Maokong Gondola to Tea Mountain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Oh Taiwan! How we will miss you!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn our last week in Taiwan we had to jam pack all the fun. One Sunday afternoon we took the Maokong Gondola ride to the top of the hills of Taiwan. It was a beautiful and clear day, perfect for a hilltop stroll.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Gondolas have two choices the standard cabin a gondola with a metal flooring or the crystal cabins, with a see through floor to peer down at the tea gardens on the way up top. The crystal cabins are usually a longer wait- we opted to take the standard cabin on the way up the mountain and hopped on the crystal on the way down when the waiting time was significantly less.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tea leaves in the making!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Intricate gardens cover the hilly slopes.

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Once atop the mountain the view of the city was magnificent! We strolled along the street, passing small street vendors, until we arrived at a tea shop with a deck over-looking the entire city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe ordered some tea and were treated to an ancient tea ceremony in which the tea was rinsed and allowed to open. With each cup the tea became more and more fragrant which added to the flavor and atmosphere of our hillside destination.

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After our fill of tea we took the gondola back down the mountain, stopping at each station and exploring the mountainside. Our first stop was a short walk from a Tao temple perched on a cliff. Tao monks in their trademark yellow robes with yin and yang symbols were on full display.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA cool perk to this particular temple is the walk-in incense burner. It was clear that many prayers have eminated from this hillside place of worship.

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inside the temple

inside the temple

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prayers

prayers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAContinuing down the mountain we took in the sights of Taipei and got ready for our next destination, Beitou.

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