After a very wet first day in Northern Taiwan, we got to sleep for more than three hours, so we woke up feeling better than we did the day before. It was still raining but it wasn’t as heavy as in the coast so that’s another good sign. We were set to spend the rest of the trip in Taipei and we started with conquering Taipei heights.
The good thing about Taipei MRT is that they’ve conveniently placed stations near tourist spots. The three days that we went around Taipei was a breeze, thanks to their efficient transportation system. Real envy from someone in the Philippines!
We got on the MRT and figured our way to the Taipei Zoo station which is the last stop for the Wenhu line (towards Taipei Zoo). It was a no brainer, in fact, we didn’t count stops or kept looking up the signage to see which station we were on.
Exhibit A: Ron taking a photo inside the train and not realizing it was the last stop. Announcements were actually happening saying everyone should alight. This is Ron in stages of taking photos to getting told to alight the train already, lol.
The Taipei Zoo station was the first proper establishment we’ve seen to have the ‘Taipei’ words to get a photo with. It was only right to spend half an hour taking pictures there, heh.
Exhibit B: When you try to yoga but yogan’t.
It’s around a 5 minute walk from the MRT station to the lowest station of Maokong Gondola. But that walk extended to another half an hour since the Taipei Zoo entrance is nearby and animal figures were spread out in display. Another great photo op!
We didn’t have plans for the zoo, even though the concept of seeing a real live panda was exciting. If you do want to see a real one, you may do so in Taipei Zoo, you can then ride the Maokong Gondola after which is nearby.
The walk from the MRT to Maokong.
After a hundred photos taken, we continued to walk to Maokong. After researching that Easy Card can be used as entrance fee for Maokong, we only had to ask where we were supposed to tap it. There are plenty of helpful guides to show you the way in Maokong.
A full trip is worth 120 NTD regardless of which type of gondola you want to ride on. See more about the fares here. There are regular gondolas and there are cool glass-bottomed gondolas if you aren’t squeamish about heights. These special gondolas are red in color with “Eyes of Maokong Gondola” written on them.
We chose to ride the Eyes of Maokong Gondola and lined up separately from others. The queue will be slower than the regular ones since there are more of them than these red ones. Thankfully, it wasn’t such a busy day, we got on after a 5-minute wait.
Up we go!
It was quite foggy when we went up, enough for us not to have a clear view of Taipei. It was still exciting, nevertheless. On the other side, we get to enjoy views of their forest and vegetation. We could see small areas where people farm.
The full trip consists of 4 stations including the start and the end. You have the option to alight on those stations.
We alight at the highest point of the ride which is in Maokong Station. Given that it was high up the mountains and the wind, it was the coldest we’ve been. Case in point, we started talking and blowing air knowing that steam would come out of our mouths. The people looking at us were probably thinking we were a bunch of crazies. You can’t blame us, though. Tropical weather doesn’t make us cloud-breathing dragons!
There are concessionaires and tea shops nearby the station. For some reason, a lot of them offer ice cream and I thought that was ridiculous. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat ice cream in that weather. Or maybe that’s just my island girl heart talking, hm. I understand during Summer, but obviously not when I’m already breathing clouds. But hey, you do you!
The tea shop across the Maokong Station is where you’ll wait for Bus S10 to bring you back down to the Taipei Zoo MRT Station for 15 NTD. Brace yourself, that bus ride down to the MRT was squiggly and quite the adrenaline-pumping one.
How To Get There And Back
- Take the Wenhu line towards Taipei Zoo MRT station.
- Alight at the Taipei Zoo MRT station.
- Walk 5 minutes to the entrance of the Maokong Gondola – Taipei Zoo station.
- Going back down, take Bus S10 at the Maokong Peak.
- Alight at the Taipei Zoo MRT station.