Guandu Nature Park: new recreation area in Taipei area.

Breathe a little easier at Guandu Nature Park:

Taipei has a vibrant cultural heart but little in the way of lungs, which is why the green expanse of Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園) is such a treasure.

An internationally recognized birding area, the park is home to over 830 species of animals, including 229 varieties of fowl.

(...)The 57-hectare nature park is in a low-lying part of the Taipei Basin, at the confluence of the Keelung and Danshui rivers. The mixture of salt and fresh water makes the area incredibly diverse from an ecological point of view. And this is what attracts the large variety of animals, plants and aquatic creatures.

Having come to terms with the dynamics of wetland eco-systems and learned to differentiate red mangrove from mango, it's time to move on and explore the outdoor observation area; take a trail through the park and check out twitchers in the bird-watching area.

I regret one thing, though: local authorities still don't provide a good public transportation system to such places. The assumption is always that each family will drive their own car to the park, which defeats the purpose of building a natural park in the first place...

The article advises to go there early to beat the crowd (and avoid congested roads like I see every week end here on the road to the Taichung Metropolitan Park.