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Outdoor activities in Taipei to experience nature up close

Scoot Plane Window

Had sufficient of night time markets and purchasing and need to take pleasure in a few of Taiwan’s nice outdoor in your fast weekend journey to Taipei? Nature isn’t removed from Taiwan’s buzzing capital – a fast bus or MRT experience will take you up into the various mountains that make up Taiwan’s panorama the place you possibly can breathe deep and luxuriate in Taiwan’s nice outside for a bit.

Finances airline Scoot challenged me to discover and uncover a number of the extra fascinating issues to do in Taipei and its surrounding space, so on this version I placed on my trekking footwear and head outside to convey your a few of the extra uncommon outside actions in Taipei for that nice outdoor expertise. 


This publish was produced in collaboration with Scoot which flies from Singapore to Taipei on a regular basis. In search of extra posts about Taiwan? Take a look at my #TaiwanderingWithScoot posts as nicely.

Mountains, Gandalf! These are a few of Taiwan’s peaks poking via the clouds.

I obtained to take a look at a number of the new gadgets on the Scoot Cafe menu:

Scoot Laksa Goreng Premium Selection

Premium Choice: Signature Laksa Goreng is fairly spicy! Thank goodness the meal got here with a yummy Udders chocolate ice cream to scrub it down, in addition to a can of potato chips and a selection of Coca Cola or water

Scoot Beef Mushroom Lasagna Hot Meal

On my leg again, I sunk my tooth into the Beef and Mushroom Lasagna, a dish that has made its approach again to the Scoot menu because of well-liked demand. I’m additionally an enormous fan of the Ritter Sport cornflake chocolate that comes with this scorching meal because it makes an ideal snack for the remainder of the aircraft journey.


BIKE

Biking Taipei’s Riverside Parks

Top-of-the-line methods to take pleasure in Taipei is to hop on a motorcycle and take a pedal across the metropolis, and one of many best methods to take pleasure in some greenery whereas getting your exploration completed is to cycle alongside the various riverside parks. These idyllic inexperienced spots alongside Taipei’s major Tamsui River and Keelung River are spacious and rather more nice than navigating metropolis visitors, and lots of are close to to vacationer points of interest/MRT stations so you possibly can plan your sightseeing itinerary round it. 

Taipei Cycling Riverside Bike Path

Most of the parks really feel like an oasis from the town, with excessive partitions blocking out the town visitors noise, and with vast bike lanes so you’ll be able to cycle free from visitors

Be a part of the locals as you benefit from the river view, cease on the random photostop buildings or work out on the various park amenities. You possibly can lease bicycles in most of the riverside parks, however I often favor to hop on the orange YouBikes that you will discover everywhere in the metropolis, often one near an MRT station. Obtain the YouBike app which is basically nice in serving to you find the closest YouBike station, and use your EasyCard to simply lease and return your bike.

Taipei Cycling Riverside Bike Meiti

The ever present orange YouBike is straightforward to identify and fairly hardy

This can be a fairly helpful biking map by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, however listed here are my suggestions based mostly alone expertise:

Jingmei 景美 to Longshan 龍山

I cycled alongside this stretch within the afternoon and loved an excellent sundown as it’s west dealing with. I recommend beginning at Jingmei Riverside Park as a result of it’s not removed from Jingmei MRT Station on the Inexperienced Songshan-Xindian Line, after which going up northwards. 

A pleasant stopover alongside the best way can be the Treasure Hill Artist Village at Gongguan, an previous army village transformed into artwork studios and galleries. Or for one thing quirky, the Museum of Consuming Water.

Taipei Cycling Riverside Sunset

Lovely sundown alongside the river

Ideally for exploration, I might say go all the best way as much as Yanping Riverside Park which takes you proper subsequent to Dihua Road and the Dadaocheng Wharf space, or Longshan Riverside Park which is subsequent to Ximending, however I actually didn’t like biking that stretch since you are proper subsequent to the the freeways and street it’s smoky and loud. 

So my suggestion can be to end up at Shuangyuan Riverside Park and end your journey at Longshan Temple MRT on the Blue Bannan Line, and both strolling or taking the MRT to discover the Wanhua and Dadaocheng districts from there.

Taipei Cycling Riverside Photospot

Random buildings which you can take pictures with for that IG shot

Dazhi 大直 to Songshan 松山

Head up north to the Zhongshan District close to the Songshan airport and begin from Dazhi MRT Station on the Brown Wenhu Line. You possibly can both begin from Meiti Riverside Park on the Zhongshan aspect or Yingfeng Riverside Park on the Songshan aspect – they run parallel to one another anyway and there are bridges linking each side that you would be able to cross in your bike. 

Taipei Cycling Riverside Songshan

The riverside parks are good various connectors for many who need to keep away from visitors

I discovered a few authorized graffiti partitions at Meiti and Yingfeng Riverside Parks the place you’ll be able to see throw ups and tags, these shall be recurrently painted over by the federal government however supplies an outlet for aspiring road artists to work. 

Taipei Cycling Riverside Graffiti Meiti

Road artwork partitions are simply a number of the artwork you will notice alongside the riverside parks. Lots of them have bigger mosaics or murals painted.

A pleasant space for a break right here is Fujin Road 富錦街, the upcoming hipster neighbourhood stretch with indie outlets and cafes although it’s a tad expensive. It’s nice for chilling out and other people watching although. This route is true subsequent to the Songshan airport so it’s enjoyable for aircraft spotters as properly.

Taipei Songshan Rainbow Bridge

The rainbow bridge is fairly straightforward to identify within the day, although I feel it’s prettier when lit up at night time

I recommend driving this route within the night to be able to find yourself on the Rainbow Bridge which marks Songshan and the Raohe Night time Market the place you’ll be able to reward your self with road meals after a vigorous day of biking.

Guandu 關渡 to Fisherman’s Wharf 淡水漁人碼頭

In my Weekend Warrior publish, I really helpful driving south from Bali Left Financial institution and crossing the bridge to Guandu. An alternate can be to experience northwards on the appropriate financial institution ranging from Guandu MRT Station.

Taipei Danshui Sunset

low tide at sundown in Tamsui

Alongside the best way you’ll move by Guandu Nature Reserve and plenty of mangrove forests, and Tamsui is a pleasant place to relaxation and seize a chew in. From there, you’ll be able to hold going up north previous Fort Domingo or get off your bike and take a ship as an alternative.


HIKE

Trek and sip tea at Thousand Island Lake 千島湖

Taipei has so many choices for many who love mountains and mountaineering. Truthfully I’m not a lot of a trekker, however I can recognize a great view, which is how I made a decision to enterprise south of Taipei to a rural spot within the mountains referred to as Shiding 石碇 and take a look at a spot referred to as Thousand Island Lake or Qiandaohu.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake

Thousand Island Lake doesn’t have something near a thousand precise islands – that is certainly one of them, however most of it are the phantasm from the winding headlands

Thousand Island Lake is definitely a man-made physique of water created within the 80s when the encompassing mountain space was flooded to type Feicui Reservoir 翡翠水庫 and supply a water supply for the residents in Taipei and New Taipei Metropolis. To handle your expectations, there aren’t truly a thousand islands on this lake, however it’s extra the twisty mountain vary that provides that impact.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Slope Road

Are you able to see that slope? I used to be not wanting ahead to strolling again up that.

I had fairly drizzly climate once I was there, so my emerald hills and turquoise waters ended up being cool misty mountains as an alternative – afternoon is often clearer than morning in case you don’t need fog in your footage.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Tea View

My first misty view of the lake

What’s particular about this space is that it’s famend for rising tea, and as you hike down the street, you’ll see terraces of tea minimize into the hillside which makes for fairly footage. In the event you get hungry, there are a handful of little eating places or eateries to cease in alongside the best way. Most supply a reasonably view of the encompassing lake as properly.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Web

Only a fairly spiderweb I noticed alongside the best way

I trekked for about an hour earlier than I made a decision to cease on the Bagua tea plantation 八卦茶園, the place there’s a viewpoint on just a little hillock and a restaurant that serves meals and refreshments and tea, however sadly the day I used to be there they weren’t serving any scorching meals. I did get myself a toufu ice cream although.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Bagua Viewpoint

There’s a tiny hillock with a lookout level the place you’ll be able to see this view of the encompassing lake and see the totally different water ranges

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Tea Bagua

Neat rows of tea crops

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Bagua Tea Shop

Quiet on a weekday. The store sells tea and different snacks, and correct meals on the weekends. They will additionally make it easier to name a cab if you determine you’re too drained to hike anymore (like me)

Learn how to get to Thousand Island Lake by yourself

Shiding was a way more in style space as automobiles must cross by means of this mountain path to get to Yilan, however after the extra direct Hsuehshan tunnel was constructed by way of the mountains, few individuals nowadays take this path as it’s tremendous winding and slender. For those who get carsick simply, pop a number of movement illness drugs earlier than you try and get right here.

From Taipei Fundamental Station, I took the Inexperienced MRT line down south to Xindian Station 新店捷運站, and proper on the MRT station exit is the bus station the place I hopped onto the Green绿 #12 bus in the direction of Pinglin 坪林. You’ll need to cease at Shisangu 十三股 cease – the bus journey took me about 40 minutes.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Busstop

Shisangu bus cease. Be sure to verify the bus occasions as there’s no less than an hour between buses!

From the bus cease, stroll straight down the street in the direction of the curve and also you’ll see this street with an arch and plenty of signboards – head down that street and simply hold strolling. Having Google Maps is basically helpful to be sure to maintain heading in the right direction, although it’s fairly properly signal posted.

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Road Entrance

The street branching off from the primary street

Shiding Thousand Island Lake Sign

Map of the potential hikes you are able to do round right here. On the bus again, I bumped into different hikers who had hiked totally different elements of the path

Observe that from this level on, each step you’re taking brings you downhill and it will get fairly steep in locations. In case you are planning to hike all the best way, simply prep your self for the return journey. In any other case, do what I did and name the native cab service – the woman on the Bagua Tea Plantation helped me name the native van service who drove me again to the bus cease for 100 NTD (S$four), which in the event you ask me is cash very properly spent.

Another options value testing:

  • Reserving a driver for the day to take you from Taipei, you’ll be able to then mix it with visiting Shiding Previous Road and Pinglin (extra under). I want I noticed this Klook personal automotive constitution choice from Taipei earlier since you want 2-Three days advance discover to guide it. It’s a bit expensive for solo travellers however not a nasty deal for small teams and good so that you can save time.
  • Take a guided daytour – this Klook daytour [klook affiliate link] takes you to Thousand Island Lake after which to Pinglin for tea tasting about S$60-70 from 730am-1230pm which isn’t that costly and a good way to save lots of time
  • The taxi service is principally native individuals dwelling across the space, they usually present a half/full day van service choice as properly which could be value contemplating as properly. 

Close by: Shiding Previous Road and Pinglin

You may assume that given the identify of the district, Shiding Previous Road 石碇老街 can be a close-by choice to take a look at, which you may do in a day in case you had your personal transport and began out early sufficient, however by public bus it’s not attainable – belief me, I attempted. To get to Shiding Previous Road by public bus from Taipei, head to Jingmei Station (additionally on the inexperienced line) Exit 2 (Jingzhong Street) and take Bus #666.

Shiding Old Street Hanging Houses

The overhanging homes of Shiding

The city of Shiding is understood for its buildings that hold over the water, and most Taiwanese like to go over there on the weekend for the road bites alongside the previous road and to take pleasure in a little bit of mountain trekking. My taxi driver dropped me too early on the city of Shuangxi as an alternative so I ended up on an impromptu 30min hike to get to the Previous Road, which turned out to be a pleasant shock because it was fairly scenic and never too arduous. I bumped into a lot of different hikers strolling across the space as nicely.

After trekking Thousand Island Lake within the morning, I continued on the Inexperienced #12 bus right down to Pinglin 坪林, one other city well-known for tea. Tea lovers can take a break within the many, many tea outlets right here. I popped into the Pinglin Tea Museum which is a small 2-storey museum that has interactive shows all about tea in Taiwan. There’s a Pinglin Previous Road as nicely, which is slender cobblestoned streets and conventional wares, and there’s additionally the Daiyujue Biking Route, a fantastic and underrated  in case you have a bit extra time – take a look at this text for extra.

Pinglin Bridge Teapot

The climate that I had in Pinglin was fairly depressing, however I used to be amused by these teapot ornaments that lined the bridge

Each these locations are apparently rather more vibrant on the weekends – weekdays are quieter as most of the stalls are closed, so if you need the environment, think about doing this journey on the weekend as an alternative.


CLIMB

Study to climb timber from professionals

I grew up in Singapore in a time once I was extra used to seeing tall buildings than tall timber – climbing timber was a fantasy I examine in Enid Blyton books and never one thing we did right here simply because it’s exhausting to 1. discover big timber in Singapore and a couple of. truly be capable of climb them. So discovering that one of many extra uncommon outside actions I might study to do in Taiwan was to climb a tree… I used to be instantly bought on the thought.

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Branch Me

Out on a limb!

Tree climbing in Taiwan began out as a career the place individuals employed particular rope climbing methods to maintain timber, however it steadily turned a leisure exercise which is beginning to develop into extra well-known in Taiwan.

I headed out to Taoyuan one morning and met the parents from Oudo who took me to a distant forested space with some nice tall timber and the place I met my tree climbing information for the day, Nengneng, Taiwan’s prime feminine aggressive tree climber – there are worldwide tree climbing competitions. I climbed with a gaggle of Taiwanese women of varied ages and health ranges that occurred to be on their very own group outing that day.

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Demo Harness

Security demonstrations by our 2 instructors in purple and purple

The day began off with security briefings and demonstrations because the instructors confirmed us find out how to strap in to the gear and be protected. Tree climbing is just like mountaineering in that that it makes use of ropes and harnesses, however they’ve been modified to guard the tree higher. Additionally, a variety of the climbing truly takes place on the rope itself and never the precise tree.

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Me

The right technique to climb includes wrapping the rope round your leg and kinda shimmy/pull your self up, virtually like a caterpillar. I’m utilizing a newbie/cheat technique which has an additional strap as a result of I discovered it actually robust to safe the rope round my shoe

I undoubtedly had extra of a exercise than I anticipated – my limbs have been so sore on the finish of the day, however I actually loved the method. We climbed 2 timber that day, 1 within the morning and one other within the afternoon. The encompassing space is fairly distant, so it was good to perch up within the boughs of the tree and benefit from the view from up excessive. 

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Me Selfie

Taking hanging out to a brand new degree

It’s additionally a really social exercise as you spend plenty of time chatting with one another – the purpose isn’t actually to climb up as shortly as attainable, however to only benefit from the course of and recognize the timber from up shut. I’m a metropolis woman via and thru, so it’s uncommon I truly spend that a lot time touching a tree, and even simply being close to one.

Our teacher had many tales about her tree climbing experiences and the wildlife she noticed in timber, in addition to the timber round Taiwan. I even made pals with my Taiwanese climbing mates and had dinner with certainly one of them after that.

Taoyuan Tree Climbing View

View from my perch – there’s a manufacturing unit close by however aside from that it’s all timber out right here

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Hammock Me

The trainer (in purple) attached a hammock that they use to sleep in whereas on the job. It was fairly enjoyable simply hanging out within the hammock (that’s me in there)

 

Taoyuan Tree Climbing Hammock Gear

Security first! I’m safely hooked in whereas lounging within the hammock about 10m above floor

The best way to guide your tree climbing expertise

The simplest approach to guide your tree climbing expertise is on-line – I booked my Taoyuan Tree Climbing Expertise by way of Oudo. It prices 1,400 NTD (S$62) per pax and takes up most of your day as you begin at 9am and end round 5-6pm. A lunchbox is offered on website, and also you sometimes do two climbs, one within the morning and one after lunch. Put on lengthy pants (there’s part of your calf that may rub the rope a good bit) and good footwear, and I recommend a light-weight jacket in case you get too heat whereas climbing as it could actually get fairly strenuous. Additionally, stretch earlier than and after or be ready to ache rather a lot the subsequent day. 

The venue of the exercise is in Taoyuan and it is strongly recommended you could have your personal transport or taxi/automotive preparations because it’s not simply accessible by public transport – in case you are by yourself I recommend taking the practice from Taipei to Taoyuan (30-40 minutes) after which taking a taxi. Extra info can be despatched to you upon affirmation of the exercise. 

My tree climbing expertise was sponsored by Oudo, thanks once more to Jason for serving to to facilitate this expertise. I hope to take a look at a few of their different outside actions like river tracing and SUP when the climate is hotter as this occurred in January/winter.


This journey was sponsored and produced in collaboration with Scoot as a part of a collection exploring Taipei and its environment. Take a look at the opposite #TaiwanderingWithScoot articles right here, or see all my Taiwan content material.

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