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Newer Page 799 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Taipei Zoo Hiking

1 April 2011

Zoos, Gondolas and Lingerie

There will be a lot of pictures today.

This morning I decided to head out to another of Taipeis main attractions, the zoo and Maokong Gondala combo.
In this case, a Gondola is a cable car, not a small boat navigating the foul waters of venice.

I was in two minds about the zoo, as I will probably visit the night zoo in Singapore next week, so I looked it up, first of all they have giant pandas, and second of all, it costs $2 to get in.
So even if I stayed an hour, its cheaper to see pandas in an awesome zoo in Taipei than it is to urinate at a tube station in London.

The zoo turned out to be great, very picturesque built on the side of a mountain, all the enclosures seemed large and well kept. There was hardly anyone there, lots of school children and a couple of fellow tourists, but I pretty much had the run of the place.
The school kids are pretty awesome, I feel funny about taking pictures of groups of kids (less of an issue in a country where catholicism isnt present, but still...), they seem to come prepared on excursions for any eventuality. 5 year olds all have digital cameras, identical water bottles as big as they are, a whistle, survival suits with day glow stipes, proper hiking boots, hats with numbers on them, and they all march about with purpose and activities to complete.

After the zoo, I went up the Gondala, its a long ride and crosses a few valleys, takes about 30 minutes, and the view is spectacular.
Once you get off, you arent at the top of a mountain, so its hiking time for me, and this is the highlight of my holiday. Theres a great path of thousands of steps, took a solid hour, and I did not see another person at all.
Everyone else must stay around the station and the souvenier stands etc. Theres a fake temple thing there as well, but I was not at all interested in that.
The view is breathtaking (could have been the effect of walking up steps solidly for an hour!). The further up I got, the more leaves, branches etc there were covering the steps, suggesting people dont often go up here. But despite that the path was excellent, with a proper railing the whole way. Only issue was all the signs and maps had no English on them at all.
There seemed to be paths at the top going into the forest, but I wasnt equipped for that sort of hiking, would be fantastic though I think.

I have crapped on enough, onto the pictures.

Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Here is the entrance to the zoo, it is probably a little better than the Adelaide zoo in terms of quality if you are looking for comparisons.

Here is the entrance to the zoo, it is probably a little better than the Adelaide zoo in terms of quality if you are looking for comparisons.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - There are 2 areas for the pandas, looks like they have to keep them seperated, an indoor area (this one) and an outdoor area (2 photos down).

There are 2 areas for the pandas, looks like they have to keep them seperated, an indoor area (this one) and an outdoor area (2 photos down).


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - There was pretty much no one looking at them except me, I had read on wikipedia that they are controversial, as they are a peace offering from China,

There was pretty much no one looking at them except me, I had read on wikipedia that they are controversial, as they are a peace offering from China, and lots of Taiwanese people would rather make war not peace.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Last panda photo I promise.

Last panda photo I promise.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - As mentioned, the zoo is of excellent quality, built on the side of a mountain with great natural features, and excellent signage like this to keep yo

As mentioned, the zoo is of excellent quality, built on the side of a mountain with great natural features, and excellent signage like this to keep you informed of where you are and whats going on.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - This is a sun bear, its bile is very tasty, gives me all the virility I need.

This is a sun bear, its bile is very tasty, gives me all the virility I need.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - These are Indian elephants, they were fighting over the cricket results.

These are Indian elephants, they were fighting over the cricket results.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - This is part of the zoo, there were also waterfalls and caves etc.

This is part of the zoo, there were also waterfalls and caves etc.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Zebras...

Zebras...


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Giraffes...

Giraffes...


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - My head inside the mouth of a hippo....

My head inside the mouth of a hippo....


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - More hippos

More hippos


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - African Elephants, they are much bigger than the Indian elephants.

African Elephants, they are much bigger than the Indian elephants.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - No matter how hard the red panda tries to establish itself as a contender for panda love worldwide, it will always be the lesser of the pandas.

No matter how hard the red panda tries to establish itself as a contender for panda love worldwide, it will always be the lesser of the pandas.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Pudding bread, is not really bread at all, but a delicious piece of sugared rubber with orange goo stirred through it.

Pudding bread, is not really bread at all, but a delicious piece of sugared rubber with orange goo stirred through it.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - And now, I am riding on the Gondala, the view was spectacular, and I had a carriage all to myself.

And now, I am riding on the Gondala, the view was spectacular, and I had a carriage all to myself.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - The ride takes at least 30 minutes, it was very relaxing, I could have gone to sleep.

The ride takes at least 30 minutes, it was very relaxing, I could have gone to sleep.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - I took a photo almost identical to this on the Nong Ping gondala in Hong Kong a year or so ago.

I took a photo almost identical to this on the Nong Ping gondala in Hong Kong a year or so ago.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - You cant really tell in photos how high it is, the highways and tunnels through the mountain in this photo look impressive.

You cant really tell in photos how high it is, the highways and tunnels through the mountain in this photo look impressive.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Its only when riding on the Gondala I realised theres a lot more to Taipei than I knew, theres this whole additional part of the city shown here, the

Its only when riding on the Gondala I realised theres a lot more to Taipei than I knew, theres this whole additional part of the city shown here, the main area where my hotel, Taipei 101 etc is, is located just to the right of this photo, over the hill.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - As mentioned, once I got off it was time to ascend stairs for over an hour, in complete solitude, never saw another person. The path was this quality

As mentioned, once I got off it was time to ascend stairs for over an hour, in complete solitude, never saw another person. The path was this quality all the way to the top.
If you ever go here, I recommend going up this path. Excellent views, excellent forest, no signs in English though!


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Here I am at the top enjoying the view, standing proud, I felt as though the gondola and path had been made for me personally.

Here I am at the top enjoying the view, standing proud, I felt as though the gondola and path had been made for me personally.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - My only friend in the world is this lizard.

My only friend in the world is this lizard.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Girls, be aware, if you find yourself in Taiwan you might be called upon to feed a goat or two.

Girls, be aware, if you find yourself in Taiwan you might be called upon to feed a goat or two.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - Heres a Din Tai Fung, Taiwans most famous restaurant chain, it has a michelin star and outlets in most of the world now. I want to go but there were h

Heres a Din Tai Fung, Taiwans most famous restaurant chain, it has a michelin star and outlets in most of the world now. I want to go but there were hundreds of people waiting, it seems you go and order, go shopping, and come back some time later.


Taiwan-Taipei-Zoo-Hiking - After exiting a random subway station I saw a massive crowd and flash bulbs in the distance, and stumbled upon a Lingerie show outside the Sogo depart

After exiting a random subway station I saw a massive crowd and flash bulbs in the distance, and stumbled upon a Lingerie show outside the Sogo department store. An advantage to being taller than the average Taiwanese guy is I could see pretty well despite being behind lots of people.


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