Taipei City, Taiwan, April. Since the visibility isn’t great there seems little point spending £8.50 for a ride up the Taipei 101 skyscraper.Gaining the ‘I’ve been up the 101’ status isn’t as important to me as it might be to a Chinese package tourist! And I’m not enthused to make an appointment to visit a coffee shop, even if it is Starbucks on the 101’s 35th floor, so next best thing for that Birds eye view of Taipei City is the ‘Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail’
To get there, take a Metro ride to Xianshan Station, the last stop on the red line. Head on through Zhongqiang Park and keep left. Soon there will be a sign for Elephant Mountain Trail and a stone staircase ascending the hillside.
Its hard work to start with but after about 10 minutes the gradient shallows and hikers can relax a little, look back at the panoramic view before continuing up. Its an easy climb after the initial hard work but once on the plateau the panoramic views are pretty cool, shame about that persistent mist and haze though. About 35 minutes to reach the view points. Its a well trodden path by locals and tourists alike being quite a popular spot with old timers needing some exercise!
Here are a few snaps of the hike and views at the top. Don’t worry about getting lost, plenty of maps and English signage to guide the way, or just follow the old timers.
To return back down, just keep moving forward and down. Eventfully there will be a sign pointing the way to the nearest MRT.