4/13/2010

Iguana Pen in Hsinchu (新竹) Zoo


Iguana Pen in Hsinchu Zoo, originally uploaded by Patrick Cowsill.
I took this shot in Hsinchu (新竹), Taiwan. According to the sign, the cage was put in over 70 years ago, in 1936, making it a relic of the Japanese colonial era. I'm not, unlike my little daughter, a big fan of zoos generally speaking. But this zoo contained some history. I think it's over 100 years old - the oldest in Taiwan. And the Hsinchu Zoo is unusual as zoos go because it's downtown. There are streets running by all of it's borders, hemming it in. Tiny and old, it only costs NT$10 to get in. That's like 30 cents US.

6 comments:

dennis said...

10 dollar entry fee? does it actually have any animals to look at

Patrick Cowsill said...

They have a couple of tigers, chimps, orangutans, birds (owls, flamingos, etc.) and livestock. Nothing really big, like elephants or giraffes though.

dennis said...

for that very small entry fee im surprised that they had zoo animals at all, obviously it's at least subsidised by the city government.

Thoth Harris said...

I live in Hsinchu, and I have been there two times. I love it. The animals seem pretty happy. You don't need big towering animals like elephants and giraffes. And it's actually got a lot of varieties of different kinds of say, deer (formosan, North American, etc.) Some deer will actually come out of their enclosures, if they're babies, and small enough, and follow around the little children. I saw that last time I went, and it was pretty funny.
The zoo is actually not downtown, Patrick. If it was downtown, or even close to downtown (it isn't far) more people would know about it. A lot of Hsinchuers don't even know they have a zoo! Most people who go to Hsinchu only know the areas around the train station, and then a little bit beyond (if they drive a car): Zhonghua Road, Linsen Road, the little brick-lined pavement near where the eslite bookstore, Giordano, and a number of café terraces are. Also of note to superficial visitors are Zhongzheng Road (the indoor temple market is popular), the little 2-4 block area on Xida Rd. where FE21 centre is, Zhongshan Road, and some of Jingguo Rd.
The zoo is on Shihpin Rd. Shihpin Road is not well-known to people, unless you live here. Or, if you want to get more specific, the cross-street is Bo Ai, or Po Ai Rd. The zoo is at the end of Bo Ai Rd., but if you drove the opposite way, and keep going straight UP Bo Ai Rd., you end up at 18 Peaks Mountain, which is a really nice park to walk in, etc. Anyway, this area where the zoo and 18 Peaks Mt. are, is known as the East District. There are also a lot of Universities in the area, including National Tsing Hua and National Chiao Tung University.

Patrick Cowsill said...

There's also a huge market, with all kinds of snacks, just outside the gates. Thanks for the info, Thoth.

Thoth Harris said...

Yeah, the market is great. One of the better ones in Taiwan. You can find a lot of food which is really fresh, and a big plant market. Behind the zoo is a glass museum, which you can also reach by going to Dongda and Gonguan Rd.