Hiking Taipei: Mt. Hemei (和美山)

mt hemei

At the end of the Green Line on the MRT lies a popular destination for locals and tourists–Xindian offers visitors a variety of street food to go along with the views along the Xindian River. It’s one of the more scenic spots just south of Taipei as well as a stop on the way to Wulai.mt hemei

It is also home to Mt. Hemei (和美山), a moderate hike to the 152-meter-high peak for those who prefer a more casual approach to nature.

To reach the trail head from the MRT station, hikers need to cross the Bitan Suspension Bridge. The trail head is on the left, just after the stairs for the Biting Tea House (碧亭). The entrance is easy to miss with the wandering crowds and street vendors waiting around the bridge.

hemeishan trail
The trail head

The stairs at the entrance to the trail are narrow and visitors have to be mindful of other passing in the opposite direction. Early on in the hike, there’s the remnants of a temple with friezes that resemble Roman or Greek works. You can walk around what remains, but be careful on the rocks and debris.abandoned temple taipei

The hike itself takes about an hour to go around the loop; however, it can take longer when factoring in the time spent admiring the views as well as taking trails that branch off. However, reaching the summit only takes about 25 minutes. The trail then loops back via the butterfly trail to a field with views of the entire city–this is a great spot to relax and wander through the open space.hemei meadow

For those who don’t veer off the loop, the trail is only a mile and a half.hemei trail

Also, for anyone interested in stopping at the Double-Heart Plaza along the river or Taibai Mansion near the Poetry Theater, the hike will take longer. In addition, there are some trails that branch off the main trail, including one that leads to Bitan Great Buddha Temple (碧潭大佛寺).mt hemei

For most visitors, the route to take is the Green Mountain Trail to Happiness Plaza. From there, the trail can loop back along the Blue Coast Trail.

On a clear day, you can see out to Taipei 101, but it’s even better to check out the river and nearby buildings.hemeishan peacocks

Along the way, you might even spot headless peacock statues.

xindian river
Biting Tea House overlooking the Xindian River

On the way back to Xindian Station, you can stop off at Biting Tea House and admire the views of the river and city or cross back over the bridge and wander among the street food vendors for post-hike snack.

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