Tag Archives: Taipei Zoo

Yuan Zai 圓仔 Baby Panda ~ so gorgeous (and awake!)

Taipei Zoo’s baby panda Yuan Zai 圓仔 is charming the whole country, but she doesn’t half like to sleep ha ha!  Queues and queues of people (limited to 19,200 per day) have lined up to see her for 10 minutes of viewing time during the Chinese New Year holiday as she made her public debut, and there she is (or not, if she’s often hiding) fast asleep….


Taipei Metro kindly shows the current panda viewing times and available tickets on electronic noticeboards on some of its platforms around the city – and so there it was that I came to be in the zoo on Saturday afternoon especially to see the baby panda, and with only 5 minutes to wait to see her…. (unlike morning visitors who had to wait 2 hours!)

Zoo entrance fee is only NT$ 60 (about £1.20), well worth it to see a baby panda, who people say, wakes up in the afternoons – and YES she was wide awake and sitting on the top of a tall branch smiling at us all and moving around, while mother was wandering around below…


Not easy to get a decent photo, but she is just sooooooo cute and gorgeous – if you have a chance, you just MUST go and see her!


Chinese New Year 2014!

And what a New Year it was!  The best weather ever ever ever, certainly ever since I ever remember – it was wonderful!  Praise God YES!

Started with the New Year’s Eve Banquet just up the road at Shuang-Lian Senior Care Centre, invited by my good friends Rev. and Mrs. Hsu.  Definitely the in-place to be on the night!  Over 100 tables, over 1,000 people, whole families of 4 generations, delicious food and red envelopes for all the residents – fun!

Then on New Year’s Day (Friday) to Taichung by High-Speed Rail – not easy to get a ticket, but we did! Stayed on the 8th floor at St. James’ Church, guests of Rev. Charles Chen and MaryJo and their family.  Hospitality of the highest degree.  Even spent the afternoon at Ji-Ji in Nantou County, famous for its railway station which was destroyed in the 1999 earthquake and has since been rebuilt….

Yummy yummy food food food, we ate and ate all the holiday!

In between-times, visited all my friends from past and present.  Great to see everyone! One of the highlights was joining up with my former fellow-student Fr. Joy for a special lunch with our former Chinese teacher and her daughter. Hadn’t see each other for years and years!  Another was meeting up with Rosie and her family, she had come to St. James with CMS for 6 months to replace me in 2001 while I went on home leave to the UK.  She’s still here in Taichung all these years later, married to a very handsome husband and with a gorgeous little girl and a baby on the way!  She came to the English service at St. James’ Church where I was doing the sermon….

Ah yes, and not forgetting 2 lovely families both surnamed Lai, plus church members and colleagues, past and present….

Ah, so many friends, so little time – see you all next time!

And eventually back to Taipei – spent yesterday on an outing with the SJU staff fellowship to Taipei Zoo (no time to see the panda cub, but we did see big daddy!) and MaoKong Cable Car, lunch (with a very descriptive English menu!), tea plantations and cherry blossom….

Thanking God for His many many blessings over the New Year, including sunshine ~ Happy Year of the Horse everyone!