Yangmingshan National Park: Hiking Xiaoyoukeng – Mt. Qixing

Xiaoyoukeng | rookieexperiences.com

Formerly Grass Mountain and later renamed by Chiang Kai-Shek after his favourite philosopher Wang Yangming, Yangmingshan boasts a range of scenic spots, hiking trails and wildlife no doubt able to satisfy any type of visitor.

Begin your first expedition by kindling your desire for adventure and take a hike up the tallest dormant volcano in Taiwan. A hike from Xiaoyoukeng will leave you breathless, both from gazing upon the area’s beautifully atmospheric fumaroles and inhaling it’s distinctly pungent fumes. Hiking on, you’ll reach Mt. Qixing – Seven Star Mountain, Taipei’s highest vantage point standing at a lofty 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) above sea level. 

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re: Huoyanshan Fire Mountain Trail, Taipei Day Trips

Hiking Huoyanshan, Taiwan | rookieexperiences.com

火炎山, Huǒyán Shān – Fire Mountain Trail

If, for some reason, you ever wanted to imagine yourself as a desolute Matt Damon in The Martian, look no further. Huoyan Mountain’s unique geological landscape was initially formed by tectonic plate movements causing weak conglomerate and sandstone layers to collapse and was further shaped by natural pressures such as wind and rain.

Now a nature reserve, to walk through the valley itself, a permit is required and I believe only granted to those with valid reasons to do so. Luckily, its best and most magnificent viewing point is still accessible to the public, permit free!

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re: Zhuilu Old Trail, Hualien Guide & Expectations

One of the most hyped trails in Taroko is the Zhuilu Old Trail (錐麓古道). Built in the 1800s as a hunting path by the aboriginal people and subsequently developed during Japanese rule for military deployment, this now seems to be the hike on everyone’s list . But before even arriving in Hualien, you’ll need to apply for a trail and police permit – both easily done yourself, so no need to pay £75 for a guided tour!

For me, finally getting to hike Zhuilu was a long, troublesome journey. My initial plans and preparations were dashed by the series of earthquakes in February, but another friend visiting in March presented the perfect opportunity to attempt again!

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