Elephant Mountain (hike) – this is Taipei’s most popular hike, especially for tourists. It’s short, well paved, and easily accessible from Taipei’s most popular district (around Taipei 101) and most importantly it offers postcard views of the Taipei Cityscape. A local train station is not far from Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan station – the terminus of MRT’s Red Line).
Elephant Mountain makes a worthy alternative to a trip up Taipei 101. It trades the world’s fastest elevator with your own legs, but it’s not a long or strenuous walk to the main viewing platform. It also trades gem shops with trees, and huge crowds of tourists with smaller numbers of tourists, students and professional photographers. While it doesn’t offer the 360 panorama of Taipei 101, it instead offers a perfect cityscape view with Taipei 101 in it.