Taiwan - Day 3


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Asia » Taiwan » Taipei » Ximending
May 5th 2010
Published: October 27th 2010
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Today was pretty jam packed with fun - my feet feel like they're ready to fall off! Where to start...

This morning we decided to go to Taipei Zoo. Taipei has a pretty decent sized zoo with a special feature on Giant Pandas so we figured why not? (The tickets were cheap too!) We got there plenty early so it was quiet at first but things picked up after lunch.

I've gotta be honest - the pandas were pretty boring. Honestly the most boring animal I have ever seen at a zoo. I realize that they are living in a quasi-natural habitat and that they aren't meant to be on display but wow... just glad we didn't pay extra to see them or anything. The Koalas were pretty boring too. They just sat there motionless. There were actually quite a few animals that I had to really look at them to see if they were real because they actually didn't move at all.

Overall the conditions at the zoo were an interesting mix of decent and depressing. All of the pens were too small, I thought, with nowhere near enough natural habitat. The only guys who seemed to have their freedom were the giant gorillas who each had their own walled in lush green pen. The gorilla was kind enough to wake up just when I came around to take pictures 😉 I think we shared a special bond. Jim insisted that he wouldn't be so cute if he jumped over the wall, ripped my arms off and beat me to death with them. Duly noted.

So whereas the gorilla had lots of space the elephants spent the entire time rocking back and forth. We also watched a jungle cat, can't remember what type, pacing around its very small pen. I think the poor thing had been driven insane by captivity. It just kept walking in circles, doing the exact same pattern each time. Very depressing.

We somehow managed to stay at the zoo all day and after 5 hours of walking my feet were dead tired. It was time to sit and relax for a bit. And what better way to do that then take a 20 minute gondola ride? Lucky for us the Maokong Gondola had a stop right inside the zoo grounds so we took the free shuttle there and hopped aboard.

The ride was pretty nice. It was just Jim and I in the car for the most part and the views were great. I only wish the weather had been a little clearer so we could've taken some good shots. It's rainy season in Taiwan though and it was threatening ran all afternoon. It eventually did sprinkle a bit but we were nice and dry inside our gondola 😊

The car took us to the last stop on the line - Maokong - which is this little village with temples on the side of a mountain. We were ravenous so stopped for some local fare, which was delicious of course, and a quick drink. By then it was starting to get dark though so we had to head back down to the station.

They have this really nice fountain outside of the station exit that's called a "Dancing Fountain" because the water moves in time with the music being played. It was pretty great to watch!

At night we decided to check out the Ximending Pedestrian Market. It's a pretty popular shopping district with lots of different shops and stalls. Unfortunately we got there a little late, around 9 PM, so not too many places were still open. We still managed to grab some yummy food, avoid the stinky tofu and drink brown sugar tea for the first time.

Ironman 2 was playing at the movie theater in English so we figured, why the heck not? and went to go see it. Love Tony Stark! We both really enjoyed it! It was kind of interesting being one of three couples in the theater too hahahaha Well, it WAS a Thursday night so I guess that explains it...

Anyway we're pretty exhausted after all that travelling around today and need to be up and out early tomorrow so I'll sign off for now. More later!

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