Wednesday, February 11, 2015

9d8n Taiwan in Pictures (Day 1) Spendtime Hotspring Stay

It's our first time to Taiwan and we totally do not have any idea what to expect!

For this trip we are bringing our two active boys, and my parents are going with us too! With four adults and two young children, you can imagine the nightmare involved in the packing (it doesn't help that it's also cold in Taiwan now), as well as travelling logistics - how to cope with our luggages as well as the children at the same time!

Luckily my mommy friend, Angeline, recommended us to use Tour Taiwan and true enough, planning the whole trip becomes so no brainer! We booked a Volkwagen T5 (9 seater) with really luxurious space for everyone including our luggages and Xiao Li was our driver for 5 of the days we were in Taiwan!

Wanna know how pleased I am with them and how awesome they are?

  • I was really touched to know that they went to buy two new car seats specially because they heard I am bringing a one year old,  so we can have a better and safer ride!
  • They even inform me before my trip, that they have just purchased a new stroller to loan to me for my entire trip, so that I do not have to bring along our own stroller on top of our luggages!
  • Wenny really helped me a lot when planning our trip, the places to go and even assisted me to book our accommodation in Taichung because I am not very good at traditional chinese!
  • When i included too much scenery sightseeing, Xiao Li actually suggested to us to bring our Big Brother for Go Karting!
  • Whenever we saw something beautiful along the way, Xiao Li will stopped the car and asked if we are keen to go down for photo-taking!
  • Xiao Li also offered to help us take the full family photos at every spots we toured
  • Xiao Li was upfront to let us know that we may not have enough time to cover all the itinerary I planned for the day, but he still make it in the end, even with us overrun at one or two destinations. 
  • Xiao Li is really a careful and steady driver and we were kept very safe throughout. 
  • They provide free wifi in the car itself! So if you do not want to get a Taiwan SIM Card, you can save on internet by surfing in the car itself when travelling from destination to destination!

I paid NTD8000/day for tours outside Taipei and NTD5000/day for tour in Taipei itself. If you are keen, you can contact message them on their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hongtourtaiwan. They will provide you with their mobile number where you can whatsapp them to converse more easily! Best part... Wenny is very good in English! And she is so kind to even assist me to read the PayEasy website as I would like to purchase some stuffs from there but I am not sure of the T&Cs!

Ok! Here come our first day in Taiwan in pictures!

Date: 31 Jan 2015, Saturday
Flight out from Singapore: 830am
Arrival in Taoyuan Airport: 130pm

Big Brother posing for me excitedly, when we were queuing to check in at Changi Airport

Changi Airport is filled with beautiful Goat Year Decors so here's posing with one!

Inflight entertainment for the boys

Upon arrival and clearing the customs, we quickly turned left after coming out from the lobby to purchase the Taiwan SIM cards for our phones! We got the Taiwan mobile (台湾大哥大) Ten day pass at only NTD700 which include unlimited mobile data for use! One more thing, they no longer require us to have double verification (two photo ids) anymore. We can purchase their SIM Cards with just our passports.

We survived the flight and arrived at the chilling Taoyuan!
Big Brother gave me the funny face, angry and happy expressions!

Big Brother said he wanna use my camera to take a picture for us.. and it's so blur just nice blur out my ugliness!

Camwhoring on the car due to excitement

Street views of Taoyuan. Xiao Li is helping us to find a place for us to take our lunch.

So nice of Tour Taiwan to prepare a box of card games, books and a Rubik's cube to keep the children entertained. 

Because I don't like to take pork, we settle for lunch at a dumplings noodle shop in Taoyuan. We also stop over at a convenience store to buy some bread and beers before we head to our slightly isolated 世外桃源 Hotspring Stay! I found this minsu myself by googling and also reading up on the Tripadvisor for visitors' feedback. The ride took about two hours and we arrived at the minsu at 430pm! We saw that there were a lot of strawberries farms 800 metres outside the Spendtime Hotspring Minsu!

One thing though, the car is not able to go all the way up and we have to alight and move the luggages up. Luckily the staffs were mobilised to aid us! Check in is so simple, as I only need to give them my name! Our room is very spacious and very clean! We were supposed to take off our shoes and the floors were very clean.

beautiful sceneries along the way

Finally we checked in our 4pax room! It's very cold, there is no heater but the beds are equipped with thermal blankets!

There is also a spacious balcony overlooking the lake!

Awesome view from our balcony

Other parts of our room, and yes, you can soak in the hotspring water directly in the own room! The tub is so big and can accommodate my family of four very comfortably!

The boys were very excited and happy

As the restaurant last order was at 630pm, we wasted no time and quickly settled down in the room and went to check out the outdoor hotspring before dinner!

around and about the minsu area, it's really a very beautiful place!

They also sell the Strawberry Beer that they brew themselves!

The walk to the outdoor hotspring soak area

Looking back at the building where our room is located

The outdoor hotspring area is equipped with changing rooms for male and female, toilets and they provide towels and lockers!

Although the weather was very cold, but it was very very very shiok to soak in the hotspring water! After soaking, we were not afraid of the cold anymore! The hotspring water is not the sulphur type, there is actually no smell at all, the water is clear as glass and the quality is so so so good! You can feel how smooth the skin was! We didn't get enough of the outdoor soak, so we had the soak again in our room at night!

Even our driver Xiao Li asked how I found this beautiful nice place! For our one night stay, I came to realised that the other visitors were all Taiwanese, so it's like a place for their locals weekend staycation! 

I booked the 新館四人溫泉套房 at NTD6900 for one night on Saturday. For those who will be keen to visit this Hotspring Minsu in Miaoli:

湖畔花時間湖岸餐廳 桐花湖溫泉會館 
苗栗縣大湖鄉義和村淋漓坪126號 
電話:037-996795-6 
傳真:037-994549 

We had our dinner at the minsu itself, charged separately to be paid only upon checkout. You can find their menu here. We ordered a few sets and each set came with salad, soup, drink and dessert too! We also had side orders of fries and a vegetarian pizza!

I didn't expect that we will be able to feast like this in Taiwan! 

With this, we end our first night in Taiwan. Thank you for reading! If you are keen to continue reading about our adventure in Taiwan, please follow me on Facebook or bookmark this post. :) I will update it along the way.


9d8n Taiwan Family Trip with young children and grandparents


Day 1: Touch down in Tao Yuan and Transit to Miaoli Hotspring stay
Day 2: Exploring Miaoli and transit to Taichung

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