :) The high chair cover was from NewBabySingapore and it comes in different colours too – hope this helps! Have a great day! :)

    1. Haha oh dear, looked like he kena tekan by me right?? LOL!;We took turns to carry either that crazy bag or kangaroo our junior and my shoulders and back were breaking after that :( Trying hard to explain… hahaha

  2. Hi babe, I could not find your email contact. May i trouble you to drop me an email instead for the driver contact and its pricing scheme? Thank you very much! Baby V is fluffy cute!! :D

    By the way, what are the major problems you have encountered when bringing an infant on an overseas trip? Crankiness or meal feed issues? Am quite worried that our itinerary will be super delayed, having us to deal with to the 3 toddlers niece and nephews (all below age of 2) along the way.

    1. Hello Alicia! Sure, I’ll email u his contacts. Have deleted yr email add to avoid bots or phishing :) Am on the plane now for our next trip hehe.. send you a note when I get wifi later :) have a good weekend ahead!! :)

    2. Hello Alicia!

      We’ve just gotten back from Penang, apologies for the delayed email reply! Do check your mailbox and hope you have fun in Taiwan too! Hear from you again :)

  3. Hi,

    Your blog is a great tip for me. Will be travelling with my lo soon to Taiwan. Is it okay for you to share the contacts of the 7-seater car driver and the price? TIA

    1. Hello Del!
      We boiled water in the hotel to sterilize the utensils when we got back at night. It helps that the hotel has an electric kettle. Alternatively, sterilizing tablets can be used as well. They can be purchased at the main baby stuff shops :)

  4. Hi, im planning to bring my 10 mth old to taiwan soon. Thanks for your blog cos it’s our first time travelling with a baby.

    May i ask you for the driver’s contacts and pricing? Is he reliable?

    On average for your itinerary, did you have to rush? What time you left hotel in the morning usually? Im planning for a leisure one but would also like to go as many places as possible.

    Also, does starvilla provide baby cot? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kate, great to know our tips have come in useful for your upcoming trip :)
      Well, the main reasons we didn’t really like about the driver was when he suddenly told us that he had to pick his daughter and had to transfer us to another driver. He mentioned the new ride would fit us comfortably just like what we booked but along came a taxi! Not sure if we should say it was quite a rude shock. To make matters worse, he actually asked my hubs to help him pass some items to his I-don’t-know-who in Singapore! So, we were taken aback at this strange request from… well, pretty much a stranger! That was our experience then, but if you’d still like to have his contact, do drop me a note at thehootingpost@gmail.com, and i’d be happy to send over :)

      As for the itinerary, we left it rather free and easy, and ad-hoc. So we pretty much took our time, leaving the hotel only at 10plus or 11am. Which areas will you be visiting? With your tot, it might be good to take it slow and easy, especially since there will be other stuff to lug around e.g. stroller/carrier, diaper bag etc.

      Star Villa was lovely, not to mention the awesome weather up there! :D We had a super king bed and co-slept and the room was huge, but you might need to ask if they do provide a baby cot. Can’t recall why we didn’t have one in our room – either they didn’t have, or my hubs just decided we should all co-sleep, since we do that at home anyway. And the rest of the cots that we requested for in other hotels ended up as white elephants. Haha!

      Hope this was helpful. Happy planning! :)

      1. Thanks for your reply! I will be visiting mainly Taichung and cingjing for 7 nights. Will not venture out too far because will be our first time overseas. I’ll try and get another driver then… :) I would follow you to stay at beacon hotel, but hopefully can get baby cot in one of the hotels in Cingjing. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Either,

      We got it from the driver whom was hired for the trip. They would usually be able to provide upon request at a fee. They only had front facing though. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi Hooter,
    Think we will be in the same situation as you, We hv 5 of us with my hub and me, my 2 kids and my mum. We are skipping all the Taishung place (quite a pity) and will head CJ Sta Villa immediately after Scoot into TaoY and HSR to TC. After which we are at a lost how to get there (from TC HSR to CJ Star Villa). I was thinking of using a 7 seaters. Heard that the uncle driver you are using is no good? How much he charge actually? Was thinking of going to somewhere along TC before heading to CJ (18 deg / England castle).

    What I think he mentioned his daughter call him (uncle driver) is not true, why out of a sudden during your 2 days his daughter call when his father is working. Anyway idk.

    Do you mind dating his name and contact?

    Thanks

    1. Hello Apple!
      Sounds like a fun holiday coming up for you!
      Well we had the uncle driver for our stay in TC only as the other areas are easily accessible in a way. He was good in suggesting different places to go, I’d say. And yeah! We couldn’t quite figure out why he had to pick his daughter suddenly by citing that she doesn’t know her way from airport to home. Strange that she actually went overseas on her own then. Lol. That was the main less positive part of the service. And weirdly asking us to bring things back to SG to pass to his friend… oh well.

      The trip will be fun! 7 seater makes a more comfortable ride esp with kids and older folks plus the getting on and off bit :) When are you planning to go?

      If you’re still keen to have his contact details, i can email you separately :) Have a great week!

  6. Hi, we are planning to go Taichung too with 2 babies on hand. hahaha
    Could you share your driver contact with me?

  7. hihi! thank you for your interesting post on your trip to Taiwan with you baby! Find it especially helpful cos we will be travelling there with my 8 month old and staying in the same hotel too. but been worried about the long ride there.. 4 hr 30 min plane ride, 20 min shuttle bus, 30 mins HSR and 40 min car ride. was it ok for your baby girl? you know how 8 months old are very kaypoh and cannot sit still now.

    1. Hello Wendy! Thank you for dropping by :)
      Hehe, yup i totally understand your concerns for the seemingly long journey. But no to worry, it was actually pretty do-able! We put her in the stroller/carrier when we’re moving around. Once seated down in the plane, bus, train or car, we put her on our laps and she was pretty happy! Do keep water and snacks with you, as well as your baby’s fave toys. That would be helpful to keep them entertained :P Hope this helps, and do tell us how it goes!

  8. Hi Alicia, your post is really interesting. I’m heading to Taiwan this Oct and would like to get from you the contact of the driver. Also where did you rent the baby car seat? Would like to make sure LO is safely strapped in the car. Thank you so much!

    1. Hello Angie, thank you for dropping by! I hope the message was meant for me, as I’m not Alicia.. Hehe.. The car seat was provided by the driver as we had requested for it. It’s front facing though, as they only had this. Sure, do drop me an email and I’ll be glad to share with you his contact :) Cheers!

      1. Hi Hooter, so sorry for the wrong name! I have just dropped you an email and thanks for your help and advice!!! :)

  9. Hello! Love all your pictures of your little cutie! She’s probably not so little anymore! I will be travelling to Taiwan in Dec from California with my 1 year old. Did you bring your own stroller? What was most helpful during your trip? It will only be my husband and me. Thank you!

    1. Hello Liezi! Thank you for swinging by to read our Taiwan holiday adventures with a baby! Haha you’re right, she’s now an active 3 year old! ;) Time flies! Yes, we brought along the stroller although she’s quite an anti-stroller child. Most of the time she was in the carrier or in our arms. If ure planning a fair bit of walking and exploration, the carrier comes in handy especially at night markets where it’s crowded. The stroller doubled up to hold our shopping bags and diaper bag! :p Hmmm, I’d say staying positive during the trip makes any challenges a better experience. Things may not go completely as planned, but it’s okay. Chill and enjoy the family time, and take loads of photos too! It’s cold in Dec, so do keep warm too! Have fun and look forward to hear about your trip! :)

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