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Yangmingshan was originally named 'Cao-Shan' (Grass Mountain in Mandarin) for the silver grass bristling over the back of this high slope. The great Generalissimo Chang-Kai Shek renames it Mount Yangming after the 15th Century philosopher Yang-Ming. Mount Qixing (Seven Star Mountain) extends 1,120 meters high. The preservation area of this mountain and its surrounding area, Yangmingshan Forest Park, is characterised by subtropical vegetation below 1,000 meters and distinctly scrub-like bushes and tall grass above.
The adventurous, venturing out of Taipei, will find Yangmingshan fully stocked with wonders. Among these are natural hot water geysers, hot water rock pools and hiking trails of varying intensities. For those visiting Yangmingshan for the first time, Siaoyoukeng (小油坑) natural geysers are a good place to begin. Follow an hour long trail (steep climbing involved) to the summit of Mount Qixing (七星山) - 1,120 m (3,675 ft) at peak. The trail descends at Lengshueikeng (冷水坑) hot spring bathhouse - free to patrons daring to follow the 'no clothing or swimsuit' rule.
Along the way, there is an abundance of gorgeous natural scenery to take in. And Yangmingshan changes its dress with the season. The mountain's Houshan Park is resplendent with azaleas and cherry blossoms every spring. From the lookout deck at Zhuzi-hu (Bamboo Lake) take in the panorama of Taipei - an especially marvellous view at night. It is so seldom that we're able to observe the entire city and its intricacies at such a distance. The Qingtiangang's grassland cushions picnicking visitors who hide among the mountain's tall silver grass. A lovely way for a family to spend a day.
Yangmingshan is an excellent choice for those looking to escape the bustle of Taipei. With a number of hiking trails and natural sights, Yangmingshan National Park borders the north side of Taipei and easily accessible via Taipei's public transport. The nearest access MRT station is Beitou MRT, from here transfer to buses which regularly depart for Yangmingshan Mountain area.
The tourist center opens daily from 8:30am to 16:30pm, however, the park is open at all time.