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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

3 Easy Hikes to Enjoy in Taipei

As I settled into Taipei, one thing that struck me was how beautiful this city is! You might say that’s an obvious statement. Literally Portuguese settlers named Taiwan “Formosa” which means “beautiful island.” But when we think of Taipei, many of us might think of the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper, the fluorescent lights of a bustling night market, or the quaint chicness of indie shopping districts like Zhongshan. So what am I saying is particularly beautiful? Definitely the aforementioned but also the natural scenery. 


I spent a lot of time in the Shilin district and as I waited for the MRT, I loved admiring the rolling hills peeking through architecture old and new. I loved meeting lots of intense hiker friends who considered a 3 hour hike in Taipei “easy” (and would regularly do overnight hikes!). And I loved introducing some of my extended family / visiting friends to my favourite hikes because though they’ve lived in Taipei their whole lives / have visited many times, they’d never done these hikes. 


Maybe you haven’t either? Read on for 3 super easy day hikes in Taipei with amazing views.


Qingtiangang Grassland


Group of women at Qingtiangang Grasslands hike in Taipei Taiwan

Qingtiangang is so close to my grandma’s place (the home we stayed in every summer growing up) and yet somehow we’d never visited before this year. How did we find out about it? My Mom saw a video on YouTube! Bless travel bloggers. This year, I went three times.


There’s a parking lot for those who are driving or take the S15 bus. From Jiantan MRT station, it takes about an hour. 


View of the hills at Qingtiangang Grasslands in Yamingshan Taipei Taiwan

This is an amazing hike for those who:

  • Want to experience rural Taiwan but don’t have time to get out of Taipei

  • Want to do a light hike — great for all ages and fitness levels

  • Are visiting in the summer — slightly cooler temperatures as it’s up Yamingshan


Junjianyan Trail


Junjianyan has stunning views! Hiking up takes just 20 minutes or so and rewards you with city views and this funky white rock (also known as “battleship” rock — one that’s conquering the waves). Even better? Sunsets are amazing up here.


Women at Junjianyan Trail in Taipei Taiwan at sunset

The hike starts on the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University campus. To get here, you can take bus 559 from General Market bus stop (around the corner from Shipai MRT) though we, short on time and because it was a short ride, just grabbed an Uber.



This is an amazing hike for those who:

  • Only have time for one hike and want unique views (and have done Elephant Mountain before, see the next rec)

  • Want to do a light to medium hike — there are some steep sections but most of the path is well worn 

  • Are looking for a short hike 


Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan)


This might be Taipei’s most popular city hike as it rewards you with amazing views of the iconic Taipei 101. Despite living in Taipei, some of my aunts and uncles had never been! So we organized a trip one Saturday morning and enjoyed something different together (we usually just get together to eat haha). 


Woman looking at a view of the Taipei 101 skyscraper building in Taiwan


To get here by public transit, take the red line to Xiangshan MRT stat and then follow the signs. The walk to the start of the trail is about 10 minutes through some residential neighbourhoods. Hot tip: if you forget water or want a coffee, don’t panic when you don’t see any shops outside of Xiangshan station. At the start of the trail, there are places selling drinks including an % Arabica.


This is an amazing hike for those who:

  • Haven’t done it before — it’s an iconic view

  • Are looking for a short hike (could do it an an hour easy)

  • Are going with a group with different fitness levels (photo above is from the mid-way point rather than the peak)


Conclusion


Happy adventuring! I pray you enjoy your time in Taipei and the beautiful places God has made here. 

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