My last post on my trip to Taipei with twin toddlers included:
- Reuniting with Yong He Soy Milk (Taiwanese breakfast stall)
- Discovering the playground at Da’an Forest Park
- Eating at the original Din Tai Fung outlet
- Enjoying the scenery at Taipei 101
- Sweating endlessly at the Taipei Zoo
This post will detail the last few days of our trip and include some final words of wisdom.
Day 5: McDonald’s, Eslite 24 hour bookstore, Yu’s Almond Tofu, Jin Man Yuan Pai Gu pork chop rice
Still exhausted from the previous day’s outing to the Taipei Zoo, we decided to take it easy on day 5 of our trip. We had McD’s for breakfast (slightly better than Singapore but the coffee was bitter; note that almost all the coffee in Taipei is unpleasantly bitter) and headed to the Eslite 24 hour bookstore near Zhongxiao Dunhua. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any children’s selections, but we enjoyed the air conditioned bookstore and cafe.
In the afternoon, we bought some souvenirs in Ximending and had a snack at Yu’s Almond Tofu, where we enjoyed our almond shaved ice with milk. For dinner, we had pork chop rice at Jin Man Yuan Pai Gu in Ximending. In Taiwan, pork chops are seasoned with salt and pepper (and probably MSG), deep fried, and served with rice and pickles.
Day 6: Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, empanadas at Maji Square, burger at Meat Up
Feeling rejuvenated after a relatively easy day, on day 6, we headed to the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park.
Our kids were only allowed to go on a few rides since they are just over 90 cm, but the outdoor and indoor playgrounds were enjoyable. Since it was unbearably hot, we spent most of our time at the indoor playground on the second floor (Kawai Candy Land). I highly recommend this play area for younger children (the playground is meant for those under age 6), as the play area is extremely clean, and there are lots of activities (ball pits, slides, play cars, pretend grocery store, kinetic sand). Each play session is for 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the staff spend 10 minutes cleaning in between sessions.
After our session was over, we headed to Maji Square for tacos. The tacos were decent with a respectable corn tortilla, but the empanadas at Mecato were absolutely amazing (FYI, empanadas are like curry puffs but with a crispier pastry dough and meatier filling). Maji Square also has food from other cultures, but we were floored by the empanadas! We enjoyed them with a fruity beer from the nearby deli.
My husband and I discovered another food gem after our kids went to bed. We wandered around Ximending and found Meat Up, a burger / smoothie joint. The burger was customisable and delicious, and the smoothies were Instagram worthy.
Day 7: Mid-Autumn Festival
Our last full day in Taipei was during the Mid-Autumn Festival, when some Asian cultures celebrate the bright, full moon with mooncakes and other tasty treats. In Singapore, mooncake stalls are hard to miss during the weeks surrounding this holiday, but in Taipei, the celebrations are relatively subdued. Although it was a public holiday, there were hardly any mooncake stalls, but shop owners everywhere were handing out free snacks to kids.
Highlights from our last day included a meal from Fu Hang Dou Jiang, which is a famous breakfast shop on the second floor of Hua Shan Market. All of the menu items are delicious–the fresh soy milk, you tiao (fried Chinese donut), shao bing (flat bread), and the queue starts at 5:30am. (The picture below is a carb fest–you tiao wrapped with shao bing.)
We also enjoyed overpriced mango shaved ice, a trip to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and beef at Mountain Donburi.
Tips for traveling to Taipei with toddlers
This picture summarises our trip.
Our kids were insufferably naughty the first 3-4 days. They hate any deviation from their daily routine and are easily scared of new places. If your children are the same, expect a lot of clinginess and whining.
Taipei is relatively stroller friendly and very child friendly. Almost all locals will give up their seats for young children (Singapore, please take note), and there are lots of activities in the city to keep young ones entertained. My first Taipei post has more detail on managing a stroller in Taipei.
Most food in Taipei is deep fried and / or salty, so make sure your kids are well hydrated. Taipei is also a gourmet paradise, so try to enjoy the local delicacies as much as possible. Night markets are near impossible with young children, so sneak out in the late evening after leaving your kids with a caretaker.
Shopping is also enjoyable in Taipei. I discovered lots of random baby goods like Disney packaged wet wipes, Hello Kitty toothbrushes, and cheap Pocky sticks. Department stores like Shin Kong Mitsukoshi and SOGO are also amazing; their toy departments have several toy tables and craft stations for older children.
Overall, we enjoyed our trip to Taipei despite our naughty children and the exhausting heat. My new motto for travel: expect the worst, and hope for the best.