Maokong was the best travel tip that I got from a friend who had lived in Taipei. Although most people go to Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) to get a view of the Taipei skyline and the sunsets, Maokong offers much better vistas. It’s just that not too many people visiting Taipei know about it. It is by far the best spot to catch the sunset in Taipei, or see the entire skyline in front of you.
What is Maokong?
Maokong is a village located in mountainous Wenshan District of Taipei. It was once the biggest tea growing area in the city, and is still known for its locally grown tea. It has numerous tea houses that offer a large variety of teas, along with possibly the most stunning views of Taipei.
How to get to Maokong
To get to Maokong, take the Brown Line metro to the Taipei Zoo terminus station. Exit the station, and walk to the Maokong Gondola, which is approximately 400 metres away. The gondola (or cable car) ride to Maokong is a 4.3 km journey that has 4 stops along the way.
If the gondola isn’t working, buses run at regular intervals from across the gondola station. Although we took bus number BR15 up to Maokong, I’m certain the gondola would have been way more fun. Unfortunately for us that day, the gondola had been suspended due to the rain.
Cab sharing is another option. Look for taxis waiting at the gondola station that are willing to pool passengers together.
Things to do in Maokong
Alright, now that you’re up in Maokong, what’s there to do?
Drink some tea, and enjoy the view
The view of Taipei from Maokong is simply breathtaking! I’m fairly certain that on a clear day, it might be possible to see all the way out to the sea.
As the view from Maokong faces the west, most people come up here to enjoy the sunset. There are numerous tea houses up in Maokong that offer spectacular views of the Taipei skyline, and of course a variety of tea. Pick a tea house, grab a seat, and behold the beauty in front of you.
Many tea houses also offer serve food, so stay back and watch the city come alive at night.
Hike to Maokong
There are numerous paths along the mountain to Maokong that were once used to transport tea. These pathways now serve as hiking routes from the city to Maokong. If you’re feeling slightly adventurous, consider hiking to Maokong from the National Chengchi University at the foot of the hill.