|Yilan-Hualien| Traveling with Baby - First Family Adventure

by Joyu Wang
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This year has been a travel extravaganza for us, and luckily, we managed to have both a honeymoon and a babymoon when the pandemic restrictions eased. Many people say that it's inconvenient to travel abroad in the first few years of having a baby. After evaluating that our baby was still quite young, we decided to embark on an adventure we like to call the "Yilan-Hualien Baby Tour"!
This article is perfect for families who want to take their little ones on a family trip. All the accommodations are baby-friendly, making it a breeze for parents.



  • Destination: Yilan to Hualien (Southern tip: Fuli)
  • Purpose: Baby's first family vacation
  • Mode of Transport: Self-driving
  • Season: September, the tail end of summer, and a chance encounter with Typhoon Aere
  • Duration: 7 days and 6 nights

Day 1: Taipei to Yilan: Yilan National Center for Traditional Arts, The moment hotel

Our first family trip began in Yilan, and one of our key attractions was the Yilan National Center for Traditional Arts.
This unique cultural and artistic enclave is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and passing down Taiwan's traditional arts and cultural heritage. It was taken over by the "Fullon Shen Mi Cultural and Arts Foundation" and operated under the ROT scheme, aiming to create an emotionally moving traditional arts center that meets the needs of modern society. It combines cultural creativity to convey culture, embrace culture, and touch people's hearts, making it more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. It provides a dream-come-true platform and stage for local artists and traditional craftsmen. (官網)
The reason we initially took notice of this place was the accommodation it offered within the Yilan National Center for Traditional Arts. In the past, it was operated by "Lao Ye Hotels," but at the time, we couldn't afford to stay there. The hotel inside the center is operated under the OT (government investment and construction, privately operated) model. At the end of 2021, it changed from "Lao Ye Hotels" to "Yanbo Blooming Time." The hotel has undergone several changes in ownership, originally managed by the Fuh Tai Group, then taken over by the Lao Ye Group in 2017, and now it seems to have changed hands again with the Yanbo Group taking charge. (周刊王CTWANT)

Now that it's under the management of Yanbo, they've made some pricing adjustments. After some research, we found that their "stay and dine" package, offering accommodation with two meals included, was incredibly convenient. It instantly became the first attraction for our family trip!
Here are some of the reasons I believe this makes for a great two-day, one-night family trip:

  1. Having the accommodation and the center in the same area is definitely a great advantage. It allows for flexibility in your schedule, whether you want to check in and take a rest first or explore the activities and performances that pique your interest. A two-day, one-night stay will provide ample time to fully savor and enjoy all the intriguing experiences the center has to offer. It's a thoughtful approach for a family trip with a baby, ensuring everyone's comfort and enjoyment.
  2. The diverse range of activities at the Yilan National Center for Traditional Arts certainly caters to all preferences, whether you're inclined towards active or more leisurely pursuits: Varied Activities: With options for both indoor and outdoor activities, you can plan your day based on the weather conditions and your family's mood, Including DIY Experiences or Canoeing when the weather is idea.
  3. Photography can be a prolonged delight here. While some places with traditional cultural backgrounds may exude a strong artificial retro ambiance, the Yilan National Center for Traditional Arts offers a natural immersion in traditional culture, thanks to its diverse cultural introductions and the presence of various artistic crafts. Additionally, the rich architectural and street scenery provides ample opportunities for photography, allowing you to capture the essence of traditional culture authentically. For those seeking more whimsical photos, renting traditional attire is a fun and intriguing experience.
  4. A one-night stay with two meals included is incredibly convenient. Once you're inside the center, you can seamlessly handle all your dining needs for the two days and one night. Plus, there's no compromise on the quality of both dinner and breakfast!

Day 2: Yilan to Hualien: Echo Villa

Due to the unfortunate timing of your trip colliding with Typhoon Aere, rain started intermittently during the first few days of your journey. Fortunately, you had the foresight to rent traditional attire and capture some memorable photos the previous day. On the second morning, after enjoying breakfast, you took advantage of the opportunity to continue exploring the center despite the rainy weather. You used your experience vouchers to complete some delightful DIY crafting activities, making the most of your time indoors.

Throughout this trip, you were constantly reminded that for a first-time family outing with your baby, simpler daily itineraries were the way to go. On the second day, as you made your way to Hualien, you had the pleasure of staying at Echo Valley Forest Homestay, a place you had admired from the beginning. Fortunately, you secured a room on the fourth floor of Building 2, and you strongly recommend including this accommodation in your travel plans if you have the opportunity. However, it's worth noting that staying here can be quite an indulgence – it's just that wonderful!

After leaving Yilan and heading towards Echo Villa, it's a two-hour car journey ahead of you. Without doing thorough research beforehand, you were left wondering where to stop for breastfeeding along the way. About an hour into the drive, we chose a random 7-11 convenience store based on its location to have a quick meal and also breastfeed. It was at this moment that I realized that even though it's a place where you can find almost anything you need, they still lack dedicated breastfeeding rooms, even in the larger stores.

After arriving at Echo Villa in the afternoon, we enjoyed a forest bath inside the glass house on the property. It started pouring rain during dinner, and I'm so grateful that a colleague from Hualien brought dinner to me after work. It was truly heartwarming!

Another highlight of this trip was that just before departure, I suddenly remembered that a few accommodations had bathtubs. So, I quickly booked a baby swim ring. As a result, today's itinerary even included a little swim for our little one!

Day 3: Hualien: Sixty Stone Mountain in Fuli for dalily, 3030 hostel to be backpacker again

▲ 很幸運的有

In recent years, to enhance the added value of the golden needle industry, agricultural authorities have actively supported farmers in transitioning to produce fresh golden needle buds, fresh jade bamboo shoots, and incentivized the cultivation of flowering chrysanthemums. During the annual golden needle flower season in the summer, areas like Chike Mountain in Yuli, Sixty Stone Mountain in Fuli, Hualien County, and Golden Needle Mountain in Taimali, Taitung County, are covered in vast golden flower fields, attracting a large number of tourists. This has become a nationwide flower appreciation phenomenon, not only increasing the income of local needle farmers but also driving the flourishing development of the tourism industry in the eastern region. It has brought abundant business opportunities to the surrounding areas as well.

農糧署 黃孟山

This trip to the eastern part of Taiwan had quite a few emotional triggers. Although my readership isn't extensive, those of you reading along might have found it a bit tedious at times. The reason behind this is quite simple - over the past few years, the only company I've had on my trips to the east has either been just myself for work or my little one. The last time I went around the island, it was a heartwarming experience to meet Chester in Yuli. It was also the first time I learned about the Golden Needle Flower Sea, and we visited Chike Mountain together. Even though it was towards the end of the flowering season, I remember we talked about coming back during the peak season next time.

Now that my little one isn't with us anymore, I discovered that the golden needle flower season on the eastern coast typically occurs from around August to October. We happened to visit in late August and early September. When it came time to decide whether to travel along the coast or inland, we ultimately chose Sixty Stone Mountain in Fuli.

After having breakfast inside Echo Villa in the morning and taking some photos during the day, we headed south from Hualien City to Fuli. Upon reaching Fuli, we had an unexpectedly delicious afternoon tea lunch near the stinky tofu stand at the bridge. Afterward, we made our way to Sixty Stone Mountain. Here, it's worth noting that during the flowering season, there are traffic restrictions, so be sure to check the up and downhill traffic control times before setting out.

▲ 六十石山根赤柯山的景致不一樣,可以收集一下
▲ 我是工具人

Before heading to Sixty Stone Mountain, we checked Instagram to see the most blooming spots in the past few days. It appeared that the most vibrant locations were probably Forget Your Worries Pavilion and Little Switzerland, so we decided to make these our initial destinations. However, as we passed by Mirror Lake, we couldn't help but notice its beauty, but time constraints prevented us from being too ambitious.

In the evening, we gave our little one the experience of staying in a backpacker's hostel. However, Taiwanese backpacker's hostels are known for being comfortable and convenient, and we opted for a three-person room, so it was more of a nostalgic experience for us.
On another note, dinner was a highlight. Chester had a tough time searching for food, and when he returned, we found that the meal wasn't as satisfying as we had hoped.

Day 4: Hualien - Shoufeng: Jing Shu Lake Canoeing

▲ 帶你來住青年旅館 😀

Fuli/Yuli marked the southernmost point of our journey, so on the fourth day, we began heading north. Due to concerns about uncertain weather conditions and the travel status of our little one, we decided to stay at unique guesthouses in between. This allowed us to have a more varied and memorable accommodation experience along the way.

Jing Shu Lake was also one of the top choices on our list when we were planning our accommodations. During the autumn season, the cypress trees at the guesthouse make the scenery exceptionally beautiful. We were fortunate that there were rooms available when we inquired. However, when we arrived, we realized that a typhoon was approaching, and all the other guests had canceled their reservations! Nonetheless, because the weather was still good upon our arrival, we were lucky to have the opportunity to experience canoeing!

Day 5: Hualien - Shoufeng :Waiting for Typhoon to Pass (Originally Planned to Return to Hualien City)

The fifth day turned out to be quite an eventful one. While staying at Jing Shu Lake, there was another family staying with us – a couple with a little boy who was just one year and two months old. Originally, their plan was to head to Taitung and then return to Kaohsiung. However, with the typhoon approaching Taiwan, the Taitung accommodations canceled reservations for incoming guests. When we woke up that day, even though our route wasn't as tight, we began to wrestle with the decision of whether to leave our current location. The biggest concern was having to deal with strong winds and heavy rain while carrying our little baby, which seemed quite challenging. Additionally, we wanted to make sure she didn't catch a cold during such weather conditions.

In the end, since everything was going well at our current location, we decided to stay for an extra day! Chester worked hard to buy groceries during the day, and we spent the day with the other family, sharing moments of warmth. For dinner, Chester bought chicken thigh meat, and they made us a delicious spicy pepper soup with it to share!


Day 6: Hualien - Taihe - Yilan: Taiwan Cement DAKA Park -> Jiaoxi Shanxiang Ge Hot Springs

By today, it seemed that the weather was no longer as dangerous. Even though we had been receiving landslide warnings every morning for the past two days, which was quite alarming, the most frightening part was yet to come. Just the day before, we had learned that the Suhua Highway was closed. When we woke up in the morning to feed our baby, there was still no information available, and we were truly worried that we might not be able to return. Fortunately, after 9:30 AM, we saw information indicating that the road had reopened, allowing us to proceed northward safely!

Taiwan Cement DAKA Park

While heading back north to Yilan, this time we thought ahead and researched places where we could take a break. That's when we discovered that Taiwan Cement DAKA Park would make for a great rest stop! When we were traveling south, we hadn't done our homework, but this time we planned the timing and distance carefully and made use of their breastfeeding room. Due to the typhoon, some of the shops within the park were closed, but in the future, if you have the chance to visit the eastern region again, I recommend considering this spot as a resting point, factoring in the distance and time needed before and after your visit to Hengchun!

Our final accommodation on the return journey was the famous Shanxiang Ge in Jiaoxi! Upon arrival in Jiaoxi, we had dinner with long-lost friends, and the two little girls had a joyful reunion!

Day 7: Yilan: Turtle Island, Kavalan Whisky Distillery - Taipei

On the last day, after enjoying breakfast at Shanxiang Ge, the weather had noticeably improved. We left the hotel and headed to Turtle Island for some snacks and souvenir shopping. In truth, there are many unique coffee shops in Yilan, Hualien, and Taitung. Next time, we could explore them more thoroughly, focusing on this theme.


After leaving Turtle Island, it was time for another feeding session. We decided to visit the Kavalan Whisky Distillery because we had heard they had a nursing room and the distance was manageable. Since I had previously visited the distillery due to a friend's wedding, we skipped the whisky tour this time. After using the nursing room, we had a meal at the Brown Cafe on the premises, concluding our family trip!

Finally, I want to thank Chester for safely driving us back home. The most tiring part of traveling with a young baby is undoubtedly the driving. Although I spent most of the time in the back seat with little Mumi, trying to stay awake, I remember that towards the end of the trip, I would sometimes nod off for fifteen to twenty minutes during the ride. Driving is truly a challenging task, and kudos to dad for doing it so well!

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