Seven Star Mountain, a Hike You Cannot Miss While in Taipei

Though I’ve lived in Taipei over 20 years, I’d never made it to the top of the city’s iconic Mt. Qixing, or Seven Star Mountain, known for its riveting views of Taipei, the mountains beyond, and of the rugged, whitecap-washed north coast. Today was the day, the scenic Mt. Qixing Trail my path into the north Taiwan sky.  

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Snow Mountain – A Winter Hike on One of Taiwan’s Most Beautiful Mountains

Taiwan’s second-highest peak, Snow Mountain (3,886m), is often overlooked by Westerners who come to the island for hiking. Mt. Jade, being the tallest, is the one that everyone wants to bag, but for me, Snow Mountain is a far more interesting and scenic hike. The terrain and views vary greatly, and even though I’ve been to the top some fifteen times, I still look forward to each and every trip.

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Jiaming Lake – A Hike to a Beautiful High-Mountain Lake

At an elevation of 3,520m above sea level, Jiaming Lake is Taiwan’s second-highest mountain lake, and one of its biggest. It was once thought that the lake was created by a meteor strike, but it is now believed that it was formed by glacier movement during the last ice age.

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Alishan: Where the Sun Starts Its Day – A Journey into High-Mountain Alishan National Scenic Area

This Alishan three-day adventure begins on the island’s Western flatlands with visits to attractions located just before the gap in the mountain wall at the town of Chukou that gives access to the rugged, ever-higher peaks hiding beyond. Provincial Highway No. 18 takes you there, and we head upward and skyward along its dramatic twists to the area around the small settlement of Fenqihu, a place of great character whose original reason for being was to serve as a halfway station and timber-loading point on the Alishan Forest Railway, one of the world’s highest and most picturesque lines. The adventure ends far, far higher still, in the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area, the jewel in the Alishan crown.This Alishan three-day adventure begins on the island’s Western flatlands with visits to attractions located just before the gap in the mountain wall at the town of Chukou that gives access to the rugged, ever-higher peaks hiding beyond. Provincial Highway No. 18 takes you there, and we head upward and skyward along its dramatic twists to the area around the small settlement of Fenqihu, a place of great character whose original reason for being was to serve as a halfway station and timber-loading point on the Alishan Forest Railway, one of the world’s highest and most picturesque lines. The adventure ends far, far higher still, in the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area, the jewel in the Alishan crown.

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Stairways to the Sky — Hiking Filial Son Mountain in New Taipei City’s Pingxi Area

The quaint old village of Pingxi (平溪), today officially the center of New Taipei City’s rural Pingxi District, is the penultimate station on the Pingxi Branch Railway Line, built early in the last century to transport coal mined in the surrounding hills. After coal mining in the Pingxi Valley ceased a few decades ago, the railway line escaped closure partly because it was a vital link with the outside world, but also because the area was becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction

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Gorge Soaring – The Views of Eagles along Taroko Gorge’s Trails

Taroko Gorge’s (太魯閣峽谷) wonderful trails give you thrilling all-natural highs – up high on mountainsides and cliffsides, and with soaring spirits just as high.

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The Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area – An Experience Wholly Different Every Few Hours

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) has been a lodestar Taiwan tourist destination for many decades. Yet up to just 15 years ago the visitor experience here was largely restricted to a narrow range of options – static views of the pretty body of water from the shore, tour-boat rides, and visits to a limited array of cultural attractions. Today the options menu is far deeper and richer, calling for repeated visits to the lake and surrounding area and making each an experience wholly different from those prior, and those yet to come.

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Into the Mountains – Exploring Taipei City’s Outskirts

Another great thing about Taipei is how quickly you can leave the city center and spend a day with Mother Nature. Hiking trails, hot springs, and mountain scenery are just a short bus ride away.

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