Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan is no doubt one of the best travel hotspots in Asia, but it is relatively new to many foreign tourists.
And when we talk about visiting Taipei, one of the highlights is none other than the iconic Taipei 101. It is one of the tallest buildings in the world.
So how do you get to enjoy the view of the entire Taipei? Well, there’s a great place to go – Elephant Mountain.
Elephant Mountain, also known as Xiangshan in Chinese, is the perfect location to catch the overview of the entire city of Taipei.
And recently, Elephant Mountain has become one of the top spots for many young people and tourists to enjoy the magnificent view of the city and Taipei 101. The best part is that you can hike the mountain both day time and night!
Hiking the Elephant Mountain Trail
Elephant Mountain is a perfect place to get a bird’s eye view of the city because of its location. It is located right in downtown Taipei. Meaning, you can hike the mountain to enjoy the magnificent view, and then hop on the metro to the city and enjoy the street foods.
The trail itself is not that difficult because there are steps and staircases everywhere. You just need to make sure you have the stamina to hike.
It takes me about 30 minutes to get up to the observation deck where there are also a few big rocks that people will climb up to catch a better view of the city.
Of course, if you not as athletic, you can always take a rest in between before you continue up the trail. If you are a little out of shape, it may take you longer to get to the top. But, trust me, the hike will be worth it.
How to Get to Elephant Mountain
First, hop on a metro and take the Red-Coloured, Tamsui-Xinyi Line. Just take the metro to Xiangshan Station and get off.
From Xiangshan Station, you will have to walk south for about 10 to 15 minutes. You will walk past a garden and a playground to reach Elephant Mountain. The road gets steeper as you get nearer to the mountain.
Elephant Mountain is not difficult to find. There will be other people walking in the same direction for hiking, so don’t worry. It is really easy to find.
Just look at the map above and you will get yourself there in no time.
Tips for Hiking Elephant Mountain
So, what do you need to know before hiking Elephant Mountain? Well, here are a couple of tips to help…
1. The trail can be quite steep at certain parts. You don’t have to hike up the trail in one go. Take a rest when necessary.
2. Sometimes the place will be crowded. So, be careful and do not run or rush to get to the top. There will be senior people hiking there too, so give way whenever possible.
3. You can hike the mountain both in the morning or at night.
4. If you want to avoid the crowd, try to go in the morning hours, like 8 AM or 9 AM. There will be local people exercising there, but less crowded.
5. Most people prefer to hike the mountain in the evening around 5 PM so they can catch the sunset view of the city.
6. Do not wear a slipper, the trail can be slippery especially during the rainy season. Try to put on sports shoes and athletic attire.
7. Bring drinking water with you, trust me, you will need it.
8. You can watch the New Year fireworks from Elephant Mountain, but make sure you get there early because the whole mountaintop will be crowded.
9. When you get to the observation deck area, there are a few big boulders where people will climb up for a better view. If you intend to climb the boulder, make sure you watch your steps.
10. There is no entrance fee. Just go. In my opinion, Elephant Mountain is a must-visit attraction in Taipei.