Neihu, one of the four districts that comprise Taipei City's central belt line, is where technology meets nature—a place where fiber optic cables play a role as important as that of the fresh air the area is known for. This is where you'll find Neihu Technology Park, one of the first planned enclaves catering to high-tech companies that have sprung up all around Taiwan and helped transform the country from a manufacturing hub to a global leader in technological innovation.
Another thing Neihu is famed for is its parks. First and foremost is Dahu Park, visible from the elevated Wenhu (Brown) Line of the Taipei City MRT. The MRT stops right beside the park at the appropriately named Dahu Park station. There, you'll find a 13-hectare lake you can stroll around, or even do some fishing if you like. The lake is located below Bailushan, or Egret Mountain, so named for the long-legged white herons that frequent the area. You can't swim in the lake, but it is adjacent to a public pool with both indoor and outdoor facilities. There's a jacuzzi, a steam room, and outside are water jets and a play area for kids. Another feature of the park is its arched Jindai Bridge, which lights up at night for a picturesque photo opportunity.
If a relaxed hike is what you're after, head for the Bihu Hiking Trail, located between the Neihu and Dahu Park MRT stations. Specifically, the trail can be found between Alley 12, Lane 60, Section 3 of Neihu Road and Lane 131 of Dahu Street. If these Taiwan-style addresses seem confusing, just keep in mind lane's are offshoots of roads and streets, and alleys are smaller offshoots of the lanes. Some areas can be a little haphazard in their layout, but you can generally follow the numbers, and signs are usually in English as well as Chinese. The trail, at just over a kilometer in length, takes hikers past the foot of Mount Liyu, and puts the area's past on display, taking tourists back in time to when Neihu was known for its coal production rather than the high-tech firms of today. The trail is also a place where you might sight the “long-tailed mountain lady,” or Formosan Blue Magpie, Taiwan's national bird.
Another of the gateways to Neihu's mountain hiking trails is Bihu Park. Roughly equivalent in size in Dahu Park, and boasting a lake of its own, the park's waterside path is popular with walkers and joggers. There are tennis courts and a swimming pool, and fishing is also permitted here. Wander around the park, and you'll find six separate hiking routes to be explored.
If biking is your thing, Neihu has you covered on that front as well. Wuzhishan offers a popular downhill, off-road trail not far from Yangmingshan National Park, known as the Ski-Lift Trail. You can ride up to the top from the Dahu Park MRT station, where the trail entrance is located next to a large radar station. The road up Wuzhishan also connects to another well-known spot in the city's bike scene, the Fengguizui climb, a challenging ascent of several hundred meters that takes you into the heart of Yangmingshan.
Neihu also has points of interest for those who prefer to do something a little more relaxed than hurtling down a mountain on two wheels and a carbon fiber frame. Miramar Entertainment Park is a huge shopping complex, complete with its own IMAX theater and a rooftop ferris wheel that, at 70 meters in height, provides an excellent vantage point for the city, particularly in the evening when Taipei is transformed into a colorful splash of flashing bright lights. To get to the mall, head to the Jiannan Road MRT station and follow the signs. For something more traditional, there is the 737 Street Night Market, a small but crowded market near the Gangqian MRT station. It's home to a shop selling one of Taiwan's premier street food specialties, pig blood cake, that is so popular people not only stand in line four hours to buy it, they stand in line four hours just to get a numbered ticket that grants them a space in line. The full address for the night market, if you want to take a taxi, is 台北市內湖區內湖路一段737巷 (Lane 737, Neihu Road Section 1).