Maokong is techically part of Taipei but it feels like another world. The area used to be the biggest region for growing tea around Taipei and today that tea culture is evident, and Maokong is filled with teahouses, hiking paths, and temples along the way.
We took a four-kilometer gondola from Taipei Zoo station all the way up to Maokong station. Once we were in Maokong, we meandered through the picturesque hiking trails, stopping for a snack here and there. Douhua (sweet and soft tofu pudding) with crushed ice, grilled baby corn, fried sweet potatoes, and squid balls from street vendors kept us happily satiated along the way.
On our way back down towards Taipei central, we stopped at Zhinan Temple, a Taoist temple on the slopes of Houshan. Founded in 1882, the temple afforded incredible views into Taipei.
By the time we got back to Taipei Zoo station, we couldn’t resist the siren song of a freshly-made pineapple smoothie to beat the stifling heat.
For our last dinner in Taipei, we enjoyed a delicious meal at Li Yuan Dumplings: xiaolongbao, salt and pepper tofu, stir-fried chili chicken and mushrooms, and greens in dashi and citrus dressing. A fitting end to a delicious, memorable trip.
Taiwan, don’t ever change.