Almost one month after my last post on Taipei Roader’s Plus Hotel, it’s time to update our trip from Day 1! It’s our first trip since COVID and Cdd’s first-ever overseas trip, so we were really looking forward to our adventure.
Day 1 > Check in Scoot Flight > Full Go Roast Chicken of Stone Kiln > Check in Candy Homestay > Luodong Night Market
For our SIN-TPE trip, I booked Scoot as the arrival time is 11.45am, giving us plenty of time to travel to Yilan and still enjoy the day. Most of the flights on EVA Air and Singapore Airlines arrive in the late afternoon, so this was the best timing for us (early morning = easier to KO on the flight = no fussiness!) Our TPE-SIN flight was SQ879 departing at 5.55pm. And as there was no inflight entertainment on Scoot, I prepped a few activity books such as these to entertain them and it worked!
For this trip, we didn’t exchange lots of cash and we used our Trust Bank atm card for cash withdrawal. There’s a Mega Bank atm (pic below) right at the airport arrivals, before we cleared customs. So once we got off the plane, we withdrew cash at the atm, cleared customs, picked up our baggage, and our driver was ready to drive us to Candy Homestay!
Read this post to find out how to withdraw money from Taiwan ATMs at no foreign transaction fees (if you have a Trust bank savings account from Singapore). Use my referral code D1ZTJ2N1 to get $10 Fairprice vouchers.
I love my pretty pastel yellow luggage, from here!
The journey by car from Taoyuan Airport to Candy Homestay at Yilan is around 1.5-2 hours. To communicate with the owners, I downloaded Line app. You can also use Facebook messenger. We got the Strawberry room for NT$5300 per night, which works out to be around SG$235. It’s higher than regular Taiwan hotels, but the experience and happiness for the kids can’t be beat. I paid an NT$1000 deposit via paypal and paid the rest by cash on the day of check in.
But I have to relate three episodes that didn’t make feel great. Maybe I’m just being judgey like I usually am but I still have to say ok. The first was my bestie’s experience – she initially enquired about a smaller room for 3 nights as she was 2A1C and later asked if she could bring the date forward one day. She was told that only a big room was available on that new day and was quoted NT$6400 (SG$283). When she informed that in that case she would just book 2 nights instead of 3 for the small room, suddenly within seconds “someone” cancelled and now the small room was available on her preferred date too.
Second episode was during check in when I felt pressured to leave a google review and check in on Facebook in return for toys or fancy kids toothbrushes right there and then. Maybe I’m also easily pressured! Haha. But I think it’s better to ask for reviews or etc. at the end of the stay.
Third episode was when there was no food and drinks available on the 3rd day. I casually mentioned that our driver was taking us out for breakfast and the male owner said it’s ok, we will just prepare a smaller portion. The lady owner then said oh then no need for food as you will be too full then! End up next day morning there was nobody around, no food never mind but there wasn’t even drinks or coffee, which I didn’t expect. No aircon no lights nobody was there. We then realised that we were the only guests staying the previous night so if no need to prep breakfast for us can save them all the trouble. Probably a miscommunication, but I have to relate this if not I don’t feel like I’m honest about my experience. I’m also at fault – I shouldn’t have assumed there will be other families they were preparing breakfast for and we would still be able to still have coffee at least or small bites for the kids!
But all these said, the kids LOVED Candy Homestay and will remember it for years to come. And at the end of the day, it’s all that matters right? The Homestay was spacious and clean and super fun, there’s a swing, slide and ball pit in our room, complete with a truckload of toys. There’s a large ball pit in the lobby, with scooters and bikes for kids of all ages, and even a lego building corner for older kids. It’s really kids paradise and it’s a great contingency plan in case it rains!
The toilet was spacious with anti-slip flooring and bath toys! Standing shower with shampoo, shower gel and toothbrushes & toothpaste provided.
Breakfast was quite tasty – we loved the corn soup. And the kids were happy with the mini pancakes, fruits and pudding too.
Before checking in to Candy Homestay we went for lunch at 福哥石窯雞 Full Go Roast Chicken of Stone Kiln, famous stone kiln chicken but it was not really memorable for us so I shall not blog about it. The taste was like roast chicken but the vegetables were tasty. Dinner was at Luodong Night Market with the usual night market offerings.
Day 2: Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area > Bong Bong Train – Maosing Remiscent Old Trail > Elf Village > Pony riding > Red Lantern Restaurant
We set off for Taipingshan today! There are many “kids-friendly” activities in Yilan, but we don’t really want to go to places like crayon factory / museum cos Yilan has soooo many beautiful views that you can’t experience in SG. Depends on what you all like to do, that’s why I almost never send my itinerary wholesale to people and instead share my experiences at each location. Then you all can research and decide whether it’s your thing or not. No meaning if I send you an itinerary for you to follow when we have different interests, right?
The drive to Taipingshan took around 2 hours. Park entrance tickets were NT$180 for adults and NT$120 for kids. With this ticket, you can visit many attractions on Taipingshan. We went straight for the Bong Bong Train 太平山蹦蹦車 (train tickets still have to pay) which included a stopover at the Maosing Station, where we did a small hike around the surrounding Maosing Reminisent Trail 茂興懷舊步道 . So basically buy tickets at the Visitor Centre, get on the Bong Bong Train, stopover at Maosing Station for about an hour, then hop back on the train at the same station at the stipulated time on your ticket.
We wanted to go to 翠峰湖 and 天送埤車站 but the kids were getting too whiny from the hiking so we diverted to Chung Pi Lake Spirit Village 長埤湖精靈村 to feed animals. And instantly their mood changed 180 degrees!! Talk about 善變!!!!!!! We reached around 4+ and there were not much people and the cafe was starting to close. We did manage to get some coffee and ice cream though. You can check out their website for other possible things to do here. This was the kids’ first farm experience in Taiwan (Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm was the next day) and they did have fun, although they arrowed their dad to do the feeding as the animals kept on following whoever had the carrot sticks!
Next we went for an impromptu pony feeding and riding experience as it was still early before our 7.30pm dinner seating at Red Lantern. Sorry I don’t know where this is! Haha.
We ended the day snack-shopping at Carrefour next to Silks Palace Yilan, a 5-star hotel where we had our dinner at Red Lantern Restaurant. I’ve heard so much about the Cherry Valley roasted duck – one duck served five ways in various courses. THE DUCK NIGIRI WAS SENSATIONAL. Read about our dinner at Red Lantern 紅樓 here.
Day 3: Fuxing Road Noodles 復興路炸醬麵 > Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm 張美阿嬤農場 > Sinbow Sansing Spring Onion Leisure Farm星寶蔥體驗農場 > Produck 甲鳥園
We went for the most amazing breakfast at 復興路炸醬麵. Address: 260宜蘭縣宜蘭市復興路二段65號 / No. 65, Section 2, Fuxing Rd, Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260. We ordered 炸醬麵 (jajang – black bean? noodles), 麻醬麵 (sesame paste noodles) and 排骨面 (pork rib noodles), plus a bowl of mixed wanton and meatball soup and it was the best meal ever for less than SG$10. The sesame paste noodles were simply unforgettable. I don’t think I can find another 麻醬麵 as good as theirs. Go try it!
Then we set off for Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm! This is hands down the best farm we have ever experienced, if you only have time for one farm, go for this! The farm is clean and not overly crowded (heard they implement crowd control by limiting ticket sales, but we didn’t have a problem getting tickets on the spot), and the deers and alpacas were certainly the highlights of our day! It was like walking among a bunch of cuddly soft toys. Cdd was a bit scared initially, but he warmed up soon enough!
Next stop was Sinbow Sansing Spring Onion Leisure Farm 星寶蔥體驗農場 just a short drive away. Surprisingly Cbb voted this as her favourite farm throughout our Taiwan trip! We harvested spring onions and made our own diy spring onion pies which were then fried on the spot. Each diy piece is marked with a number so you can be sure you’ll be eating your very own creation. They were so delicious! We got to wear boots and go down to the spring onion fields and it was super fun, muddy and wet but we were well protected. Warning: do not wear long dresses or you WILL get mud all over!
Next we went to a duck farm Produck 甲鳥園! The kids got to see ducklings and Peking ducks and we did spend a NT$180 each on two “sure-win” claw machine loots for the kids so they used up their claw machine quota for the day haha. NT$180 sure win is cheaper than attempts at night markets for sure!
We ended our night at Dongmen night market. For us I think this night market can go can don’t go. It’s quite small and were not really their thing and they were getting quite bored of Chinese food at every meal. Our solution was 7-11 mac & cheese + crème brûlée + milk tea … and it made their day!
Day 4: We left Yilan for Miaoli and Taichung …
… but not before having some yummy soup dumplings xiaolongbao at 正常鮮肉小籠包店 (Address: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮南門路7號 / No. 7, Nanmen Rd, Luodong Township). We wanted to go to 正好鮮肉小籠包 but our driver brought us to this place instead (I dunno he read wrongly or what haha), also another popular local joint. The xiaolongbao were tasty but not the best I have eaten, but I’m a fan of the soya milk with a unique charcoal taste. We ordered 20 xiaolongbaos and a bowl of hot and sour soup. The kids finished everything and started goofing around. Closed on Mondays, opened until 1pm.
So that’s it for our adventures in Yilan! We were blessed with good weather and this was the leg I enjoyed the most. Look out for my next post on Miaoli and Taichung.. soon! Follow my Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
Oh and some of you ask me what’s the wristband that my kids are wearing. Cbb has motion sickness and often throws up in vehicles so I let her wear a sea band every time we go on long car rides. Here’s the one they’re wearing. Novomin helps her too, plus I always prep a change of clothes and towel and make her carry a plastic bag-lined vomit box on her lap in the car!
Don’t miss my blog posts about our Taiwan trip 2023:
What we did in Taipei with kids: Day 3 & 4 – Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, Danshui, Kura Sushi | Read the post
What we did in Taipei with kids: Day 2 – Indoor Playground, Ximending, King Food Hotpot, Carrefour | Read the post
What we did in Taipei with kids: Day 1 – Greenworld Ecological Farm, Roader’s Plus Hotel, Shilin Night Market | Read the post
皇家帝國麻辣火鍋吃到飽 Taipei King Food Spicy Hot Pot review | Read the post
What we did in Taichung and Miaoli with kids: 3D2N itinerary | Read the post
How to withdraw money from Taiwan ATMs at no foreign transaction fees | Read the post
Red Lantern Yilan 紅樓: Sensational Roasted Duck Nigiri! | Read the post
Roaders Plus Hotel Taipei review: a playground for the kids! | Read the post