Thursday, June 13, 2019

Things to Do In Taipei with Kids + Tips

We used to travel once or twice a year.  Then when Kyle came along, we skipped going out on out of country trips for the past 4  years.  Then, when we took a plunge last year to a very short Hong Kong trip as Kyle was into Disney characters back then, we realized: "Hey, we can finally travel as a family again!"  

Kyle was amazingly obedient during our Hong Kong trip so this year, after a crazy start of a year and with Kyle's school break in mind, it was late at night when I told Mr. AMW: "Let's go on a trip!  Let's do this!"  With only a week or so planning, we originally wanted Singapore but the heat and humid made us go for Taipei (still hot, at least not as humid!)  

But what to do in Taipei?  That's the first question we had in mind.  I've been to Taipei 15 years ago and Mr. AMW went with his schoolmates for a month-long TAIWAN tour 20 years ago.  I knew we had to go back and refresh our memories on how Taiwan looks like nowadays.

When I searched for Kid-friendly places, I was surprised how Taiwan is actually a kid-friendly country that no one really talks about!  They have their own version of Disneyland called Leofoo Theme Park.  They have their own Ocean Park in Beitou, they have their own Space Museum and a whole lot more!

That excites us so we finally booked a date and time flew by pretty quickly.  We didn't even purchased any tourist pass as we just want to go with the flow and see how Kyle would react to these sites!  And the entrance aren't expensive anyways so this is another alternative for moms and dads who want to bring their kids to a kid-friendly country!  THIS IS IT!  Are you ready?

Taipei Children's Amusement Park
Price: 60NT (kids below 7 yrs old goes in for free!), a deposit of at least 100NT is needed and refunded amount will be given back before 5:00pm
Address: No. 55, Section 5, Chengde Road, Shillin District, Taipei City
How to Get There: MRT to Jiantan Station or Shilin Station and make transfers on a shuttle bus.
Opening hours: 
Tip: Since we booked a hotel at ZhongShan district which is just 2 stations away from Shilin Station, we've decided to take a cab going there since it costs around 200NT only (less than Php400.00 one way).  We want to reserve our energy for fun playing inside the park!  If you live far from the park, take an MRT station to Shilin station and take a cab from there, it will be way cheaper!

This amusement park includes a brand new Ferries Wheel which you won't miss!  There's also Bumper Cars, Ocean Carousel (musical carriage), Dancing Fly (dragon boat), Wave Swinger, Monorail and Spinning Tea cups, Roller Coaster, Crazy Bus, Drop Tower, Pirate Ship, Telecombat and Spinning Chairs.

 Kyle isn't into riding kiddie rides but he just enjoys watching.  So we made sure to take a stroller with us so he can just relax and look around and check out places he wants to enjoy or stay.

Kyle enjoyed the Sand area the most.  Keep in mind to bring extra shirts and shorts and loads of towels and let him get dirty!  There is a washing area on the side so we can easily wash his hands and feet and change him back to clean clothes!

Comes the rainy season, it is also very important to bring in umbrella, raincoats and hat.  If you missed them, don't worry, there are many shops inside and we even purchased a sand pail for him to play with!

Hungry?  There are a couple of restaurants to eat, we dined at Burger King just because that was the closest restaurant we saw when lunch time came!

The place can be enjoyed for half a day or full day depending on your kids if they love to ride all the rides available inside.  We only took half day here as Kyle wanted to explore this next one.....

Taipei Astronomical Museum
Price: Exhibit Hall (Adult 40NT, Child 20NT), IMAX Theater (Adult 100NT, Child 50NT), 3D Theater (Adult 100NT, Child 50NT), Cosmic Adventure (70NT for Adults and Kids alike)
Address: No.363 Jihe RoadTaipei 11160, Taiwan
How to Get There: Near R Tamsui-Xinyi Line or same, go down to Shilin station and take a cab!
Opens: 9:00am-5:00pm daily except MONDAY (Saturdays until 9:00pm)

Tip: Make a quick trip at Taipei Astronomical Museum if you visit the Children's Amusement Park, even our taxi driver suggested us to bring Kyle there as it is just a couple of blocks away.  With the cool weather, we walked there and you won't miss the museum, it is dome shape with nice geometrical textures.

The Observatory is free so if your kid is really not into space adventure, just let him/her walk around the huge hall and enjoy the look of huge planets hanging on top! 

The Eexhibit hall is a must visit because you get he basics of "space".  It covers 3 floors displaying over 180 models, pictures and descriptions.  Kyle enjoyed this area so much we did not go into theaters as they usually take 40-50 minutes in there!

Since Kyle wanted us to go to the 4th floor where Cosmic Adventure takes place, you don't need to go down to the ticketing office as they have vending machines to purchase ticket!  We went ahead and wished we didn't go through the dark ride system that isn't as nice as we expect it to be.  

Taipei Zoo

Price: 60NT for Adults and 30NT for school students with ID.
Address: No.30, Secion 2, Xinguang Road, Wenshan District, Taipei
How to Get There: MRT anywhere and get off Taipei Main Station.  Transfer to Wenshan-Neihu (brown line) and get off Taipei Zoo Station. 
Opens: 9:00am to 5:00pm except Holidays

Tip:  The MRT ride is actually fun even kids will enjoy!  We originally wanted to book a cab but we wanted to experience public transport so we gave a go!  It was a great decision as Kyle enjoyed both ways going to and from the Zoo.  Their MRT are clean and very efficient.  You won't get lost as there are ample signs in English and Chinese!

We've decided to do a half day trip here just to save time.  Here are some of the suggested itinerary depending on what your child likes to see.

You can check out Giant Panda House immediately, unfortunately, the 2 pandas gifted from PRC Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan were sleeping when we visit and you can only get there once as they will give you a ticket to enter the Panda house at the entrance.  You can relax and eat at Panda Cafe located at the topmost floor.

There are 7 indoor exhibits with different themes and 8 outdoor exhibits.  There are differentiated by theme and we went on the areas only Kyle is interested in!  Take a photo on the simple map and you won't get lost!  You can also take a train for 5NT only to save leg works!

Tip: If you are not scared of heights, go to the Maokong Gondola to see the breathtaking birds-eye view of the area.  Unfortunately, the Gondola was closed until July for renovation so we weren't able to take a ride in this famous activity.

Miramar Mall and Ferris Wheel
Tip: If you travel with child/children, for sure, they would want to go into a Toy Store.  There are a couple of Toys R' Us stores in random areas of Taipei.  But if you want to shoot 2 birds in 1, I want to check out the Miramar Ferris Wheel at the same time, shop at the Miramar Mall which houses Food Court, various brands and a supermarket for you to shop local goodies.

Note: If you think buying toys in Taipei is absurd, well, I am here to CORRECT YOU!  Taipei has a lot of options for educational kids' toys for all ages!  Kyle is happy with his Rush Hour game!  :D

What I love about the toy store here at Miramar mall is how the lady was super patient and nice in explaining to us the game mechanics and even let Kyle play the toys before he picks the ONE!

Miramar Ferris Wheel is huge and known to be a lovers' area! :D

Last TIP:

Rent your own WIFI device because being connected is the best travel buddy!  I find myself researching on spot on places to go, transportation tips, places to eat, and a whole lot more!

Thankfully, I was able to book Big Sky Nation a week before we left for Taiwan!  Everything was easy!  I chose the option to have my unit delivered for Php95.00 (one way).  I got a call from a Big Sky Nation agent confirming the country I'm arriving and the duration of WIFI connection.  

As soon as I arrived TaoYuan Airport, I turned on the device and was able to update my family that I arrived safe and sound!

Though some airports like Taoyuan airport offers FREE WIFI Access, it gives me a sense of security to know that I am online ANYWHERE especially when I booked a private transportation and I was able to chat with the driver on where we would meet!  

The connection was fast and reliable!  I never had a loss connection all throughout my 5 days stay in Taipei!

And guess what?  Even with the free WIFI access the hotel offers, my phone connects to Big Sky Nation even when I'm in the hotel as their connection is stronger!

Best decision to book this device and I will definitely continue to book via Big Sky Nation whenever I travel!  

P.S. As I was typing this post, the pick-up guy just knocked our door to pick up the device for another Php95.00!  Not bad!

And I've been raving about Big Sky Nation so much so the folks are giving me a special code for YOU to use!  Use "AMWTravels" to get 10% off on your WIFI rental!  (I am not earning from this!  I just want to help you guys save up!)

WHEW!  This is a LOOONNNGG post!  Thank you so much for staying until the end!

Til the next travel and I hope I was able to help fellow mommies out there to plan their Taipei itinerary!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

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