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Best Taipei Day Hikes

Listen – I never could resist a shot (or two, or three) of tequila at night, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t do other things, okay? I mean, it’s called being multi-dimensional. Like sometimes I prefer vodka, sometimes I prefer gin – you feel me? But I also like nature sh-t as much as anyone else, and I have the experience to prove it. One of the benefits about being freelance is that I can go on little adventures throughout the week. I was way more adventurous when I initially moved here, but over the three years I’ve been in Taipei, though – I’ve come to stick to my tried-and-true classics: no fussing with the map, no looking up GPS coordinates – you know the trail and the markings; and of course the nature is as beautiful as ever. Nature is so incredibly accessible in Taiwan, and in great variety as well (including alpine forests, who would have guessed) – it’s a crime to miss out on it.

I’m also the kind of person that wants a hike with a point – aka, a view. I am not hauling my ass up hundreds of stairs without seeing something beautiful at the end. So all of these hikes I’m recommending have a stunning vantage point

Foreigners pretty much got the Taiwan hiking blogging game on lock – so there are tons of resources you can find that will detail exactly how to get to these places – just google it. I’m being generous with the time estimates here, including the time it takes to get yourself there, lag on the trail, eat food, etc.

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Here’s my personal list of the best Taipei day hikes:

Whole Day – Yuemeikang Waterfall: Since I wrote about it for VSCO, it’s hardly my secret waterfall anymore, but she’s a beauty – always impressive. I used these directions to get there – although keep in mind: it looks different every time. Friends and I went after Typhoon Soudelor and it was unrecognisable. It’s not a long hike, but it’s quite difficult – especially with the constantly changing conditions of the trail. After the waterfall hike, reward yourself by having a soak in the Jiaoxi Hotspring Park – totally naked.

Alternately, you can do the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail – which is resplendent with waterfalls. Then go and eat all those calories back at the mountain towns of Shifen or Jiufen. I feel like this post is a good resource and gives incredibly detailed instructions, as well as recommendations on what to eat post-hike.

Half Day – Battleship Rock: Try not to go on a weekend, as the aforementioned rock gets incredibly crowded. Other than that, it’s a walk from the nearest MRT station, then through a university, then onto a trail with panoramic views. Avoid it on a cloudy day, though – as the views all around are the best part.

 Few Hours –  Elephant Mountain: I wrote a post about it here. With the opening of Elephant Mountain MRT, it’s much easier to get there, but it hasn’t diminished the view. Gets me every time.

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I’ve done tons of other day hikes within Taipei, such as Tianmu Old Trail, the Four Beasts but I’ve never found them to be very interesting or rewarding apart from, well – calories burned. I want to explore more of Yangmingshan (this blog is a great resource) – but my next challenge is the Pingxi Crags.

Images by Sean Marc Lee for VSCO 

2 Comments

  1. Silas Lim says

    Good morning, where can I purchase “Taipei Escape” outside Taiwan?

    Cheers
    Silas

    • Stephanie Hsu says

      Hello Silas –

      I’m not really sure – sorry about that! I find the best way to find information on Taiwan hikes is just through Googling.

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