Taiwan 2014 – Taipei Zoo

On our first full day in Taipei, as the weather looked promising, we decided to go to the zoo. We took the Metro along the brown line to the Taipei Zoo station and walked about 2 minutes to the zoo.

The entrance fee is NTD 60 per adult and free for children below the age of 6. This is about SGD 3 which is really cheap compared to the Singapore Zoo, which costs SGD 28 per adult ticket.

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What was really great about the zoo was that there is a section called the “Children’s Zoo” which is visible once you enter the zoo. There were farm animals such as ducks and roosters and popular animals like a cow and a water buffalo. It was fun because Ted could recognise and talk about these familiar animals.

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The zoo was huge and were divided by the regions in which the animals can be found. For instance, in the “Africa” zone, you would see giraffes and hippos, and in the “Asia” zone, you would see some tropical primates.

The zoo was very friendly for people with strollers and we did not find it difficult to navigate the place with a stroller. We also really liked the fact that a lot of the enclosures had see-through barriers or barriers just low enough for a little toddler to be able to view the animals from the stroller. This was a great bonus because it meant we did not have to stop and pick Ted up from his stroller at every exhibit.

We did, however, allow Ted plenty of time and space to run around and explore the zoo by himself. We also collected a few giant leaves (we didn’t hurt any trees – these were fallen leaves that we picked up from the ground) along the way which we later carried back to our hotel as souvenirs.

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At the entrance, we were also given 2 small yellow slips of paper with a designated time slot to view the pandas. Everyone is given a 10 minute time window during which to queue up to visit the pandas. These are apparently their most popular animals because there were long queue markings drawn on the road outside the panda enclosure and it seems like during the peak periods, a rather long wait is expected to catch a glimpse of these rare animals.

We were lucky this time, because we visited on a weekday during non school holidays and we were able to immediately enter the building that housed the pandas. There was still a short queue that leads us past the glass walls of the panda enclosure but that moved rather quickly and we were able to snap some pictures of the pandas lazing around on their branches.

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After visiting the giant pandas, we carried on to explore the rest of the zoo, which was huge, and saw some other popular animals such as the elephants and the hippos which Ted loved.

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This was my second trip to the Taipei Zoo, and I think I would be back again. It is educational, fun for children, easily accessible by the Metro and an inexpensive excursion.

 

 

This little baby goes to the zoo

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As part of a multi-day birthday celebration for the little baby, we decided to bring him to the zoo!

It was Ted’s first visit to the zoo, and because we thought it would be a long day, we brought along a stroller, a lot of baby snacks and accessories as well as a grandparent. Grandma K had taken a day off from work just to celebrate the little guy’s birthday with him and was very excited to be part of Ted’d first excursion to the zoo.

Thankfully, the weather was great – the morning wasn’t too hot and although we thought it might rain, it did not. The weather was nice enough for Ted to take a 1.5 hour nap while we explored the place by ourselves. We had brought along our helper as she had never been to the zoo and we introduced to her the history of Ah Meng our famous orang utan among other animals.

Ted finally woke up at the Giant Tortoise enclosure because there were two huge tortoises mating and making a whole racket about it.

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I never even knew tortoises made sounds, but apparently the male ones do, and very loud sounds they make too. Loud enough to wake a sleeping baby who slept through a few crowds of noisy primary school students running about the zoo.

Anyway, since Ted was awake, we detoured back to a few of the more interesting enclosures and pointed out animals such as the giraffe, the zebra and the lion to him. It was certainly much more fun than just pointing to animal pictures and saying their names.

Ted looked surprised at most of the animals we pointed out – it was probably his first time seeing big live walking animals other than humans.

We also managed to squeeze in some time to see the Splish Splash show where the seals gave a great performance that Ted enjoyed over a banana.

All in all, it was a great experience for us. I love the open concept of the zoo and love that we can see the animals roaming in their (almost) natural habitat. I love being able to point out random animals and describe what they are doing to Ted. If the tickets weren’t so expensive ($22 per entry per adult), I would most certainly like to make it a regular visit.