[Warning: Looooong Post Ahead!]
The recent March holidays was Noah’s first ever school holiday, and since C’s last project ended at about the same time, we thought it would be nice to take a short trip together as a family. We considered visiting Australia, Japan, and even Penang again, but finally decided to check out the east coast of Taiwan, as we wanted a relaxing trip.
C did some research, and found Juhu Villa on TripAdvisor, which had excellent ratings. We decided to start our trip in Taipei, then travel via train to Yuli, where Juhu Villa is located, before heading back to Taipei for one last night.
On the flight to Taipei
Yay! We’re in Taiwan!
We were horrified when we saw the long queue at immigration, but I found an express queue for families with young children on the extreme right side, which saved us a lot of time. Unfortunately, the officer accidentally stamped C’s passport twice, and didn’t stamp mine at all, so we had to get it rectified at the departure hall, after the ladies at ChungHwa Telcom noticed the error when we were purchasing our SIM cards. Moral of the story: check your passports carefully before leaving the counter!
By the way, if you’re like us and require constant Internet access, do get your prepaid SIM cards from ChungHwa Telcom at the airport. They’ll install the SIM cards and set everything up for you, so it’s really convenient.
People Mountain People Sea
ChungHwa Telcom at the airport
We had a quick lunch at the airport’s food court, then made our way to Hotel Éclat. We were blown away by how lavish everything in the hotel was, and I was very much the suaku, exclaiming over everything in the room. My only issue with the room is that it was rather small, and once the cot was placed next to the bed, there was no space for me to even get off the bed from that side.
Waiting at the lobby
So pretty, right?
The cot, plus Mr “Is it time to wake up already, Mummy?”
Fancy-schmancy wardrobe and chest of drawers
We decided to put N into the wardrobe, since it looked like a shop display window
Toilet (with Molton Brown toiletries!)
FREE drinks from the mini bar
I decided that the most comfy bedroom slippers EVER deserved a photo
We made our way to a playground near our hotel, so that Noah could play for a while. It was quite crowded, but the children were generally polite, and waited for their turn to go on the slides. Noah had a lot of fun, and was very reluctant to leave.
101 in the distance
101 by night
At the playground
Kids at play
Eye power at work
We took a slow walk to our dinner venue, Shin Yeh at Xinyi Place A9, which I called from Singapore to make reservations for, simply because I love the pig’s liver there. (Yes, I know there’s a branch in Singapore also, but it somehow tastes better in Taiwan.) The other dishes were good too, but if you’re a fan of pig’s liver, you really should try Shin Yeh’s version of it. C likes the dried turnip (chye poh) omelette there, and the fried prawns with pineapple were pretty yummy as well.
The downside of having such a delicious dinner was that we were too full to eat anything from the Tonghua night market after that. Noah, on the other hand, was thrilled to see so many strawberries on sale there, and was very busy stuffing his face with them when we got back to the hotel.
The next morning, we opted to have breakfast at the nearby Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang, instead of at the hotel, because the spread didn’t look very good. We loved the crispy you tiao, pan-fried dumplings, and fried egg roll (I think). It was really cheap too!
Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang
Our breakfast (this photo doesn’t do it justice, sorry)
Our plan for the holiday was to take things slow, so we did just that. C did some research before our trip, and brought us to Daan Forest Park after breakfast. Noah was really excited when he saw the huge playground, and ran over quickly to play. We had such a tough time convincing him to leave!
Daan Park Map
This was Noah’s favourite slide
Kids playing with bubbles
The weather was nice and cool, so we walked around the park for a while, admiring the lush greenery, and letting Noah play with C’s camera for a bit. It was so nice to be able to spend time together as a family in the beautiful park, instead of rushing around to visit tourist attractions.
Learning how to use daddy’s camera
Noah took these photos! (C edited them a little.)
After a quick lunch and power nap, we headed to Sogo to do a little window shopping, and were pleasantly surprised to discover that they offered free rental of ride-ons on the 5th floor, which is the Kids’ Department. All you need to do is sign in, leave your contact number, and stay on the 5th floor.
Free rental of ride-ons
Dinner that night was at Du Xiao Yue, another lovely restaurant we discovered when we were in Taipei for our babymoon. Noah slurped up the noodles, asked for some of C’s rice, and chomped on the fried prawn cutlets. I also really liked the kuay teow soup, and grilled milk fish belly.
Du Xiao Yue
We didn’t do much after dinner, as we had to pack and get some rest before our train ride the next morning. Stay tuned for the second part of our Taiwan adventure!
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