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Monday, November 19, 2012

Yang Ming Shan National Park 陽明山國家公園 @ Taiwan

Formally established in 1985, Yang Ming Shan is one of the seven national parks in Taiwan that boasts various mountain formations, cherry blossoms and hot springs during the different seasons, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions. Located within an hour's reach from Taipei city, why not head there to enjoy some sight-seeing and witness the beauty of God's creations.

Directions to Yang Ming Shan

1. From Shilin MRT, take Bus 260 or Red 5 at Exit 1 to Yang Ming Shan station.

Note: From there, you might want to get the unlimited-ride pass (NT$60) for Bus 108 that goes around the park.

There are a handful of roadside stalls nestled nearby the entrance (Yang Ming Shan station). A light meal and a bottle of water are encouraged to have before you plan to conquer the mountain.

Bee-Hoon with Yam cubes (NT$50) was appetizing and the roasted yam added a delectable crunch to this noodle dish.

I love their Fishball Soup (NT$40 for 5pc). The piping hot broth which comes with elongated fishballs filled with juicy minced meat is such a delight to eat in a cooling weather.

The weather grew unexpectedly warm, so we decided to get a couple of home-growned oranges  to quench our thirst. Prices varies accordingly to weight (usually they sell 3-4 for NT$100). Besides oranges, they sell other harvests such as pumpkins, gingers and carrots which they claimed were free of chemicals (pesticides etc.)

The owners told us that bigger, the sweeter the oranges will be, but apparently with reference to my knowledge, it is the opposite. Anyway, the oranges are fragrant, but not that sweet and not as juicy as expected.

Acting cute. (I mean the orange)

Besides the usual hiking and exercising, Yang Ming Shan also features attractions like Seven Star Mountain, Siao You Keng, Flower Clock and waterfalls etc. Feeling adventurous and a need to burn off the calories from all the sinful street food, we decided to follow a hiking trail and hiked up one of the mountains.

Roads, stairs and more stairs

We were welcomed at the summit with a beautiful pavillion, which provided a panaromic view of the surroundings. There were a few elderly people having their afternoon talk at the pavilion whom I guessed were residing at the moutain houses, not to even mention how fit they are to trek all the way up here!

Generally, Yang Ming Shan is a good place to visit especially during the blossom season or hotsprings seasons, when one can truly enjoy a good walk or hot soak amongst the beautiful nature. However, it was a tad disappointing as we thought it would be cool during mid-November and it turned out to be humid and hot instead.

For more information on Yang Ming Shan National Park, do check out their official website (english):