Taiwan Day 8 Elephant Mountain and Raohe Night Market

When friends saw the view of Taipei 101 from 象山 Elephant Mountain, they were curious to know more.

Where is Elephant Mountain?
Can anyone hike up Elephant Mountain?

Nearest MRT station is “Xiang Shan”, literally 象山. From here, it is a short walk (850m) to the Trail head (base)

Alternatively, you may wish to walk 1.3km from Taipei 101, but beware, it is easy to get lost in the small winding lanes (you will need GPS navigation!)

Most will hike from trail head (steps picture, GPS 25.027377 121.570769).

Elephant Hill
Elephant Mountain trail head

Even after 5 min climb, you can already see Taipei 101 from different perspective. This is a motivation for you to climb higher and get a better view.

Steps can be steep and seem endless, but go slow and everyone can make it to the top.  Can you spot the “elephant hill” outline below?

 

As an estimation, we took about 20 minutes to reach the top, hop and walk and rest. For first time hikers, aim for 30 to 40 minutes slow walk and have frequent rest.

Hiking in Taiwan is different from Malaysia (read our Gunung conquers). Taiwan treks and trails are well paved with steps and pavements, you do not need to crawl on on fours and get muddy.

Elephant Mountain is actually part of a ‘animal mountain range” called 四獸山 (Four beasts). You got Elephant, Leopard, Tiger and Lion.  Conquer these four beasts to reach the peak at “九五峯” (this will require 1/2 day).

For casual tourists( you and me), we would recommend to aim for the “6 boulders” at Elephant Mountain, you will reach a few huge boulders along the climb, but who is counting the stones?

There will be platforms for visitors to take photos and enjoy the splendid Taipei metropolitan landscape view.

Day or night, you can expect some nice scenes. If you want some unique experience, hiking elephant Mountain will provide you the thrills, perspiration and sights.

 

In my previous solo trip, I climbed up the huge rock for some “epic” photos. the best view would be normally around sunset, this is also the most crowded period.

The girls did not joined us, they were shopping at 五分埔 Wu Fen Pu (GPS 25.048103, 121.580061) .

From Song Shan station (松山車站, GPS 25.049504, 121.578211), we had earlier plan to meet at 饒河夜市 Raohe for dinner and supper 🙂

Wu Fen Pu is just 5 min walk from Song Shan station. Wholesale shopping awaits shoppers and visitors.

If you love shopping and finding unique designs, Wu Fen Pu might be your cup of tea. There are endless rows of niche shops and merchandise.

Map below, Song Shan Station is in the middle of our activities. Elephant Mountain is South. Those heading to Ruifang, Keelung, Jiufen, Shifen will also have to transfer at the same train station. (Check out the other cities’ blogs on out 10D9N Taiwan Itinerary here)

 

The highlight for the night is food again, and 饒河夜市 (Raohe) is one of the popular night markets in Taiwan.

Raohe GPS 25.050917, 121.577669 , and there is a famous Mascot dog too 🙂

胡椒餅饒河 Black Pepper Bun (pork filling) is one of the most famous snacks. The buns are sticked to the side of the oven (urn?), heated to perfection and  piping hot. The juicy pepperish taste will stun your tongue.

The original stall always has queues 20 minutes long! I tried the smaller stall outside which claims “Not Nice Eat for Free haha!”

Seriously, I cannot tell the difference between the two stalls 🙂

Just grab smaller portions and share with families, that is the way to enjoy Taiwan Night Market street food.

December weather is cool, so anything soupy or fried would warm our tummies.

The torched beef cube are available at many night markets. The one at Raohe is over-rated.

 

This one is good too, deep fried ribs. No bones and crunchy chewy.

Raohe is niche and small compared to Shilin night market 士林夜市. But you can easily spend 2 hours eating, shopping and exploring 🙂

 

Games for kids, and we did not do the traditional Face massage (With strings).

 

Good range of souvenirs, for humans and pets :p
There are a lot of dogs lovers in Taiwan.   

 

Do take a photo at the famous 松山慈祐宮 Ciyou Temple just outside Raohe Night Market too.

You have seen the popular Night scene of Raohe Night Market. Cross the river and visit the LOVE bridge too, this bridge is beautifully illuminated in the evenings.

In the day time, the meandering river offers a panoramic view.

We would recommend renting a YouBike to cycle along the scenic river way too. The design is similar to Singapore’s Park Connectors, but Taipei’s cycling tracks are much wider. (you will need a local Taiwan number to rent a YouBike)

Besides the bridge and Elephant Hill, I have two other less common attractions to recommend.

a) I ran 13km to/fro from Raohe to Songshan Airport (Domestic) for some cool plane spotting too. 濱江180 (Binjiang) is super happening if you are  plane lover. Many folks will YouBike here too. (GPS 25.070849, 121.538490). More aeroplanes photos on Facebook album.

 

b) If you are visiting in December, take note the most-happening Christmas decorations and countdown activities are not around Taipei 101.

Everyone in Taiwan knows this, but visitors will always assume Taipei 101 is the spot (maybe due to New Year Fireworks countdown images?)

Head South-West to outskirt Banqiao 新北市板橋區 (GPS 25.013666, 121.464886). More details here.

All our 10D9N photos are in our Facebook album, do pop by to select your best activities.

Photo albums :

Day 1 Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing
Day 3 Xitou Nature Education Area, Monster Village, Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Taichung (Zhongshe flower, ShengXin station, Cycling, Fengjia)
Day 5 Taichung (Animation Lane, Rainbow, Miyahara)
Day 6 Keelung 基隆
-Day 7 Ruifang, Jiufen and Shifen
-Day x Taipei HomeAway and Neighbourhood
Day 8 永康, Xi Men Ding, 象山, 饒河 Raohe
Day 9 and 10 北投 Beitou, Toyshop, 士林 Shilin

Blog posts :

** Taiwan Itinerary for families 
Day 1 Google Sheet, Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing Farm
HomeAway Recommendations for Taiwan
Day 3a Xitou Nature Education area (溪頭)
Day 3b Monster village 妖怪村 and Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Cycling Taichung 台中 
Day 4a 台中 Taichung  attractions
Day 5a 台中 Taichung food Ice cream and Bubble Tea
Day 5b 台中 Taichung Fengjia night market
-Day 6 基隆 Keelung
Day 7a Jiufen attractions
Day 7b Shifen attractions
Taipei Neighbourhood around our HomeAway Vacation Home
Day 8a Yong Kang Street and Xi Men Ding
Day 8b Raohe Night Market, Wu Fen Pu and 象山 Elephant Mountain

Instagram Hashtag #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

Instagram #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

Taiwan Day 8a Yong Kang Street

Many tourists can identify with 西門町 (Xi Men Ding), but few know about 永康街 (Yong Kang Street).

Maybe Yong Kang Street will ring a bell when you mention 鼎泰豐 (Ding Tai Feng), 永康牛肉麵 (Yong Kang Beef Noodle) or even 师大夜市 (near an University).

Yong Kang Street
Yong Kang Street

 

In this blog post, we covered some of the attractions on Day 8 of our Taiwan trip. Read our 10D9N Taiwan itinerary here.

Earlier in the day, we made plans to visit a few nearby attractions. It was nice to wake up at 10am, and we took our own sweet time to plan our itinerary. Our family’s style is to travel light and our itinerary is always flexible.

 

We will cover Xi Men Ding and Yong Kang in this post, next post will cover 饒河夜市 Raohe Night Market, 五分埔 Wu Fen Pu wholesale market and 象山 Elephant Hill.

We took the train towards Yong Kang Street, Nearest MRT is 東門站 Dong Men MRT.

We would choose Yong Kang Street over Xi Men Ding any day. The crowd at Xi Men Ding can be overwhelming 🙂

Maybe our family is less happening, but Xi Men Ding would appeal to youths and fashionistas. Fancy shops and eateries attract a hip crowd.

Center Black Box demarcates Yong Kang Street and neighbouring streets. The famous Night Market is only 15min walk South.

At Yong Kang street, we can walk leisurely on the street, enjoy good food and hip cafes or shopping. There are famous desert stalls too. Just look out for the queues.

As I had mentioned, Yong Kang street has many cafes and restaurants rated above 3.5 stars! We are curious about the number of 台南 Tainan noodle stalls too.

 

This Mango dessert is a local landmark at Yong Kang Street. The crowd never cease here, and you can chill, enjoy your Mango dessert and marvel at the street activities.

Smoothie House (吃冰 experience rated 3.75/5) (GPS 25.032531, 121.529808 )

Like I say, CHILL 🙂

 

Brunch at 好公道金雞園  (GPS 25.030663, 121.529475 )

Delicious local Taiwanese food,  a bit like Dim Sum style. Famous for 小笼包 Xiao Long Bao (sweet and succulent), we ordered another serving.

Price is very reasonable and value for money, we would rate 金雞園 (4/5)

Leisurely walk, there are more pedestrians than vehicles.  Seems like every corner at Yong Kang Street has something new to entice us.

Some bespoke shops, souvenir shopping 🙂

 

 

After spending a good part of our morning at Yong Kang street, we hop from 東門 to 西門.   

Xi Men Ding MRT (GPS 25.042241, 121.508242 )

 

西門町 Xi Men Ding is a huge contrast to Yong Kang.

Always buzzing, always crowded, and there are malls, cafes and shops 360 degree around (literally).

Photo above, Taipei’s KTV hub “Party World”, and below, the iconic red house. There is something for everyone.

   

When in Taiwan, follow the queue. And Fried Chicken will be one of the longest, no matter where you go. there are many weird restaurants in Xi Men Ding too (Toilet Restaurant yucks haha)

More food photos uploaded on our Facebook album (link).

If you are clueless on what to eat, let Google suggest popular eateries for you. Read our Google Hack post for more tips. We shared how you can Google for nearby popular food options.

Photo albums :

Day 1 Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing
Day 3 Xitou Nature Education Area, Monster Village, Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Taichung (Zhongshe flower, ShengXin station, Cycling, Fengjia)
Day 5 Taichung (Animation Lane, Rainbow, Miyahara)
Day 6 Keelung 基隆
-Day 7 Ruifang, Jiufen and Shifen
-Day x Taipei HomeAway and Neighbourhood
Day 8 永康, Xi Men Ding, 象山, 饒河 Raohe
Day 9 and 10 北投 Beitou, Toyshop, 士林 Shilin

Blog posts :

** Taiwan Itinerary for families 
Day 1 Google Sheet, Aowanda, Cing Jing
Day 2 Cing Jing Farm
HomeAway Recommendations for Taiwan
Day 3a Xitou Nature Education area (溪頭)
Day 3b Monster village 妖怪村 and Sun Moon Lake
Day 4 Cycling Taichung 台中 
Day 4a 台中 Taichung  attractions
Day 5a 台中 Taichung food Ice cream and Bubble Tea
Day 5b 台中 Taichung Fengjia night market
-Day 6 基隆 Keelung
Day 7a Jiufen attractions
Day 7b Shifen attractions
Taipei Neighbourhood around our HomeAway Vacation Home
Day 8a Yong Kang Street and Xi Men Ding
Day 8b Raohe Night Market, Wu Fen Pu and 象山 Elephant Mountain

Instagram Hashtag #sengkangBabiesTaiwan

Instagram #sengkangBabiesTaiwan