Taipei For Children: Flying Cow RanchMonday, October 10, 2016
Despite visiting Taiwan only last year, we found ourselves back to the lovely country this year again. Previously, we stayed solely in Taipei and ventured a little bit up to Jiufen, but this time we explored the Miaoli county!
There are many child-friendly things to do at Miaoli, but because of transport issues, we decided to spend two days only at Flying Cow Ranch.
In this trip, I think we spent a lot of money on transport! For example, an airport pick-up from Flying Cow Ranch costs NT2900, which works out to be about $126SGD. The ride is about 1.5 hours long, but I really think paying $126 for a one-way trip is very expensive in general!
When we travelled from Miaoli back to Taipei, we took the High Speed Rail and it costs NT430 for adults. Dylan paid NT215 for a seat while the two girls sat on our laps, so they took the HSR for free. Generally, the HSR tickets are quite reasonable, but we had to pay NT700 (~$30.45SGD) to the cab driver to drive us to the HSR station. The duration is about 40 minutes ride.
Flying Cow Ranch is baby-friendly in a sense that they have baby cots, though you may need to prepare some personal blankets etc to make the cot more comfortable. They also have baby showering ammenities for your usage.
We paid about SGD$180 per night for this room.
Here comes the fun part! Having settled our transport and accomodation, it was time for us to enjoy the farm. Visitors can expect a whole lot of things going on - cow milking session, milk feeding session, walk the ducks, ice-cream making classes... stuff like that.
* Making red bean ice-cream
Usually, visitors would have to pay for these DIY sessions, but I believe we are entitled to one such DIY session every time you stay over for the day. The kids are making shaved ice from the DIY machine, and then they get to eat them fresh with red bean paste!
The ice-cream making DIY session costs NT180 (~$8SGD) for two pax. They also have baking classes, clay making classes etc. More details can be found on this page - (click)
* Feeding the calf
Fed so many babies with milk bottles but this is the first time I attempted feeding a calf with it! Each calf can drink as much as 7 seven bottles of milk, so all of us had a chance to feed them. Dylan and Nian even went on second and third rounds as there were not many visitors in the morning.
It is also very interesting to note that we have to feed both calves simultaneously, or else they will fight over the milk!
* Duck Feeding
This is probably the highlight of our activities in the farm. The kids always had the impression that ducks are yellow, so when they saw these flock of ducks coming towards them, Dylan was like, "Why are the ducks white?!?"
It feels like the kids are made for farm life like this LOL. I thought they would probably freak out looking at the huge number of ducks running towards them, but as you can see, Dylan had a great time patting and feeding them. One of the ducks snapped on his hand because he was throwing the feed too slowly, but he didn't mind at all.
Thankfully ducks have no sharp teeth wtf.
There is also a cow-milking session which we missed because we decided to take a walk around to explore the farm
* Feeding rabbits
Unlike cows/duck feeding sessions, there are no fixed timing for rabbit feeding, so they practically eat whenever there are visitors in their coop, these lucky bunnies. At Flying Cow Ranch, these rabbits also get to roam indoors and outdoors, depending on their mood!
We were not allowed to carry them, but with just NT10, we can feed them with fresh vegetables that they would gladly stand on their hind legs for. ;)
The playground is an interesting area where children can run around and play with sand, which is really pretty rare for city kids like Dylan and Alexis! There are also play area made from huge water barrels that become drums when you strike them with a fallen tree branch, little diggersite that rotates 360 degrees.. It is not extensive, but keeps the children busy for a good half-an-hour.
* Complimentary Milk for all visitors!
Whenever you visit or stay with Flying Cow, they would give you vouchers where you can each redeem a bottle of milk! We were given the Malt flavour that day and we loved it so much, we brought another half a dozen of bottles back. Yumz! You can also try their silky pudding in a ball thingy. I call it condom-pudding because it really looks like it is stored in a condom.
Not even joking!
Personally, I found the taste and texture so-so... maybe because of the conception I have in my mind? Hehehe.
All in all, if you are looking for an alternate experience from the usual city life, Flying Cow Ranch may be a good alternative for you to explore. There are also a couple of other similar farms like Cingjing Farm or Leofoo Village Theme Park that you can consider too.
Personally, I think the best timing to visit would be mid-October towards February? Generally the weather is pretty ok and it is not too hot. January and February may be a little cold, but that means there would be little flies and mosquitoes!
I would avoid end Sept to early October as it is typhoon season. When we visited, a typhoon just blew past the day before, so there were debris everywhere - fallen trees, broken branches, wrecked bridges.. stuff like that.
The people at Flying Cow were working very hard to clear the area though! It is generally pretty safe to wander after the typhoon has passed, but it could be pretty daunting if you were caught in one.
Flying Cow Ranch airport pick up: NT2900 (~$126SGD)
Duration: 1.5 hours drive
Miaoli to Taipei via HSR
Adult: NT430 (~$18.70SGD), children below 3 who do not take up a seat travels free, otherwise they pay half-price.
Taxi drive from Flying Cow Ranch to Miaoli HSR Station: NT700, about 30 minutes ride
There are certain places, like the cow's shed, are rather stroller-friendly, but that is about it. If you were to move from the residential area to the farm area, there are quite a lot of uneven grounds that may be difficult for strollers.