Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Yangmingshan: Our first hike

7/25/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Although it's my second year in Taiwan and Taipei, there are still parts of the country (and city) I haven't visited. I know, it sounds amazing, but the fact is that I'm working 24/7 and barely have the time to walk around and travel like I did before, when I was freer. Therefore my wife and I have decided to at least go on one short trip during our weekend. We choose parts of Taipei we haven't seen before. Last weekend one of long time wishes came true: I finally visited Yangmingshan mountain, northern Taipei's gem, which is so discreetly overlooking the city. I used to be a hiker, but I'm terribly out of shape, so we haven't pushed it too hard during our first visit. We entered the Yangmingshan National Park 陽明山國家公園 with the bus 260, which starts at the back of Taipei Main Station and ends here. We alighted at the last stop, which is about 10 min away from the Chinese Culture University, which we visited an hour before. If you plan your first hike on Yangmingshan mountain, this could be a great reference for you: Just follow our way.

The small terminal station.

Nearby were cars turned into food stalls (this is so Taiwan).

Crossing this bridge was easy peasy.

The voluptuous Shamao Mountain impressed us.

The hiking trail is nicely paved and stretches along the busy road.

We spotted a pavilion on the other side of the road and switched sides.

The Yangmingshan lotus pond

Two girls taking pictures of beautiful blossoms attracted us.

A very thick lotus forest.

A sleepy blossom.

The sunbathing leaf.

My wife took this amazing shot.

This one is still sleeping.

A passionate uncle, almost went bathing for a good shot.

The narrow path

The sun was very strong that day.

Another slope on the horizon.

This part was really beautiful.

The path split, we turned left.

This is a parking lot near Chiang Kai-shek's Grass Mountain Chateau.

We walked further.

Entering a forest.

A village on the other side looked very lovely.

We sat down on one of the benches, when this uncle passed by.

Then we decided to walk further.

These stairs are leading down, but it looked very dangerous.

A small bridge.

The sulphuric Beitou stream is gushing down here.

This water is carrying the volcanic smell in the area.

This is the reason for the hot spring's yellowish color and strong smell.

A small park, reminded me of Changdeokgung's Secret Garden in Seoul.

Off to Chungcheng Park

We finally reached the lovely Chungcheng Park (more in my next post).

In conclusion

Yangmingshan has a lot of long and famous trails for professional hikers, or I better say hikers fitter than me. This is the most basic trail - it goes from the bus station to Chungcheng park with the famous fountain and Flower clock. This was for us enough to see during our first visit, but the next time we decide to return to Yangmingshan, we will definitely choose a more challenging trail. The nature is amazing up there, so is the fresh air. If you want to take a break from Taipei's smog and noise, go to Yangmingshan. You'll hardly find a better place for that, which is so close to Taipei's center. We had a great afternoon and we vowed to return.

View Taipei Map by Kafkaesque in a larger map

Map and useful information


Pinyin: Yángmíngshān
Related website: Homepage
My useful tips: Transportation in Taipei


Xinhai Guangfu Building
Chinese Culture University
Shilin District

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