Travelogue: Maokong

While in Taipei, I visited Maokong (貓空, literally ‘cat empty’), a mountain area known for its tea, and accessible by gondola.  I had to visit.

The gondola to Maokong starts from right near the Taipei Zoo (which I did not visit), and oddly enough has a fountain show.  I sat here for a bit, read, and waited for the show to start.  It was pretty good.  The fountains are set to spurt, sway, and spin in time with classical music.
Taiwan Zoo - fountain 1 Taiwan Zoo - fountain 2

So anyways, the gondola.  It’s a pretty standard gondola:
Maokong - gondola getting on Maokong - gondola leaving station

I went the crystal cabin: a gondola with a glass floor, so you can see below.  It was actually a bit underwhelming – the floor was so scratched up from years of use, you could not really see through it.
Maokong - gondola crystal cabin

Oh – and a goddamn bee managed to get into the gondola!  He buzzed around for a bit, alarming all of us, before we managed to open a window and shoo him out.
gondola bee invsaion

But in any case, the views from the gondola were pretty good:

And from the top, the view is really good.  You can see the Taipei 101 in the distance.
Maokong view

Temple at the top:
maokong temple

Maokong is known for its tea – there’s a lot of different tea growers in the region, so they all have their own tea shops at Maokong.  Some were formal buildings with formal tea ceremonies or the ability to brew your own tea, but others were simply carts by the side of the road.
Maokong - tea pouring museum Maokong shop

But since I don’t know the first thing about tea, I instead stopped by a boutique shop, where I had some pre-brewed tea, a tea-flavored desert, and tea-flavored ice cream.  It was was pretty delicious.
Maokong - green tea and chocolate muffin Maokong - green tea ice cream

The evening view and night view are quite magnificent, too!
Maokong sunset 1 Maokong nightscape

Misc. zoo animals:
Taiwan Zoo - zoo animals

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