The Taipei Zoo is not only the largest and most varied zoo in Taiwan, it is also one of the best zoos in Asia, and at the same time has an extremely affordable price of only 60 NT per adult. If you have time you should definitely stop by and visit this zoo, if not for anything else but to see Taiwan's ingenious animals like the Formosan Black Bear and Sika Deer which are hard to see in the wild.
The Taipei City Zoo was originally established during the Japanese Era in 1914 near the Yuanshan Hotel. After the ROC took control of Taiwan, elephants, lions, and bears were added to the zoo in 1952. Because there was not enough land to expand the zoo, it was moved to Wenshan District in 1986. Two employees have been killed by animals, one from an elephant and one from a black bear both in the 1970s. There have been no fatalities at the zoo since. The Maokong Gondola was built next to the zoo in 2007, connecting Taipei Zoo with Maokong.
The current zoo includes a Taiwan indigenous animal exhibit, children's petting zoo, tropical rain forest exhibit, desert animal exhibit, Australian and African animal exhibits, tropical animal exhibit, petting zoo, insect exhibit, and bird exhibit. There is also indoor Panda exhibit, insect exhibit, amphibian and reptile exhibit, koala exhibit, and penguin exhibit.
9 AM to 5 PM, tickets are not sold after 4:00 PM.
Sometimes in the summer twilight hours are extended to 9:00 PM, but it's not worth going as most all of the animal exhibits are closed after 5:00 PM.
60 NT per person
How to get there:
By MRT: Take the brown line MRT to the Taipei Zoo station, then walk north a few hundred meters until you reach the zoo entrance.
By Car/Scooter: Drive to the Taipei Zoo (via highway 3 or county road 106), and park somewhere on the street or in a parking lot, then walk to the zoo entrance.
Please see below:
I have been to the Taipei Zoo many times. The price is super cheap and there is enough to see to last the entire day.
See some of our drone footage above for a bird's eye view of the zoo.
View looking west. There is a large parking lot in front of the Zoo but it can fill quickly. If you are coming as a tourist, the easiest option is to take the brown line MRT.
Even on the most crowded days, you don't have to wait to get in because all you need to do is swipe your easy card. But if you don't have an easy card, you can still wait in line and pay with cash.
On the day that we visited, it was Children's Day (兒童節), which means kids get in free. Needless to say, the place was packed.
The zoo sits in a valley, going uphill as you go further in. Because of this, its easier to start from the back and work down. More on that later.
Tons of people.
This is the line to Mcdonald's. A Big Mac is not worth a half hour wait in line. Okay, we did not come to the zoo to look at people. Let's get out the map:
As you can see, right at the entrance to the zoo on the left is the Formosan Animal Area. This is where you should go first, especially if you are travelling from afar. These are animals that are endemic to Taiwan and can be hard to spot in the wild.
Formosan Animal Area 臺灣動物園區
The main attraction at the Formosan Animal Area is the Formosan Black Bear, which has been at the heart of Taiwan's tourism efforts in recent years.
It can be very hard to spot one in the wild, so here is the easiest way to see one.
Also don't miss out of the Formosan Sika Deer and Muntjac, which are like mini deer (pictured above is an adult). They can also be very hard to spot in the wild.
Taiwan Mountain Hawk-Eagle.
Formosan Macaques, which are easier to spot in the wild.
There are more Formosan animals to discover there, but this is not an exhaustive blog. Let's keep moving.
Zoo Shuttle Train 動物列車
Once you have seen what you want to see around the entrance, you can take the shuttle train up the hill to the back of the zoo. It is only 5 NT per person.
On a busy day there will be a long line, but the line moves fast and the trains are long.
Riding in the train to the other side of the zoo.
Amphibian and Reptile House 兩栖動物和爬蟲舘
Central bearded dragons having a family photo session.
Giant iguana taking a nap.
Yellow poison dart frogs.
Marimo, which are algae growths in ball form found in Japan.
Construction going on near the food court.
Penguin House 企鵝舘
There is a nice penguin exhibit at the very end of the zoo. The ones pictured above are fake.
The first room features quite a number of emperor penguins.
Don't expect them to do tricks for you.
That's pretty much it. And it's cold in there.
Also there is a penguin gift shop.
Temperate Zone Animal Area 溫帶動物區
Also near the temperate animal area is the only convenience store in the park, a Red Panda themed Hi-Life. IT can be crowded here but the lines move fast and there is a window specifically to buy ice cream from.
African Animal Area 非洲動物區
The hippo area also features a glass wall where you can see hippos swimming in the water.
Elephant playing with a boulder.
Elephant taking a sip.
A giraffe family.
Zebras in the giraffe enclosure.
Someone holding up their kid to see the giraffes.
Australian Animal Area 澳洲動物區
Right next to the African area is the Australian area. Pictured above is an Emu.
Desert Animal District 沙漠動物區
Tons of people in front of the African exhibit.
Asian Tropical Forest Area 亞洲熱帶雨林區
Right below the African and Australian areas is the Asian Tropical Rain forest Area.
There is a new edition of the zoo, the Pangolin dome that opened in 2019.
Skywalk inside the Pangolin dome.
Malaysian bee eater.
Another view inside the pangolin cage.
A sloth going back into his house in the pangolin cage.
Cotton top Tamarin.
View of the aquarium inside the pangolin cage.
Sumatran leaf monkey.
Indian great hornbill.
Insect Valley 昆蟲谷
Near the rain forest area is an insectarium, where you can find butterflies and other bugs.
It's easy to get some good butterfly pictures in here.
Did I mention there was tons of people? I now wonder if I came to see people or animals.
Giant Panda House 熊貓舘
The panda exhibit is near the entrance. If you go on a really busy day, they will assign you a time to enter otherwise it will get way to crowded there.
The line moves fairly quickly because there is a guard there whistling at you.
How does Taiwan have Pandas? They were a gift from China in 2008 when pro-China president Ma-Yingjiu won the presidency. Before that they were rejected by the Chen Shuibian led DPP party. Pro-independence activists did not like the pandas because their names meant unification (with China).
The crowded line back to the entrance from the Giant Panda House.
Also from the Taipei Zoo you can take the Maokong Gondola up the mountain to see some great views of Taipei. For more about the Maokong Gondola, check out ourfull blog here.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.