A Quick Evening Stroll Through Taipei Botanical Garden
If you're looking for a nice place to spend a part of your day in Taiwan, you can take a leisurely walk through the beautiful Taipei Botanical Garden. Just look for this old building - the entrance is around the corner. This is actually the National Education Radio building, not part of the gardens, and two doors to the left is the National Museum of History - very visible as a large Chinese building.
There are seventeen areas of the park, each showing different plants.
Sometimes, you feel like you're looking at an exhibit.
Other times, you find a small path off the main route.
There, perhaps, you find some flowers you've never seen before.
"What are those?" you ask, but you never find out.
And so you continue down the small winding path, looking forward to whatever horticultural wonder you might find just around the bend.
Oh, you're back on the main path. That's okay. There are still sixteen more districts in this garden to visit.
And along the next small path, there's another flower.
The Botanical Garden was established while Taiwan was under Japanese rule, though the garden existed in the 19th century.
Ignored during Word War II, the garden was rearranged and new plants were brought in. It now holds 1500 different species.
You probably won't count them all. Just enjoy the park - it probably doesn't get too busy most days and I would have had a peaceful, solitary trip if it wasn't for one person. A junior high student approached me and struck up a conversation to practice her English. She had a British accent (which I noted) - it turns out her English teacher is from Great Britain. It was actually nice being able to speak English for a while during my stay in Taiwan, as most of my conversations were very limited due to the language barrier. We walked together and talked as I took pictures - she was very patient as I'd stop occasionally to frame a shot or take a few images in a row.
Two buildings in the garden are historical properties - one being the herbarium, the other a relocated administrative building. The greenhouse here is placed nicely in a visible yet not overbearing location.
While there are open areas especially around the greenhouse, one of the great things about this garden is the large number of shade trees found along the paths - a welcome sight in the scorching summer.
There isn't much sun here! I think a bit more sun reaches the ground during midday, but by the late afternoon it's shady and almost forest-like.
Ahh, the sun has gone down behind the neighborhood as I reach the end of my trip around the garden!
The Botanical Garden is free to enjoy from 4am until 10pm, so you can add it to your itinerary early or late to catch the sunrise or sunset. You can walk from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall or its MRT station, or if you're coming from afar you can take a quick trip south from the Xiaonanmen MRT Station.