Thursday, 19 November 2015

Travelling Tips & Taiwan Trip PART 1 - Taipei

We are back!

We had 10 days of fun holiday to Taiwan (30th Oct - 9 Nov) as mentioned on my blog earlier and were back to SG almost a couple of weeks ago.

How was it?

Overall, it was fun, challenging, adventurous (we went hiking with kids!) and tiring as well! We were actually planning for easy travelling with enough rest, our own schedule, no rushing at all but with a 2 year old toddler & almost 1 year old baby, travelling is always a challenge indeed!

We took scoot airlines and our air journey from SG to Taiwan was more or less 5 hours and here are little tips I would like to share with readers (especially if you have 2 young kids like me!) Trust me, I survived the long journey with 1 cranky toddler & 1 clingy baby!

1) Prepare many little surprise presents. (Wrapped... it like Christmas presents) It worked like wonder! Toddler got bored and started to get very cranky in the airplane. Little presents never failed to surprise him & got him entertained for hours

Wrapped like this hahaa... these are pretty small & light in weight and I could easily put everything inside my big diaper bag

2) Play dough. He enjoyed it most & killed time well! (it killed at least 2-3 hours of time)

3) Motor skills toys like blocks, fishing etc did wonder too (the more he can explore, the better!)

4) iPad, lollipops, biscuits etc (it worked for my toddler when his ears got uncomfortable in the air!)

Overall he did have a few session of meltdowns but managed to calm him down with little surprises :)

I actually opened for him 2 presents (one was fun cupcakes play dough) in the air and that was enough to entertain him for the whole long journey. He refused to nap because we took afternoon flight and he was feeling rather excited than sleepy! The rest of presents were opened one by one in the hotel room when he threw temper, crying & yelling non-stop (one present for each meltdown). I know I might be pampering him a bit more during holiday, but hey, travelling is already too tiring, with yelling & crying, it's pretty stressful and it's our holiday, so we deserve our nice relaxing moments with minimal toddler's meltdown, so a bit of pampering here and there wouldn't harm :)  (p/s: I wouldn't give in to him when we are at home, so no present for each meltdown now, would rather ignore him to calm him down!)

EJ had fever the first three days of our holiday and luckily I brought all necessary medications along for our long vacation, so mommies, don't forget, always bring your ear thermometer & paracetamol with syringe during your vacation!

The hotel we stayed in Taipei was Muzik Hotel, Ximending. It was pretty good, very helpful hotel staff, very punctual in picking us up & driving us to other town and most importantly, the room was cozy and big enough (we had 2 big queen-sized beds that we combined together) for mommy, daddy, 2 young kids with a helper. We slept comfortably!

The weather in Taiwan was supposedly to be pretty cold (Autumn season). It was rainy, windy and cold during our first three days of stay. I was a bit paranoid of kids getting flu/cough, catching cold, etc, so I dressed them up literally like in winter holiday (Calysta was wearing double layers ~ leggings, long pants with long sleeved romper and thick fluffy jacket with a hat too!) And she was sweating hahaaa.. so I ended up removing her fluffy jacket! Apparently, my kids could really stand coldness very well :) The weather was a bit crazy and changed pretty fast from cold to hot & dry! We were back to Taipei from other towns in Taiwan 3 days before we flew back to SG and the weather was super hot & sunny, just like summer! We were all sweating! So our thick jackets were actually pretty useless & I packed quite many autumn clothing, what a big mistake and a waste of space in my luggage! hahaaa...

Too bad, EJ was sick the first three days in Taipei, so he couldn't explore Taipei as much as Calysta did. EJ had to stay with our helper in the hotel room for a few hours while mommy, daddy and Calysta explored Taipei for a while (Yup, I just couldn't leave my sick toddler with our helper too long)

We went to Shilin Night Market! When you come to Taipei, you really must go to local Taiwanese night market. It's a good place to eat authentic local Taiwanese street snacks and I can tell you, Taiwanese street foods are super good!!

This strawberry stick with coated hard sugar is really yummy! I even bought their sugar from Taipei Carrefour to make something like this for Calysta's first birthday party sweet treat! Not only strawberry, but there are more like cherry tomato, plum, etc
 EJ was so tempted to catch those little fishes at the night market. Basically, you pay money, if you can catch those fishes in certain time set by the shop owner, those little fishes are yours to bring back home

SG has oyster mee sua but I swear it's not as good as authentic Taiwanese oyster mee sua

The oysters taste so fresh and the oyster portion is the way too generous. There's always one or two oysters in every spoon we eat!

These street snacks are just too good. And it's spicy too! I particularly love the BBQ pork intestines stick. It's crunchy & bursting with spices!

We went to queue for this roasted pork bun for half an hour. It's roasted like middle eastern style where the buns are put in this big red pot by sticking it to the hot pot wall and roasted with fire.

The bun is hot & hard, but the meat inside is juicy, fragrant and tastes so good!

We also went to Taipei 101, one of tallest buildings in the world with 101 levels to enjoy the beautiful Taipei city

Really breathtaking view! Spectacular!

Happy Calysta as always!

Meeting with my pretty cousin, Nova who is currently studying in Taiwan and we went to zoo, unfortunately the weather was too hot and animals were hiding under the shade hahaa.. So after seeing a few animals, we couldn't take the heat and left the zoo, lol!

Nova, me & baby Calysta

We went to another night market!

This octopus soup is super good! I can find octopus every where, apparently octopus snacks in Taiwan are pretty popular!

Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup)! Very different taste to our SG local Bak Kut Teh, this is rather medicine-taste-like Bak Kut Teh which is pretty nice to me but my husband said it's rather awful hahaa...

One thing my kids like in the hotel room is BATHTUB. Especially EJ, he can play water in the bathtub (with our supervision) for long!
And we went to Taiwanese old towns. We actually found this beautiful historical place by accident. We went to Taiwanese local temple to pray, about 2 MRT stations from the hotel we stayed but accidentally found this place, decided to walk further and took pictures :)

Missing Taiwan already! We will be back again next time for more adventure & good foods!

P/S: we actually ate a lot of local foods there but too lazy to take pictures hahaa... Kids were grumpy in the restaurant. So, we just wanted to eat fast & go! But overall, foods were really up to my liking :) And authentic bubble tea is so fresh & tasty! Thanks to the good foods, I gained 3 kg back to SG! And I'm trying to lose it all now! LOL!

Just in case, you wanna know what I packed for my vacation, here's my previous POST on packing and stuff!

Part 2 - The Cing Qing Farm Stay (coming up)

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