Try a Vacation "Made in Taiwan" –
Ten Family Things To Do ( Plus Three Insider Tips!)
Taiwan is a small island with large vacation potential for families that want culture and nature with all the modern comforts. Kids can be exposed to the Japanese and Chinese influences as well as Taiwanese ways. Transportation is efficient; first-rate accommodations and food are prevalent; English is spoken most places, and the people are a pleasure.
Below are ten of the many family-friendly activities you'll find in Taiwan:
> Don a hardhat and go through the tunnels of a gold mine, then touch a real, large bar of gold in the Museum of Gold at the Gold Ecological Park, Linguashi in northern Taiwan. The views are also spectacular.
> Spend a day at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village – home of five themed amusement parks with rides, a fun gondola ascent, and an entertainment center with indigenous dances and shows. It’s not Disneyland, but offers an intriguing combination of entertainment, supporting diverse cultures and tourism.
> Enjoy a mini-water park with slides and mineral baths in your hotel at Fleur de Chine –something fun for the kids and adults. The resort is located on the beautiful and historic Sun Moon Lake, which offers boat rides to islands and temples.
> See how traditional paper lanterns are made by three generations of a lantern-making family. You can have your name or favorite saying painted in Taiwanese script on a folk lantern you choose while you watch. Or you can place your order and enjoy other delights on Old Street in Lugang, then return for your unique souvenir or gift.
> Shoot up, up, and up to the top of Taipei 101, designed to resemble a bamboo shoot. Its Observatory is on top of one of the world's tallest buildings with one of the world’s fastest elevators. Children under 115cm (a little over 3 feet 9 inches) are free in the Observatory. The views from the top are stellar, but bring a jacket for the wind, and leave the chewing gum below. (It’s not allowed.) Find out the secrets of the “Damper Baby.”
> Visit the colorful Dragon and Tiger Pagodas set in a kind of imaginative outdoor architectural park on and around Lotus Lake in Kaochsiung, a great city for biking and a boat ride on the “Love River.”
> Explore dramatic (and photographic) rock formations at the seaside of Yeliu Geopark, a geological wonder realm with open spaces and pathways good for kids. The Queen’s Head and some abstract shapes seem to defy gravity; others look like they mushroomed from the earth.
> Join hundreds of Taiwanese school kids on their field trips at the Tainan Confucian Temple, also known as the Scholarly Temple, which was first built in 1665. Tai Chi may be underway in its courtyard with newcomers welcome, and unusual musical instruments are one of the fascinating displays in the hallways.
> Sip “Bubble Tea,” a fad in parts of the United States, after being invented in creative Taiwan. You can create your own flavor combos at corner stands and restaurants, then sip the bubbles and textures through a straw – which may conjure giggles.
For “small eats” in a friendly place and some of the best dumplings on earth, you can take your family to Din Tai Fung in Taipei.
Three Insider Tips for Traveling to Taiwan with your kids:
>Bring a blank book to collect imprinted stamps. Throughout Taiwan, major sites have machines that press in inked images of the site to create a tourist's passport of memories. While you are enjoying the incredible pieces in Taiwan’s National Palace Museum, your children can see who can collect the most images.
>Bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off and sturdy socks for the kids if you plan to visit some of Taiwan’s outstanding temples. You can also brief the children in advance of about temple manners and respect for other people’s religions.
>In our quickly changing world, it’s good to check in advance with any trip overseas about possible health and safety issues in the country. Here’s a link to a convenient universal list of pre-trip resources provided by http://www.WorldTouristBureau.com/resources.html
How to get there:
*Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei – great location, food and staff, ask for views of Taipei 101 http://www.taipei.grand.hyatt.com
The Fleur de Chine on Sun Moon Lake had Japanese baths in the rooms, balconies above the lake and the water-theme park with mineral baths in the hotel. http://www.fleurdechinehotel.com
Ambassador Hotel is on the Love River in Kaohsiung, a bustling exciting port city bigger than Seattle and San Francisco. http://www.ambassadorhotel.com.tw/
Links to help:
For more information to plan a Taiwan trip: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/pda/m1.aspx
Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/pda/m1.aspx?sNo=0011367&id=R2&jid=138
Taipei 101 Observatory & “Damper Baby” games:
Gold Ecological Park: http://www.gep
National Palace Museum: http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/home.htm