Mt. Qixing (七星山) hiking [Taiwan Day 456: Did you summit? - Nov. 30, 2014] | Travel in Asia

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mt. Qixing (七星山) hiking [Taiwan Day 456: Did you summit? - Nov. 30, 2014]

#5yearsinTaiwan

Mt. Qixing or the Seven Stars Mountain is the highest mountain in Taipei. It has an elevation of 1120 meters and considered as Taipei's rooftop. Hiking this mountain is like taking an exam. It is difficult but we made it to the top!

I was joined by two Travel Buddies and they were Lovely and Rakesh. We took Bus 260 from Taipei Main Station and then transferred to Bus 108 at Yangmingshan Bus Stop. Bus 108 is a mini-bus and it will take you to the different recreational areas of Yangmingshan National Park.

We started our journey at the Xiaoyoukeng. This is the start of the Mt. Qixing Main Peak-East Peak Trail. The trail started as an easy walk until we were welcomed by stone stairs which were hard to climb. It was very steep! Unfortunately, Lovely decided to go back due to health reasons. She forgot her medicines and she might have an asthma attack.

Rakesh and I continued the hike. Silver grasses were abundant in the slopes of the dormant volcano. As we slowly ascend the mountain, we smelled the pungent order of gasses coming out of a fumarole. A fumarole is an opening in the earth's crust where gasses escape from the interior of the Earth and they are associated with volcanic activity.

As we climbed higher, we saw more fumaroles and Rakesh described it as a “burning road”. It was a one of a kind hiking trail. The fumaroles are just beside you and we hold our breath while taking photos with the fuming fumaroles. The gas smelled like rotten eggs.

The whole length of the trail going up is 1.8 kilometers. We reached the Main Peak and I was surprised that there were many people. A marker was placed in the Main Peak where we took pictures. I was expecting to see the view of Taipei City at the Main Peak but a curtain of clouds was blocking the view.

We continued the journey to the East Peak with an easy walk of around 10 minutes. There was nothing special in the East Peak but it was the start of the trail going down. We chose the Qixing Park trail and we reached the park which has an elevation of 880 meters. We went up in a pavilion and I used my 8x40 binoculars. I was surprised with what I saw! Qingtiangang was just in front of us. I was there in Taiwan Day 267 (Greener Pastures) during my month-long birthday celebration.

We continued the hike going down until we reached Lengshuikeng. The place means 'Cold Water Pit'. A hot spring bath is in the pavilions of Lengshuikeng but the temperature of the water is around 40 degrees Celsius. The hot spring here is colder compared to other hot spring areas and that is why the water here is regarded as “cold”.

We wandered Lengshuikeng until we find ourselves in the Jingshan Suspension Bridge. It was a shaky bridge and it connects the Qingtiangang trail to the Lengshuikeng trail. The Niunai Pond was a surprise to us. It was funny to see a 'milky' lake. It is composed of precipitated sulphur with some bacteria.

To finish this travelogue, I will answer the title question of this Taiwan Day Adventure. “Did you summit?”

“Yes! I even got seven stars!”

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