Day 9: Taipei Mountain Climbing

[If you haven’t been keeping up with my travels, check them out here!]

We were scheduled to leave Penghu for Taipei on Friday.  Then we found out a typhoon was headed for Taiwan and could ground our flight.  As a result, we decided to leave a day early.  We got the flight changed, and were on our way!

When we got to Taipei, we took a taxi toward our hostel.  Our room was tiny! It was all they had available at the last minute. Luckily, I had brought my handy-dandy camping mat at my dad’s suggestion and added it to the pallet for me on the floor. Our room had a GLORIOUS view – we were on the top floor of the building on the corner.  Check it out:

2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1196 We wanted to make sure we got to see some of Taipei before the typhoon hit, so we quickly headed out the door! 2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1205 We planned to take this trail to check out Elephant Mountain, but we didn’t exactly follow the directions correctly and ended up on Tiger Mountain.  I wish we had found this one with a map! We must have seemed confused, because a man asked us what we were looking for, and told us we were far from Elephant Mountain.  It was still beautiful, so despite the humidity, we decided to take the path anyways. 2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1213

2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1222

Our new friend!

Then, we starting ascending.  There were steps.

2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1224And even more steps. 2013-07-11 Taiwan Trip 1227 It was a better workout than the Stairmaster 3000! We finally started to see beautiful views of Taipei 101:

We kept going, taking seemingly random turns.  We couldn’t exactly read many of the signs… And FINALLY, we lucked out and found this great view!  There were at least 13 other people with tripods photographing.  I had to peek my head around some guy’s elbow to get pictures.

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We were EXHAUSTED, but wanted to get as much in before it started raining, so we made our way back to the MRT (train station) and headed to check out the Shilin Night Market, full of smells (including stinky tofu.  I prefer skunk.), people shoving things at you, and lots of stuff to buy.

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