When Taipei Zoo relocated to the southern outskirts of the city in 1986, it left behind large empty site in the northern suburb of Shilin. Over time, this was transformed into the Taipei Children's Recreation Center, comprising the World of Yesterday, the World of Tomorrow and the World of Amusement, and today it's a place most Taipei children know well. With traditional fairground rides, a science museum and a folk arts museum, it keeps kids interested and amused for whole days, rain or shine.
We've been twice in recent months, once as a school field trip and once more recently on a Sunday afternoon outing. The World of Tomorrow is a good bet for a boiling day, as we found on the field trip. The kids could have spent all day at the various exhibits on space and biology. The World of Yesterday is more laid-back but very interesting from the perspective of Chinese cultural history. A collection of buildings with traditional swallow tail or horseback roofs, the idea of symbolism in architecture is clear to see. There's a peach-shaped window to represent longevity, a bottle-shaped door symbolising safety and well-being, and an eight diagram window that brings good luck and avoids evil spirits.
Some visitors didn't enjoy even the mildest rides,
but we spent a very enjoyable two hours at Taipei Children's Recreation Center and not for the last time, I have no doubt.