Taipei: Riding the Eyes of Maokong
If you’re looking for a different kind of excitement while watching the beautiful city of Taipei, riding in the Maokong Gondola can give you a unique experience. Riding in this cable car gives an extraordinary thrill going to the upper part of the mountain where a quaint little village of Maokong is located.
Since it is only a couple of meters away from Taipei Zoo, we went straight here. Having a few tourists at that time, it took us just a short time before we were able to board one.
Maokong Gondola has two kinds of cabin – the regular and the Crystal Cabins or the Eyes of Maokong Gondola. There is no difference in fees when riding on either kind of cabin, so we definitely chose the most exciting one – the crystal cabin. While ascending, you can experience a strange perspective especially while watching the full view underneath. Don’t worry about safety, each crystal cabins are fitted with triple-layer reinforced glasses. You will not only enjoy this unbelievable panorama, you will also experience the sensation of soaring through the sky. Watching this can be dizzying for some, and if you have a fear of height, this ride may not be for you.
There are four stations, and each station is progressively located on a higher elevation. While the entire trip lasts about 25 minutes, you didn’t notice it just by watching the views. You will be passing by the Zhinan Temple, the verdant green forest and the tall buildings of Taipei (you can see the Taipei 101 on clear weather).
After reaching the Maokong Station, you can walk around the Maokong Village. The place is visited not only for its vantage point but also for its teahouses scattered around. Situated on a high altitude and with a cooler climate, it gives a perfect atmosphere to sip a hot tea. A bus stop is available in Maokong Station if you feel dizzy riding in the Gondola.
Dusk is approaching fast so we have to return. It is said that this spot gives a beautiful view at night with the shining city lights of Taipei.
If going to Taipei, riding one is definitely a must especially if you want to see the city from a different perspective.
About the Gondola
Located at the southern tip of Taipei City, Maokong has evolved into a favorite tourist destination for both locals and visitors, who come here to visit its tea plantations and tea houses. In the past, the narrow mountain roads of the Maokong area would easily become choked with traffic during weekends. To address this problem and improve the quality of tourism in the area, the Taipei City Government decided to build the Maokong Gondola system in 2002.
The construction of the Maokong Gondola began on November 10, 2005, and system operation was launched on July 4, 2007. This is Taipei City’s first high-altitude gondola. The system, built by the French company POMA, makes a circuit of four stations: Taipei Zoo, Taipei Zoo South, Zhinan Temple, and Maokong. There are also two angle stations where the Gondola changes direction.
Visit their website for a real-time update of operation: https://english.gondola.taipei/
- Taipei Zoo-Maokong Station – NT$120 (One way)
Tip: Use the EasyCard for an NT$20 discount
- By MRT
Take the Brown Line 1 to the terminus station, Taipei Zoo (動物園). Transfer to the Maokong Gondola, a cable-car service that climbs up the mountain to the peak at Maokong.
- By Bus
Bus S10 operates between MRT Taipei Zoo and the peak at Maokong, with a stop at National Chengchi University (國立政治大學).
PART OF OUR TAIWAN GETAWAY
- NORTH COAST: Yehliu Geopark | Pingxi Sky Lantern | Shifen Waterfalls | Golden Waterfalls | Jiufen Old Street | Wanli Abandon UFO Houses
- TAIPEI: Ximendeng | Taipei 101 | Maokong Gondola | Elephant Mountain | Taipei Peace Park | Taipei Zoo | Chiang Kai Shek Memorial | Shilin Night Market | The Red House
- TAICHUNG: Zhongshe Flower Farm | Xinshe Castle | Rainbow Village | Gaomei Wetland Park