On the edge of Taipei City I sailed up Maokong Mountain on the Maokong Gondola. As soon as I got to the top I heard a passenger in the cabin before mine go straight to the ticket counter and ask for a ticket to head back down again. I shook my head. Were they only interested in the ride? There was an entire mountain to explore.
I hiked over the hilly terrain and soaked up slightly cooler air than the 27 degrees three hundred metres below. I was searching for the Camphor Tree Trail. Just the name was enough to keep me enthusiastic. But finding the entrance to trails was sometimes tricky, but once I was on a trail the signage was clear and frequent.
This pathway offered views of Taipei City as well as lush vegetation. Although there had been a long line up for the gondola ride, most people stayed on the narrow main roads that wound around the mountain top, so I seldom came across another hiker.