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When I first moved to Taiwan, I never imagined I’d end up living in Taiwan for 10+ years, marrying a Taiwanese, and having two kids. Sage and Lavender were born and raised there before we moved to Canada in 2019, and we go back there regular for visits.
We never let having kids stop us from exploring our beloved Taipei (see my tips for visiting Taipei with kids here). And before both of them could walk, we were already taking them on trips around the island. When they were only 3 and 4, I took them on a solo full circuit of the island by train & scooter. We did this again, but hitting different spots, when they were 6 and 8.
I simply can’t recommend exploring Taiwan with kids enough. Below I’ll explain why I feel this way. Then I’ll give you my recommend two-week Taiwan itinerary with kids, with additional options if you have more time. With less time, you can pick and choose, but the route around Taiwan is the same.
I’ll also recommend the best kid-friendly hotels in Taiwan for each stop. Last but not least, I’ve got a similar but non-kid-focused guide to planning a 1 week, 2 week, or 3 week itinerary for Taiwan, which includes some places I skipped here.
For more trip ideas not covered in this article, see my articles on the best things to do in Taipei and things to do in Taiwan. You can also read my detailed guide to moving to Taiwan, which includes a section on moving to and living in Taiwan with children.
Useful Links for Visiting Taiwan with Kids
- Book a private vehicle from the airport to your hotel with option to add child seat. Cheaper than taxi!
- For a luxury family tour of Taiwan, with expertly curated local experiences and staying in the country’s best hotels, I recommend Life of Taiwan.
- Learn about the best time to visit Taiwan, fun facts about Taiwan, and my general tips for traveling in Taiwan.
- Find the best family-friendly hotels in my guide to where to stay in Taipei.
- Figure out where to eat with kids in my Taipei restaurant guide.
- Join my free Taiwan Travel Planning Group for asking any questions.
You can find great discounted online rates for tours, activities, transportation and more on Klook. If you sign up for an account with my referral link, you’ll get NT$100 off your first activity.
Best Places to Visit in Taiwan with Kids
While I’m going to cover some of the best kid-friendly attractions in depth below in my itinerary for traveling around Taiwan with kids, you may want to jump right to some of my topic specific articles:
- The best beaches around Taipei with kids
- The best amusement parks, theme parks, and water parks in Taiwan
- The best host springs in Taiwan (including kid-friendly ones)
- The most kid-friendly hot springs in Taiwan are this one, this one, and this one.
- Yilan county is loaded with family-friendly activities, zoos, leisure farms, and more. Here’s my guide to visiting Yilan with kids.
- Here are the best cat cafes in Taipei, including which ones allow kids.
- The country’s best beaches and resorts are in Kenting National Park (like this one!) The park also has a great aquarium and a place you can swim with capybaras!
- Our kids loved snorkeling with sea turtles on Xiaoliuqiu island.
- The most famous attractions in Taiwan are Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, Cingjing Farm, and Alishan. All are fine with kids, but some kids get carsick on the way to Alishan and Cingjing.
Why Taiwan is Awesome for Kids
Taiwan also has some awesome festivals, including some aimed specifically at kids. Learn about these and more in my Taiwan festivals and holidays guide.
Challenges or downsides
As with many countries in the world, you’ll want to especially take care of your kids with the traffic in Taiwan. Cars have the right of way in Taiwan (not pedestrians). Sometimes scooters appear out of nowhere, and drivers often just drive without looking both ways. And even in night markets, which are meant to be for pedestrians only, the occasional scooter might rip through, so do watch your kids!
Whether to bring a large stroller, small stroller (like an umbrella stroller), or no stroller at all for Taiwan is a common question. Personally, even though large strollers can hold lots of stuff, I find them less convenient in Taiwan. Sidewalks are often block (or non-existent) in Taiwan. Bigger strollers can be harder to push around. I like using a small stroller, which gets around things (or bumps/curbs) easier, and sometimes I can even pick up the whole thing to carry (with child inside) down a small set of stairs. And if you can, a soft, comfortable carrier is especially useful, but it can get hot/sweaty in summer.
Getting Around Taiwan with Kids
Riding the Taipei MRT with Kids
Children under 115cm or under 6 travel free on the Taipei MRT. Children age to 6 and seniors can get a “Concessionaire EasyCard”, which only gives some very small discounts. Age 12+ needs to get a normal adult EasyCard. Only Taipei City students can get the student EasyCard. You can pre-rder your EasyCard on Klook for pickup when you arrive in Taiwan, but the Concessionaire card is only available at MRT stations or convenience stores in Taiwan.
Dark blue seats on all MRT cars are designated for the needy, including pregnant women or passengers with young children. But even if they are occupied, people in the regular light blue seats will likely give up their seats for you if you are traveling with a baby or toddler.
Parents can consider getting a Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass, which includes unlimited rides on the MRT and buses in Taipei and New Taipei City, five tourist shuttle buses to dozens of attractions outside of Taipei, and entrance to 16 major attractions. The card is valid for 1, 2, or 3 days. There’s also a Transport Fun Pass.
In this guide to the various Taipei Fun Passes, I explain how the passes work and whether they are worth the money. For kids, they aren’t worth the money, because kids get big discount at most attractions.
Every MRT station in Taipei has escalators and elevators from to platform. Usually only one station exit has an elevator, though. Leaving the station, you can just follow the signs. But entering a station, it’s sometimes hard to find the elevator entrance, as the various exits can be blocks apart. One trick is to look up the Wikipedia page for the MRT station. Every station has a page, and it always shows which exit has the elevator.
Riding the Train in Taiwan with Kids
When riding the TRA (regular train) to other cities in Taiwan with kids, children under 115cm or under 6 are also free but must share a seat with you. However, if you want a seat for your child, you need to buy a children’s ticket for him or her. Children 115-150cm or under 12 pay half price for a seat. Above 150cm and 12 years old pay full fare (above 150cm but still under 12, or vice versa, is still half price).
Riding the High Speed Rail with Kids
Renting a Car (and Child Car Seats)
If you decide to rent a car for traveling around Taiwan with kids, then I recommend renting one here on Klook. This includes the option to add a car seat.
You legally must use a proper baby or child car seat when driving in a private vehicle in Taiwan. This rule does not apply to taxis, which are considered a form of public transportation. Locals don’t use car seats when taking taxis with their kids in Taiwan, so if you want to use one, you’ll need to bring it from home or buy one there.
Driving in Taipei is not convenient. It’s much easier to ride the MRT. Leaving Taipei with a car can also be slow. What a lot of people do is ride the train from Taipei to Hualien (only 2 hours on the express train, vs. 4 hours driving). Then they start their car rental in Hualien. Going the other direction around Taiwan, you could do the same in Taichung.
Another common option is to ride trains around Taiwan, but just take taxis, private transfers, or hire drivers when needed. For example, here’s a private driver for Taipei day trips, private driver for Yangmingshan National Park, private driver for Taroko Gorge, private driver for exploring Yilan, shared transfer to Sun Moon Lake, and private transfer for Cingjing Farm.
Last but not least, you can use Tripool for point-to-point trips across Taiwan.
Traveling around East Asia with kids? Also see this article on the best things to do in Hong Kong with kids!
Arriving at Taoyuan International Airport with Kids
The Taoyuan International Airport, where you will likely arrive in Taiwan, could definitely be regarded as one of the best family friendly airports in the world. If you depart from T2, don’t miss the Hello Kitty check in counter for Eva Airlines (even if you aren’t flying with Eva) at the back of the check-in hall. Both terminals have great kids play areas with playgrounds after you check in, and there is a skytrain connecting the two terminals. The airport also has free WiFi.
Riding the Taipei Airport MRT with kids is a fast, cheap, and easy way to get to Taipei Main Station. There are also buses to the city and and as far away as Taichung city. There is no transportation from the airport to city between midnight and 6 AM.
There are always taxis available at the airport. They are safe and use the meter. You can also arrange a private transfer to your hotel, which is often a little cheaper than a taxi. You can also request a child seat if needed.
If you’d like to connect directly to the High Speed Rail for traveling south, ride the Airport MRT to Taoyuan High Speed Rail station, in the opposite direction from Taipei. There you can transfer onto the HSR.
1 Week Taiwan Itinerary with Kids
One week is a tough amount of time to visit Taiwan. It’s a little too long to stay in one spot (Taipei), but it’s too short to make a full circle around Taiwan.
I used to recommend that you just stay in Taipei for one week. However, in my experience checking hundreds of people’s family travel itineraries in my Taiwan Travel Planning group, I now know that MANY families rush around Taiwan and make so many stops in only one week, staying in each place only one night. So I will give you options below for a slow, medium, and fast one week itinerary with kids.
Relaxed 1 Week Itinerary
The most relaxing way would be to spend your whole week in Taipei. There are so many things to do in Taipei with kids and day trips from Taipei that you can easily fill your week with fun activities. And thanks to the convenient trains and HSR, you can even explore other cities like Taichung, Tainan, or Kaohsiung as day trips from Taipei.
Medium pace itinerary
With one week, a lot of visiting families will spend 3-4 days in Taipei, then 2-3 days in one other place outside Taipei. A very popular choice is going to Hualien for visiting Taroko Gorge. Two nights in Hualien is best for doing this, because it usually takes one full day to explore Taroko Gorge.
Make sure to book your Hualien train early (up to 28 days in advance). And I recommend hiring a driver for Taroko Gorge. I’ll give more details about visiting Taroko Gorge with kids below.
Another popular choice is Yilan, a county on the north east coast of Taiwan. It only takes 60-90 minutes to reach Yilan, and there are so many kid-friendly things to do there. Here’s my guide to Yilan.
Yet another popular choice is Taichung and/or Sun Moon Lake. You need to pass through Taichung to get to Sun Moon Lake, and both places have some fun things for kids, so you can spend 1-2 nights in each one. I’ll cover these in more detail below too.
2 Week Taiwan Itinerary with Kids
With 2 weeks, it becomes more feasible to travel all the way around Taiwan with your kids. This is how I would map it out (based on traveling to all of these places multiple times with my kids).
I’ve actually made it a little longer than two weeks, so you can pick and choose spots according to how many days you’ve got. If you’ve got more than two weeks, then I’ve included some extra ideas for even more possible stops at the end.
Days 1-3: Taipei
After arriving and checking in on your first day, spend a few days exploring this fascinating, bustling metropolis with your kids. Use my Taipei with kids article and Taipei 2 day or 3 day itineraries to plan your trip. I’ve listed even more ideas in my guide to the best things to do in Taipei.
If you want to spend one of those days at the beach, check out my complete guide to the best beaches near Taipei. Also don’t miss my super detailed guides to the best night markets in Taipei, in which I point out the best ones for kids, and the top Taipei temples.
You should use one of these days to do a day trip from Taipei. Several of the most famous spots are included in this popular day tour from Taipei. With kids, it may be more convenient to hire a driver to take you to them. Leofoo Village, the most famous amusement park in Taiwan, can be done as a day trip from Taipei.
While Jiufen is extremely popular, it’s not the easiest to visit with kids. The old street is built on the side of a mountain, so you have to walk up a lot of stairs when visiting. It can also become extremely crowded, even on weekdays, and especially on weekends. If you have a driver, ask them to drop you at the top, then you can walk downhill through the village. Here’s my guide to Jiufen and how to get there on your own.
Another option for a day trip is to explore the many family friendly places to visit in Yilan County, including several kid-friendly hot springs at Jiaoxi. If you’re family is into hot springs, I have a section in this article on the best kid-friendly hot springs in Taiwan.
Family Friendly Hotels in Taipei
Grаnd Нуаtt Таіреі (ѕее оn Аgоdа / Вооkіng / ТrірАdvіѕоr) Тhе Нуаtt fеаturеѕ Таіреі 101 vіеwѕ, аn оutdооr рооl, kіdѕ рlау rооm, аnd а buffеt thаt оur kіdѕ lоvеd. See pics and read about our experience staying at Grand Hyatt Taipei.
Green World Zhonghua (see on Agoda / Booking / TripAdvisor) This is one of the few hotels in Taipei that has some connecting rooms, which can be great for bigger families. It is conveniently located near Taipei Main Station and Ximending.
See even more of my Taipei hotel recommendations here.
Days 4-5: Hualien and Taroko Gorge with Kids
Taroko Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of Taiwan,” is arguably the country’s most dramatic natural attraction. It is an absolute must-see, and nobody leaves disappointed. See here for my guide to Taroko Gorge, other things to do in Hualien, and how to plan your Hualien itinerary.
Only regular (TRA) trains go to Hualien, not the HSR. But there are different types of train, with the fastest (express) ones taking only 2 hours, but reserving is a must. Slower ones take 3-4 hours. You can also take this flight from Taipei to Hualien, which departs from the Songshan airport right in Taipei City.
Before you buy your train tickets, you’ll need to decide whether you want to stay right inside Taroko Gorge, in Xincheng (the nearest town, but limited amenities), or Hualien City (30 min away, but more things to see and do). If you stay in Taroko or Xincheng, you can book your train to Xincheng station.
Is Taroko Gorge suitable for kids? Yes! We’ve taken ours twice now. All the major stops in Taroko Gorge only require a little walking, so even if you’ve got a baby in a carrier, it’s quite doable. Even some of the hikes, like Shakadang Trail and Baiyang Trail, are easy enough for kids.
The safest and easiest option with kids is to charter a private car for the day. That way you can pick the most suitable spots for kids, and stay at each for as long or as short as you’d like. You can also join a mini-bus tour, but then you’d have to follow their schedule. Taking the infrequent local bus severely limits how much you can see and do.
If you are brave enough to take your kids by scooter like we did, you can rent scooters at Xincheng or Hualien train stations for around NT400/day, license required.
Family friendly hotels in Hualien
The best hotel for kids right in Taroko Gorge is Silks Place Resort (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor), a luxurious hotel with a swimming pool. Taroko Village Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is a more humble choice with cabins and aboriginal buffet on the site of a real aboriginal village.
In Hualien City, Happy Hualien B&B (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) has family rooms with slides inside, and children’s playing areas with ball pool and lots of toys. It is close to the train station.
Farglory Hualien Resort (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the best resort in Hualien. It has a seaside location, famous aquarium nearby, and swimming pool. It is located just south of the city.
Day 6 to 7: Taitung with Kids
For a taste of rural Taiwan, your next stop will be somewhere in Taitung County, the remotest corner of Taiwan and the country’s bread rice basket.
The gorgeous East Rift Valley, through which the train and Highway 9 passes, is covered with rice paddies and pineapple farms. The small towns of Chishang, Guanshan and Luye are all good choices for experiencing Taitung. Taitung city itself doesn’t have much to see or do, but you’ll have to pass through it if doing a loop around Taiwan.
We’ve been to all three, but with kids, I would choose Chishang as the best place to stay in Taitung with kids. Chishang is one of Taiwan’s most famous cycling destinations. Visitors flock there because an EVA airlines commercial starring a handsome actor was filmed there in the rice paddies. It’s good for kids because they hire out family-sized electric bicycles, which my kids loved riding around. The cycling route is called “Brown Boulevard”.
Guanshan and Luye are two other options for spending the night. Both towns are also on the train line. Guanshan is also a cycling destination, but not as popular as it used to be and totally surpassed by Chisghang. If you prefer to get off the beaten track, it’s a good option. There’s a cycling route that does a full circle around the town, with rice paddy scenery, but not quite as stunning as Chishang. See my article on Guanshan for Travel in Taiwan magazine.
If you’re traveling through Taitung by car, make sure to read my Hualien to Kenting road trip guide.
Luye is a third option for spending the night in Taitung, but this mostly rural township is spread out and not walkable, so I would only choose here if you are willing to explore the area by scooter/car/bicycle, or just get picked up by your hotel and spend most of your time relaxing there.
If you happen to be visiting in summer, the Taitung Hot Air Balloon Festival, which takes place on the Luye Highland 20 minutes drive uphill from town, is an awesome activity for kids. See here for my full article on our recent trip to Luye and the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Luye is 1h50min to 3h from Hualien by train.
When traveling from any of these small towns in Taitung on to your next stop (Kaohsiung), there are some direct trains, but you’ll find even more if you buy a ticket from Chishang/Guanshan/Luye to Taitung city, and then a second ticket from Taitung on to Kaohsiung.
If you’re driving down the east coast, then you will have the option of driving down Highway 9, including the places I mentioned above. Or you will have the option of driving down the coastal Highway 11.
If you take the coastal Highway 11, Dulan is the best place to stay. Here’s my full article on Dulan beach town. You can also drive between the two highways, but be careful, because some roads between them are fast, and some are very slow. There are no trains running along the coast.
North of Dulan, Sanxiantai is one of the coolest spots along the coast. For more info, see my guide to road tripping down the East Coast of Taiwan.
Family Friendly Hotels in Taitung
In Chishang, we enjoyed Good Harvest B&B (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor). This very local-style guesthouse was close to the Brown Boulevard cycling path and had a view of the rice paddies. There were lots of cats there, which the kids loved. Papago International (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is a more upscale option with a swimming pool.
In Luye, the Luminous Hot Spring Resort & Spa (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the only larger hotel option and place with a pool in town. They offer pick-up, and you can sometimes see hot air balloons going by right from the rooms. They’ve got a pool and hot spring, but the hotel is getting a little old. See my Luye article for other B&B options and info for renting a scooter in town.
In Dulan, we stayed at the Song of Eagle B&B (see on Booking / Agoda), but you would need your own transportation to get here. There are several other hostels and B&Bs in and around town; see my Dulan article for more hotels for kids in Taitung.
Day 8 and 9: Kaohsiung with Kids
I think that Kaohsiung, Southern Taiwan’s largest city, justifies a spot on your Taiwan itinerary with kids. There are several kidf-friendly things to do in Taiwan’s second largest city.
One fun spot to explore is Pier 2 Art Center, which includes several docks that are filled with public art. While there, don’t miss the kids playcenter at Wooderful Life and the amazing model trains and mini train rides at Hamasan Railway Museum.
Our kids also enjoyed Kaohsiung Zoo on Shoushan (Shou Mountain) next to the city. Unlike Taipei’s zoo, it has a petting zoo, water fountains the kids can play in, and little cars they can drive. It is also possible (well, pretty much guaranteed, if you go to the right spots) to see wild macaques on Shoushan and connecting Chaishan. The guards at the zoo even shoot them with paintballs to prevent them from sneaking into the zoo, which surprised my son a lot!
One of the best things to do in Kaohsiung with kids is visit Suzuka Circuit Park (formerly called “Taroko Park”). This is one of the newest and best theme parks in Taiwan, especially for younger kids. Besides the rides, there’s a kid-friendly department store on site. One of the upper floors has kids bowling, arcades, toy stores, playcenters, VR center, and more. In another building, there’s also bowling and a trampoline park.
For older kids, there’s also a full-sized go-kart track there modeled on a real race track in Japan, hence the name “Suzuka Circuit Park”. See my article for Travel in Taiwan magazine on Suzuka Circuit Park for all the details, including where to find the mini bowling alley. You can get there by riding the KMRT to Caoya Station.
There is another huge and very popular theme park in Kaohsiung called E-Da Theme Park. You can get a big discount by ordering your tickets online here.
For even more ideas, here are my 50 recommended things to do in Kaohsiung and guide to Kaohsiung’s night markets. I recommend Liuhe Night Market for visitors with kids – it is the least crowded and is traffic-free, so it’s safer to visit.
If you spend more time in Kaohsiung with kids, you could consider making a half-day trip to the incredible Foguangshan Monastery. Also don’t miss the beautiful Lotus Lake, which is near the HSR station (Zuoying) in Kaohsiung.
Family Friendly Hotels in Kaohsiung
Optional Side Trip 1: Xiaoliuqiu
If you can find the time in your itinerary, there are a few side trips that you may want to make from Kaohsiung. The first is the beautiful, tropical island Xiaoliuqiu. This island is most famous for its giant sea turtles, which you can go snorkeling with any month of the year.
It is possible to do Xiaoliuqiu as a day trip from Kaohsiung, but spending a night or two there is a decision you won’t regret. Renting a scooter when you arrive is ideal, but it’s possible to visit and snorkel without one.
Find out everything you need to know in my guide to Xiaoliuqiu.
Optional Side Trip 2: Kenting National Park
Kenting has the best beautiful on the mainland of Taiwan. It’s a very popular place for people to spend the long weekend. You can go swimming/sun bathing, play water activities, or visit the famous Kenting Aquarium in Hengchun, the largest town in the area. You can even take care of penguins or spend the night inside the aquarium, but this experience needs to be booked well in advance.
There are three main beaches in Kenting where you can consider staying. South Bay (Nanwan) is a lovely beach with just a handful of hotels along the highway. The area around Kenting Night Market, also called Kenting village or Kenting Main Street, has the largest collection of hotels, restaurants, and food stalls in Kenting, so this is where most people stay. Swimming is not technically allowed at the beach here.
The third and furthest option is Sail Rock Beach (船帆石小沙灘), which also has a small collection of hotels.
If you you want to be efficient with your travel time, you can Kenting on the way from Taitung to Kaohsiung by transiting at Fangliao train station, from where you can catch the Kenting-bound bus.
Family Friendly Hotels in Kenting
There are many seaside B&Bs and resorts to choose from in Kenting. In South Bay, Nanwan Station (see on Booking / Agoda) has family-sized rooms with balcony and sea view, just across the street from the beach.
Around Kenting village, Caesar Park Kenting (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is one of the most popular family-friendly resorts, with swimming pool and all kinds of fun activities on offer. Howard Beach Resort (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is another large resort with themed rooms, spray park, pool, and private beach access.
Day 10: Tainan City
Tainan city is the original capital of Taiwan. Thus, most things to see there are old temples and forts, which may not necessarily appeal to young kids. It’s also not the easiest city to get around, with no MRT. Some families even give Tainan a miss. But if you do decide to include Tainan in your itinerary, there are a few kid-friendly things to do there.
The Spring is a large shallow pool of water (see above photo) in the center of the city. It’s perfect for cooling off in summer and kids love playing in it. It only has water in summer though.
Other things to do in Tainan (but that aren’t necessarily kid-friendly) are touring Tainan’s amazing temples, going night market hopping in Tainan, Sicao Green Tunnel, snacking on Anping Old Street, and Anping Treehouse (the last one would be especially cool for kids). Anping is a district outside of the city center, though, so you need to budget about an hour to get there.
For all the info you need, see my guide to the best things to do in Tainan.
My kids really enjoyed Qigu Salt Mountain and Jingzijiao Salt Fields (pictured below). These two spots are quite off-the-beaten-track, so you’ll need more time to get to them.
Family-Friendly Hotels in Tainan
Hotel Cozzi (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is an excellent kid-friendly hotel in Tainan recommended by my readers.It has themed rooms, playing kitchen, ball pool, sand boxes, train tracks, and playing area on the roof, and it is centrally located.
Day 11: Fenqihu or Shizhuo
Now, it’s time to get off the super developed west coast and enjoy a more natural experience with your kids as you make your way for Alishan National Scenic Area, Taiwan’s most famous mountain resort, in the Central Mountain Range.
Instead of rushing to Alishan, I recommend spending one night in Fenqihu or Shizhuo on the way there. These small villages are less touristy than Alishan and have very beautiful scenery. This can also break up your trip to Alishan – the road is very winding, so kids often get carsick on the way to Alishan. These two villages are just over half way to Alishan from Chiayi. You can buy car sickness medicine at any pharmacy in Taiwan. Ask for 暈車藥 (yun che yao).
The transportation for getting from Kaohsiung to Chiayi, then Chiayi to Shizhuo or Fenqihu is a little complicated, with some different options. I don’t want to explain it all here, so you should check out my guide to getting to Alishan for all the info and bus/train times.
No matter how you go, you can get from Kaohsiung to Shizhuo or Fenqihu in a few hours. For all the details about these two places and for planning the Alishan part of your trip, please read my Alishan guide.
Fenqihu (also spelled Fenchihu) is a very small mountain village with a cure Old Street. There is a small train museum and some hiking trails around the village through bamboo forest, but not much else to do in town. If you spend the night, you can usually see some fireflies. You can get from Chiayi to Fenqihu by riding the Alishan Forest Railway (slower and only 1-2 per day, so needs to be reserved) or by bus (no reservation needed, can swipe EasyCard.
Shizhuo (also spelled Shizhao) is another small village near Fenqihu. There’s no train to here, but it has more buses from Chiayi because every bus from Chiayi to Alishan stops there. Shizhuo is most famous for its beautiful tea farms and sunsets. In March, you can also see cherry blossoms there. Some guesthouse owners in Shizhuo on tea farms are willing to pick you up from the bus stop in Shizhuo or the train station in Fenqihu.
Family-Friendly Hotels in Fenqihu and Shizhuo
Fenqihu Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is one of the only hotels in Fenqihu. It is right beside the train station and the only 7-11 in town. They have cute little wooden bathtubs (see me in one above!)
See my Alishan article for even more hotel recommendations in Fenqihu and Shizhuo.
Day 12: Alishan with Kids
Don’t worry if you didn’t take the train from Chiayi to Fenqihu. The three train lines inside the park are even more fun!
The main hiking trails through ancient, spooky forests in Alishan were easy enough for my kids (I had to carry Lavender sometimes), even with the light rain that we experienced some of the time.
We didn’t do the sunrise, something which most tourists do when they visit Alishan. I don’t think my kids would have cared enough to justify waking them up that area, and often the sunrises are not even visible at Alishan.
Make sure to bring warm clothes (even in summer), as it can get quite chilly at this elevation, and rain gear. They do sell kids’ jackets, other winter gear, and ponchos there if you forgot them like we did.
Make sure to read my Alishan guide for all the details about hiking in Alishan with your kids. I also suggest picking up a map of the local trails from the Alishan Visitor’s Center, as some people get a little lost on the trails there.
Family Friendly Hotels in Alishan
Hotels in Alishan are mostly old, run down, and overpriced for what you get. Most of them are located on a curving road at the side of the tourist village.
Because Alishan is so popular, and the number of hotels there is limited, it is very common for all hotels in Alishan to sell out weeks or months in advance, especially during long weekends, Chinese New Year, and cherry blossom season (March to April). For this reason, I often tell people not to worry too much about which hotel, and just book anything while you can!
When we went, we just chose the cheapest one, Mei Li Ya (Maria Hotel) (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor). It was run down, but the clerk was really friendly, the beds had heated sheets, and the room had a huge dehumidifier, which dried all our wet clothes and shoes in no time.
If we went again, I would choose a hotel that offers free pick up from the bus station, such as Shermuh (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor), which was right next door to ours. (You’ll need to confirm whether they are still offering this). It was quite a walk from the bus station to our hotel carrying our luggage and dragging my two kids, in the rain of course.
The nicest hotel in the scenic area is Alishan Hotel (Alishan House) (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor). It is located away from the tourist village but closer to the walking trails. They also offer free pickup and the location is more scenic, but you also lose easy access to the 7-11 and other amenities in the tourist village. This is where tour groups usually stay, so it is often full. Even this hotel is a little old, though.
Day 13-14: Sun Moon Lake with Kids
Sun Moon Lake is one of Taiwan’s three major scenic attractions, along with Taroko Gorge and Alishan. I took my kids there on a father-kids trip a few years ago. Lavender wasn’t even 1 yet and Sage was 3. It is a very special memory for us that we still talk about today – Lavender doesn’t remember, but the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway is one of Sage’s earliest memories.
Sun Moon Lake can feel quite touristy at times, and if you are coming from North America or Europe, you may find that the lake doesn’t really compare. Still, almost every visitor to Taiwan stops here, so I can’t not include it.
If you’re following this itinerary, the best way to get from Alishan to Sun Moon Lake is the minibus. There’s only 1 per day departing Alishan at 1 PM and arriving at SML at 4 PM. It’s a winding drive at the start.
Arriving at SML at 4 PM doesn’t give you much time there. That’s why I recommend spending 2 nights at Sun Moon Lake in this itinerary.
There are two main villages at SML. Shuishe is where the buses arrive and depart, so it is most convenient. Itathao is my preferred one. It is an actual aboriginal village and has a great day and night market with lots of local food stalls. You can travel between the two villages by bus or by boat. Find all the details and info in my Sun Moon Lake guide.
The best things to do at Sun Moon Lake are riding the boat across the lake and riding the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway. There are actually 2 connected cable cars. The first goes to the top of the mountain, with views of Sun Moon Lake. The second one goes from the top and down the back side of the mountain to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Museum. This is an aboriginal museum, with songs and dance performances, and an amusement park. But it is not one of the best amusement parks in Taiwan.
Family Friendly Hotels at Sun Moon Lake
Some of the best family-friendly hotels and resorts are around Shuishe Village, the main village at Sun Moon Lake. Fleur de Chine (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) near Shuishe is the most luxurious choice, with a pool, spa, and gorgeous views from the lake-facing rooms.
Right in Shuishe near the bus stop and pier, Blue Sky Bay B&B (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is the best B&B in town, while Sun Moon Lake Loft Inn (see on Booking / Agoda) is a cheaper hotel with family rooms – some even have cute children’s bunk beds.
In Ita Thao village, which we like more than Shuishe, we loved staying in these Wooden Cabins (see on Booking / Agoda), which were just a 5-minute walk up a small forest road from Itashao Village and bus stop.
Right in Ita Thao village, we also considered Shuiyang Boatel Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor). It has incredible lake views and is in a quiet corner of Itashao. Shuian Lakeside Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor) is a similar but more popular one that has a prime spot right on the main market street and dock of Itashao.
Day 15-16: Taichung with Kids
The first great stop with kids in Taichung is the National Museum of Science. it has the best dinosaur exhibit in all of Taiwan. The dinosaurs are super lifelike and they actually move and growl!
Yet another is Gaomei Wetlands, where kids can walk out on a long boardwalk on the sea. There are tons of crabs and other sea creatures to spot along the way, plus the kids can play in the shallow water at the end. Our kids loved it! This is a half-day trip from the Taichung city center, and the best time to go is just before sunset.
If you have time, Lihpao Land, north of the Taichung city center, is one of the best and newest amusement parks and waterparks in Taiwan. It has the country’s tallest Ferris wheel and a beautiful Italian-themed outlet mall. You can get discount tickets here, go by day tour from Taichung, or spend the night there.
Family-Friendly Hotels in Taichung
There are some pretty cool options for kid-friendly hotels in Taichung.
Day 17: Back to Taipei or Taoyuan Airport
From Taichung, you can ride the HSR to Taoyuan Station and connect to the Airport MRT for getting to the airport. There are also regular shuttle buses from Taichung bus station (just north of the train station) to Taoyuan Airport.
Or you can take the HSR (1 hr), regular train (2 hrs), or bus (2 hrs) back to Taipei.
More Cool Places for Kids in Taiwan (if you have extra time)
If you have even more time, or perhaps you live in Taiwan with your kids, here are some more off-the-beaten track ideas for things to do in Taiwan with kids.
These all take a little extra time to get to, so they don’t fit easily into most travelers’ travel itinerary, but I include them for people who have extra time and need more ideas. And for some visiting families, these places are actually the focus of their trip, instead of the usual popular places like Taroko Gorge, Alishan, and Sun Moon Lake.
One alternative to Sun Moon lake (or you can do both!) is Cingjing Farm. This is a high-elevation, European-style farm in Nantou county. It has beautifuyl mountain views, sunrises/sunsets, real farm animals, and some excellent guesthouses.
Just like Sun Moon Lake, the best way to get there is from Taichung. Buses takes 2.5 hours (via Puli). With kids, you might want to get there faster with this private transfer or shared transfer. The road going there is winding, but luckily it’s not as bad (or as far) as the road to Alishan.
Miaoli: Strawberries, Flying Cow Ranch, Hobbit Houses
Miaoli is a more off-the-beaten track county between Taichung and Taipei. It has lots of family-friendly places to visit and great minsu (guesthouses). However, public transportation isn’t as good there, so it takes more time to travel. Renting a car is best here.
Picking strawberries at one of the many strawberry farms in Dahu is a very popular activity in winter in Taiwan. There’s also Dahu Wineland Resort, a strawberry themed park with loads of strawberry-flavored foods (even sausages and noodles!) and strawberry beer and wine for mom and dad. Here’s my guide to visiting a strawberry farm in Dahu with kids.
Other popular family activities in Miaoli include glamping, Flying Cow Ranch, which is one of the most popular leisure farms in Taiwan (you can also spend the night there!), seeing cute animals and Hobbit Houses at Hobbit Valley, and more Hobbit houses and Harry Potter scenery at Grimms Fantasy Forest.
A more off-the-beaten-track place to visit in Miaoli is Nanzhuang Old Street and Lion’s Head Mountain, where I slept in a temple with my kids!
Xitou Monster Village
Expect lots of weird monsters, spooky snacks, and some kid-focused activities.
Taking a Mud Hot Spring Bath at Guanziling
One of the most unique hot springs in Taiwan is Guanziling mud hot spring in Tainan county. You can soak in muddy hot spring water or even run thermal mud on your body. It us supposedly very good for your skin!
Plus, it’s also kid-friendly! Here’s my full guide to Guanziling hot spring.
Even though Guanziling is in Tainan, it’s actually closer to Chiayi city center than Tainan city center. So consider going as a day trip or overnight trip from Chiayi before of after visiting Alishan.
Penghu with Kids
Of the many small islands in Taiwan, Penghu is probably the best one for visiting with kids. Penghu is actually a chain of islands, with four big main islands connected by bridges. One reason it’s a top choice is because you can easily fly there from the Songshan airport in Taipei’s city center.
Some awesome things to do in with kids in Penghu are beach activties, island hopping boat tours, snorkeling, Penghu Aquarium, eating purple cactus ice cream, and the amazing Penghu Fireworks Festival. You only want to avoid visiting Penghu in winter, when it is extremely windy.
Find all the details and info in my guide to Penghu!
Well, that sums up my guide to traveling in Taiwan with kids. I hope you’ve found more than enough information and ideas here for planning your trip. If you have any questions, please comment below or join my free Taiwan Travel Planning group on Facebook!