What would you consider the best kept secret of Taipei? Maybe a small restaurant, streetside vendor, used CD store, or watering hole you frequent but few know about. Or a hiking trail without the throngs of hikers on weekends. What do you do as an escape in this crowded, noisy city?
As discussed in another thread, the riverside bike paths are one of Taipei’s best kept secrets (because they’re mostly walled off, and it’s difficult to get around the wall to the riverbank. But once you’re out there, it’s an entirely different world). Others?
food: the cold noodle stand in the basement of the “jinwannien” department store in shimending
hike: chili’an station, hike up hill to concrete enclosure on top, hop wall in back right corner and continue along ridge, you’ll soon be on a deserted ridge completely covered with green vines with yellow wildflowers, most completely out in the middle or nowhere you can be five minutes off the street
Just thought of another one: Baozangyan, or Treasure Hill. It’s the closest thing Taipei has to a slum. The hillside community was formed when mainlanders came over in '49 and built a shanty town on a hill overlooking the river in GongGuan. Over the years residents moved away or died out, leaving behind this ghost town. Now the entire area is designated a historic site. Several local films have been shot there on location. Nice place to have a picnic or go explore in the labyrinth of the ruins. It’s like a miniature, surreal Jiufen right inside Taipei City.
It’s in the south part of town in Gongguan. From the Gongguan traffic circle (Roosevelt and Jilong intersection), head toward Fuhe Bridge. Before getting on the bridge, make a right on Tingzhou Rd and then make a left at the first alley. Follow the driveway down and you’re there.
yep, tiny stall RIGHT next to the escalator, two counters with seats and one table out in front.
they only have “liang mian” and some appetizers, i recommend the “chenpi niurou” if you like spicy stuff. these are not your usual sesame type cold noodles, it’s a sweet/sour/vinegar/soy kind of sauce. ask for “yao la” or “bu yao la.” small plate, makes a nice snack before you get some tienbula or something
Hua-Fan University near Muzha is pretty nice. It is on the top of a mountain. I saw a few bikers once awhile. You have to take the school bus from bus stop near Muzha MRT station. It is about half an hour bus ride. Very beautiful up there. You can watch those fire flies during summer. My friend who stayed at the school dorm claimed that she saw an elf some day after school…
Where’s the trailhead from Qilian station? I went by there on the MRT today and saw two hills jutting out toward the main road: one directly across the station (with a highrise in front of it), another one about 200 meters north of the station (with some shabby single-story houses on the hill). Both have stairs going up the hill into the woods.
I’d like to find some haunted places (like ghosts and stuff) in Taipei … and people to go with me … of course, none of my Taiwanese friends would ever intentionally go somewhere that’s supposed to be haunted, so I guess I’ve gotta settle for a foreigner. Any ideas?
Where’s the trailhead from Qilian station? I went by there on the MRT today and saw two hills jutting out toward the main road: one directly across the station (with a highrise in front of it), another one about 200 meters north of the station (with some shabby single-story houses on the hill). Both have stairs going up the hill into the woods.[/quote]
they’re all connected. easiest way is after leaving the station, immediately turn left, go into the alley to the left of the highrise, and straight past the franganpani tree up the wide stone steps into the park. the whole hill is laced with stairs, just keep going up. if you keep hiking around the ridge after a few hundred meters you’ll break through to a small paved roadway, bear right to go into yangming university and down, left for the university’s athletic fields, cross the fields go through the fence and keep going to the big rock behind rongzong hospital and on to beitou if you want.
There’s a nice little trail behind the Grand Hotel that I enjoy. The trail runs along the top of the YuanShan ridge, all the way to NeiHu. Walkable in less than 2 hours. Interesting views of the SongShan Airport and the military college along the way.
In fact, one doesn’t have to walk all the way to NeiHu to enjoy this area. You wouldn’t think it, but right behind the Grand Hotel the entire hillside is totally chock-a-block with badminton courts and picnic gazebos. Trees hide this area from view, so no one ever sees it unless they actually go there. There’s a nice labyrinth of steps and trails that run all over the hill. Lots of old fogeys up there drinking tea under the gazebos, taking it easy. At the top of YuanShan itself there’s a nice belvedere that looks out onto ShiLin and the DaTun mountain group. Sunsets are visible from here too, if you time them right. If you’ve got an afternoon to spare, check out this spot.
Good one, MengKai. I’ve hiked that trail a couple of times. It’s amazing how this small mountain is situated right within the city. From the ridge you get a different city view on either side. Looking east, you’ll see the airport and Taipei 101; on the west side you’ll see Shilin district, the Jilong River and the Guandu Plain. A nice leisurely hike, and a well-kept secret, indeed! Easiest way to get there is get off at Jiantan MRT, cross Zhongshan N. Rd. and go up the stairs.
I’ve biked the YuanShan ridge trail a couple of times – it’s pretty cool on top. The ridge trail is wide, and enjoyably lumpy for your mountain bike. You can get a good clip going in a few places. However, in the middle of the trail there is a row of large sharp flagstones that stick out quite a lot. I feared the thought of doing a wobbler down one of those lumpy hills and catching a pedal on one of the stones. Getting the bike up there is kind of mafan – I’ve never taken a bike up from the hotel side, though I can’t imagine it being much fun. There is a back route (paved road) that can take you to the ridge, though it’s hard to find. There’s a bit of carrying of the bike involved with this route also. Is it worth the effort? I’m still not sure. If you’d really like the directions for the back route, post again and I’ll write them out here.