If I’m not mistaken, we headed out of our hostel around 11AM and headed back to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, since the area was near the trail we were planning to go to. We spent quite a while looking for a place to eat at and ended up at the Food Court in Shin Kong. After lunch, we walked to the trail to Elephant Mountain.
Xiangshan Elephant Mountain
Just a couple of blocks from the Taipei 101 is the Elephant Mountain, there was a trail to get to the top, about 183 meters high. The hike was not easy, and none of us were prepared for it. It was stairs, stairs, and more stairs that usually got crowded too, which made it a little difficult to walk on your own speed.
On top, people were crowding around and taking photos of the “The Six Giant Rocks,” which was a bonus attraction when you climb up Elephant Mountain. They were pretty dang huge and none of us bothered climbing up like everybody else.
It also wasn’t until we reached the top that we discovered why it was called Elephant Mountain. It didn’t look like an elephant to me but yeah, it was apparently like an elephant’s trunk.
View of the city from one of the decks along the way.
The beauty that is the Taipei 101.
The Taipei 101 was completed in 2004, after five years of construction. As the name suggests, the building has 101 floors which represents high ideals. The building actually symbolizes quite a number of interesting things and you can read about them here. It has become a landmark so when we were in Taipei, we didn’t miss the chance to visit the skyscraper.
The first five floors of the skyscraper is a mall, which we didn’t get around to visiting. We quickly passed by the ground floor and went ahead to purchase our tickets.
The Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world from March 2004 – March 2010, before it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It was at this point that I realized I wanted to visit the world’s tallest buildings and actually go to the observatory, not just the lobby.
We asked which floor Starbucks was at, since we planned to have coffee and pastries while we were at Taipei 101, but they told us you could only go to that particular Starbucks if you have a reservation. Oh well. Maybe next time!
540 NTD allows you to ride the elevator and enjoy the view for as long as you want. There’s no time limit, so that makes it worth it!
We were able to see the building’s famed mass damper and I had no knowledge about it. Thanks to the free wifi throughout the observatory, I was able to google it and discovered that it was designed to suppress strong gusts of wind and absorb earthquake shock. Pretty dang interesting.
The Outdoor Observatory was located on the 91st floor. We took the stairs from the 89th floor so it wasn’t that crazy of a climb. It was nice how the height of each floor was painted on the wall — imagine if you climbed the tower from the bottom to the top, there would still be a couple of things that would entertain you haha!
The difference a few minutes makes.
Views from the Indoor Observatory taken at different times:
Before heading back to the ground floor, we circled the observatory again. There was a big display of jewels/gems/crystals in different shapes, mostly reflecting the rich Chinese culture. We also saw an expensive looking globe, it looked so pretty. I loved it, I seriously enjoy looking at globes and maps. Something about them.
We ended our second day by heading to the Fisherman’s Wharf. We took the subway, and then took a bus to the wharf. The bus ride, like our bus ride from the airport to Taipei Main Station, was a little scary. Wait, I don’t think I’ve mentioned how that bus ride went. So we were on this bridge and the driver did like a sharp turn or something, and the whole bus literally shook, and all the passengers actually woke up (everyone was asleep, it was past midnight that time). Then, when we were approaching the station, the bus went over the curb, and it shook like crazy again. The front of the bus was actually damaged from that. S C A R Y.
Anyway, when we got to the Fisherman’s Wharf, everything was closed. We didn’t know they closed early and we even planned to have dinner there. There was a food stall though that was still open, but it didn’t really sell meals, only street food and light snacks.
The Wharf with the Lover’s Bridge right in the middle.
We walked around the wharf and enjoyed the view and the silence. It was nice, sort of having the whole place to ourselves.
We headed back downtown, near our hostel and looked for a place to have dinner at. There was a nearby nightmarket we walked to, only to discover it was already closed and packed for the night. I honestly got a little scared walking around unfamiliar territory in the middle of the night. Anyway, we gave in and took a cab to an authentic noodle house and had dinner at around 11PM?
After our late night noodle run, we headed back to the hostel by foot since it was near AND THEN WE GOT LOST. The kind of lost where everything starts looking the same, starts looking dim and scary, and absolutely no wifi. Thankfully though, we ended up in this street with a lot of lights, a lot of people, a movie house, and stores. We asked this couple where the heck the way was back to our hostel and they didn’t know, but they went the extra mile and actually called the hostel, locate the address, and help us! So that was quite an adventure. We started walking again and everything suddenly looked familiar and it was at that point when you start to realize you were almost there but the fact that it was midnight and you were in an unfamiliar place scared you so of course you end up getting scared right?
That concludes Day 2! Don’t forget to check out my other posts about our Taipei trip: