One of the most famous things to do in Taipei is hike the Elephant Mountain. No, there are no elephants in the mountain, but the whole mountain is shaped like an elephant.
How to get there:
Take the red line on the MRT and alight at Xiangshan Stn. Walk towards Exit 2 and when you emerge from the train station turn left. The Xiangshan Park should be on your left and you should see signs that lead to the Elephant Mountain hiking path. Please note that the signs would say “Xiangshan Trail” or “Xiangshan Hiking Trail”.
You should know that you arrived at the right place, when you see this sign at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Yes, we were wearing the same leggings!
Going up Elephant Mountain
The hike can be done in 15-minutes, if you’re on the healthy side; otherwise, it could take up to 40-mins. For us, it took about an hour because we made stops along the way to take photos.
The steps are not too steep, but they are a lot of steps. It will make you feel like you’re walking rather than climbing up the stairs. But there are certain areas that where the steps are higher.
We decided to hike on a Wednesday hoping that it would not be crowded, and it wasn’t! We were able to climb the steps without passing a lot of people. It was pretty quiet except for the sounds of nature and our laughter. It’s a great thing that it was a cold morning. We brought food with us to eat at the top. To be honest, it was quite peaceful there.
Should you go there?
Yes, definitely. Seeing Taipei 101 from the mountain feels breathtaking. I recommend going up early in the morning so that you still have energy for the hike. Bring a bottle of water with you and some food to eat and have a mini picnic at the top. Please ensure that you leave no trace!