One of the first books our baby, Juniper, received, was her passport book. We've been itching to get her some stamps in it! Taiwan was at the top of our list for a family-friendly retreat from our cold November, to the hot tropics. Compared to other hot-spot travel destinations it is comparatively untraveled by Westerners. Every other person we talked to about our trip at home would send us off with a, "Have a nice trip in Thailand!" Except for the rare Westerner we would spot in Taipei, almost all the tourists we met around the island were vacationing Chinese or Taiwanese. Even the tourism from China has been ebbing due to the nations' recent stare-down. That has meant we haven't needed to wait in lines at restaurants, book train tickets days in advance, or even share a hotel swimming pool with a stranger. Of course, this will all change once the secret about this little paradise gets out. For now, we are glad to luxuriate under the shadow of confusion that Thailand's reputation casts, and visit a country that feels like a cultural getaway in the tropics, but where it is not only safe, but one is encouraged to wander the streets at night jabbing a spoon at an icy slurry of sweet beans and soft tofu. Also, malaria vaccines are unneeded. And did we mention the beautiful sunshine and endless hot springs?
After landing in Taipei, we started our loop around the island with a stop at Sun Moon Lake.
Quiz: Sun Moon Lake's biggest draw is its: (a) stunning natural beauty, (b) traditional pagodas and temples, (c) famous boiled tea eggs, or (e) all of the above.
If you picked an answer with tea eggs, surprisingly, you would not be alone. Every time we've visited Sun Moon Lake, the first thing my family wants to do is to go buy some famous tea eggs made by an equally famous grandma. They are a wonderful travel snack -- boiled in spicy cauldrons of black tea, mushrooms, and secrets, creating a treat that is salty and creamy, with a beautiful marbled exterior. Juniper enjoyed sitting on the dock, munching away on her yummy morsel!
After a long afternoon exploring the lake, we checked into our hotel, Fuli Hot Spring Resort. (This brand new hotel invited us to stay with them, knowing we would broadcast our thoughts from a family travel point of view.) Taiwan is famous for their hot springs, in addition to pretty much every major destination around the island, you can now get a good soak at Sun Moon Lake, and it is highly recommended. They have gorgeous outdoor pools, with different temperatures and depths (great for baby exploration and play!). Our room also had a luxurious private hot spring bath, so you can soak and rest for as long as you please... and then roll straight into bed! Fuli also really looks out for guests with little ones -- there was a crib in our room, baby bath, and bottle warmer. Downstairs there's even a playroom, with structures to play on and endless Legos to build with. The dinner and breakfast buffet was endless, with Western and Taiwanese options. While definitely a splurge, Fuli makes traveling with a baby simple and luxurious.
Next up -- we continue our trip to the very southern tip of Taiwan to Kenting National Park! Stay tuned for photos and stories. A highlight? Wild monkeys!
如果你选择茶蛋，令人惊讶的是，你不会孤独。每次我们访问日月潭，我家人要做的第一件事是去买一些着名的茶蛋由一个同样着名的奶奶。他们是一个美妙的旅行小吃 - 煮在辣的大锅的红茶，创造一个咸和奶油，美丽的大理石外观的治疗。瞻博网络真的很喜欢坐在码头上，嚼着她的美味小菜！
经过漫长的下午探索湖泊后，我们进入了我们的酒店福丽温泉度假村。 （这家全新的酒店邀请我们与他们在一起，知道我们将从家庭旅行的角度广播我们的想法。）台湾以其温泉而闻名，除了几乎每个主要目的地在岛上，你现在可以在日月潭很好的浸泡，强烈推荐。他们有华丽的室外游泳池，不同的温度和深度（伟大的婴儿探索和玩！）。我们的房间也有一个豪华的私人温泉浴，所以你可以浸泡和休息，只要你请...，然后直接滚进床！富利也真的看到小的客人 - 有一个在我们的房间，婴儿浴室和瓶暖和的婴儿床。楼下甚至有一个游戏室，结构上玩和无尽的乐高建立。晚餐和自助早餐是无止境的，与西方和台湾的选择。虽然绝对是一个爆炸，福利让与宝宝旅行简单和豪华。
接下来 - 我们继续我们的旅行到台湾的南端到垦丁国家公园！请关注照片和故事。一个亮点？野生猴子！
Ariel + Sam + Juniper