Hiking

Hiking and nature are a big part of Taiwan. I do my best to spend every sunny weekend in the mountains hiking or riding my motorcycle.

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Tiger Mountain (虎山)

Tiger Mountain(虎山) is the second subject of three in this series of articles on hiking Taipei, Taiwan’s Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山).

Tiger Mountain is the most northern of the Four Beasts Mountains and the easiest to get to.  It’s not the easiest to find (that would be Elephant Mountain) but if you have transportation, it’s an easy walk along a well kept, level trail.

All along the trail are stunning views of Taipei 101, Taipei City, and Nangang.

Taiwans Tower of Babel   Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

"Taiwan's Tower of Babel" Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – 9-5 Peak (九五峯)

One of my all time favorite hikes/photography locations in Taiwan is The Four Beast Mountains (四獸山) area.  Located within Taipei City limits, these trails are an easy escape from busy city life and have amazing panoramic views of Taipei City and Taipei 101.

The trail system includes Tiger (虎山), Elephant (象山), Leopard (豹山) and Lion (獅山) Mountains and is very easily reached from the Taipei MRT system.  In fact, the base of Taipei 101 is only a 15 minute walk from the Elephant Mountain trail head.

If that’s not enough, many of the trails are lighted, 24 hours a day!

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉

Taiwan is covered in hot springs.  There are famous ones like Beitou, Jinshan and Wulai, but there are also many “wild” ones.  Generally the wild ones are a bit more off the beaten track, and are almost always quite difficult to get to.  The biggest problem getting to them isn’t the drive or the hike, it’s finding good directions (in English or Chinese).  But then again, I guess if they were easy to get to or had good directions, there would be more people there and they wouldn’t be as interesting.

I recently went on a ride down the Northern Cross Island Highway 北橫  with some friends.  The main goal of this particular trip was to find a remote, wild hot spring called the Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉.

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall...  What could be better?

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall... What could be better?

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Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Huangdidian 皇帝殿

Hiking Huang Di Dian 皇帝殿 this past weekend was one of the best day trips I’ve been on in Taiwan.  Just about 20 minutes from Taipei, this hike is one that shouldn’t be missed.

A perfect 360 view awaited us at the end.

A perfect 360 view awaited us at the end.

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Fengtoujian 峰頭尖

Hiking in Taiwan just might be the best thing that you can do here.  Fresh air, beautiful views, and a bit of exercise can really help you to forget the traffic, noise and pollution of the cities. I find it really sad that a lot of the people who live here never leave the cities.  I’ve met foreigners who have lived here for years and have literally never left the city once.  Personally, I go crazy if I can’t get out of Taipei at least every other weekend.  Sometimes, I head to the mountains, sometimes the beach, sometimes the hot springs.

Last weekend, my friends and I decided that a little hiking was in order.  Stu Dawson is completely insane about hiking and has started a website called Hiking Taiwan.  He knows his stuff, so if he has a hike planned, I’ll usually try to tag along.

Last weekend we headed out to a small town called Pingxi 坪溪, just 30 minutes from Taipei.  Surrounding Pingxi 坪溪 are some beautiful, jagged mountains that are perfect for a days get away.

We chose one called Feng Tou Jian 峰頭尖 that sits on a complex system of trails that crisscross Taiwan.

I’ll keep the story short because Stu did a great job of writing about it on his website.  So if you want the details and practicalities of going to this particular trail, go to his site.  I just thought I’d share my pictures from the hike to hopefully motivate some of you to get out there and start enjoying yourself!

In the beginning, we could see two of the peaks we would cross.

In the beginning, we could see two of the peaks we would cross.

More hiking in Taiwan after the jump…

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Wuliaojian 五寮尖

I had big plans for the weekend.  The problem with planning anything on the weekends in Taipei is that the weather rarely cooperates.  This weekend was the opposite problem of what usually happens.  I was planning on a nice, lazy few days, with no other expectations except maybe get some stock pictures of the MRT (Taipei’s subway).  To my surprise, the weather on Saturday turned out to be one of the best days of the year…cool, low humidity, and even sunny!  Well, there goes my plans!!!  I’ve definitely learned that you can’t waste a nice weekend in Taipei…it’s not that it rains ALL the time, but it does rain an awful lot.

After an hour or so of convincing myself to get out of bed, I decided to get up.  So what to do?  A quick call to my friend Ross who had a friend in from Japan and it was on.  We decided we’d take a fairly easy 3.5 hour hike in the nearby mountains…

Wu Liao Jian (五寮尖) is a famous hike about 1 hour from Taipei.  It has a complex trail system that allows hikes from a few hours to all day.  The main attraction of this particular mountain is that it has a beautifully exposed rocky peak.  There’s also a nice river by the trail head for a cool-down swim session afterwords.

As always, doing something proved to be the right decision over doing nothing…damn.  Maybe next weekend it will rain!

Ross about to descend the very long rope ladder at Wu Liao Jian 五寮尖 mountain, near Taipei, Taiwan.

Ross about to descend the very long rope ladder at Wu Liao Jian 五寮尖 mountain, near Taipei, Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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