Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is known for its bustling streets, delicious street food, and towering skyscrapers. But nestled in the heart of the city lies a gem that offers a breathtaking view of Taipei from above – Xiangshan, also known as Elephant Mountain. In this blog post, we’ll explore the experience of hiking up the mountain and the stunning views of Taipei City that await at the top.
Taipei’s Hidden Gem
Located in Taipei’s Xinyi District, Xiangshan (象山) is a part of the Four Beasts Mountains, a collection of four hills named after their resemblance to animals. Standing at a height of 183 meters (600 feet), Xiangshan is named after its elephant-like shape. It offers a stunning aerial view of Taipei City, making it a popular destination for sightseeing, hiking, and photography. Additionally, Xiangshan is a prime location for viewing the sunrise and sunset, as well as the fireworks display at Taipei 101 on New Year’s Day.
Xiangshan is conveniently located and accessible via public transportation. The nearest MRT station is Xiangshan Station (R02) on the Tamsui-Xinyi or red line.
Simply exit from Exit 2 and continue walking alongside the edge of Xiangshan Park. Upon reaching the end of the road, take a left turn. Keep going straight until you arrive at the entrance of the Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道).
Hiking up Xiangshan
The hiking trail up Xiangshan is relatively short, at around 1.5 kilometres, but it can be quite steep in some sections.
The trail is paved and has stairs, but there are also some unpaved sections and uneven steps, so it’s important to wear sturdy footwear. The hike usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level and pace.
For people with knee issues, hiking up Xiangshan may be challenging as the trail is steep in some sections and involves a lot of stairs. It’s important to exercise caution and go at a slower pace.
The View from Xiangshan
When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Taipei City that is simply breathtaking. You can see iconic landmarks like Taipei 101, Taipei City Hall, and the Taipei Basin. The best time to do this hike is in the late afternoon. So you can appreciate the daytime city view, watch the sunset, and witness the city transform into a dazzling sea of lights.
Standing at the top of the mountain, taking in the view, is an unforgettable experience. You feel like you’re on top of the world, looking down on the bustling metropolis below.
After concluding your hike, follow the same route back down. Visit Wu Pao Chun Bakery located near Xiangshan MRT Station Exit 2 for delectable baked goods to replenish your energy. 😉
Xiangshan is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Taipei City. The short hike up the mountain may be challenging, but the breathtaking views of Taipei City make it well worth the effort. The best part? It’s completely free! So next time you’re in Taipei, put on your hiking shoes and head to the Elephant Mountain for an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.