Do you like mild hikes? Do you like city views? Do you like trails that have stairs instead of just dirt and big rocks?
Well then, you’ll love FuZhouShan Eco Park! FuZhouShan and FuYang are two areas that are connected via a small path. FuYang is very close to the Linguang MRT Station, so that’s where we started out hike at around 8:30. It’s a mild trail, except the segment connecting the two has pretty steep stairs. But you can always stop to peek through the trees at the view that just gets better and better.
Taipei has 21 public mountain paths, along with a plethora of small nature parks and ecological reserves. Emphasis on small, because they’re not comparable to the vastness of America’s national parks. But their manageable size makes them excellent for a brief half day or whole day trip, especially because many are located close to bus stops or MRT stations. You can learn more about the mountain paths here: www.hiking.taipei/
Another nice thing is that these parks have maps! Such fun. There’s also signs at the intersections to ensure you don’t get lost. You can tell from the legend in the bottom right corner that this really is small, it takes max 15 minutes to get from one end of FuYang to the other end. It took us about 40 minutes at a leisurely pace to get to the peak of FuZhouShan park.
As you cross over from FuYang to FuZhouShan, there are some pagodas along the way. For some reason people decided to store umbrellas in the roof, which is quite strange, but I suppose if you come here often maybe you want to have an umbrella stored here just in case it rains?
You can also find clocks in the pagoda, because we’re very busy people and even though we might take some time to view nature we still want to make sure we don’t stay too long and arrive late to our next appointment.
I’m just kidding, I made that up. I don’t know why there’s a clock, or why there’s a bento box also on the roof above the clock.
As you get to the top there are nice viewing platforms, this park in particular has a spectacular view of Taipei 101 and the surrounding cities.
Another trail, XiangShan, is actually the more popular one for views of Taipei 101, but it can get crowded, and this view’s not bad either. There are also some exercise areas, monkey bars and such, at various places in this park, for maximum fun.
More pagodas, trees, and nice woody endorphins on our way down. It’s Chinese New Year and there are very few people in Taipei (many return to their hometowns in southern Taiwan), but we did run into around 3 groups of people enjoying the sunshine.
And a bonus insider look at an MRT train because it was quite empty! Regular seats are sky blue. These dark blue chairs are called Priority Seats, and the idea is that anyone can sit in them, but you should offer them to someone in need (there are also infographics explaining this in case you need a refresher) if there are no other seats left. In general the people on MRTs and busses are receptive of this idea, and watching people offer their seats to someone else restores your faith in humanity.