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Trip Report – Taiwan Part 3

Continuing from our Asia trip report Part 1 and Part 2…we had checked into the Leofoo Village resort at Guanshi, which is basically Taiwan’s answer to Disney World. Our resort had been modeled after Disney’s Animal Kingdom which we had recently stayed in last October so we couldn’t help but make comparisons. Overall, they did a decent job “replicating” the vibe but on a much smaller scale catered for Asian tourists.

When we woke up the day after we checked in, it was raining and misty, but we could still see the wildlife from our rooms!

The view from the lobby

I spy a thirsty zebra

and he/she was soon joined by a giraffe

After our Asian-style breakfast shown in part 2 of my trip report, we headed out to the actual theme park connected to the resort, called the Leofoo Village. Now at this point it has started to rain a little harder and it was really freezing too which made for a mostly empty park and some very cold tourists, but we made the most of it despite the weather.

Couldn’t leave without goofing around in the room with Maddie before checkout

Entrance to Leofoo Village Theme Park. It’s like the happiest place in…Taiwan!

The first attraction we went on involved getting into a bus (pretty much akin to an NYC Transit bus) and then we were driven around a “safari” – basically large areas where different animals were kept, somewhat akin to the Kilmanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s less “pretty” but there were quite a lot of animals.

The Rhinos are here!

The tiger resting

The famed White Tiger

We stayed clear of most of the rides because a lot of them were outdoors, and the rain and cold were making us yearn for something cozy and warm, so we got coffees and after only a few hours later we left the park.

Their “Blue Genie” …could that be…Genie from Aladdin? There is some slight resemblance, I think.

Look at my new Blue Genie friend. I’m gonna call him Biff. Actually do you like my new hat?

It was so cold that day and my favorite packable quilted coat just wasn’t cutting it….so I picked up a hat in the gift store for about 10 bucks. It’s super warm and comfy!

Yay or Nay on the new hat?

Steve had a great time imitating mascots

After we returned to the the party bus, we headed back to Taipei for the rest of our stay. The drive was fairly long, about 3-4 hours with some rest stops in between. The last hotel we stayed in, the Grand Victoria Hotel in Neihu, was fully booked upon our return so we had to choose a different place to stay. Our new hotel was the Bellezza Taipei Hotel, which is essentially a couple’s resort since it’s attached to a wedding banquet hall. I don’t know how we ended up with a round bed, but we indeed got stuck with a round bed for a couple of nights because there was no other available room in the hotel.

The infamous round bed with lights that changed color…I thought it was pretty awesome and it was comfortable and had no complaints. Maddie seems to like it too!

Each room at the Bellazza has a theme. I think ours must have been Sexy 70’s Disco. Everything was dark, paneled, and chintzy. To go with the round bed, one must have an over-the-top bathroom with a …sunken round tub

Wish my bathroom was this big though

The rest of the time in Taiwan, we visited with Grandma, hung out with family and I even got to visit with an old high school friend. Everything, of course, involved a lot of eating.

Visiting Grandma at her house in Nei Hu

Steamed crab over sticky rice dish. We went to Shin Yeh with my Taiwanese friend, Michelle. She kindly brought us here and ordered for us. Thanks Michelle!

Famous goose dish at Shin Yeh

Some delicious buns filled with chicken and vegetables at Shin Yeh

My friend Michelle and us who kindly took us for a great meal.

Later that week, before we were all flying back to the US, (We were all leaving at different dates so it was the last night we’d be all together), Steve’s Uncle took us to wonderful seafood restaurant complete with a crab dish that was out of this world.

Here’s the entrance to the restaurant. I can’t remember what is said..but it’s a seafood restaurant

Huge grilled giant prawns

The delicious and expensive hairy crab. I heard each one costs a few hundred bucks USD….yikes.

We got a chance to walk around Taipei so I picked up some unusual items you can’t find in the US….like portugese egg tarts made at KFC of all places.

Egg tart dessert from a fast food chain. They were so good!

A chestnut flavored macchiatto…interesting but not that great. Think I’d rather just get a bubble tea.

Our last meal and Steve’s favorite: classic beef noodle soup – this was the clear soup version and wasn’t spicy like my recipe here.

After saying all our goodbyes on our last night in Taiwan, we packed up and headed to our next destination…Singapore!! I just want to give a big THANK YOU to Steve’s family for hosting us in Taiwan. They are the most wonderful people and we love to visit Taiwan, especially with all the delicious food and interesting places we get to see on each trip. Can’t wait for the next trip!

The best thing about Taipei Airport is that there is a whole Hello Kitty section. It’s awesome. And the best duty free purchase item ever?? This little beauty:

A Hello KItty Mahjong set!!

It’s “found” it’s way into our new house (so excited to use it!)…now we’ll just have to find people to play with us. Yay!

Read more about our 2014 Asia Trip! My previous posts on Taiwan here: Part 1, Part 2. My posts on Singapore here: Singapore – Part 1.



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