Qixing Mountain Trail

Qixing Mountain path

I was off to an early start today on account of a work crew doing repairs outside my apartment at 7:30 in the morning. Qixing Mountain [七星山] is Yangmingshan National Park’s [陽明山國家公園] highest peak at 1,120 meters.

Qixing Mountain Path

Getting there is easy, the simplest route is to take the Red #5 bus from Jiantan MRT Station to the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal. I walked to the Yangmingshan Visitor Center, but you can also take the Park Bus 108 to Maiopu [苗圃], Xiaoyoukeng [小油坑], or Lengshuikeng [冷水坑] and work up the trail from any of those points. I chose to take the route from Maiopu to Xiaoyoukeng.

Qixing Mountain Path

The first section of the trail looks like many found in Taipei: cut-stone steps and shaded.

Once you work your way up towards Qixing Mountain Peak, the view opens up… the forest disappears and gives way to silver grass and arrow bamboo. On the way up to the main summit I grabbed a couple panoramas of the Eastern Summit [1108 meters]:

Qixing Mountain Panorama 2

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Qixing Mountain Panorama 3

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I posted both of them because I can’t decide which is better. I also pointed towards the Eastern Summit and zoomed [and cropped] to get a closer look.

Qixing Mountain Peak

I made it up to the windy main summit, I had someone take a picture of my accomplishment, an extraordinary feat also done by people more than twice [and sometimes three times] my age every weekend.

Qixing Mountain Peak

I took a break, enjoyed the breeze, ate lunch, and should have reapplied my sunscreen.

After that it was time to head towards Xiaoyoukeng.

Qixing Mountain Panorama 5

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I almost stepped on this little guy on the way. Usually they scurry away pretty fast, but this one let me take a picture:

Qixing Mountain path

Around this area I also saw a Chinese Cobra… luckily it was moving off the trail and into the grasses when I approached. I hate snakes, so photographing it was the last thing on my mind.

Qixing Mountain path

I’ll usually make small talk with anyone who smiles towards me on the trail or says hello If I am facing that person when they say hello to me. However, if there is one thing that I can’t stand is when someone will call out “Hello!” or “Where do you come from?” after I have already passed them. It shows a total lack of respect and confidence on part of the speaker who is out of his or her comfort zone when initiating a face-to-face conversation.

Qixing Mountain path

Maybe I’m just bitter from the mother who was asking her daughter as I passed why she didn’t talk to the adoah. Without even thinking I turned and said in Chinese, “If you want her to talk to a foreigner have her go meet Ma Ying-jiu.” The kid’s father laughed, but the child and the mother gave me a deer in the headlights look.

Qixing Mountain Panorama 6

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The Xiaoyoukeng area is full of sulfur fumaroles that give off white sulfurous fumes.


The area is part of Taiwan’s youngest and largest range of volcanoes. The sulfur gases coming out of this area have eroded the surrounding rocks giving visitors the sights we see today.


9 thoughts on “Qixing Mountain Trail

  1. Pingback: David on Formosa » Links 29 October 2007

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  3. Nice article and very useful for people who do not read Chinese. I have forwarded it to a Korean friend who wanted some hiking tips. As for the passage of talking to people who lack respect and confidence, I suggest you can relax a little bit and smile back to people instead of being rude. No on in Taiwan is lack of respect to foreigners. They may be curious and lack confidence when speaking in English, but they are not lack of respect.

    • Thanks Su-Tzai Soong. I’m happy to announce I’m much more relaxed since moving out of Taipei. Don’t get the wrong idea, the vast majority of my interactions with Taiwanese people are positive, that’s why I’m still here.

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