After spending most of our week in the city, it was time to get out of town and get some hiking done. We headed on the coast for a hike. We chose to hike Teapot Mountain in the Jinguashih region. We had to take a train for about one hour up to the Ruifang station, and a taxi to head to the Gold Museum, where the trailhead starts. The taxis are waiting on the left, just outside of the Ruifang station and have pre-set prices for the trip depending on where you want to be dropped off so you will know ahead of time what to expect.
Once you get to the Gold Ecological Museum, you will want to walk across the entire site to find the Teapot trailhead. If you look up a few times, you will see the Teapot shape on the mountain across the valley to your left (as you walk towards the end of the site). You will have to pay 80TWD to enter. You want to follow the signs towards the Gold Building. There, you will see a bridge crossing over a small valley. You want to cross that bridge, and take a turn right as soon as you reach the other side. There you will see a small path soon becoming a set of stairs. That is your way up.
The trail was beautiful and the views were epic. We took probably about 1h or so to head to the summit. The trail wasn’t very difficult, but there was a lot (a LOT) of stairs on it. The first section is mainly a rock staircase heading up to a road. Once you hit the road, keep going uphill until you reach a viewpoint with a small pavillon on it. Take a minute to enjoy the views here, before continuing your way uphill again for another 5-10min or so.
You will reach a small parking lot area on your right, along with a board indicating that this is Teapot Mountain trail. Take that trail and keep going up the path. From here your destination is visible and right in front of you. You will now be going up all the way until you reach the top. You will stop at another viewpoint with a small and colourful pavillon, before reaching the last portion of the ascent.
This last portion of the trail had a bit of scrambling and was more exposed, however, we all felt confident and really enjoyed our time up there. You will have to scramble up through a tunnel (ropes are here to help) and will end up in the middle of the so-called “teapot”. Watch your step as there is some exposure here, but we felt safe as long as we took our time.
We took many photos and got curious about the areas we could observed from the top of the mountain. We spotted a small port by the ocean that looked really interesting, and we decided to try to visit it on our way back down from the hike.
We had bought transit passes for 72hrs and these included some bus shuttles in the area where we were that day. The buses go up and down these very narrow, winding roads in the mountains, which makes for an exciting (or terrifying, depends on your perspective) road trip. We explored the Shuinandong Fishing Port and relaxed for a while, before getting back on a shuttle bus towards Jiufen.
We stopped in Jiufen for a few hours and visited the famous Old Street – a mix of historical building with shops and restaurants with a view! We bought some souvenir and had a quick dinner there. Make sure you are there for sunset, or at least for the evening. This is when the lighting is the best, to really enjoy the beauty of the Old Street and all the shops and restaurants.
We found our way back to the taxis and headed back to the train station, where we boarded the train back to Taipei in the evening. It was a long but really fun day, and I would definitely recommend staying a few nights in the area if time permits. We didn’t have the time, but Jiufen felt like a small town where I could enjoy spending 2-3 nights, while doing some hiking in the area (there are other trails around, other than Teapot). I have also read that you can keep hiking past the Teapot if you would like, although the trail isn’t as well maintained.