Taipei Fire Dept Fire Safety Museum

When I was teaching preschool, we visited this museum several times.  It is very well setup for teaching children and adults about safety in case of fire or earthquake, as well as fire prevention.  The museum has been closed for some time but recently reopened.  You have to join a guided tour, and children under four cannot take part in the interactive activities.

Official website (English): http://3d.tfd.gov.tw/f_about_e.asp

Address: No. 376, Sec. 2 Cheng-gong Rd., Neihu District, Taipei City, Taiwan(R.O.C.)
Opening Times: 9:00 am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-5:00pm (Tues-Sun)
Tel: 02-2791-9786

Lantern Festival Article

I wrote this for another site but as it is not being used, I didn't want it to go to waste.

The Lantern Festival by Katrina Brown

The Lantern Festival is held on the 15 day of the Lunar New Year (Feb 28 in 2010), to celebrate the birthday of the God of Heaven. In Taiwan, there are many activities you can attend to celebrate the festival. Local temples will hold celebrations, and you can also attend these three popular events: Taipei Lantern Festival; Pingshi Lantern Festival; and Yan Shui Fireworks Festival.

Between February 26 and March 3, the Taipei Lantern Festival will be held around Taipei City Hall and Sun-Yet Sen Memorial Hall. There will be a laser and sound show, where the main lantern (this year is a tiger) will be lit up. The Taipei Lantern Festival is very popular and can get crowded.

Pingshi, outside Taipei, is the site of the release of traditional paper lanterns. One story goes, that the Han inhabitants of the remote area were often under attack, and the released lanterns to let “help” know they were there. Pingshi has become a very popular site for celebrating the Lantern Festival. People get lanterns and write messages of luck and hope on them, and then release them into the night sky. This event is one not to be missed during your stay in Taiwan.

For the more adventurous, there is the rather exciting YanShui Fireworks Display, or " beehive of fireworks". This event is a religion-based one. In the late 1900’s, Tainan County’s YanShui suffered 20 years of plague. The townspeople called upon the diety Kuan Kung and the dieties of Heaven to help. The townspeople released firecrackers along the road to guide Kuan Kung through their town. After the event, the plague was gone from YanShui. From then on, every year at the time of the Lantern festival, the townspeople invite Kuan Kung back and guide him through the town. The event lasts all night. You are advised to wear full protective clothing including a full-face helmet, as fireworks are shot into the crowds.

On a gentler note, people at home will worship, share a family meal and then eat rice balls; either “Yuan Hsiao”(rolled on bamboo) or “Tang Yuan” (rolled in the hand), depending on the custom of the area. The rice balls represent family unity, which is the overall theme of Chinese New Year and its surrounding celebrations.


Kenting: Yoho Landis

This resort is set up to cater for children and families, with a "Club Med" kind of feel.  There are camp buddies, activities, child rooms, swimming and play pools, and family-friendly restaurants.  I stayed here about ten years ago, and at the time thought it was relaxing but a little cheesy.  I have read some pretty good reviews of the new setup on other expats' blogs recently, and the hotel's site has a good overview of the resort.



Yoho Landis Beach Resort
27-8,Wan-Li Road,
Hengchun Town,
Pingtung County 946,

Tel: (886-8) 886-9999 (886-8) 886-9999
Fax: (886-8) 886-9998

Jhongli: South Garden Hotels and Resorts

Friends of mine stayed at this resort over Chinese New Year and recommend it as family destination.  Rooms offered range from a spa room at 2,200NTD to a suite for 24,000NTD.  You get to use their gym, foosball, and airhockey sets.

To get an idea where it is (less than an hour from Taipei), check out their map online.  Their English site is comprehensive:  http://www.southgarden.com.tw/en/html/page-service04.htm

Taichung & Tainan: O-Well Motel

A friend of our family highly recommends this motel for families.  This is a link to the Taichung motel they stayed at.  They have three presidential suites.  Weekdays, list price is $4380 per night for the room.

Map & directions: http://www.o-wellmotel.com.tw/taizhong01/tz01_transport.html

You get a huge room with king-size bed, living area, indoor jacuzzi, warm outdoor pool, free wireless internet, KTV facilities, TV, and free instant noodles! (Extra bed/sofa available.)

From the site, it does sound like a place to romance your loved one, but my friend raves about it as a place to relax with your family.  The kids can play outdoors while you watch them through the glass from the jacuzzi.

Here is the link to the Tainan motel: http://www.o-wellmotel.com.tw/tainan01/tn01_rooma.html
Map & directions: http://www.o-wellmotel.com.tw/tainan01/tn01_transport.html


National Center for Traditional Arts

I have never been here, so any comments are most welcome. From the map, it looks like a huge park, containing a temple, kiln, scholar's residence, art education theater, library, exhibit hall, and restaurants, all running along the Dong-Shan River.

On weekends starting at 10am, they have a number of activities for children. During Chinese New Year, they will be held daily.

Ilan County, Wu Jie Xiang, Ji Xin Tsun, Wu Han Road Sec 2, No. 201

Entry: 150/person, children under 110cm free, discounts for groups of 20 or more or residents of Ilan County.

Hours: Open daily

Tel: 03-9602121

Website: http://www.ncfta.gov.tw/

Upcoming Events

• 2010 Daily 11am-2pm: Family activity mixing traditional stories with modern storytelling methods. "The Magic of the Mountain" (my own translation, I think it's actually a volcano)

• Feb 14-21 Daily 9am-7pm - Children's Game Fair

• Feb 14-21 Daily 10:40am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm - Performances to welcome the New Year

• Feb 14-20 Daily 10am and 4pm - Acrobatic performances

• Feb 14-21 Daily 12 noon and 6pm - Chinese Opera

• Feb 27-28 Lantern-lighting activity (numbers limited)

• Feb 27-28 3pm - "Tang Yuan" eating together

*March 20&21 there will be National Thai Dance performances

*April through June is the 2nd Traditional Children's Art Festival

National Taiwan Cultural Park's Chinese New Year Events

Feb 15-21, 2010

Nantou Venue:

Address: 573 Jhon-Jheng Road, Cao-Tun Township, 542, Nantou

Tel: 049-2334141 Extn 319

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, national holidays, 9am-5pm

Handicraft Hall

1F - Art and Craft demonstrations by wellknown Taiwan artisans

3F - Children's Art Space: Hands-on space for children to experience an artistic lifestyle

4F - Handicraft Exhibit Area

Craft Exhibition Center

Exhibits change periodically

Information Center

1F - Shop and Restaurants

2F - Lecture Hall

3F - DIY Space

4F - 3D Theater


Feb 21&28, 10:30-11:30: Interactive Story Time @ Handicraft Hall 3F

Feb 27&28: Performances @ outside stage

Every Saturday, 9am-5pm - Art Market @ front of Handicraft Hall

Website: http://www.ntcri.gov.tw/


Da Vinci the Genius (Feb 12-May 13, 2010)

This exhibit has been described as suitable for children on other sites, so I am adding it here.  The feature of the Taipei exhibit will be "The 25 Secrets of Mona Lisa".

Taipei Venue: CKS Memorial Hall Exhibit Halls 2 and 3
Dates: Feb 12-May 13, 2010
Times: 9am-6pm daily (only the day before Chinese New Year's Day closed.)
Tickets: 200 for adults, 350 per family, other concessions available

Kaohsiung Venue:  Kaohsiung Science and Arts Museum
Dates: May 29-Sep 12, 2010

Home site:
Taiwan site:

2010 Homeschooling Fair (Sunday, Feb 7)

Taiwan Homeschool Advocates invites you to 2010 Taiwan International Homeschool Fair

Did you know homeschooling has been legal since 1997? The number of homeschoolers has grown from 4 in 1997 to 883 in 2009! Taipei plans to offer high school students the option to homeschool this year. Homeschooling is really taking off in Taiwan and you can not miss the biggest gathering of homeschoolers on Sunday, February 7 between 2 to 5 pm.

Homeschooling is a real alternative to both international and local schools especially for international families. Homeschooling is much more affordable than international schools. You don't need to subject your child to endless and mindless exam schedule found in the local schools. In fact, you can teach your child your home country's curriculum and still receive diploma from the public school you register with.

Homeschool families from Taipei, Hualien, Yilan, Xinchu and Tainan will display their works at the fair. International homeschool families from Poland, the UK, the USA and Russia will exhibit their teaching materials and students' projects. Class and activity organizers such as Fun Formosa, Encounters, YMCA Seeker Christian Academy and Waldorf School will present their programs as well.

There will be five seminars on the following topics:
• Parent Coach by Mujen Christian Homeschool Association (in Chinese)
• Sycamore Tree Program by YMCA Seeker Christian Academy (in English)
• Independent Educators by Autonomous Learning Association (in Chinese)
• International Homeschool Exchange Program by Encounters (in English)
• High School and Pre-School Program by Humanity and Differential Education Association (in Chinese)

The entrance is free. You can pre-register on this site:


Date: February 7, 2010
Time: 2 pm. to 5 pm
Place: Bethany School
Address: No. 97, Ting Chou Road Section 3, Taipei (Gongguan area)
For more information on homeschooling in Taiwan, please visit Taiwan Homeschool Advocates at http://homeschool.tw/ or contact Tim Chen at us@homeschool.tw

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