Sunday, March 23, 2014

An Impromptu Cup of Tea at Maokong Gondola, Taiwan

As mentioned in my previous post about Yehliu Geopark, Taiwan is a small country and therefore you can visit a lot of places in just 3 days or less. This is the reason why Taiwan is ideal for a "weekender" type of trip--a quick escapade from your busy life in school or in my case work :O. Our itinerary is already packed but we have extra room to explore the Maokong Gondola in Taiwan and this is one of the impromptu places we visited there.

Maokong Gondola is located in Taipei's Wenshan District and it is famous for its 360 degrees view of the city, its refreshing teas, and the Taipei zoo. It is a perfect fusion of traditional and modern Taiwan as there are breath-taking views of temples perfectly integrated into the Taipei Metro system so it's just a train away from the bustling city. A refreshing take on your usual weekend for the locals and an interesting immersion for the tourist.
How to get there?

Going to Maokong Gondola via MRT is the easiest and fastest way but you need to transfer a couple of times from Taipei Main Station (red line), then Zhongxiao Fuxing (blue line), then finally alight at Taipei Zoo station (brown line). 

Once you exit at Taipei Zoo, look for the building posted above and then turn left. You will be able to see the cable car mock up (first pic) then just turn right upon seeing it.

Operation Time: From 9 am to 9 pm
There are no ticketing office for the gondola ride. You buy your ticket through th ticket machine just like the ones in the MRT. You have several options whether you will only buy one-way ticket or two-way. You can also go to the Taipei Zoo, to the temples, or to Maokong Station, or all! We only went to Maokong Station to visit the tea houses on top of the mountain for. Besides, when we went there it was almost past 6pm so the Zoo was already about to close at that time.
Fare going to Maokong Station for back and forth cost us about 100 NT per person (50 NT for one way). You can chose to ride the crystal cabin, you can pay a premium price for an express lane, or even book your tickets online to avoid the queue in the morning. Basically, almost the same offerings as Hong Kong's Ngong Pin 360. Check this site to know more details about the fare and this one too.
Breath-taking view!
Maokong Station is popular especially at night because people would grab a snack and sip some tea in this area. Maybe if we will return to this place, best to explore the Zoo in the morning, the Temples in Zhinan and Maokong Station in the afternoon until dinner time. 

In the official website, I saw a lot of activities in Maokong Station alone. You can actually pick and learn a thing or two about teas! Too bad we didn't get a chance to do that. Instead we just went to the different quaint tea shops which you need to hike a little in order to get there.
The Tianen Temple
We stopped by this spectacular view situated along the tiny road going towards Tianen Temple. It was chilly that night so we ordered some Orange Herb Hot Tea at "Cat's got nothing to do Cafe"--a very cool place!
The tea is about 160 NT good for 2 to 3 people. It was simply a great tea and great view from the top! :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a comprehensive tour! Very useful as I was checking for personal views.


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