Taiwan Day 2: Taipei Zoo, Maokong Gondola Ride, Maji Square and Taipei Fine Arts Museum
It was dark and gloomy when we woke up the following day in Taipei. It is as if it is an invitation to just stay in bed (and nurse my sore legs from yesterday’s hike at Elephant Mountain).
Here’s our Taipei Day 2 Itinerary:
8:00 AM WAKE UP
9:00 AM BREAKFAST
10:00 AM Taipei Zoo
12:00 PM Gondola Cable Car
2:00 PM Lunch at Maokong (Sanxuan Temple)
4:00 PM Maji Square
6:00 PM Taipei Fine Arts Museum
8:00 PM DINNER
10:00 PM HOTEL
We took the MRT which is just a 5-minute walk from Grand Hyatt Hotel going to Taipei Zoo. It started drizzling when we got to the destination. One thing that we notice though – raincoats seemed to be color-coded. Taipei does not stay away from its youthful and colorful vibe even on a bad weather.
We did a quick stroll to check the animals and place. It is a bit of a challenge to walk around in muddy, slippery platforms but it is worth the NTS 60 entrance (around Php 120). You can use your EasyCard to pay for the entrance at Taipei Zoo.
Truth is, I am afraid of animals and I do not really fancy going to the zoo but a visit here is a nice way to balance the itinerary. We spotted some cute kids on a field trip and couples traveling with kids. Literally needing an extra hand to hold the umbrella and strollers; and I could no longer complain about my feet getting wet (pet peeve!)
When shit happens 💩
I would have wanted to try this cafe but line was crazy!
If you are visiting Taipei Zoo, please do check it out and let me know if it is worth the long line!
Gondola Cable Car Ride to Maokong
The highlight of our Day 2 Itinerary was the Gondola Cable Car Ride to Maokong. Although it was raining, it’s a nice experience to travel from Taipei Zoo to Maokong.
We paid NTS 120 (around Php 240) for the single journey ticket to Maokong (the highest peak). It is the same price to pay to ride the Maokong Crystal Cabin; you just have to line up at the different queue. As the cable car can fit 4 people, we shared it with a couple.
During the ride, we thought of checking out the Zhinan Temple Station because of its foggy feel (but we hesitated, as we don’t know if we need to pay another ticket to get to Maokong). 😀
The whole Gondola Ride took around 30 to 40 minutes and we just decided to turn off our camera and just enjoy the experience.
It was as if stepping into another timezone when we got to Maokong. It was chilly and drizzling; but the only comforting thing was the couple of Filipino friends talking in Tagalog and having #ootd.
Maokong is a small village on top of the mountain where you can find the best tea selections in the area. There are restaurants, tea houses and a “food court” that offer different Taiwanese food.
From Maokong, we took a taxi to go back to the Taipei Zoo MRT Station. There is a “taxi station” in Maokong that offer “shared ride” for NTS 75 (around Php150)/pax. It is a cheaper and faster transpo alternative to go back to Taipei Zoo Station.
I really love how efficient and reliable the buses and MRT are in Taipei.
From Taipei Zoo Station, we googled our way to Taipei Fine Arts Museum/Maji Square.
Maji Square is a food park, market place and expo haven near Yuanshan (圓山) MRT and Taipei Flower Expo Park, When we walked in the food park, I smelled a really funky, stinky smell – I seriously couldn’t breathe. Rodel told me it was the stinky tofu.
I would have wanted to try it but I told myself, next time. I didn’t want to upset my stomach. We decided to have Japanese Curry and Rice. 🍛 Taiwanese meals usually start at NTS 150 to 240 (around Php 300 to Php 480). If you would convert it in peso, it may appear too expensive, but I think it is comparably cheap.
We strolled around the park and spotted a lot of really nice corners for taking photos. We even chanced upon a group doing a photo walk with a model. 📷 I envied their lenses.
For the most part, I just enjoyed the sights and took them all in.
Would be nice to have more flowers
I hope next time it will be the Pyramids of Giza
I really love this solar bridge 💡
It was funny that when we checked the site, it said that Taipei Fine Arts Museum offer free entrance after 5 PM. When we arrived, the guard said that the museum is already closed. 😯
Taipei Fine Arts Museum taking it all seriously.
I love this!!!
Found this nest outside the museum.
It reminds me of Style Cat! 😺 It could be Yuki’s next project.
… ending Day 2 to allot our evening for personal commitments.
What I love about Taiwan is that you can still go around at night and visit markets. MRT operates until 12 am (each train leaving at 12 midnight from their respective stations).