Taipei Zoo

July 17, 2009 § 2 Comments

Why would someone who has gone to the San Diego Zoo bother spending time at a much smaller, much less known zoo during her limited time abroad?  Good question.

Answer:  I really don’t know.  I love animals though so I was excited to make some new animal friends.

While on the way to the zoo, I encountered the most unusual family.  They spoke in such a fluent mixture of Mandarin and Korean that I couldn’t tell if they were Chinese or Korean.  There are a couple possibilities:

1.  All ethnically Chinese but live in Korea
2.  All ethnically Korean but live in China/Taiwan
3.  Dad is Korean, mom is Chinese, kids are mixed
4. Mom is Korean, dad is Chinese, kids are mixed

I listened to them talk for a while, trying to figure it out but nothing they said gave me any insight.   Here is a sample of their conversation:

Mom: 今天너무더워.
Dad:알아. 天气很奇怪。어적게不是那么热。
Mom:这个孩子어디갔어?
Dad:他先갔어.

Their accents were pretty good too so I really couldn’t tell!  The mom was more comfortable speaking in Mandarin than Korean but her Korean was still really good.

Anyway, after that I went to the zoo and got to skip the line!  Why?  Because I got to use my EasyCard to pay!  EasyCards are these cards that you put money on and can use to ride the metro and buses.  I didn’t know that I could use it to pay for my zoo ticket as well!

Once inside I walked around with my little blue umbrella that I originally bought for rain but now use for the sun.  I’m always a little conflicted when I go to the zoo.  I’m glad to see the animals but I feel bad that they are in such small houses compared to what they should be living in.  However, at the same time I feel like their lives are pretty leisurely here and if I was in their position I would take the zoo over scary predators any day.  In the end, I always feel like I am a visitor to a loved one in jail when I go to the zoo.

Case in point

Case in point

Here are some of the animals I visited:

Flamingos!

Flamingos!

Bambi!

Bambi!

A face only a mother would love

A face only a mother would love

Alpaca showdown

Alpaca showdown

My kind of pandas!

My kind of pandas!

While I was walking around, I found a random rabbit near the chicken cages.  It was just chilling in the shade without a care in the world.  Even when I approached it, it didn’t move and calmly gave me the once over before going back to staring at the foliage.  My theories:

1. It escaped a rabbit exhibit and was enjoying its few moments outside the cages
2. It discovered the zoo (free room and board) and made its way there from either a household or the wild

At any rate, it was really cute.

IMG_2384

It was only 60 NT (about $2 USD) to visit the zoo so if you’re in Taipei and have a few hours to kill, check it out!  If you go, you must check out the great pandas.  The Taipei Zoo built a really nice building just to house them.  I heard that when they first came to Taiwan, the lines were enormous.    While I was visiting the pandas I kept on thinking, “wow, they sure went all out for pandas that they didn’t originally want.”  If you don’t know what I’m alluding to, I’m sure you can find an article by googling “China Taiwan panda controversy.”  I’m not going to go into it now but basically it deals with politics between the two… areas.  Haha, I had to pause quite a while at that ellipses to figure out what term I should use.  =)

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