Sun, Jul 03, 2016 - Page 9 News List

Teapot Mountain

A grassy path leading away from the stone staircase, with dark clouds coming in.

Photo: Paul Cooper, Taipei Times

Not far from the popular tourist destination of Jioufen in New Taipei City, just past the Jioufen Gold Mine Museum and through the parking lot, a path leads up to a prominent outcrop. Some feel this outcrop resembles a teapot. Whether it does or not is entirely up to your own interpretation.

This is the start of a challenging hike that offers spectacular vistas and variable terrain, with the land to the left and the coast to the right.

Navigating your way through the “teapot” outcrop itself can be, for some, a rather hair-raising experience, with a narrow path leading down a section through which you have to crawl on all fours, with a precipitous drop to your right. It can be quite exhilarating for the adventurous, but caution is advised: one slip and you could be a goner.

Not far from the teapot is your next obstacle: a steep stone staircase leading up to the highest point on the walk. It can be disconcerting for the faint-hearted, but once at the top, you have reached a vantage point affording wonderful views, especially if you turn around and survey the route you came from: a sweeping view of several peaks, Teapot Mountain itself among them, with tiny buildings cradled between two peaks, and the sea in the distance, the water enshrouded by mist clinging to the coast.

On the day we hiked the teapot trail the weather was as changeable as the terrain. Looking back from the stone staircase, the sun was blazing and the air was crisp and clear. Turning to the scene in front of us, we saw a grassy path leading off along a ridge and a moss-covered craggy outcrop with brooding clouds descending over the distant hills, threatening imminent rain.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)







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