Adventures in East Asia

Taipei Zoo - The Largest in Asia

Our first full day in Taiwan was spent at Taipei Zoo, found at the end of the Muzha MRT Line. This was a slightly uncalculated move since the weather was baking hot at possibly around thirty four degrees and of course, most of the time we were touring outside in the sun. If we had experienced a few more days in the heat, we may not have chosen to visit the zoo.


The Largest Zoo in Asia

This was a shame since the heat made our visit memorable for the wrong reasons. On a cooler day, Taipei Zoo would have become a decent venue for a stroll since it's apparently the largest zoo in Asia. One hundred and sixty hectares with ninety open to the public.

Founded in 1914, I felt that the zoo showed its age, but still appreciated the vast areas of land grouping related animals together such as with the Desert Animal Area and the African Animal Area.

Because of its size, Taipei Zoo's animal enclosures felt spread out and therefore didn't seem to capture our attention as for example, the far more compact Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, which displayed animals at every turn. But having value for money wasn't an issue here - the cost of getting in is an astounding bargain at NT$60 (£1.10)!



The star attraction is by far meant to be a pair of pandas that the zoo received in 2008 from the People's Republic of China. On entering the zoo, we were immediately given additional tickets marking a time that we could enter the indoor panda centre.


We made for the pandas straight away since the time only gave us twenty minutes to get there, but the location was close by so we joined a growing queue that periodically emptied into the "Special Exhibit House" where the pandas lived.

Upon entering, the experience was a little disappointing. The crowd was made to move continuously by a vocally-pushy guard, and each of the two active pandas, although housed separately, were protected by rounded glass heavily reflecting the outside glare. By contrast, our best view of pandas in captivity has to be the ones at Hong Kong's Ocean Park, which allow visitors their own viewing time as well as just a low wall to separate them from the animals.

After browsing past the two pandas, the crowd and us were directed up a spiral walkway which unsurprisingly led to a pair of gift shops stocking panda memorabilia. More time was spent there than in front of the animals.

You can see a clip of the pandas below to get a better idea of our experience, but this is followed by some tortoises, which were more exciting - really! You should see them go..


As always, birds get my attention. These Hornbills below sported fantastically bold heads and I wondered why they were never chosen in place of Penguins for that book publisher's logo.



The Nocturnal Animal House also had some spooky looking owls. This chap could have my mouse any day.


Bear Feeding Time


Animal feeding moments always attract the crowds and we caught the keeper of this bear throwing over fruit. He allowed some young volunteers to give it a go too - check out the video below.


The insect valley also served up the usual creepy crawlies - great to stare at in horror close-up. A butterfly house also allowed us to walk amongst these winged insects as well as capture them feeding close up with strategically placed fruit.

Back near the entrance, we also came across a strange display of "Poop Art"...


Sweltering from the heat, Linh and I were forced to end our tour at the zoo's closing time leaving out a large swath of enclosures as well as the (gasp) petting area at the Children's Zoo.

Taipei Zoo - visit on a cool day!

More photos of Taipei Zoo on Flickr

Wikipedia Source

This entry posted in : Attractions. Taiwan. Tourism.

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24/11/10  at  01:51 PM
Wow!!! wonderful theme as well as video. I definitely appreciate. Nobody can't turn his face when he will see this natural scenery and animals.Thanks.

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