Biggest doesn’t always mean the best, but in the case of Daan Forest Park, it’s the biggest and best park in Taipei.
Modelled on Central Park in Manhattan, it’s over 800 meters long and a width of over 400 meters at it’s widest point, which is roughly equivalent to the size of three major league baseball fields. You could easily spend a couple of hours just walking around and enjoying the many types of trees and wildlife on offer.
With it’s own MRT station on the red line, the entrance from here is designed to seamlessly integrate the park with the city. It’s one of the grandest entrances I’ve seen to any park, and there are a couple of nice cafes here with outdoor seating.
It’s called Daan Forest Park for a reason. There are hundreds of trees here, and a huge variety of them too, all providing shelter from sun.
They also provide homes to the many black squirrels that roam the park. They’re very fast, and also extremely friendly – if they believe you have food on you anyway. They’re not afraid to approach you or even climb up your leg.
The best place to see wildlife at Daan Forest Park is by the Ecological Pond towards the north-west of the park. There’s an island in the centre of the pond which is home to many hundreds of birds, including black-crowned night herons, egrets, ibises, grey herons and many duck species. If you’re lucky, you may even see a crested goshawk or two.
If you come to the park during the evening, you’ll hear a chorus of the birds chattering to each other, while the black-crowned night herons will often be seen roaming the grounds looking for food.
Many twitchers will come with their telescopic cameras to snap photos of the birds. Also found in the pond are many Chinese box turtles and koi.
Situated within the centre of the park is a pavilion that often hosts concerts.
One of the best and most popular is the free annual Taipei Jazz Festival. Featuring some great jazz musicians and held over three days each October, it’s a must for any lovers of jazz.
The north-eastern corner of the park is a great place to take kids. There’s a large skating rink and play area with many slides.
There’s also a basketball court just below this.
One of my favourite parts of the park is the exercise biking area. It’s a beautiful spot next to a pond, and peddling on the bikes hard enough will generate fountains of water from the red pipes. It’s a good motivation to keep on peddling.
Many locals will come to the park in the morning to practice their Tai Chi.
If you need a rest from all the exercise, there are plenty of seats in the Daan Forest Park, and many shaded areas to escape the rays of the sun.
The park also has some pathways that lead you through beautiful mini-oases. Just ensure you have plenty of repellent on you are these are also havens for mosquitoes!
Daan Forest Park is a great place to come if you enjoy nature but still want to stay close to the city centre. It does get quite busy over weekends, especially if it’s sunny but it’s such a huge place it’s usually no bother.
I’ve also created a walk that takes you through the park and other areas near here.
- Close to the city centre
- Perfect antidote to the noise of the city
- No shops nearby
There aren’t any convenience stores nearby so ensure you have plenty of drinks on you before you come, and you also have some mosquito spray handy.
Daan Forest Park Location
Closest MRT: Daan Park (red line – exits 2/3/4/5)