Taiwan Travelogue September 2015 (Day 1)

Today is the beginning of our trip and it is gonna be a long day. Our flight is at 6.40am departing Changi Airport so we had to wake the kids up at 4am in the morning, not exactly the best chore in the world. Jaclyn basically does not move at all, continue sleeping. Justin half awake but he insist that I continue sleeping and suggested that we should go tomorrow instead!

Luckily after 5 minutes, we manage to get the kids out of bed. We gave them a quick shower and then off we go to the airport. Check in is fast and we had a quick breakfast as well.

Its time to go!
We had to transit in KL and reached Taipei at 2.15pm local time (no time difference).

It's Harrod's bear... Did we reach London? 
Requested child's meal for the kiddos
Happy girl with her food
I had Nasi Lemak :)
Custom clearance at Taipei is pretty fast as well and we cleared custom in less than 10 minutes. Money changer at the airport offers better rate than Spore so we decided to change a bit more cash before heading out.

Grab our luggage and we got ourselves a local sim card as well. There are a few telecommunication shop on the right after exiting the arrival gate and we decided to go for Chunghwa Telecom. We will be in Taiwan for a week so we got this package of unlimited wifi for 7 days plus $150 airtime @NT500. Registration required our passport and sim card is activated immediately.

Chung Hwa Telecom.. our trusted 3G/4G companion for the week
Car rental for Yilan & Hualien
We already pre-booked our rental car via email communication the day before we arrived so we proceed to the car rental booth which is just situated opposite the telecommunication booth. We booked at Ching Bing Auto Leasing Co Ltd which is the ONLY car rental available in Terminal 1. For NT5880 we rented a Ford Focus for 3 days that comes with GPS and air purifier. Excess in event of accident or scratch etc is at NT10,000 and we have purchased travel insurance back in our home country which will covers that.
GPS that comes in the package, really good in bringing us around
Car rental companies in Taoyuan International Airport (both terminal):

Note: Each car is fitted with eTag which is something like our ERP (in Singapore) so when passed by selected area at highway, a fee will be charged and we have to pay that when we return the car. The only difference is there is no indication when a fees is charged unlike in spore where we get a “beep” sound. Do note that the payment for the highway fees are only in CASH, so do allocate cash for this. We paid about NT180 for our 3 days road trip to Yilan and Hualien.

Kids are tired after waking up early and basically did not rest on airplane so they fall asleep in car while we drive to Yilan at 3.30pm. We had to stop at nearby petrol station to pump petrol as the car does not come with full tank. On the way the Yilan, we passed by many long tunnel and lots of mountain, it is nice getting away from hustle and bustle of city into a more mountain/sea area. We reached our motel at 5pm and checked in is fast at the entrance.

Sofa bed for the kids 
This is the first time we stayed at a “car motel” as what the local calls it. We got our room card from the reception and we drive our car into our designated carpark. Our room is just a door away from the car park. We had to climb a bit of stairs up and we reached our room. It had a double bed, TV, additional sofa which can be used as daybed, shower area, toilet area and Jacuzzi, study table, open cupboard and a place to put our luggage bag. Complimentary water, instant noodle, coffee and tea is provided which is cool. Breakfast is inclusive and we get to choose a main course, pastry and a drink. Breakfast is pre-ordered the day before and it gets send to our room at either 7am or 8.30am. There are a couple of convenience store and supermarket nearby. We bought some drinks and snacks.

For full review of motel: http://blessedlittletravelers.blogspot.sg/2015/09/tian-xia-ju-motel-review-yilan-taiwan.html

For dinner we went to Dongmen Night Market which is about 5 minutes drive away. We parked at a car park opposite the night market after going around for a few times as we could not find any roadside car park. Later on, we found out that parking fees are the same. If you do park at roadside, there is no need to find parking fees machine, you will get a ticket at your car and just pay them at 7-11 or convenience store (Source: Hubby’s colleague who stays in Taiwan).

Dongmen night market is more of a local night market and it is of a medium size night market. We had fried taro (original, with pork floss and salted egg , cheese) and it is really nice. Crispy outside and fragrant inside! Price: NT20 each.

Fried taro ball (original and egg yolk/pork floss)

Fried taro stall
For main meal, we had seafood noodle soup ( I particularly love its oyster as it is really fresh), fried oyster seafood egg (crispy, chewy with sweet sauce) and egg soup. We are satisfied with dinner and kids share our noodle. Ended the meal with fresh papaya milk fruit juice.
Little shop we had our dinner
Seafood noodle soup

There are a few mini game arcades around and kids had a go at throwing golf ball into hole. Won a mini inflatable hammer!

Having fun at mini arcade
Kids clothes and shoes aren’t really cheap so we did not get any. Everyone is pretty tired so we went back, kids had their favorite bath at Jacuzzi tub and it is time to sleep!

Jacuzzi time!
Next up- we will be exploring Yilan, visiting mini farm, enjoy a dip in hot spring and had a really good grilled duck!


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