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Taiwan Is a Fantastic Place to Bring Your Kids

Young tourists enjoy chewing sugarcane in Taiwan night marketFor those travelling with children, Taiwan is one of the world’s best destinations, for many of the same reasons that make it a superb place for so many other tourists. It’s an exceptionally safe country with dazzling scenery, delicious food, rich culture, modern infrastructure, and welcoming people.

Parents keen to visit Taiwan, but having second thoughts about venturing someplace where the language and food are so different, may want to sign up for one of Life of Taiwan’s family tours. Our highly experienced guides are skilled at ensuring that everyone — be they under the age of two or over 80 — has a wonderful time. They know the importance of patience and adaptability, and that more than three hours in the car per day is seldom a good idea when the party includes preteens.

Travel is a great way to stimulate children’s natural inquisitiveness. Youngsters who adore trains will be thrilled by the narrow-gauge railway that spirals its way up to Alishan and the branch line that connects Hsinchu with Neiwan. Kids who need regular sessions of running around, climbing, and jumping can let off steam in places like Luodong Forestry Culture Garden and Taichung’s Fengle Sculpture Park.

On the outskirts of the same city, the Taiwan Balloons Museum offers visitors of all ages a chance to learn how balloons are made and master some amusing balloon-modeling tricks. If your children prefer frequent snacking to big sit-down meals, they’ll love Taiwan’s night markets and the wonderful abundance of street food that’s seen across the island but is especially enticing in the historic neighbourhoods of Tainan and Lukang.

Parents still hesitant about venturing so far from home will be relieved to know that the standard of healthcare in Taiwan is internationally acclaimed. Even in small towns there are branches of major pharmacy chains such as Watson and Great Tree; in these, you can find sun block as well as over-the-counter medicines to treat stomach ailments or dehydration. Convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Family Mart, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, are literally everywhere and can be relied on for fresh milk, juices, and bread. They also stock tasty sandwiches (great if you or your kids want something familiar) and sell — to the delight of adults in need a pickup — freshly-made hot coffee. Almost every product is labelled in English as well as Chinese. Whereever you go, finding baby food, diapers, and other necessities isn’t a problem.

Baby changing facilities have become much more common in recent years. If you need one, look for in a department store or a hypermarket. They can also be found in many metro stations and larger railway stations. Some of these family-friendly improvements were brought in by a government that’s become extremely concerned about the birth rate, which in recent years has been one of the lowest in the entire world.

Youngsters enjoy a range of discounts including half-price travel on high-speed and conventional trains. Very young kids can travel for free if they don’t need a seat. However, self-guiding families that plan to take a taxi from a railway station or a domestic airport may find it difficult to get a vehicle with a child-safety seat. (Booking a taxi ahead of time and specifying that one is needed is one way around this problem.) The majority of museums offer child and student discounts, including one Life of Taiwan recommends as especially suitable for families: The 921 Earthquake Museum in Greater Taichung.

Insect near Alishan, TaiwanFor kids who like to be outdoors and love animals, Taiwan’s numerous recreational farms are a good bet. Among the best known are Flying Cow Ranch in Miaoli County and Chulu Ranch in Taitung County, but there are others with lowland or highland settings. A popular theme park (with animals!) is Leofoo Village, not far from the main international airport, where some of our guest stay overnight.

Things to remember if travelling with kids in Taiwan? Always bring a spare set of clothes, because you’ll never know when they might get wet, dirty, or drenched in sweat. In the warmer months and in the mountains, get them to wear hats outdoors, even when it’s cloudy, as getting burned is quite easy. Take a lightweight buggy or stroller, because in some places — Tainan’s older neighbourhoods come to mind — a combination of narrow streets motorcycles parked on the pavement mean pushing your child from A to B isn’t always easy. Taipei and Kaohsiung are much better in this regard. But don’t let such concerns stop you from coming. Best of all, contact Life of Taiwan today and begin planning a tailor-made private guided tour of Asia’s most intriguing destination!