Climbing the highest peak of Taipei

Taipei lies in the Taipei basin. It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north, where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Cising Mountain (七星山), the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park.

I went to this park and climbed up the peak on a cloudy day that unable to hide the beauty of the park. I walked on a stone-paved path to the peak, steep in places, passed through tall clumping silvergrass fields amid smell of sulfur. It’s less than an hour climb from Xiaoyukeng (where you can see fumaroles), yet I felt old enough. Once reached Mt. Cising main peak, I hiked down and up again to Mt. Cising East Peak before continuing my hiking to Lengshuikeng – famous for public hot bath, Milk Pond and a way to the best grassland, Qingtiangang.

A pavilion near Qixing Park , Lengshuikeng
A pavilion near Qixing Park , Lengshuikeng

Other attractions in the park include:

  • Azaleas, cherry blossoms every spring, in Yangming Park (Houshan Park).
  • The panorama of Taipei (especially attractive at night)
  • The fumaroles at Xiaoyoukeng.
  • The best grassland in Taipei, Qingtiangang. This area is popular with picnicking students and families.
  • Yangming Shuwu. 12 Zhongxin Road, also often called Yangming Villa, is an historical building built by former President Chiang Kai-shek for receiving foreign dignitaries.

Check english.ymsnp.gov.tw for practicalities including how to get there, and a map of the area. If you like hiking I suggest that you grab a map (NTD50) in one of the shops in any visitor center. I took a 260 bus from a stand near Exit M2/Y6 of Taipei Main station, a ride lasting 45 minutes to the park. From the park bus station, I took a shuttle bus 108 (easycard is accepted) that drops passengers to multiple stops in the park. Beware that bus frequency is not that often 20-30 minutes.

Let the pictures speak.

A visitor enjoys a scenery of the park near Xiaoyukeng
A visitor enjoys a scenery of the park near Xiaoyukeng
Fumaroles in Xiaoyukeng
Fumaroles in Xiaoyukeng
The start of hiking trail to Mt Cising
The start of hiking trail to Mt Cising
Hiking Trail through tall clumping silvergrass
Hiking Trail through tall clumping silvergrass
Hiking trails can be steep in places
Hiking trails can be steep in places
wind-sheared vegetation areas in Yangmingshan
wind-sheared vegetation areas in Yangmingshan
Hold your breath, the view is magnificent from Mt Cising Main Peak
Hold your breath, the view is magnificent from Mt Cising Main Peak
Hikers enjoys the day on a flat stone. Mt Cising East Peak on the background
Hikers enjoys the day on a flat stone. Mt Cising East Peak on the background
Nothing compares to a reward after an hour hiking
Nothing compares to a reward after an hour hiking
Many peoples enjoy hiking in Mt Cising
Many peoples enjoy hiking in Mt Cising
View to Taipei Basin
View to Taipei Basin
On Mt Cising East Peak
On Mt Cising East Peak
View toward Lengshuikeng
View toward Lengshuikeng
Another view on the way to Lengshuikeng from Mt Cising East Peak
Another view on the way to Lengshuikeng from Mt Cising East Peak
Milk Pond in Lengshuikeng
Milk Pond in Lengshuikeng
Foot-soaking pool in Lengshuikeng
Foot-soaking pool in Lengshuikeng
Juansi waterfall
Juansi waterfall
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