As a girl from a small town surrounded by Lake Huron, I have seen my fair share of beautiful sunsets. However perhaps one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen took place from my view at Elephant Mountain, just about a 15 minute walk from the famous Taipei 101.
Elephant Mountain is the most famous of the Four Beast Mountain collection, which also includes Tiger, Leopard, and Lion Mountains.
There are actually two more mountains on this trail system called Nangang Shan and Jiuwu Peak that rise behind the beasts. Elephant Mt. happens to be the part of the trail that links all these together.
Not only is this view of the city spectacular, it is also easily accessible by a 20 minute walk up the mountain (not to mention its free!!) The path to this glorious sight is made of stairs that are well maintained and include a railing so although steep, its not too difficult if you just go at your own pace.
Although it will likely be busy the best time to go is during the late afternoon around 5-5:30 PM so that you can catch the sunset in Taipei, which currently occurs approximately 20 minutes after 6 PM (double check with your best pal Google). If you want to see the city landscape in daylight light, go earlier!
To get there by MRT, take the Red line 2 to its terminus, Xiangshan Station. You will be instructed to get off the Subway around the Da’an stop, but fear not, another car will be along shortly to take you to the end of the line, simply step off and wait for it.
Once you arrive at Xiangshan, take exit 2 out of the station and continue walking straight. You will notice a park and basketball courts to your left as you walk. Follow the signs for Xiangshan Hiking Trail and you won’t have any problems! When you reach the end of the road, walk across the street before you take a left, and follow both the fellow hikers and the corresponding signs. After a short distance turn right and soon you will have arrived at the base of the Xiangshan Hiking Trail.
Take a swig of water, tie up those laces and prepare to be amazed.
You will come to a point on the trail where there is a picture taking pavilion. Although crowded there’s an unwritten code, people take their pictures and then move out of the way so that others may do the same. Be patient and you too will have your turn!
To get the TRUE birds eye view continue UP the path for not much longer and you will proceed to be amazed at how much of the city is visible.
In the backdrop you see mountains. In the foreground you see the impressive infrastructure of Taipei. Look right, left, and backwards; you will see greenery and perfect picture taking boulders to stand on.
Take pictures, take video, and then a deep breath and savour this moment because it really is so so breathtakingly beautiful.
Once you take it all in I suggest walking back down to the pavilion area to get a great shot of the city lights after dusk. I guarantee you’ll be thinking about this scene the entire walk down, if not for the rest of the night. Did I mention you can see all this for free??
To get a similar shot, have your camera ready between 6:30-7 PM, focus on the right side of your view and afterward use some good ole Instagram editing to really make the colours of that sky pop!
Wondering where this information came from? See for yourself!