Elephant Mountain, Taipei

It was my second time to visit Taipei, and after a 7 hour flight we touched down in the evening, ready for some food!

Taipei being the birthplace of one of my favourite Asian dumpling restaurants, Din Tai Fung, we of course couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample the original. There was a bit of a wait (around 30 minutes – although we passed by the next day and the wait was over 90 minutes!) but it was so worth it for all of the delicious food!

The next morning I was up bright and early to meet one of the girls from the flight to hike up Elephant Mountain.

Elephant Mountain is also known as Xiangshan in Chinese, and the name comes from the mountain’s elephant-like shape. Thanks to Taipei’s public transport system, it’s very easy to get there, and is just a ten minute walk through a park to the start of the hike.

They may not look it in this picture, but these stairs are incredibly steep! (Don’t tell anyone, but I was the only one wearing a dress and ballet flats, rather than workout gear and trainers – the things I do for the blog!)

It’s around a 15-20 minute hike to the top, and with temperatures reaching nearly 30 degrees, it was pretty sweaty going. Luckily there are plenty of viewpoints along the way to stop and catch your breath.

We continued our walk up to the top of the mountain, where you could either choose to continue the walk along various different paths, or head back down. It was still early so we decided to continue, and had lots more lovely views of the surrounding mountains and Taipei 101.

The Taipei 101 was officially classified as the world’s tallest building in 2004, until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in 2010. Inside, there is a 660-tonne pendulum, which sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong gusts of wind.

We continued our hike up and down more steps, and along some narrow pathways for another hour and a half or so, before slowly making our way back down to the bottom.

From there it was a short stroll to the Taipei 101, where we had a quick stop for some lunch before calling it a day. According to my iPhone I climbed over 65 floors, and just over 10km! Not too bad I say 🙂

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