Hsinchu Zoo is a great afternoon activity for couples, or families. Admission is less than the cost of a can of coke. There's a good variety of animals and they seem happy for the most part. The bengal tiger, giant orangutan, and Malaysian Bear are star attractions, but the gibbons, and deer pavilions are patron favorites.
If you want to have the zoo to yourself, go on a weekday afternoon. Crowds can form on weekends as one of the entrances to the zoo is at the foot of the flower market, which is also worth a visit if you get the chance. The other entrance to the zoo leads from the Glass Museum, another famous attraction in Hsinchu.
Take note of the botany while at the zoo as it features some prominent Formosan flora.
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