Taiwan joins the list of great places for vacations with a baby – see how we planned two weeks on Taiwan with a baby.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Why Taiwan
- Weather – When is the best time to go to Taiwan?
- Exploring by car – how to get around Taiwan
- Health and Safety
- Accommodation in Taiwan – where we stayed
- Our 15-day itinerary day by day
- Map – what to see in Taiwan
- What we would do differently
This destination was never on our list as a must-see, and it’s not very popular among parents with infants.
We were longing for Asia, particularly China. However, China was not a destination we wanted to visit with a young child. The China we were drawn to is definitely not the kind of China you take an infant to: long train journeys, the interior, nobody speaking English, and uncertainty about what to do in case of illness or accidents.
So, we came up with the idea of Taiwan—a bit like China, but not really. We relied on internet descriptions because we had never been there before. But the picture became clear: Taiwan was supposed to be somewhat like Japan (clean) and somewhat like China (not entirely organized). Plus, the food—we were definitely counting on delicious Chinese cuisine.
Taiwan somewhat met these expectations. It was clean, safe, without unpleasant situations or surprises. However, it was slightly less exotic because it wasn’t quite Japan or China. But for a trip with an infant when you don’t want to experience extremes, it was perfect.
Weather – When is the best time to go to Taiwan?
The best time to visit Taiwan largely depends on your preferences and what kind of weather you enjoy. We visited Taiwan in September and weather was very nice – not too hot or cold. Only in Alishan it was really chilly.
From what I’ve learned, the best time to visit Taiwan might be spring and autumn, so March to May and then from late August to October.
- Spring (March to May): The weather is warm but not too hot, and you’ll find blooming cherry blossoms.
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Taiwan can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). This season is also the typhoon season, so there’s a higher chance of heavy rainfall and storms.
- Autumn (September to November): The weather is pleasant, with cooler temperatures than summer but still comfortably warm.
- Winter (December to February): Winter in Taiwan is relatively mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10°C (50°F) in most parts of the island. It’s nice to visit hot springs during winter.
Exploring by car – how to get around Taiwan
Driving in Taiwan is not difficult. The roads are in good condition, and the traffic is not as chaotic as in some other Asian countries. They drive on the right-hand side of the road, and an international driver’s license is required.
We traveled a significant portion of Taiwan by renting a car, and we didn’t encounter any unusual situations. Driving there is quite similar to driving in Europe.
Health and Safety in Taiwan when travel with a baby or kids
Taiwan is a very safe destination with a high standard of living. There’s no real threat of robbery or violent crime, and when it comes to health and hygiene, it’s clean, and there are no concerns about food poisoning.
The healthcare system in Taiwan is efficient, and medical services are readily available. During our trip, our daughter had a high fever, and it turned out to be bronchitis.
We visited a hospital in Taipei and had a follow-up in Kaohsiung. We received prompt medical attention, and we were given medications right away at the pharmacy. The costs were absurdly low because healthcare in Taiwan is heavily subsidized by the government. We didn’t even bother to report it to our insurance for reimbursement, as it was a negligible amount. The only difficulty we encountered was language, as the doctor had limited English proficiency. However, we managed to communicate well enough to describe the symptoms and understand the diagnosis.
Accommodation in Taiwan – where we stayed
In Taipei, we stayed twice. We intentionally chose two different locations to have closer access to various attractions.
Kaoshiung Kindness Hotel – Kaohsiung Main Station – Kaohsiung Kindness Hotel – Kaohsiung Main Station – close to the station, close to the night market, a wide selection of traditional breakfast dishes available.
Sun Moon Lake – w Ita Thao – Skylight B&B Most accommodations are located in two towns: on the northern shore and the southern shore. We stayed on the southern shore in the village of Ita Thao. It’s a very peaceful place, and there are few tourists there after dark because most of them return to the other side by the last ferry. The advantages include proximity to the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway.
Alishan – Tea Cloud B&B
Windmill Chapel Guest House(B&B) Beinan in the Taitung County Region, 5 miles from Jhiben National Forest Recreation Area. Windmill Chapel Guest House(B&B)
Hualien Hiinn B&B
Our 15-day itinerary day by day
We explored Taiwan by renting a car and spent 15 days on the island. Our route and the time allocated to each place were influenced by the needs of our 13-month-old daughter. Therefore, we spent too long in some places, too little in others, and skipped a few altogether.
Here’s our itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrival in Taipei at 6:00 PM, taxi to the hotel (about 40 minutes), check-in, and a visit to the night market.
- Day 2: Taipei: Confucius Temple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101 Tower (without going up).
- Day 3: Drive from Taipei to Hualien, visit the night market in Hualien, evening stroll along the ocean promenade.
- Day 4: A full day in Taroko National Park, night market in the evening.
- Day 5: Drive from Hualien to Taitung via the scenic Highway 11, passing the Tropic of Capricorn.
- Day 6: Drive from Taitung to Kaohsiung.
- Day 7: Exploring Kaohsiung.
- Day 8: A short trip from Kaohsiung to Tainan for a few hours.
- Day 9: More exploration in Kaohsiung.
- Day 10: Drive from Kaohsiung to Alishan National Park, with a visit to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum along the way.
- Day 11: A walk in the Alishan forest.
- Day 12: Drive from Alishan to Sun Moon Lake.
- Day 13: Enjoying the surroundings of Sun Moon Lake.
- Day 14: Drive from Sun Moon Lake to Taipei, with a visit to Pingxi along the way.
- Day 15: Taipei: A day at the zoo.
- Day 16: Taipei: Maokong Gondola.
- Day 17: Departure from Taipei to London at 8:00 AM.
Mistakes and Lessons Learned from Our Taiwan Trip
- Allocate More Time for Taroko Park: One of the biggest mistakes we made during our trip was spending only one day in Taroko National Park. Despite searching through blogs and forums (unfortunately, there isn’t much information about Taiwan in Polish travel blogs), no one recommended staying there for more than one day. Don’t make the same mistake we did. Taroko is a stunning place and easily accessible, even with a child.
- Booking Accommodations in Advance for the Entire Route: As it was one of our first trips with a child, we were a bit hesitant to take risks. However, we often found ourselves needing to leave places earlier or stay longer, but our pre-booked and pre-paid accommodations didn’t allow for such flexibility. We once had to cancel a reservation, resulting in a loss of money (this happened in Alishan, where the conditions for staying with a child were not suitable).
- Missing Out on Hualien: We heard that there’s a beautiful lake in the vicinity, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit it.
- Highway 11 Expectations: We had high expectations for Highway 11, as it’s described as a beautiful route. We thought we would be driving along the coast, enjoying breathtaking views. However, the stunning views required some effort to spot, so if you can’t stop, turn around, or take side roads, this route might not offer anything spectacular. We were tempted to drive from Hualien to Sun Moon Lake through the mountains instead of the southern route, and we definitely regret not doing so.
- Too Much Time in Alishan: We spent too much time in Alishan.