Taiwan and Hong Kong 2011

We just came back from a 7D6N trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong with Baby1.  Believe me, I wouldn’t want to bring a baby on such a holiday again.

It wasn’t that bad actually, just that my dry, cracked skin feels soooooo much better after a nice warm bath once we reach home in Singapore, and my body feels soooooo much relaxed the next day after a nice sleep on our own bed.

Let me summarize our trip here.

Flight

Cathay Pacific offered us a bassinet seat when the flight was not full.

Very decent food onboard Cathay Pacific.

We took Cathay Pacific to Taiwan, transit in Hong Kong.  Cathay was great – they gave us a diaper pack with 2 diapers and some creams, and Baby1 had many jars of Heinz as baby meal.  They even offered us a bassinet seat when the flight was not full, so Baby1 had the opportunity to sleep a while during the 3.5hours flight. Flight meals for adults are ok, as well as the helpful attendents – much nicer than Northwest, I’ll say.  4 popcorns.

CityInn @ Taipei

Exterior view of our hotel at Ximending, CityInn.

Nice new hotel located right in the centre of where we wanna go – Xi Men Ding, the Presidential Office Building, The Red House, Taiwan food of Lu Rou Fan, Hun Tun, Metro station, JSP Burger, milk tea, post office, all within a stone’s throw away (ok, maybe not that near, but it’s really pretty accesible).  We also had Ah Zhong Mian Sian at Xi Men Ding (twice, yummy), and going by mrt to anywhere was such a breeze.   5 popcorns.

Taipei

Walking towards Taipei 101 from Taipei City Hall station.

The weather was rather cold and gloomy on the day we visited CKS Memorial Hall.

CKS Memorial Hall was really impressive. Wu Fen Pu wholesale garment market was a really BIG area with rows and rows of little shops selling ladies fashion, but I was genuinely disappointed by the lack of babies wear and non-winter wear for adults (read, dun go looking for baby wear and clothes for Singapore wear during winter..).  Rao He Night Market was decent.  Shilin Night Market was of a bigger scale selling fashion again.  We had Hao Da Da Ji Pai (oishii!!) though we didn’t manage to find much other food there.  DON’TTTTTTTTTTT go to the ‘Indoor’ Shilin Market – you’ll only get rows and rows and rows of oyster omelet and Stinky beancurd and some soup – all the shops sell the same thing!!!  4 popcorns.

Flora Expo

Entrance of Flora Expo from Yuanshan station.

We visited the Flora Expo which is from Nov 2010 till Apr 2011. They sell a 3 day pass because the venue is really HUGE!!!!!!  On the day we went, the expo passed the 3 MILLION visitors mark the day before.  Imagine 3/5 of Singapore had been there………….  3 popcorns.

Friendliness

Taipei was a really nice place, it’s people nice and friendly, and you feel so welcomed by the greetings of its courteous service personnel.  Can consider come back again next time.  5 popcorns plus a star.

Baby in Taipei

We were pleasantly surprised by the well equipped baby room at Taoyuan International Airport. They even have free diapers!

They have wet wipes as well. This is what I call a baby room!

Taipei is very baby friendly (wonder why they have such low birth rates then?).  There’s plenty of nursing rooms and diaper changing stations (in the Train Station, in the Expo, in the MRT stations, so accessible) and even free diapers (Taoyuan airport), and you see mummies/ grandparents bringing their little ones out frequently.  5 popcorns.

Hong Kong Airport

After 4 days in Taiwan, we went to Hong Kong.  First foot out and it was chaos.  Hong Kong airport was so busy, so crowded.  People everywhere, and queues everywhere.  And there’s not even priority queues for babies at the Customs, unlike Taiwan. Sigh… This felt pretty much like Singapore…  2 popcorns.

CityView Hotel @ Yau Ma Tei

Our very retro (read outdated) room at CityView hotel. Check out the control panel between the beds.

It’s location was superb, right outside exit A2 of the MTR station, which happens to NOT HAVE an escalator so all the tourists have to LUG their luggages up.  Right round the corner and you’ll enter Mong Kok very soon, and plenty of shops and eateries right along Nathan Road.  The location was really ok, but……………… Don’t ever stay here if you wish for a warm room.  We totally don’t understand how can the room be sooooooo cold even after switching OFF the air con all the time.   2 popcorns plus some demerit points for the cold.

Disneyland

The Pooh ride at Disneyland was fun!

We reached at 12pm, and by 5pm, we were already bored and waiting for the fireworks display at 7pm. Baby1 enjoyed the teacups ride the most, while we had the Pooh ride and shoot the aliens ride (Astroblasters) and watched 2 shows too.  My verdict – visit Hong Kong’s Disneyland so that you can say that you have visited Disneyland before, but beware #1 Don’t lose your child.  There have been many reports of children going missing when the parents lose sight of their little ones just for a second. #2 Don’t eat the pork chop burger cos Dear1 had stomach flu after eating that.  #3 Be prepared to walk back to the entrance area multiple times cos that’s the ONLY diaper changing station in the entire park.  2 popcorns plus health advisory warning for providing dirty food.

(Baby Friendly) in Hong Kong

Evening rush hour at Central station. We abandoned the idea of taking the MTR and went to take Star Ferry back to Kowloon.

No baby stations in the MTR stations, no priority for babies in the airport, no friendly Hong Kong-er who chat along side with you.  In short, Hong Kong is not baby friendly, or any friendly at all.  Harsh shop attendants who snap at you, commuter who “tsk” at you for walking a tad too slow in the train station, people bumping into you cos they were all so in such a hurry, just loads and loads and loads of people everywhere along the pavements.  Forget it, I’ll never want to transit Hong Kong again.  I won’t even feel like giving any popcorns for this.

Baby1

Baby1 has been such a dear during this trip, except for the aching shoulders Beco-ing her all the time, and the dry weather which resulted in cracked skin all over.  It was a nice trip, but I’ll probably stay comfy in my weekdays/ weekends routine for a while now. 4 popcorns for Baby1 plus a star and a kiss.  Muck!

And finally, our leftover baby food jars from all 4 Cathay Pacific flights.

– Dear2

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