Visiting Xpark Taoyuan, the Best Aquarium in Taiwan

Some people looking at an enormous tank filled with fish, sharks and other sea creatures

Xpark (official site / buy tickets here) is Taiwan’s newest and, in my personal opinion, best aquarium.

This may come as a surprise for some, as the National Museum of Marine Biology (or “Kenting Aquarium”) in Kenting National Park is much larger and has long been considered the best.

I visited both in 2023 and concluded that Xpark offers more bang for your buck, newer and better facilities (the one in Kenting is huge but much of it is closed, outdated, or just filler space), plus Xpark is just much easier to get to thanks to the close proximity to Taoyuan HSR station.

Some highlights of Xpark for me were the huge main tank, jellyfish room, seals, watching penguins get fed, and touching sea creatures in the hands-on section. It also has an excellent hotel connected to it.

Welcome to Xpark

A ray swimming in a water tank, facing the camera, with a smile and little teeth visible

Xpark opened to the public in August 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic. It’s a joint venture between a Japanese company that operates an aquarium in Japan and a Taiwanese insurance company.

Although the concrete jungle of Zhongli district in Taoyuan city may seem like an unlikely location for an aquarium, it is nevertheless super convenient to reach for visitors from Taipei or other parts of Taiwan.

Rather than try to teach visitors a lot, like other marine institutions in Taiwan tend to do, Xpark is all about wowing and inspiring visitors. You’ll find more opportunities here for fun photographs and the displays are more visually stunning.

Xpark has 13 exhibition halls in total spread over three floors. A normal visit takes a couple hours. There are also animal shows in a small outdoor theater towards the end (try to time it right if you want to catch a performance), a small café, and an excellent gift shop.

Learn about Taiwan’s other amusement parks and aquariums here.

Getting There

A large covered escalator and staircase leads into the Taoyuan Airport MRT station
Taoyuan Airport MRT and HSR stations

Xpark is super conveniently located near Taoyuan HSR station and Airport MRT station. This makes it ideal for visiting right after landing in Taiwan (see my Taoyuan Airport guide), on the way to the airport just before leaving Taiwan, during a Taiwan layover, or as a short stop when traveling from Taipei to any other city on the High Speed Rail.

If you’re coming from Taoyuan International Airport, ride the Airport MRT 20 minutes to Taoyuan HSR station. Put your luggage in a luggage storage locker in the station (read how to use these luggage lockers here) and proceed to exit 2 for Xpark (exit 1 goes to the HSR station).

Coming from Taipei, ride the High Speed Rail (see my guide to buying HSR tickets / buy discounted HSR tickets on Klook) two stops to Taoyuan HSR station. Taoyuan HSR and Airport MRT stations are connected, with the Airport MRT station being just slightly closer to Xpark.

Some outdoor shops at Gloria Outlets
Walking through Gloria Outlets to get to Xpark

From either station, it’s an 8 to 10-minute walk to Xpark. You’ll have to walk through the outdoor area of Gloria Outlets, a large outlet mall. Xpark is on the second floor of Landmark Plaza department store.

I suggest taking one of the escalators to the second floor of Gloria Outlets. Then you can access a tunnel crossing the road, connecting the second floor of Gloria Outlets to the second floor of Landmark Plaza, where the entrance to Xpark is located.

I recommend buying your tickets online in advance for faster entry, especially on weekends.

Sleeping at Xpark

Believe it or not, you can actually sleep inside Xpark while gazing at the huge aquarium tank! The Xpark sleepover experience is opeated by Hotel Cozzi Blu.

Hotel Cozzi Blu (see on Booking / Agoda) is in the same building as Xpark and is one of my most recommended hotels near Taoyuan International Airport, especially for families.

For a more budget-friendly option nearby, try Bluewater Hotel (see on Booking / Agoda).

What to Expect on Your Visit

A map three three color coded levels of Xpark Aquarium and what visitors can see on each one
Map showing the recommended walking route through Xpark

What I’ll describe below is the main route through the aquarium recommended on the above map, which you can get for free at Xpark.

While you don’t necessary have to follow this route, I did find I got a little disoriented after I decided to make my own route through the aquarium. There are elevators and escalators between the floors so it is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

While visiting, you’ll notice QR codes on some displays. You can scan these with your phone to open up videos and kid-friendly activities related to the displays.

A group of people in silhouette at the bottom standing before a huge glass wall, which is the side of a large water tank, with hundred of fish, rays, and sharks swimming around in it
The enormous main tank at Xpark

Your visit to Xpark will start with a bang as you come face to face with the enormous water tank in the Formosa section.

The tank stands 9 meters tall and contains a staggering 1 million liters (1000 metric tons) of water and 10,000 fishes. These include huge rays, hammerhead sharks, and a Japanese bullhead shark, which can normally only be found in Japan’s waters.

While Xpark’s tank is not quite as large or impressive as the one I saw at Osaka Aquarium in Japan (which has whale sharks), it is still very impressive nonetheless and definitely the best one in Taiwan.

Don’t hesitate to spend some time here to marvel at the graceful creatures gliding past. But keep in mind that you’ll still get one more chance to see the tank, but from a higher level.

A child's hand reaching into a shallow pond and touching a blue seat star, with other large sea stars and marine creatures in the pool, with white sand at the bottom
Touching sea stars

Next, you’ll proceed to the third floor. There you’ll find a 180° degree concave tank filled with a kaleidoscope of vibrantly colored corals in the Diving in the Coral Sea area.

If you stand right in the middle, you’ll feel like the tank wraps around you. Coral designs are also shone onto the floor, making you feel like you’re a immersed in the setting.

There’s also a section of Deep Sea Creatures, a Tropical Rainforest room, a multimedia interactive room, and a Temperate Zone where you can reach into shallow tanks and touch sea stars, hermit crabs, and sea cucumbers. There are reptiles and amphibians, too.

Last but not least, this floor has a Freezing Zone, where playful seals swim around or take a snooze in plain view.

Close up of a seal's face underwater as it sleeps in an aquarium tank
A snoozing seal

From there, stairs descent to a different section of the second floor for one of the aquarium’s top highlights, called Jellyfish Healing. This is a room of glass structures filled with jellyfish. Soothing music accompanies the changing colorful lights.

This room was my personal favorite at Xpark. It is incredibly calming, artistic, and photogenic all at once.

A room of large glass upright tanks containing hundreds of small jellyfish and the whole room is lit up with blue lights
The Jellyfish room was my favorite

Shortly after the Jellyfish Healing room, there are more displays of various types of jellyfish and octopus – always mesmerizing creatures to observe.

Don’t miss the vials of tiny baby jellyfish, so small you almost can’t see them!

Three large jellyfish gliding in unison inside a blue water tank
Stunningly beautiful jellyfish

This part of the second floor contains another highlight, the Penguin Room. If you’re as lucky as I was you’ll get to watch the staff feeding the penguins.

An aquarium workers wearing blue windbreaker and a face mask placing a fish into a standing penguin's mouth, with other penguins standing around watching
Feeding time

There’s also a spot where you can look down on the aquarium’s large main tank from the second floor.

The final stretch involves a return to the first floor, where a Live Animal Performance takes place in a small outdoor theater. The performance begins daily at 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 (plus an additional 6:20 show on Saturdays only).

Although I didn’t stick around for it, the show features capybaras (here are others places with capybaras in Taiwan), seals, goats, parrots, and more. Visitors with kids won’t want to miss it.

An animal trainer holding up a limbo stick while a capybara jumps over it
Did you know that capybaras can jump? (image by 快樂雲 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Right after that, you’ll reach the café, where tubes of water allow penguins to swim right through the Xcafé area.

You may have to be lucky to actually see this happening, though – none were swimming through when I passed by. (The above and below images are not mine but used with license.)

A large horizontal glass tube in a cafe, with a penguin swimming through it and many people sit in the cafe watching it
A penguin swims through the cafe (image by 快樂雲 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Finally, you’ll exit (of course) via the Gift Shop. I must say that there were some pretty great souvenirs on offer here, including super squeezable stuffies, animal-related toys, snacks, and more.

Shelved filled with animal shaped stuffies
Cute stuffies in the gift shop

When you exit from Xpark, you may be a little disoriented, as the exit is on the first floor of the mall (as opposed to the entrance on the second floor).

Take the nearest elevator back up to the second floor to find the tunnel back to Gloria Outlets and the Airport MRT/HSR station.  

Dining and Other Things to Do around Xpark

View from above looking down and many street food vendors in Zhongli Night Market
Zhongli Night Market in Taoyuan

Besides some snacks and drinks at Xcafe inside Xpark, there are several restaurants to choose from in Gloria Outlets. These include conveyor belt sushi, hot pot, dim sum, and Movenpick ice cream.  

Visitors with young children may also want to include a visit to Chiao-Hu Wonderland, an indoor playcenter on the 1st floor of Landmark Plaza (very close to where you’ll exit from Xpark).

Chia-Hu Wonderland has a ball room, sand pit, themed play areas, and a marine theme to match Xpark. Chiao-Hu is the Barney or Big Bird of Taiwan – my kids liked Chia-Hu when they were very young.

There’s also a Snoopy Playcenter in Gloria Outlets.

Another cool attraction close to the Airport MRT and HSR station is the Taiwan High Speed Rail Museum. However, I was very disappointed when I couldn’t enter – you need to make an online booking before going. You can use GoogleMaps to fill in the form, but you’ll need to input a local number – see my guide to getting a SIM card for Taiwan.

Zhongli Night Market, one of the best night markets in Taiwan, is a 15-minute drive from Xpark.

For more things to do in Taoyuan city, see my Taoyuan guide and how to get from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei.

Leave a Comment