Taipei: Night Hike to Elephant Mountain
Taipei Skyline, viewed from Elephant Mountain view deck
To experience the best, picturesque view of the city of Taipei, climb to the top of Elephant Mountain in Xiangshan (象山). It is 183 meters above sea level, and the hiking trail spans more than 1.5 kilometers. It is said that the best time to hike is by late afternoon when it is no longer too hot and you can see the view of the bustling city at daytime, sunset and night time.
After exploring different spots in Taipei, we immediately traveled here. Though exhausted, we still pushed ourselves to come here, even as some of us are already drained. It is said, that your trip to Taipei is not complete without paying a visit here.
It was already seven in the evening when we arrived at Xiangshan station and from here we walked more than 600 meters going to the trail. Along the path is Xiangshan Park which even at nighttime is still full of people, doing different activities available at the park. Signages are properly placed so you will not be lost in going to the actual trail.
Xiangshan (Chinese: 象山), also known as Elephant Mountain or Mount Elephant, is a mountain in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. It is close to the Taipei Metro Xiangshan Station. It is 183 m high and has a hiking trail about 1.5 km long. The Taipei 101 can be seen from the trail. The Six Giant Rocks are a tourist attraction in Xiangshan, and there are platforms for photographers.
After a few minutes walk, we reached the hiking trail leading to the mountain. Though already evening we still encountered several groups going for the climb. Take extra caution, for the stairs upward are a bit steep. There are benches along the way if you want to take a short rest. Aside from being made of cement and have handrails installed, the trail is illuminated by lightpost, making the climb safe.
While going up, Taipei 101 starts to emerge from view. We were still halfway when we reached a viewing deck full of tourists taking photos. This platform, though not yet on the summit, is already offering a breathtaking view. From here you can see the Taipei skyline, including the iconic Taipei 101, among other buildings. Even without a tripod, there are platforms where you can place your camera to capture the view.
We want to climb to the summit, but our limited time prevented us. There are 6 Giant Rocks and temples that are drawing tourists, but due to the limited time and strength left in us, we were unable to visit. Maybe by next time, we will prioritize making our hike here.
- From Taipei 101:
From the base of Taipei 101, walk east on Xinyi Road (信義路) for two blocks until you reach MRT Xiangshan Station, only a 15-minute walk from 101 and completely worth it. To get there faster, take a YouBike from the station across the street from 101 (MRT Exit 2), then return the bike at the park nearby the trail entrance.
- By MRT
After arriving at Xiangshan station (象山), the terminus of Red Line 2, leave from Exit 2 and continue walking alongside the edge of the park. At the end of this road, take a left and follow until the entrance for Xiangshan Hiking Trail (象山登山步道), total 650 meters, around 20 mins.
The closest station is located along the street next to the park at the base of the trail. Another station is located across the street from Taipei 101.
- Bring a lot of water
- There is also a spot beside Xiangshan Station where you can capture the iconic Taipei 101.
- At Xiangshan Park you can spot Taipei tree frogs, a protected species endemic to Taiwan. A sanctuary was made for their preservation and protection.
PART OF OUR TAIWAN GETAWAY
- NORTH COAST: Yehliu Geopark | Pingxi Sky Lantern | Shifen Waterfalls | Golden Waterfalls | Jiufen Old Street | Wanli Abandon UFO Houses
- TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House
- TAICHUNG: Zhongshe Flower Farm | Xinshe Castle | Rainbow Village | Gaomei Wetland Park