Taipei Zoo (台北动物园) – The Largest Zoo in Asia
Taipei Zoo which is also known as the largest zoo in Asia and the paradise for over 1300 species on earth, for animal lovers this is a must visit destination to enjoy and gain additional knowledge regarding animal habitat.
The Zoo’s combined area is 165 hectares, with 90 hectares being open to the public. The facilities comprise exhibition buildings (Education Center, Penguin House, Koala House, Amphibian and Reptile House and Insectarium), as well as exhibition areas (the Formosan Animal Area, the Children’s Zoo, the Asian Tropical Rainforest Animal Area, the Desert Animal Area, the Australian Animal Area, the African Animal Area, Bird World and the Temperate Zone Animal Area).
We went to the Taipei Zoo during the early summer season when there are heaps of school outdoor trip (including kindergarten, primary and high school) which makes the zoo atmosphere appears to be happening yet not too crowded.
*We feel terribly sorry but we did try our best to snap as much animal’s photo as we could. Due to the very spacious environment for each species, we just unable to spot them elsewhere or perhaps these fur pals are very good in camouflaging themselves! 😉
Formosan Animal Area
Formosan Animal Area features animals indigenous to Taiwan, such as the Asiatic Black Bear, Chinese Pangolin and Sika Deer, providing themes on wildlife conservation and environmental education.
Formosan stands for “Isle Formosa! (Beautiful island!)” are the words of the first Western explorer upon seeing the island of Taiwan.
Formosan Sika the most distinguishable characteristics is the irregular white spots extending from the dorsal to the chest and on the sides of the body in laterally row.
You can easily tell the difference between male and female sika deer just by staring on their heads (only male sika deer do grow horns). 😉
The Formosan Rock Macaque (only available in Taiwan) is an arboreal species that is active during the day. This monkey species is comfortable to forage, groom, mate, fighting, and even sleeping in trees.
So expecting each and every one of them to have their own “Favourite Spot” on the trees during the feeding time!
Formosan Serow aka Mountain Goat has a very flexible pair of hoof which can jump (around 2 meters high) all the way up the hills. Alpha Male Goat usually uses their front horn to scratch on a tree branch as a territory marking.
We seriously do look upwards to the hills just to find this species during our zoo visit!
Formosan Black Bear is one of the main attraction in the Taipei Zoo, where you can easily spot it from meters away by the cartoonish bear sign.
You will definitely get a cold shiver just by looking into the black bear eyes, not hard to understand why people always said “Do Not Move Even One Inch” when encountered by bears!
The Insectarium is the newest addition to the Taipei Zoo which showcases various types of Taiwan rare insect species and is a two-story building situated in a small valley.
A huge stag beetle welcomes all visitors in the lobby. The origin and evolution, structures and adaptation of the insects are the main themes in the exhibit.
Lanyu Giant Katydid which has a similar appearance like the grasshopper (but this one fatter) and has an upside hook behind its abdomen. It is considered as a rare extinction species which is currently under zoo exhibition care.
Tsuda Phasmid has a bamboo-like body shape and loves to camouflage on top of leaves. You can barely see them if you do not focus long enough on the leaves!
For any Ant Lovers out there, Taipei Zoo might have a solid reason for you to visit since they have a whole exhibition hall regarding “Ants”.
With a 360 degrees wide angle microscope, you can now observe any fellow ants and their activities just by switching buttons!
The Insect Fortune Telling is also available inside the insectarium if you are curious enough to try it out. Just pick a stick from the bucket and read your fortune report based on the insect picture shown. We wish everyone have the best of luck! 😉
The Giant Panda House
The Taipei Zoo also the house for Tuan Tuan, Yuan Yuan and Yuan Zai giant panda which is the iconic superstar in the exhibition. These giant pandas have their own personal exhibit building (Namely XinGuang) and have possessed very strict visiting hours as below:
Weekdays: Visitors may visit the Giant Panda House without drawing panda-visiting tickets on weekdays.
Weekends and Holidays: Visitors who plan to meet giant panda Yuan Zai, Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan should draw a panda-visiting ticket at Taipei Zoo entrance, and then visit Panda House at the time shown on the drawn ticket.
- Taipei Zoo opens year-round every day (except for Chinese New Year’s Eve, 15 February 2018.)
- Zoo Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (no entry or purchasing tickets after 16:00.)
- Opening time of Panda House: 9:10 – 17:10
- Panda House is closed during “Every First Monday Of The Month.”
*Be sure to check on the giant panda visiting hour which stated on the entrance ticket and time your schedule properly to avoid disappointment!
Asian Tropical Rain Forest Area
The Tropical Rainforests features the most important ecosystem in the world in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem function. The Asian rain forests, around Borneo, are as diverse and important as the Amazon in the New World.
With simulations of tropical forest scenery in this area, visitors can also experience the hot and humid air through their skin, the smell of animals and plants in their noses, and the howls and songs in their ears.
The Pigmy Hippo lives in drier areas than other hippos. It sleeps during the day and feeds in the forest at night. When in danger, it will hide in water, cave or even in the river bank.
You can easily spot them right after entering the Asian Tropical Rain Forest Area.
The Great Indian Hornbill staple food is fruit but it also eats invertebrates and small mammals. It has a huge yellow bill with a large casket-like a helmet.
During the breeding season, it nests high in the trees far from the ground. The female seals herself into a nest cavity and leaves only a narrow slit. She incubates the egg in the cavity while the male gathers food for her until the cycle ends.
Believe it or not, the large beak of hornbill is actually a huge piece of bone skeleton which will remain in shape even after it dies.
Malayan Sun Bear prefers honey. He would use his sharp claws to break apart the honeycomb and upon finding the honey, use his specialized, long tongue to lap the delicious honey.
Be careful since there might be some angry bees wandering around the bear den! 😉
The Asian Elephant strolling around their nests. An elephant’s trunk is a crucial and significant organ. It is composed of the upper lip and nose and is tubular in shape.
The trunk does not contain any bones and is comprised of muscular tissue which enables the elephant to rotate, bend and turn the trunk without limits.
A huge container being displayed around the elephant nest just to let visitor have an actual image on how they transfer these gigantic creatures across the region!
The Animal Solar Energy Clock right at the exit of the tropical area. The number of each animal sculpture shows the amount of animal daily energy equivalent to the total PV energy generated in the zoo today, how awesome is that?
Wild African & Dessert Animal Area
The African continent has the reputation for being a wild animal kingdom: unusual animal species are one reason, and quantity is the other reason. Taipei Zoo’s African Animal Area covers 6 hectares, suitable for large animals and can exhibit up to 45 species.
While on the savannah side, dry with high fluctuations in temperature is everyone’s impressions of deserts. The bare terrain and drought-resistant flora lives are home to the oryx, various antelopes, and the two species of camels.
The Addax mainly lives in Sahara desert. It digs out a pit hole to elude winds, sands, and the hot weather during the daytime while choosing to move during the evening and nighttime.
The Addax withdraws the water it needs from foods and produced high-enriched urine through an important water-saving system which allows them to be away from the water for a long time.
Bactrian Camels used to be an important transportation across the desert during the old days. Besides living in desert and grasslands, most Bactrian Camels live in Asian mountain wastelands and can endure the intense summer heat and cold winter.
Some of them are half naked due to the changing seasons, but they still pose gracefully no matter what happens to them!
Giraffes are famous with its unique long necks and love to live in packs. During the day, they take turns watching for predators while the other feed and rest, sometime they also will sit down in a kneeling position. At the sleeping time, they would fold their legs and curve their necks around to rest their heads on their rear ends.
The Bongo is one of the unique species that only available in the African continent, it is easy to differentiate gender for Bongo just by looking at their horns. Male Bongo has a pair of straight horn grow outwards while female Bongo has a curve horn bending inwards.
We personally still love to call these species mayonnaise stripe deer due to its lavish tattoo on their backside. 😉
The Penguin & Koala House
The Penguin Area housing all eighteen species of penguins that are found south of the Equator. They are specially adapted to aquatic life. Two species of penguins (the king and African) are currently in the house.
The first king penguin born in Taipei Zoo in 2001 was the instantly became the most sought-after news item in Taiwan at the time.
All Penguins are stunned and refuse to move even one inch once staring at the mirror wall, we thought it was fake at first until one of them starts to scratch their buttock afterwards! 😉
Koalas are the most lovable animals from Australia and been brought in from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in August 1999. Two more koalas came a year later. A baby koala, named Q-be, was born in July 2003 and quickly become the most popular attractions in Taipei Zoo.
Koala had a bad temper and refuse to share their bedroom with others, thus they have their own living space and you can catch them red-handed waiting right beside the door while nearing the feeding session! 😉
Amphibian & Reptile House
The Amphibian and Reptile House wavy ceiling reminds people of the concertina locomotion of snakes. The silver metallic hue stands out from the green background.
The two-story building includes the lower level preparatory area and the upper-level exhibit area. The exhibit boasts 46 themes with over 90 species of amphibians and reptiles.
You will know when you are arriving this building with all those “Quack Quack Noise” being broadcasting non-stop along the hallway.
Green Water Dragon is found in Southeast Asia and East Asia in the Southern Region in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. It occurs to the broadleaf forest close to the stream, some country even considers it as a delicious delicacy.
Poison Dart Frog in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to tropical Central and South America. These species are diurnal and often have brightly coloured bodies.
This bright colouration is correlated with the toxicity of the species, making them aposematic and the Amazon native often used dart frog poison as weapon coating for hunting.
Rough Scaled Plated Lizard is always found in tropical savannas, steppes and coastal forests. These little bastard run pretty fast and you can barely spot them in the wild due to its perfect camouflage colouration.
Taipei Zoo Facilities & Information Centre
Visitor Information Guide
Visitor Centre – Information for visitors, broadcasting services, first aid, breastfeeding room and hot water.
Opening Hour – 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Baby Strollers Rent – NT$50 per stroller, NT$1000 deposit
Wheelchairs – NT$1000 or ID as a deposit
Meal in Taipei Zoo such as the Animal themed restaurant or fast food chain Mac Donald is available right beside zoo entrance.
Tips: 7-eleven might be a faster and cheaper meal option if you would like a break quickie.
Cafe and Shops are available in each exhibition area along with built-in restroom behind if you would like to have a short break.
Cute & Funny Animal Moments
Can I bribe you with a piece of fresh bananas or maybe two?
Mayday, mayday enemy incoming from the far east side, be prepared with our best pose! 😉
The real romantic story yet very sneaky moment in the animal kingdom, you name it! (no kissing scene occur even after we waiting for like 5 minutes)
The admission fees for Taipei Zoo:
- NT$60 Each Person (can buy the ticket from the counter or wave in by using an easy card)
- 30% off for groups for 30 or more.
*Kindly note that prices and attraction might vary from time to time.
By Taipei Metro System (MRT) :
- Wenhu Line (BR) to Taipei Zoo Station
By Bus :
- 236, 237, 282, 294, 295, 611, 676, 679, 793
Tips: The most convenient way to visit the Taipei Zoo is by taking MRT Brown Line which will be the final stop, after done visiting “The Temperate Zone Animal Area” which is at the very end, consider taking The Shuttle Train which costs only NT$5 that will sends you all the way back near the entrance.
Address: No. 30, Sec.2, Xinguang Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan.
Open Hour: 09.00 am – 05.00 pm (Mon-Sun), Including Public Holiday.