Taipei is a great quick getaway. It has cheap and tasty street food, a plethora of quirky and independent shops brimming over with character, an efficient transport system, safe streets, cultural institutions steeped in history… what’s not to like?
Furthermore, Taipei offers a surprisingly large number of hiking trails suitable for hikers of all experience. As a city surrounded by mountains on one side and bordered by the ocean on another, the views that these trails offer are, more often than not, stunning and perfect for that Instagram shot.
Prepare your hiking gear and on-the-go food (some stinky tofu and papaya milk would be perfect) and it’s time to embark, with Discoverist.sg as your (virtual) hiking guide.
1For Beginner Hikers: Xiangshan (象山)
Image by louiskys via Instagram.
This trail is for the absolute neophytes for whom exercise means a quick sprint to their car before the summon auntie reaches there first. Xiangshan’s trail largely comprises a series of ascending steps, with plenty of railings and rest spots for you to catch your breath—though paved, the steps can be quite steep and precarious, so do take your time as you ascend them.
Image by migaoda via Instagram.
In just less than twenty minutes, however, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Taipei 101 soaring above its surrounding buildings, which truly puts its daunting scale into perspective. (Tip: this is a great spot to catch the famous Taipei 101 New Year countdown.) Most people start descending Xiangshan after reaching this point, but the trail actually continues into the mountain, winding around rustic bamboo groves, temples co-existing with the trees, and golden grass stalks laden with seeds.
Take the red line to Xiangshan station. Follow the signs to the start of the trail, which is located less than ten minutes away.
Approximate time for completion: 1.5 hours
Length: 1,450 metres