Taipei 101 and Xiangshan Walking Tour (Self Guided), Taipei

The newest area of urban Taipei, the Xinyi district has technically existed only since 1990. Young as it is though, the neighborhood has earned a reputation of being one of the city's premier travel destinations.

Indeed, in Xinyi you’re never too far from experiencing something truly cool or iconic, be it the impressive Taipei 101 with its landmark observation deck or the breathtaking Elephant Mountain with its leafy hiking trail and scenic lookout. At the same time, this is also a place of historical reverence thanks to the point of interest like the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Dominating the Xinyi commercial hub is the Taipei 101 skyscraper, formerly the tallest building in the World, from 2004 to 2010, and currently the 6th tallest building in Asia, at 509 m (1,671 ft). This high-riser is a home to the Taipei 101 Mall which features numerous international brands (Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc.), cafes like Häagen-Dazs, Barista Coffee, Dante Coffee, and the likes, plus a handful of fancy restaurants.

Close to Taipei 101 is Xiangshan (Chinese: Elephant Mountain or Mount Elephant), named so for its elephant-like shape. This is one of the "Four Beast Mountains" overlooking Taipei. At 183 m high, it has a hiking trail of about 1.5 km, which is one of the most renowned in the city for the vantage point it provides for photographers. The best time to hike the mountain is late afternoon, so as to catch the sunset.

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi commemorates Dr. Sun Yat-sen who is regarded as the Republic of China's National Father and served as the Republic's provisional first president in 1912. The memorial was completed in 1972.

To explore all these attractions in more detail and at a comfortable pace, plus to enjoy the sweeping view of Taipei, take this self-guided walking tour.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Taipei 101 and Xiangshan Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Taipei 101 and Xiangshan Walking Tour
Guide Location: Taiwan » Taipei (See other walking tours in Taipei)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 3
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: irenebo
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
  • Taipei 101
  • Elephant Mountain
1
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

1) Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (must see)

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a memorial to Sun Yat-sen, the provisional first president of the Republic of China. The hall contains information about his life with a particular focus on Xinhai Revolution.

The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall serves as an education and cultural center. It has a performance hall, an exhibition center, a theatre and a library. In addition, visitors can see a large statue of Sun Yat-sen at the entrance.

One of the most popular tourist events at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is the changing of the guards. This event takes place every hour from 9 AM through 5 PM.

The memorial hall is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. It is located within Zhongshan Park, which also has a series of gardens, ponds and walking paths. The park itself is open 24 hours a day.

Tip:
Watch the changing of the honor guards from the upstairs balcony, instead of the front of them, for a much better view.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-6pm
2
Taipei 101

2) Taipei 101 (must see)

Taipei 101 is the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan. At 1,667-feet tall, it held the distinction of the world's tallest building from 2004 through 2010. It was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, though a number of taller buildings have been constructed since that time leaving Taipei 101 the world's 10th tallest skyscraper.

Construction of the building began in 1999 and was completed in 2004. The Taipei Financial Center Corporation was a conglomerate of several banks that joined to build the skyscraper. It was designed by architects C.Y. Lee and C.P. Wang in a Postmodern architectural style.

The 101 stories of Taipei 101 are primarily offices, though floors one through five are a popular shopping mall. There is also a gymnasium and a restaurant.

Visitors can utilize the indoor observation decks on floors 88 and 89 or the outdoor observation decks on 91 and 101. Both are open from 9 AM through 10 PM daily.

Tip:
If you're looking to take a picture of the exterior, try to hike the Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) to get a better shot. The hike is free and you get some great city views. Tickets may be purchased on site in the shopping mall (5th floor) or in advance through the Observatory's website. If you choose the former and are not a Taiwanese citizen, show your passport to get a 10% discount off the ticket price.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-10pm
3
Elephant Mountain

3) Elephant Mountain (must see)

Elephant Mountain is arguably the best place to see a full view of the city of Taipei. A hike to the top of Elephant Mountain takes about 30 minutes for those who are able.

The Xiangshan Hiking Trail takes visitors to a spectacular view, but it may be a bit difficult for those who are not used to climbing a large number of stairs. This is particularly true when the heat and humidity of Taiwan accompanies the steep climb.

Tourists should not be intimidated by the climb. There are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way, including places to sit, rest and recuperate. Visitors should bring a bottle of water that they can enjoy during these rests.

Those who don't want to climb to the top can stop at a viewing platform about halfway up the climb. The trail is open 24-hours per day, every day of the week. Many visitors go during the day, and then return at night when they can enjoy the city lights from a distance.

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