Our trip to Taiwan was almost six months ago, and even though we documented almost every moment in our vlogs, a lot of feelings and initial reactions to things have been forgotten. But one thing I won’t forget any time soon is how I felt climbing Elephant Mountain.
Making the Climb:
In hindsight, we made a few mistakes climbing Elephant Mountain:
1. We went at the wrong time:
Our original plan was to climb the mountain the previous evening, but we ran out of time and energy, and figured we’d enjoy it better in the daytime anyway.
We couldn’t check into our next Airbnb until later in the afternoon, and because we had a lot of time to spare, we decided to make Elephant Mountain our first stop of the day. It wasn’t super early in the morning, so there were a ton of people climbing along with us. And because it was also New Year’s Eve, there were a lot of photographers who had climbed to one of the main view points, and hunkered down with their cameras and tripods for the day. I’m pretty sure they just stayed there until the fireworks show at midnight.
If I were to recommend a time to hike, I would say either early morning (like before the sunrise), or late evening (right before sunset). You won’t be able to escape everyone, but there will most likely be significantly less people.
2. We brought all of our things up with us:
This partly wasn’t our fault because we had to check out of our current apartment, and our next Airbnb host wasn’t being too responsive & helpful. But it was also our fault because we didn’t try and find lockers.
When we travel, we typically don’t use luggage, but carry everything we bring in our backpacks. Clothes aren’t that heavy, but when you combine them with bulky electronics and a steep climb, things start to get a little rough. I would have enjoyed the climb 100X more if I didn’t feel like a pack mule.
If you find yourself in a situation like ours, please take the time to find a locker, or just hike up Elephant Mountain once you’ve checked into your hotel/Airbnb.
It’s not the most difficult climb in the world, but there are a lot of steps, and you start to run out of breath pretty fast. Keep in mind, this isn’t Everest, so a simple bottle of water will help you make it to the top.
3. I wore jeans:
Why? I have no idea.
I have this weird problem where if the slightest breeze begins to blow, I instantly feel cold. That morning was a little cooler than others, and I was honestly worried that I would feel cold for the rest of the day; thus, the jeans and a long sleeved shirt.
Once I got to the top, I looked like this:
Hot, sweaty, and red.
Taiwan is going to be hot. We went in December, and while it wasn’t unbearable, it was hot. If you go in the summer months, it’s going to be even hotter. Please, don’t wear jeans up Elephant Mountain.
Our Impression of Elephant Mountain:
Once we reached the viewpoints, it was easy to see why so many tourists and locals hike it each and every day.
The view of Taipei was the best we had seen, and we were even more impressed because we weren’t too happy with the view we got from the top of Taipei 101.
There were a few different spots to take pictures, and we went by the photographers waiting for the fireworks, and found an overlook that was fairly empty.
Even though I was hot and sweaty (and maybe complained a few times), the hike was worth it. It was worth it for the views, and the exercise of course.
Check Out Elephant Mountain!
If you’re spending more than one day in Taipei, a hike up Elephant Mountain should be on your list of things to do! It takes about 20 minutes to get to the top, but take it slow to enjoy the scenery (and save your energy).
It might not be optimal for younger children (under 5), but it’s definitely a great experience for kids over the age of 10, and of course, for adults.
Don’t just stop at the viewpoints like we did! I found this article that talks about other things you can find if you keep walking passed the tourists and more popular “picture points.”
Hours: Open 24/7, 365 days a year!
Fees: None! It’s free to enjoy Elephant Mountain!