Saturday, March 10, 2018

Taiwan With Kids: Taichung 臺中

Zong She Flower Market @ Taichung

Ok, to be fair, this trip was a really leisurely trip because I only brought along one kid, Khye.
Initially, this trip was supposed to be just mum, sis & I, but we decided to bring Khye along at the last minute so that hubby doesn't need to take care of all 3, and also Khye has school holidays but Shern still has school.

And so this is the first blog of our Taiwan trip Nov last year.
Let's start of with Taichung as this was our first destination upon reaching Taoyuan International Airport.

Actually Khye was very happy to be travelling with me as he said "Finally, I get to sit with mummy!"
Hearing that really made my heart ached. Because usually baby Vern would be the one sitting with me while hubs will manage the older kids when we travel.
Only then I realized that my older kids also needed babying sometimes.

So I was pretty happy to be able to bond with Khye for this Taiwan trip!
Look how happy was Khye while we waited to board at Penang International Airport.

The four of us...ready for our flight to Taipei via Cathay Pacific Airline!

And this fella is a champion. He didn't nap at all in the plane. He was doing Movie Marathon and once out of the plane for transit, he napped in the stroller. #thankgoodnesswebroughtstrolleralong
This happened both times even on the flight home.
Need to jot it down so would remember this. :)


Upon reaching Taoyuan International Airport, we went to collect our Pocket Wifi and then went straight to buy bus tickets to catch the Ubus #1623 to Taichung.
It was NTD$170 for child and NTD$280 for adults.

Khye happy to be sitting next to me again!
It took us slightly more than 2 hours to reach Taichung. Khye did not nap at all and was singing softly and entertaining himself throughout the bus ride. He was a good boy.

We stopped at Zhaoma station and then took a cab to our hotel - Fengjia Green Hotel which was just about 5 mins ride away.
I forgot to take a pic of our room but it was really clean. We stayed in the Standard Quadruple Room and although small but it was enough for our 1 night stay. We even enjoyed 20% for Early Birds. 

Yes, the struggle is real for breastfeeding mum.
It was a long time since I last pumped my milk but since Vern was not with me, I had to pump to release engorgement.
And I was also surprised that I can still get 4+ oz.
Anyway, my hope to wean him off while I was gone failed. Vern was smart and could still remember and asked for "nen-nen" once he saw me again! :)


After shower, we marched on and walked about 5 minutes to the Fengjia Night Market.
That was the reason we stayed in this hotel as that was our only itinerary for the night!


The next morning, our driver greeted us in front of our hotel. 
His name is Albert, and he was the driver for our day in Taichung.

First stop was Rainbow Village. 
4 very energetic tourists on the entrance of the Rainbow Village. ;)

Khye saw the playground and he couldn't resist taking a slide down and I, of course couldn't say No to him. Look at how happy he was!

And so this is Rainbow Village.
I would say it is nothing much, just painted houses of a tiny village. What is worth noting though is that this is a one-man show.

Mr. Huang, an old veteran soldier started painting his old and dying "veterans village" with vibrant colours and then it got caught on.
So what you see here is actually done by this one man, which they called him Rainbow Grandpa. We saw him sitting down as the many tourists visit his house and his village.

If you want, you can finish this in less than 1/2 hour but we lingered on as we had fun looking at the paintings and taking many photos as usual.


One thing to note. It was fun having Albert with us because he helped us take many photos of the 4 of us.


There was a place for stamping and Khye gleefully stamped all in his "sketch book".

Khye holding his stamped Sketch book and smiling gleefully.

I think we left the place maybe 1 hour later.
Then Albert brought us to have some local brunch - nice and cheap. 


Next up was Miyahara.
This was a short stop as we wanted to just browsed through the place and to get a feel of the place. 

Miyahara was originally an ophthalmic hospital founded by Dr. Miyahara Takekuma during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.
Due to the earthquake and strong typhoon, the building structure was partially damaged, but it was then restored and it now sells boutique chocolates and pineapple cakes etc.

This is the entrance of the Miyahara. 

Upon entering, I was really amazed by the grand decoration of the whole place.
As it was near Christmas, the whole place was done up in Christmas theme.
This reindeer could move, I kid you not!

Everything they sell there, be it cookies, or tarts or chocolates, they are beautifully and uniquely package.
Let's see some of the packaging!

See, some are packaged like a novel collection. Or some are like books.

The place is full of deco and yet you won't find it too messy. It's really beautiful and has got a vintage grandness feel to it.

Khye standing in front of the cabinet full of drawers which shows you the sign of how it used to be an ophthalmic hospital.

Now, let me reveal the reason why we came all the way to this Miyahara - it was because of this. 
Yes, there were 18 types of Chocolate Ice-Creams using chocolates from various origins. 
My sis & I being chocolate lovers couldn't resist this and that was the main reason we could not miss Miyahara. ;)

There are also an equal number of tea ice cream flavours, mostly Chinese teas and tea blends and also other fruit flavours.
We were spoilt for choices really.


We got ourselves this in the end. 1 tea flavour and 2 chocolate flavours. 
To tell the truth, it tasted ok. haha. 


Next stop was to the Carton King Creative Park.
This was actually not in our plan. We initially wanted to visit Xinshe Castle but then this was not along the way and Albert told us this Carton King is bigger than the one in Cingjing and that it is nice for kids, so we decided to visit. And we had no regrets.

Everything here is made from corrugated paper - from displays and table and chairs, to the plates and utensils etc.
First stop, a photo with this erm...Santa.

There were landmarks all around the world from the Windmill to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and even the Eiffel Tower. All made from corrugated paper/cardboard!

Khye riding a black stallion. See the pink slide behind.
I think Khye sat like 20 rounds and refused to leave haha. 

Here is a short clip of him coming down the slide.

There were many simple games to play.
This is simple Pinball game made from carton. And this is Rubber Band Pistol Shooting Challenge!

The whole place is pretty nice actually.

The Bees area. Khye and Albert koko. ;)

Mushroom town.

Me with Taipei 101. 

Khye found another slide from the souvenir shop to the mushroom world.
It really was an interactive and interesting park.

Ringing the bell.

There was also a train made entirely of carton that was moving around the park. Khye was looking for the station the whole time and eventually found it. It was near the entrance actually.

Paris' Arc De Triomphe.

There was this "hidden" path on top of the park (ok, this is not made of carton but steel) and we walked on top of the park for a different kinda view. 

Lastly, we visited the Souvenir shop before we left as our tickets had a side stub there which has value NTD$40 each if not mistaken to be spent inside the shop.

We ended up exchanging this to bring home...Khye chose it!

Albert brought us to this Taiwanese Dessert shop nearby Carton King. 
We ate some deep fried mushrooms with this Taro/Beans/Sweet Potato dessert before we headed to the last destination of the day. 


Last stop of the day was to this Zhong She Flower Market.
We paid NTD$120 for adults and NTD$60 for child.

Needless to say, flowers were aplenty here. 

Spot us and the dwarfs. 

This was taken when Khye was still in a good mood.
In actual, he fell asleep in the car on the ride here and when we woke him up he was a little grumpy.

This was his grumpy face and after this he decided that he didn't wanna take photos with anyone except for Mummy "_"

And so there were only photos of the 2 of us or without him but no more 4 of us. Haha.

Yellow flowers.

Huge sunflowers as big as my head!
Love the mountain behind us!

This is a sea of pink and reds and purples. Lovely indeed!

Look at the gorgeous mountain behind the beds of flowers.

We tried doing a jump pose!

Khye with mummy :P

A rare selfie of just me.

Ooohh and the lovely purple lavenders.....

The pond view here looks so peaceful and serene. 

We rested here awhile and bought some fish food for Khye to feed the fishes.

This was taken when the sun was about to set.

After about 1 hour, Khye got happier and decided that he now wanted to take photos with everybody! :) So 4 of us again. 

Erm.....photographer cacat as we were off centre haha.

We left the place as the sun was setting.
Albert drove us in the comfort of his car and we set off to our accommodation of the night at Cingjing.
I would like to add that Albert is a careful driver. He drives steadily and although the roads up the Cinjing mountain were windy, I din't feel anything at all.

We stopped at the mid of the mountain for some local fare and it was tasty and good.
Their famous chicken.
And let me tell you this. This plain looking cabbages were the sweetest and best I've ever tasted. Serious.

After our very late dinner, he dropped us off to our accommodation in Cingjing.
Long but happy day.

Our driver in Taichung, Albert is very much recommended.
He communicates well with us and was polite and sensitive to our needs. We would definitely hire him again if we were to go to Taiwan. 
Below are his details.
He speaks and writes decent English which is hard to find in Taiwan. :)

+886 970 568 797
Toyota Wish