This is the perfect itinerary to discover Taiwan with kids

Soon after moving to the Philippines, Taiwan became high on our list of places to visit. This small island has a big history and although the many national parks are a big draw, its awe-inspiring landscapes are not all it has to offer.

Taiwan has modern, vibrant cities, beaches, hot springs, amazing food and dozens of picture-perfect scenic areas. Being ruled by Japan from 1895 until 1945, Taiwan is organised and efficient and the Taiwanese are amazingly friendly, polite people. Plus, as we found out, there are so many things to do in Taiwan with kids.

Public transport in Taipei is excellent and very family friendly. The city’s metro is extensive, orderly and easy to use (signs and announcements are also in English), not to mention fast and affordable. The streets are easy to navigate and traveling with a stroller was never an issue. Taiwan for toddlers is very doable. There seems to be a park near every metro stop and finding a free public toilet was never difficult. In our first two days we explored a mix of attractions to appease both us and the kids and each night we ended at one of the fabulous night markets.

Taipei is a beautiful fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian and American culture as well as its balance of modern day and old world. There are lots of things to do in Taipei with children and we pleased our kids on the first day by visiting the Taipei Zoo and riding the Maokong Mountain gondola. Our second day we watched the changing of the guards at the National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, let the kids run off some steam at the amazing Da’an Forest Park, and visited the original Din Tai Fung restaurant and Longshan Temple. On our return to Taipei and the end of our nine day itinerary we explored the more modern Taipei 101 area, climbed the 154 stairs of Elephant Mountain, walked to the top of Beitou Hot Springs and bathed in a private hot springs room.

Eating your way through the city is one of the best ways to experience Taipei. Its cultural diversity is reflected in the many cuisines it has on offer. A trip to Taipei is not complete without visiting at least one night market. We didn’t just go to one, we went to six! We ended our first full day at Dihua Street and the Ningxia Tourist Night Market. Dihua Street is known for its Chinese medicine and textile shops. We sampled and bought the famous Brown Sugar Ginger Tea, which is known for its many health benefits. On our second night we were in the Longshan Temple area, home of four night markets. These markets were smaller and seemed to run into one another and were nowhere near as good at the Ningxia Night Market.

Coincidentally, we saved the best night market for last. The Raohe Night Market topped them all in terms of variety, selection and with an amazing vibrancy. We enjoyed squid cooked so many different ways, the most amazing dumplings and kiln baked pepper pork buns, okonomiyaki (Japanese version of a cross between pizza and a pancake), and Chinese burritos to list a few of our favorites. But we couldn’t get enough of Dà Cháng Bāo Xiǎo Cháng (small sausage in a large sticky rice sausage) that was especially delicious at the Raoche Night Maket.