Saturday 19 September 2015

Day 9 - Elephant Mountain

We went hiking today. Taipei is situated in a valley with many mountains and hills surrounding. The four beasts range is near us, with elephant mountain providing the best views of the city. 

A hike means getting close to nature, that means bug bites. Earlier this week I rubbed off some poison ivy so I wasn't taking any chances. I went hiking in 30 degree heat in jeans and long sleeves. No bugs were going to get me.

It's all uphill naturally - but mainly all steps. Thousands of steps in fact. Given the temperature - it was a slow - exhausting hike up hill. 

There are many routes to take, when unsure we waited and followed others. It took under an hour to reach the top including stop offs at several photo points. 

It's really a well constructed hike. The steps are secure and the photo points are on elevated platforms with sun cover and seats. The mountain does get rather crowded for sunset, we went early afternoon and we had no problems. 

The views over Taipei are exceptional. We highly recommend this hike. We got there by taking the red metro to the last stop. It's well signposted from there.

We walked back to the apartment to shower and change (needed - much sweating). We headed out of town for the evening to the Danshuei District north of Taipei in New Taipei City. It's a fishing community worth visiting to see sunset. 

It's the last stop on the red metro (other direction), taking over an hour to reach from ours. By the time we arrived the sun had set but we didn't let that get in the way of an adventure. We walked down the tourist area out to the wharf. The area was packed with Chinese tour groups.

Using google maps we navigated the local bus network to Tamsui Fishermans Wharf. The local buses take the same Easy Pass card used in Taipei City. 

Arriving the place was empty. We had missed sunset so all the tour groups had left. However all the attractions were open so we took in a nice walk along the water front and over lovers bridge. 

We noticed a rotating lift beside a hotel - it was lovers tower. We had to try it out. You get to sit in a glass floor lift, which when fully raised, fully rotates offering 360 degree views of the area. 

We headed back into Taipei and before heading back to the apartment we detoured back to the Ximen District to soak up the atmosphere. 

Tomorrow is our last day in Taiwan. We leave on Friday night, a red eye to Dubai to start the second part of our holiday, which will be a lot slower. 

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