With three days to spend in Taipei, you’ll get an overview of everything the city has to offer—culture, history, food, and natural beauty—with time to head outside the city limits to one of many worthy day trip destinations on the island. Here's how.
The 25-minute, 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) journey on the Maokong Gondola takes visitors from Taipei Zoo up to Mount Maokong. You can simply take the gondola and enjoy the stunning views, or you can visit the many attractions along the gondola route—including the zoo, temples, shrines, tea plantations, teahouses, and nature walks and hikes.
Built in 2007 and upgraded in 2010, Maokong Gondola features 147 cabins, of which 31 are “crystal cabins” (also called Eyes of Maokong Gondola) with reinforced glass bottoms. The gondola makes four stops in total: Taipei City Zoo Station, Taipei City Zoo South Station, Zhinan Temple Station, and Maokong Station.
You can visit the gondola independently and purchase tickets based on the number of stations between which you are traveling. If you have a particular interest in tea or Taiwanese culture, you can opt for an evening, full-day, or multi-day tour featuring a visit to Maokong, a ride on the gondola, and visits to a number of teahouses and tea plantations, or other cultural attractions like one of Taipei’s many night markets.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Maokong Gondola is lovely for all visitors to Taipei, especially first-timers.
Regular gondola cabins can hold eight passengers; crystal cabins can hold only five.
The gondolas are not air-conditioned.
In the event of thunderstorms or inclement weather, the gondola stops running and buses are used to transport passengers.
The gondola stations and cabins are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, but not all attractions near a station may be accessible.
How to Get There
Maokong Gondola is located in Taipei’s Wenshan district. Take the MRT’s Brown Line to the terminus, Taipei Zoo; the gondola is about a 10-minute walk from the MRT station. A number of city buses also stop near the gondola.
When to Get There
Maokong Gondola is open Tuesday through Sunday; check the website for hours of operation. Arrive early in the day to beat the crowds and the heat, especially if you’re planning on hiking as well. Sunset is a beautiful time to ride the gondola.
Attractions Along the Route
The gondola’s first two stops are at the Taipei Zoo, where there is also a dancing water fountain with performances every half hour. At Zhinan Temple Station, top attractions include Zhinan Temple, Zhinan Scenic Spot, and Chen Yan-Chun Art Gallery. The final stop, Maokong Station, features the Tianen, Zhangshan, and San Xuan temples as well as a tea museum and tea promotion center plus numerous teahouses and restaurants. More active visitors can pick up a hiking map at this station. There are many trails, ranging from easy to very difficult, and lasting from about 30 minutes to several hours round-trip. Popular hikes include the Camphor Tree Trail, the Enlightenment Trail, and the hike to Yinhe Cave.
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