Taipei With a Toddler and Pre-schooler, Intro 子連れ台北 始めに

We try to alternate our vacations between beach and culture.  Mainly because I get bored at resorts.  I mean, we live in Singapore, so we don’t have the cleanest of beaches, but if we want a pool and a beach, we can go whenever.  Our last family trip was to Phuket, so this time, we headed to Taipei.  Our friend from Singapore moved out to Taipei about a year ago, and generously offered us a place to stay in their spacious apartment.  She has a daughter who Nina used to play with in Singapore and we were all excited about the reunion.

This is the view from the window!!! Boys' dream home.

This is the view from the window!!! Boys’ dream home.

Expats often call Singapore “Asia Lite”.  For me, Taipei was “Japan Lite”.  The concentration of Mister Donuts, FamilyMart, and Hello Kitty made me feel even closer to home (culturally) than I do in Singapore (compared to New York anyway!).  They seem to love children in Taipei and again, I was thankful, since Nina and Mila had turned into complete nightmares while we were there.

Taipei is very child friendly. The MRT is clean and easy to use. Nina, finally coming out of her toilet training, still needs to go quite often, so we were very happy to find that most train stations have a super clean family bathroom facility with a small toilet for kids, an adult toilet and a diaper changing table.  Some malls in Singapore, like Plaza Singapura, also have the small toilets, but not consistently and certainly not in the MRT! We’ve come so far from changing Nina on Marc’s lap while he sat on dirty Manhattan toilets (with no toilet cover, gross).

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We also saw a small shopping cart for kids in the supermarket.  Don’t think this is everywhere, but how cool is this!? I usually do my kids snack and souvenir shopping at a local supermarket since you find funky stuff and for a better price than the souvenir shops.  This time was no exception.


Love the little handle on top to steer them as needed.


Maokong Gondola, one of the bigger tourist attractions in Taipei teamed up with Hello Kitty, so everything, including the MRT is covered in Hello Kitty.  Nina loved it and I was forced to listen to her “Mommy, Mommy, it’s Hello Kitty! There! There! Theeeerrreeee!” for a lot longer than I would have liked, but whatever makes them happy, right?  There’s even a Hello Kitty Sweets restaurant, increasingly popular in Asia, soon to take over the world after Starbucks. I never got into Hello Kitty and at 33, I adamantly refuse to start liking the silly cat, so we skipped out on the cafe.  Hey, there’s a beautiful mountain and tea plantations!  Something you don’t see in Singapore everyday, let’s go there!

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A few other things I noticed about Taipei’s awesomeness.

Youbike –  a rental bike system so you can get around and see the city your own way!  Would love to use this once the kids are old enough to ride on their own.  If they had a child seat on those bikes, I would have totally done this.

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Complimentary Rental Umbrella at the MRT  – It rains pretty often, we were pretty lucky and we saw a little drizzle here and there, but not much rain rain.  When you want to travel light, and don’t want to carry around an umbrella for that 5 minute downpour, this is great.  And they even apologized for not having too many!


Free City-wide WiFi – I actually found out about this AFTER I got back and was writing a blog.  I’m kind of so-so about having wi-fi when I travel.  I pay so much attention to my iPhone as is, it’s probably good that I look stuff up before I leave wherever I’m staying and don’t rely on my phone, but still, sometimes, it’s good to have WiFi. Marc, when he read this was flipping out though…


This is the view from the window!!! Boys' dream home.

This is the view from the window!!! Boys’ dream home.



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そして、猫空ロープウェイ、猫だからって、Hello Kittyとコラボ。ちょっと安易すぎるだろ、とは思うが、MRT中どころか街中にHello Kittyのポスターだのなんだのが貼ってあるわけで新菜さん大喜び。一日中「ママ、Hello Kitty、こっち、こっち、こっちいいいいいい」(何故かあっちの使い方が分からないらしく何でもこっち)と騒いでましたわ。台北、キティちゃん大好きらしく、キティちゃんカフェもある。でも友達にいわく要予約、私は幼稚園児のころからアンチキティちゃん。あの目の死んだ猫のどこがかわいいのかさっぱり分からん。33にもなって今さら行くわけもなく、完全スルー。って、新菜キティちゃんまくら持ってるじゃない!毎日見てるじゃん。シンガポールにはない山があるのよここは、そして山の上にはお茶畑があるのよ、そっち行くわよ~~~。とか言ってたらバチ、あたったよ。かの猫空ロープウェイ、閉まってるわよ。五月5日から19日までメンテの為にお休みって。キティちゃん、つよし。ふん、タクシーで行くもん。いいもん。



YouBike -自転車レンタルシステム台北中にある自転車駐車エリアから自転車をレンタル出来るシステム。綺麗で整備されていて、是非利用したかったです。贅沢をいえば、子供乗せるシートのついてる自転車も用意してくれないかなあ。



Free WiFi ⁻ 台北内ではただでWiFiが使えるそうです。これ、帰って来てから知ったんですが、便利ですね。最初に電話を観光案内書所で登録するだけでいいそうです。うちは自分で色々最初に調べて回る、旅行中はスマホ見ない派ですが、(普段中毒状態なので)緊急の時とかにはいいですよね。マークは後で、そんなのあったのかああああと騒いでた。

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