Saturday, 2 June 2018

Day One in Yilan ~ Traditional Arts, Forestry Culture Park and Crayon Factory

Most people would probably not spend three days and two nights in Yilan when they go on a holiday in Taiwan. In fact, I read a blog post that wrote Yilan off as boring, and the writer said she would not spend more than one day in this county. I am glad I persisted with my itinerary as we certainly did not run out of activities. In fact, I wished we had more time there.

National Centre for Traditional Arts

Our first stop in Yilan was the National Centre for Traditional Arts. We had planned to spend 2.5 hours there, but due to a massive jam from Taipei to Yilan, our arrival was delayed by more than an hour. Our driver suggested spending 1.5 hours at this location so that we could still spend sufficient time at our other stops. We agreed but found that 1.5 hours was certainly not enough! There were many DIY activities and interesting shops.

First, we were attracted to a store called Glastory as we had good experience making glass ornaments in Penang some time ago. However, instead of participating in its DIY activity, we decided to pay NTD100 per child to play some games involving marbles. We were told that the games were designed by teachers and most games contained Chinese phrases of blessing. I harboured hopes of secretly teaching the kids some Chinese through games. (Just kidding. :P) We did have fun with a game that resembled table hockey, albeit it made use of marbles instead of discs. For the record, I beat L at the game. :) The other games were repetitive, but to make the money worth, I read the Chinese phrases out loud to the children. Heehee.

One of the marble games

Little An enjoys DIY activities, so we made two stops for that purpose. She made a My Melody key chain as well as shaped and stringed a row of soap. It was only then that we realised that L had always thought My Melody was a cow! Dear me!

My Melody keychain made by Little An

The game and DIY activities filled almost all of our allocated time at the centre and we just had enough time to pack a rice dumpling for lunch. While walking, we saw shops selling malt candy, interesting wooden puzzles, ocarina and so on. We could not linger due to the lack of time though.

Ocarinas for fans of Disney princesses
I recalled that when we went to this place six years ago, some shops were close and there were fewer hands-on activities. Our driver said that some activities were only available during the weekends as there were more tourists. Thank God that we went during a weekend and experienced a lively atmosphere.

Luodong Forestry Culture Park

The photos for the Luodong Forestry Culture Park did not look impressive, but the written reviews seemed positive. I personally found the visit educational. We learnt how logs were transported in the past. Gondolas had to be used to lift logs from lower to higher ground. We also saw how wood was important as there were displays of many objects made from wood, including musical instruments and furniture. There were also remains of railway tracks and an old train where several people were taking photos at.

Informational exhibits

Old train that has become a photo spot

Wooden parts of a ukelele

Besides informational exhibits, L was thrilled that there was a bird watching trail in the park's premise. The sun had relented by the time we got to the trail, so we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the trail. We saw ducks, herons and egrets and the many dragonflies signalled that the water in the lake was clean.

We had a pleasant walk, but I do not think I would be back here again since bird watching opportunities are also available in Singapore.

Lucky Art Crayon Factory

Little An waited all day to go to the Lucky Art Crayon Factory as I had shown her pictures of it before the trip, so she was exuberant when we finally arrived. The colourful building was enticing and we could not wait to see what was in store.

We had to pay NTD250 each and each ticket entitled us to a NTD100 voucher which we could use to 'purchase' items from the gift shop. We could also participate in four DIY activities, which were well organised. At each station, there was demonstration and explanation of the activity before we commenced. The four activities were pinwheel making, markers making, crayon making and body painting. We enjoyed every single one of them.

Explanation of marker making 

Hard at work

Body painting

All the things we made and received at the crayon factory

Thank God for a very enjoyable day and for meaningful time spent with the family.

Below are more posts on our Taiwan 2018 trip:
Very enjoyable minsu in Yilan
Jimmy Park, R Den Dessert Factory, Lanyang Museum, Art Spa Hotel, Dolphin watching at Toucheng
Yinyang Sea, Golden Waterfall, Shifen, Jiufen, Daan station

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