Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where Panda Meets Tiger - Taipei Zoo

In my earlier post regarding animal adoption I mentioned that I like to visit Taipei Zoo from time to time. It is really a good way to spend day on a different note with your friends or family and meet those fun animals. It is open every day from 9am to 5pm and it is large enough that you might find yourself without enough time to see every animal on your 'to see list.' If you have never been to zoo in Asia, this is pretty much a must to do thing; where else can you find such a huge number of Asian plants and animals?

Prepare yourself for a day full of adventure. You will meet animals from all over the world with the main celebrity: Chinese Panda, or I should say, two pandas. There is a large craziness about those pandas in Taiwan and zoo is full of collectibles, such as t-shirts (got one!) cups, hats, mask and similar items that represents pandas with nice Taipei Zoo logo.

The zoo is divided into many parts, from nocturnal building for night animals, to water animals, to safari to arctic animals. On my last trip I saw a horny donkey, dancing elephants, proud lions, psycho-breaking window gorilla and leave-me-alone penguins. Good times.

If you plan to visit, the entry tickets are as follow;
Adult: 60NT
Child: 30NT
Discount if you are: student or retired.
Free if you are handicapped.
30% off price for groups


Now, you need to prepare whole day (and night - will continue on it in the next post) when you decide to spend some good time at the zoo. So naturally, you'll be hungry and thirsty. Good thing is, there are restaurants all over the zoo and they are not expensive - around 50-150NT per meal. You'll find lots of hot-dogs stands and drink machines as well. At the last resort, there is MC Donald's inside the zoo (close to the entrance.)
Two cute pandas that you will meet during your trip to Taipei Zoo

Zoo also offers road train transport if you feel tired or not feeling to walk. Give it a try - it is only 5NT per person (you can use MRT Easy card) and is actually fun to go 1-way, and walk back.

When zoo is closing, you will see all the animals going to their night houses. It is time to hurry up and leave. Well, you don't need to really hurry, but I recommend you to leave early so you can take Gondola ride during the day, and take the Gondola ride back at night time. During the winter, try to leave zoo around 4PM to catch the daytime. Gondola ride is fun, and at the destination you can drink some fresh Taiwanese tea and eat some delicious food - will write it next time.

Before I end it, I just want to mention that there are some stationary shops. Things are expensive, but they tend to be for gadgets and goods that will keep memory of your visit or as a nice gift.

You can also take pictures almost every where in the zoo, unless you see a sign. Just please - don't use flash, especially in the nocturnal part of the zoo.

Address: Hsinguang Road, Muzha
Transport: MRT Muzha Line, Taipei Zoo station. Cable cars connect the zoo with Maokong and Zhinan Temple
Time: 9am to 5pm