Taipei Zoo (台北動物園); Taipei

Getting here: MRT to Taipei Zoo MRT

We managed to spend an unusually sunny day at the Taipei Zoo, the highlights of which were the koalas and the pandas. Access to the Taipei Zoo is easy as the MRT stops just next to the Zoo’s entrance, and entrance to the Zoo is also relatively cheap (NT 60). The Zoo let us pay the entrance fee with our Easycards so entry was quick and fuss free.

The initial plan was to see half the Zoo while working our way up towards the Zoo’s other entrance, but instead, owing to difficulties in locating the other entrance, we ended up getting to see most of the Zoo and a significant number of unplanned animals. I was especially happy that I got to see a koala selecting and munching on eucalyptus leaves, and a half awake giant panda. As koalas are mostly nocturnal, it was quite a treat to see one which was awake and active in the day, and the last time we tried to visit giant pandas, they were quite happily asleep and there was not much to see. This one obligingly woke up and yawned for the camera before returning to its slumber.

The other memorable thing about the zoo was the sound of children trying to see the animals and to get the animals to wake up. There were many cries of “快来看” at each other and “起来了,不要再睡了!” at the animals (i.e. “come and see!” and “wake up, stop sleeping!”). This prompted some interesting reflection on how it must feel to be a resident in the Zoo, with children regularly shouting and trying to interrupt your afternoon nap.

Our other takeaways were that the Zoo’s second entrance was extremely elusive and that there was a significant distance between the Zoo’s other entrance and the Taipei Zoo South (gondola) Station. We were not able to locate the Zoo’s second entrance on the Zoo map, and the signage encountered was not especially helpful. By the time we managed to find the second entrance, we had spent a significant amount of energy circling around and when faced with a choice between a further walk or a ride to the gondola station, opted to take the animal themed tram to the gondola station for NT5.

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