You could be forgiven for thinking that New Taipei's heavily industrial Xinzhuang District doesn't have any beauty spots worth investigating. But have you visited Zhonggang Main Drainage Trail yet? Taroko Gorge, it's not, but for an inner city wander, it's not too shabby.
There are lots of trails close to the city that offer opportunities for exploring after dark. The ever popular Jiantan Hiking Trail is one such route - although if you visit at night you can expect to have the paths almost entirely to yourselves.
If you picture Nangang District in your mind what do you see? The train station? The exhibition centre? The giant software park? I bet you didn’t envision quiet hillsides cloaked with neat rows of tea. This trail offers an insight into a side of Nangang that not so many people know about.
The hills around Jinmian Shan are crisscrossed with hiking trails of varying degrees of popularity and difficulty. This post details one of the quieter walks that you can do in the area.
Zhenghan Trail is a short and easy trail that would be suitable for almost anyone. The walk climbs to an outlook which has a memorial to a local man and views over Miaoli’s Zhunan District.
Situated in Hsinchu's Wufeng Township, Mount Egongj and its neighbour Mount Niaozui offer a great day's walking. Hikers can take in both dramatic views and photogenic forests on this enjoyable route.
Frog Rock Coastal Trail is a short and easy walk just off the main drag of relaxed beach town, Kenting. As well as a tiny coral beach and coastal views, visitors can explore a beautiful replica of a traditional Minnan style village.
This short trail linking the two popular tourist villages of Jiufen and Jinguashi takes you past aqueducts that were used during the area's industrial past. It's a great way to stretch your legs after sampling the edible delights of Jiufen Old Street.
Tea Mountain Trail sits just little north of Jinshan on Taiwan's northern coast. This easy walk does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a mountain, and there's tea growing on it. It's perhaps not the most thrilling walk out there, but it's a pleasant walk in a part of Taiwan that I haven't spent nearly enough time in.
Scissors Rock is up there with Elephant Mountain in terms of its popularity among the easily accessible trails of Taipei. But unlike it's Xinyi District counterpart, this trail in Neihu falls quiet as soon as night settles on the city. Travellers willing to brave the dark will be treated to peaceful city views and maybe even a flying squirrel (or two, or five)
The walk along Wantan Historic Trail and Beishi River Trail is soul-comforting waterside wander between villages in New Taipei's sorely overlooked Shuangxi District. Bring a picnic and get ready to soak in some gently spectacular scenery.
The stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails that tracks over the hills between Shiding and Pinglin Districts takes you past relics of the coal industry into the heart of New Taipei City’s tea growing region.
The southern stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails starts from the historic centre of Wanhua and heads through urban parks and market streets on its way to the edge of the city.
The most southeasterly section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails hews close to Beiyi North Road as it winds its way over hill and stream into the hot spring town of Jiaoxi. Aside from the always popular Paoma Historic Trail, you can reasonably expect to have the path all to yourself for long stretches.
The first stretch of road leading out of Shenkeng isn’t much to write home about, but the rest of the journey soon makes up for it. The sound of water accompanies you for most of the way, as the trail sticks close to first Jingmei Stream, then Wutuku Stream, going against the flow as you head away from Taipei.