Lookouts and high vantage points around Taipei

Does anyone have any information on high vantage points, building rooftops or lookout towers in and around Taipei? I am a photographer travelling to Taipei to photograph the city, and would like to gain access to building tops and other high points to look over city. eg 101 and other buildings… any information would be terriffc.

I am looking for suggestions for good places to gain good views of Taipei city?
Anyone who has any ideas is much appreciated.!!

Maokong. The mountainous region behind the zoo in the southern part of the city. On a clear day you can see across to Yangmingshan (the northern end of the city) and view the Danshui river pour into the sea. See my thread. From the Zoo MRT station it’s a 10-15 minute ride up to these places. 2 and 3 and 4 have fantastic views over the city when it is clear.

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National Chengchi University In Mucha also has excellent views.

Zhinan Gong Temple. Excellent overview of Taipie. Can take a bus up or walk up the 1000 steps.

The top of the Fairy Footrpint trail. This 250 meter ridge sits in the heart of the city, just a few minutes from Jingmei MRT station. Fantastic views over the city and especially Taipei 101. Day or night the views are great. I go up sometimes in the evenings and sit on the rocks and sip a beer. Perfect.

The view from Elephant Mountain, around the Taipei 101 area, is also excellent.

Taipei 101 of course has good views of the city. The Far East Hotel (Shanggrila) on DunHua is excellent. The Mitsukoshi Building near the train station. Good observation deck.

In general, some of your best views are going to be from the mountains that ring this city. Most are very accessible. In fact, several of the trails I mentioned (the Fairy Footprint, Elephant Mountain, and Zhinan Temple) are listed (and mapped) in a little hiking book you can pick up free at any MRT station (it’s in English).

In terms of your itinerary, the best time for shooting the city would be fall when it’s dry and clear. Spring is a crapshoot. With the humidity and fog, and rain, (and the occassional sand storm from China) you may not get many opportunities to shoot anything worthwhile.

Up on Yangmingshan, just near the Chinese Cultural University (Wenhua Daxue) is a popular lookout spot.

You can get good views from the Miramar Ferris Wheel in Neihu. It might not be teh best choice for photography though as you only get a short time at the top and have to shoot through the glass windows.

The Star Tower observation platform on the north side of the city. It has 360 degree views, but also windows to shoot through.


The Taipei County Government building in Banqiao has a 360 degree viewing area on the 31st(?) floor. It’s not in Taipei proper; but it could provide an angle on the city not easily accessed elsewhere. You’d have to shoot through glass, though, unless you could talk your way onto the roof. For roughly the same angle but in a spot closer to Taipei, you might try to talk your way onto the roof of the high-rise apartment buildings at exit 5 of the Xinpu MRT station.

This was taken from Elephant Mt.

And this taken from Jiantan Mt. behind the Grand Hotel

You get a great view over the Taipei bassin from Datun Mountain Peak in Yangming Shan (picture 1 below), but it’s only worth going up if the weather is real good / perfect. Also the view from Zhuzi Hu and the Balaika (?) Road leading to Datun Shan is nice. If you dare you make it up the mountain to the radio towers from where you can overlook Taipei and Zhuzi Hu (see picture 2), there is a gate to the right off Balaika Rd. when heading towards the Datun Shan park car park.

No better or clearer time than one or two days before a big Typhoon rolls in, and sometimes even during if the eye passes over.

Clearer skies in Taiwan will never be seen.

I shot this last summer…Not of Taipei, but you get the idea: