Sunday, November 3, 2013

Taipei Zoo (臺北市立動物園) [Taiwan Day 63: Zoovember - Nov. 2, 2013]


To officially start the "Rest and Recreation Week" given to TIGP Bioinformatics students, I went to Taipei Zoo to have some adventure! 


The entrance gate of Taipei Zoo on the left while on the right are the ticket booths.


Taipei Zoo is accessible via the Wenhu Line of the Taipei Metro and it was my first time to ride this MRT line. Comparing the size of the coaches of the Bannan Line and the Wenhu Line, the Wenhu Line is smaller. The width of the trains of the Wenhu Line is similar to the size of the coaches of Metro Manila’s MRT-3 while the Bannan Line’s trains are as spacious as the LRT-2 coaches. The cost of the ticket to Taipei Zoo is NTD 60 but since I am a student I got a 50% discount and I only paid NTD 30 for my entrance and I was asked at the gate to present my student ID and I was proud to present my National Tsing Hua University ID. 



Taipei Zoo is around 160 hectares so it is impossible to see all the animals and display areas in one day. 

Endemic  flora and fauna of Taiwan
A Formosan black bear (臺灣黑熊, Ursus thibetanus formosanus) in its slumber.  Notice the bear's characteristic white V-stripe on its neck.



Some kind of a deer
Formosan rock macaque (Macaca cyclopis)






I visited first the Formosan Animal Area to get to know more about the endemic fauna of Taiwan. 








I was already sitting on the Shuttle Train.


After that I took the Shuttle Train so I can get to the Bird World Station easily. There was a long queue but it didn't take me a long time to ride the train. I paid NTD 5 for the shuttle train service. I can use my EasyCard to pay the fare but I opted to pay using a NTD 5 coin. 


Freshwater fishes.  These fishes are very big!






The train arrived in the Bird World Station and I randomly walked until I found myself in the Amphibian and Reptile House. It is one of the Indoor Display Areas in Taipei Zoo and I found a lot of snakes, turtles, frogs and lizards. There was even an exhibit about snakes. I was really tired after I visited that cold-blooded animals area and I just want to see one more area before going back home. 









Outside the Penguin House is the home of a large brown bear.



I wanted to see the penguins so I look for the Penguin House and I was not disappointed with what I saw. I was also able to see a big brown bear in its giant cage. It was the first time I saw such a gigantic bear. Now I am convinced that a bear can really kill a human with its powerful claws. I have decided to go back to the Bird World Station so I can go back home. It was still 1:30pm but I know if I still go around, there would be more people that will ride the Shuttle Train at around 3pm because the last Shuttle Train Service is at 4:30pm and I don't want to take a very very long walk to the entrance gate of Taipei Zoo if I miss the Shuttle Train. 





While riding the Shuttle Train, I noticed the Maokong Gondola in the mountains surrounding Taipei Zoo and I got thrilled to ride those cable cars someday. 




I wandered in Taipei Zoo for 3 hours only and I was not even able to see half of what Taipei Zoo can offer and I promise to go back to see all the animals that live here. 



One thing that I noticed that most of the visitors in Taipei Zoo were the kids which were accompanied by their parents. I remember when I was still a young boy, my dad and mom together with my baby brother Alvin went to Manila Zoo to have some Family Day. This just proves that zoos are a great place for creating memories between family members. I also remember one Taiwanese dad carrying his son in his arms while mimicking the sound of a leopard that was inside its cage in the Formosan Animal Area. Some of the parents even try to introduce to their kids the animals that they see. With what I have experienced in Taipei Zoo, I believe that Taipei Zoo is not just a place for the young but also for the young at heart !

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How to go to Taipei Zoo:
1.  If your are coming from Taipei Main Station or Ximen, board MRT in Bannan Line going to Zhongxiao Fuxing then transfer to Wenhu Line going to Taipei Zoo Station.
2.  Another option if you are coming from Ximen, board MRT in Songshan Line going to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and then transfer to the Tamsui-Xiangshan Line.  Alight at Daan Station and then transfer to Wenhu Line to reach Taipei Zoo Station. (Option 1 is better)
3.  If you are coming from Songshan Airport, board MRT in Wenhu Line going to Taipei Zoo Station.

Opening Hours:
1.  Taipei Zoo is open everyday 9am-5pm. Last admission is at 4pm.  The zoo is only close during Chinese New Year's Eve.
2.  Indoor and outdoor exhibits close at 4:30pm
3.  Giant Panda House: closed every 1st Monday of the month 
4.   Penguin House:  closed every 2nd Monday of the month
5.  Amphibian and Reptile House: closed every 3rd Monday of the month 
6.  Insectarium: closed every 4th Monday of the month
7.  Education Center, Animal Art Workshop, Library and Eco House: closed every Monday

Tickets: 
 1.  Regular tickets cost NTD 60.  Discounted tickets cost NTD 30.  Tickets can be bought at the ticket booth.  If you are student in Taiwan, just show your student ID (with a valid semester sticker) and you will get a discounted ticket. An easier way to enter Taipei Zoo is to use EasyCard.  Just swipe the card at the entrance gate and you are good to go.  Student EasyCards will get an automatic discount upon swiping.
2.  Shuttle Train ticket: Shuttle Train Station to Bird World Station and vice versa costs NTD 5.  EasyCard can also be use as payment.
3.  Education Center fee costs NTD 20.
4.  Panda House tickets are free and there is a time written on the ticket.  The tickets are distributed upon entrance at Taipei Zoo.  The best time to see the pandas are 9am-10am and 4pm-5pm because the pandas are said to be active during those times.  It is highly recommended to come to Taipei Zoo at 9am and visit the Panda House immediately upon entering.











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