Day 15.  Starting the day in Daan Park, Taipei 

It was lovely warm, sunny morning so after breakfast we strolled along to the Nanjing Fuxing MRT station on the Brown (Wenhu) line.  This overground line differs from the others as it runs on tyres on concrete tracks.

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Daan Park, Taipei

Alighting at Daan station, a residential area of the city, we walked westbound to Daan Park hoping to look in some of the shops along the way but most of them had not yet opened as it was only 9.30 a.m.  Our pre planning at home had not included a visit to Daan Park but as we’d seen poster advertisements for it on the walls of MRT stations we were tempted to take a look.  This urban park, known locally as ‘the lungs of Taipei’ was a delight with azaleas and bedding plants bursting with colour unlike the Taipei Botanical Gardens which we visited earlier in the week.

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Colourful flower beds, Daan Park, Taipei

It was so nice to see so many people enjoying themselves, a group of retired people were playing croquet, school groups were participating in sports activities such as rounders and an art class had set up their easels to paint the pond life setting.

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Art class in progress in Daan Park, Taipei

Returning to the MRT station, this time to Daan Park we were impressed with its ultra modern design, the station only opening in 2015 and featuring a sunken garden and fountain.

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Main concourse, Daan Park MRT station
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Sunken garden at Daan Park Station. Taipei

Our next stop was to Xiangshan, the terminus of the Red line from where we took the same footpath as earlier in the week to the top of Elephant Mountain so that we could also view Taipei 101 from the summit in daylight.

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Footpath up Elephant Mountain, Taipei

Climbing all these steps at noon was much harder than on a cool evening but within 25 minutes, allowing for a couple of photo stops, we were at the highest lookout point.  Here, under clear blue skies we had some splendid views of the beautiful Taipei 101 building.

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Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain, Taipei

Instead of retracing our steps down the vertical staircase, we followed another trail via the Yongchungang Park towards the base of Taipei 101.  Very few people were taking this path which was a pity as it afforded much better views of Taipei 101 and the surrounding city.  This well maintained path is sheltered by the forest canopy and passes through a narrow gap between rocks known as “A Thread of Sky’ which is only wide enough for one person to pass through at a time.

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Passing through ‘A Thread of Sky’ rock, Taipei

If you are planning a hike up Elephant Mountain I would suggest taking the vertical staircase to the summit and then returning on this gently undulating but slightly longer path which ends near the Taipei City hospital.

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Coffee and Green Tea KitKat, FamilyMart, Taipei

In need of a short rest, we noticed a branch of FamilyMart and popped in for cups of coffee and our first ever Green Tea KitKat.  The biscuit tasted good but I think I still prefer the original milk chocolate variety but it’s always a good idea to try something different.

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Xinyi District, Taipei

Ready to move on, we strolled through the Xinyi shopping district intending to return here later in the afternoon and continued on to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall which proved to be much further than was indicated on our phone map.  We’d decided against taking the MRT as it would have necessitated changing three times but with hindsight that would have been the preferred option.

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Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Changing of the Guards takes place on the hour and it was just after 2.00 p.m. as we rushed up the stone steps to the Memorial Hall.  The viewing area was already several deep with visitors and there was no way I was going to be able to see anything.  Fortunately, I glanced behind me and noticed several people on a balcony so a quick search to locate the staircase and we ended up with perfect views of the ceremony.

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Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei

As well as viewing the Changing of the Guards, the hall also contains an interesting museum providing us with an insight into Taiwan’s history and of one of its founding fathers,  Dr. Sun Yat-sen.  The Memorial Hall is surrounded by the picturesque Zhongshan Park containing a small lake and fountains.

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Zhongshan Park, Taipei

Leaving the gardens we passed the Taipei City Hall and decided to take a look inside.  In the foyer we noticed signs for the Taipei Discovery Centre so off we went up the lift to see what it had to offer.

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Taipei City Hall

This museum, located over four floors, charts the history of Taipei with informative exhibits combined with some interactive displays.  We hadn’t heard about it before entering the building and it’s unlikely that many other people had either as we were the only visitors.  The museum staff were very enthusiastic, answering our questions and demonstrating some of the interactive exhibits for us.  There was also a floor dedicated to the 2017 Universiade Games, to be held in August, with a large mascot in the entrance foyer too.  I’m so glad we took the time to visit this museum and with a few advertising signs at the nearby Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, I’m certain more people could be encouraged to visit as well.

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Official Mascot for The 2017 Universiade Games at Taipei City Hall

Finally, after all this culture, it was time for some shopping in the Xinyi district where we found a wide range of stylish stores in an attractive setting.

Rather than heading back to our hotel for a rest, we decided to take the MRT to the Gongguan District so that we could take a look around the National Taiwan University campus as it was dark when we visited earlier in the week.  Leaving the MRT station at the university exit, we were only a short distance from its central driveway lined on each side with palm trees and flowering azaleas.  Hundreds upon hundreds of bicycles filled every available slab of concrete all looking much the same as each other so students would need to remember exactly where they had left their bikes.

The campus covers an extensive area with a wide variety of places to eat, all open to the general public.  As we were feeling hungry we opted for one of these and enjoyed an inexpensive yet delicious three course meal with glasses of freshly squeezed watermelon juice.  If and when we return to Taipei, I think we would eat here again as well as in the local night markets.  On our way back to the MRT station we discovered that the Gongguan Night Market actually stretched along more roads than we had originally thought and was considerably larger than our findings a few days ago.

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Rubber stamp table found in all Taipei MRT stations

By the Customer Service desk of every MRT station there is a rubber stamping table.  One can go round and collect a different stamp from each station, e.g. the Taipei 101 tower or the National Taiwan University from Gongguan, the station we have just visited.  We were unaware of this activity at the beginning of the week but since we discovered the stamping tables we have collected 17 stamps, some of which were from landmark buildings themselves as well as MRT stations.  We thought it was a lovely idea and on a future visit we intend to buy the official MRT rubber stamp album to collect them in,  this time we just used our own notebook.

Approaching our hotel it was still 23 degrees so we treated ourselves to a large green tea ice cream cone each which we had on the window seat of our room.  After the green tea KitKat earlier it was our second green tea flavoured food of the day.

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50 thoughts on “Day 15.  Starting the day in Daan Park, Taipei 

    1. Thank you for your kind words Kelly. I’m sure your family will enjoy combining those two trails at Elephant Mountain and the Taipei Discovery Centre will be fun for them as there are lots of interactive displays helping to learn about the city.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The views from Elephant Mountain look stunning and the different route down sounded really interesting and fun too. How lucky you found the perfect view of the Changing of the Guard – something we always love to try and see wherever we go!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely post. I have an upcoming trip to Taipei in August and this was really helpful. I think I would visit the Taipei Discovery Centre, instead of the national museum, since it sounded a lot more interesting from your post. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your photographs were truly eye catching today and I love the description of the sea of matching bikes. I have a hard time just picking out my car among the herd of black cars in the parking lot. Brick

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am the one for off-the-beaten path so I find your post particularly interesting and eye-opening. I have never know there is a less-taken path to Taipei 101. The footpath up Elephant Mountain is so lush and seem endless, and it surprises me that the walk can be complete within 25 minutes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sounds like another beautiful day, Marion. The U.S. national park system has a similar stamp system. You can purchase a “passport” at any location and then collect unique stamps at each stop. Larger parks may jave several stamps, each related to something unique about the park.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Susan for your information on the US National Parks ‘passport’ stamping system. I wasn’t aware of that so I’ll look out for it sometime in the future when we are back in the U.S. So pleased you are enjoying my Taiwanese posts, it’s such a beautiful island.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reading your posts on Taiwan I realize how my frequent business trips there holed up in conference rooms robbed me of all those delights you’ve been sharing with us all. Thank you for filling in the gaps to my travels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you once again for your kind words Ian. It’s such a pity that you didn’t get an opportunity to see all these lovely places in Taiwan whilst you were on business there, but perhaps sometime you might be persuaded to return for a holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you LMT for another beautiful post. You’re taking me places in the easiest possible way. I would put Taipei on my destinations list. You’ve shown us a city that has been well planned from the skyscrapers to the gardens.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Once again, I am blown away by how much green space there is! The park was lovely, and, like you, I was glad to see so many people enjoying different aspects of it. I also love how you aren’t slaves to a schedule, but are so willing to take in a new adventure when one presents itself!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for such luminaries very thoughts on my latest post on Taiwan. Taipei is surrounded by parks and lush vegetation, there are so many green spaces to sit, relax or take part in activities. We like to plan a schedule of things we want to do and see before setting off on trips but we are also adaptable to change when we something else of interest, as with Daan Park which was gorgeous.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I just loved Taiwan and the Taiwanese are such lovely people. I can’t wait to return! Enjoy Vancouver, that’s a great place too though it’s quite a few years since I was there.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. taipei is always a treat to visit. So calm and peaceful, it’s a nice break from all the hustle and bustle of most asian cities. Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoyed your trip!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Dear Miss Traveller, Thank you for the pretty post. I would like to tell you that I copied your picture where the women are painting in the park for my desktop background wall paper. I hope you won’t mind 🙂
    May you have a good day!
    -Sonali

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sonali, It’s good to hear from you and I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading about my day in Daan Park and hiking up Elephant Mountain. You are welcome to use that photo as your personal desktop wallpaper, I’m pleased you liked it – I thought it was lovely too!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Perfect. I was in Taipei when Daan Park station opened. Did you see the birds in the park? I also take different routes up and down hills and mountains (sometimes with disastrous consequences but you’ve gotta try haven’t you). Likewise I had the green tea Kit Kat in HK. One of the good things about HK and Taipei is they have Kit Kat and Twix which for some reason haven’t made it to mainland China. So sick of Snickers and M&Ms. Anyway good to see you enjoying Taipei.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading this post and your detailed thoughts on it. We did indeed see many birds in Daan Park and took photos of several of them. I did think of including one or two but the posts already had quite a few photos. So good to read that you had tried Green Tea KitKat too. I looked out for it in Hong Kong but we couldn’t find it there this year. I agree it’s fun to try different trails, we didn’t know exactly where this one would end but with our phone map it wasn’t an issue.

      Like

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