11/08/09 Yesterday there was a company-wide outing to the Taipei Zoo. Got up early and went to the 7 to buy breakfast. "The Seven" is how people call Seven-Elevens here, and the food selection is astounding. I shall have to write about that some other time.
Anyway I went to the 7 to buy breakfast and then waited on Chungshan N. for my cherubic coworker H to come and pick me up. His car came and as expected, the entire car is filled with people and McDonald bags. Ha! We had a huge breakfast match in the car, and but 20 min later we arrived at the Zoo.
The last time and the only time I went to the current Taipei Zoo was when it first opened 20-some years ago...it was very huge but barren at the time. It's nice to see the park is all filled with lush plants and trees now.
Before entering the zoo, we walked pass the new Taipei City Children's Entertainment Park. I can't wait to bring my nieces and nephew here when they come to Taipei. We also walked passed the recently built but quickly defunct Mao-Kung Cable Car. This was indeed a good idea, but it was a pity that the City Government missed the construction survey, causing the Cable Car to become a dangerous structure only shortly after its completion. Even so, The Wen-Shan area is still rich in touristic resources.
We first signed in and fetched our souvenirs for today's participation of the Zoo outing. Then, we darted towards the latest attraction inside the park--the Panda Colony. We got the timed ticket to the Panda Hall, lined up, and slowly approached the pandas. The pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan came from Sichuang. They were given to the Taipei Zoo last year. I have not seen them because thousands of visitors crowd this part of the Zoo every day then. Now that the panda craze is over by a little bit, I can see the panda in relative ease without too much pain. They were very cute! Tuan Tuan was sitting on the ground eating bamboo, while Tuan Tuan was hiding behind the playground set in the "room", scratching her behind...HA~
We then went up the slope and met up with more coworkers. The entire park was swamped with people I know and recognize; it's great to see their kids, too.
I didn't realize this was such a vast ground. The old zoo near northern part of the city moved to the current site in 1986. The current zoo is said to be the largest zoo in Southest Asia. After seeing the panda and hanging out at the Hippo Plaza eateries, we made our way up the tropical forrest walkway and meandered up to see the koalas. The koalas were at ease sleeping, chewing on eucalyptus leaves, and playing among the branches, respectively. They were very cute and much smaller than I expected--this was my first time seeing koalas, come to think of it!!
The Taipei Zoo was much more fun than I thought it would be--next time I come here I want to go up to the nearby and famous Mao-Kong Hill to have some Chinese tea also.