Or how to find a beating heart of nature at the Botanical Garden in the middle of bustling Taipei City.
Thanks to Homey’s convenient location, you can easily access the Green Line at Zhongshan Station and take the MRT to just 3 stops away Xiaonenmen Station and take exit 3.
How to enjoy the trip
A warm winter or spring day is best to enjoy a walking tour through Taipei Botanical Garden. In summer, the days tend to be way too hot to walk around outside, even if the large trees mostly provide shadow. There are no air – conditioned buildings throughout the garden, so you need to bring a fan and a lot of water if you want to go either way. In summer, the most popular feature of the park is the lotus lake, in winter people come to see the falling red leaves. A real alternative to Da’an Park 大安森林公園.
When we went there (during summer ;D) there were some drawing classes doing live sketching with pencils and watercolors there. If you are interested in arts, bring your artsy stuff give it a go!
Introduction to the Botanical Garden
The park covers an area of 8.2 hectares, which is divided into 17 districts featuring different kinds of vegetation like the Taiwan Indigenous Plant Display Area, Ferns or the Taxonomic Garden. In addition to the Lotus pond, there are 8 more ponds, including Aquatic plants and various numerous beautiful fishes. We spotted a huge variety of birds, too, and sometimes could afford a very close look without startling them. The Park has a collection of more than 2,000 species!
Every plant featured in the Botanical Garden is tagged with its name, often followed by a short description, which is mainly in Chinese. Unfortunately, if you want to know more about a plant, you have to use the Latin name to search for yourself.
If you are fond of colorful plants and interested in Taiwan’s flower variety, you can take a look at the gardens flower calendar. Aside from the announced flowers there are not many in bloom, and the special greenhouses are mostly not open to public. However, since the Botanical Garden is so huge, if you cover enough ground you will find a satisfyingly amount of colorful petals.
The Taipei Botanical Garden is open from 5:30 am to 22:00 pm, everyday of the week and free of charge! Located near the garden is also the National History Museum, Science Museum and the Art Museum. At walking distance is also the Huashan 1914 Creative Park and the National Taiwan Craft Research Centre, there is a lot to chose from.
The Botanical Garden was built in 1896 under Japanese rule as ‘Taipei Nursery’ with military use. The Japanese government intended to research the to them unknown flora of Taiwan, trying to put it to medical use. Also, the island needed to be reforested, thus the better understanding of indigenous plant life was needed. In 1921, it was renamed as Taipei Botanical Garden (the first one in Taiwan) and after World War II put under the management of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute.
Also, two historic buildings are located in the garden and allow visitors a glimpse into the past: the Herbarium (built in 1924) and Museum of Imperial Envoy Lodging (built 1988 and relocated in 1933). They also make beautiful backgrounds for photo shots!
The Botanical Garden is also an important archaeological site, the dried up old Taipei lake formed habitable land and caused early humanity to settle in the area around 4,500 years ago. You can visit the nearby National History Museum if you want to learn more about that!