Monday, February 7, 2011
Maokong "tea road"
Finally took the long trip down to the Maokong Gondola and up the mountain to the tea roads. There was a large line for the Crystal glass gondola ride, so in the essence of time we chose to take the normal gondola. Same great view, but without a glass floor. Next time, I'll have to head over there earlier for the Crystal glass gondola, like before 10AM. The MRT fare is $35 to Taipei Zoo and the Gondola fare is $40 (normal car). So it's not that expensive to revisit. Once at the top, there are a lot of food stalls (like a night market) and about 40 tea shops. I didn't try any of the stalls out. What's the point..it's the same as any night market down the mountain. But certainly a cheaper option if your looking for lunch on a budget instead of eating at the tea house. In addition, there are a lot of walking trails. Miles and miles of tea roads. You could use it as a hiking trip if you wanted to. But that about it. Food stalls, tea houses and lots of roads.I visited the Yao Yue (邀月茶坊) teahouse and drank Tieguanyin tea (鐵觀音), because thats what was recommended in a book I read. That's one of the more popular teas the Maokong region produces. Everything was great. Especially the Bamboo in Tea Oil. It's exceptional! A must order! Besides the food, though, the view was so-so. There were a few smaller shops I passed on the way to Yao Yue that had a better view. So if you enjoy chatting over several pots of tea, relaxing and hiking...this is your place. It's cheap enough and convenient enough to revisit over and over. Try new tea houses and try new teas. Like Yuan Xu Yuan Teahouse (緣續緣茶坊), 16-2, Lane 38, Zhinan Road, Sec 3. Yao Yue teahouse is #6, Lane 40, Zhinan Road, Sec 3