Keelung Mountain vs Teapot Mountain? (Which is better in Taiwan)

December 5, 2023

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Choosing Between Keelung Mountain Trail and Teapot Mountain Trail in Taiwan? We’ve got you covered!

Welcome to NamastetoNihao, where we explore the adventures that connect you deeper with yourself and the world. As a couple, Taiwan is one of our favorite places to travel.

If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan and find yourself torn between hiking Mount Keelung Trail and Teapot Mountain Trail, you’re in the right place. We faced the same dilemma, and now, we’re here to guide you through the decision-making process.

Whether you choose Mount Keelung Trail (基隆山), Teapot Mountain Trail, or both, be prepared for breathtaking mountain-to-sea views that will make you question if you’re in Taiwan or Hawaii.

Whether you opt for the shorter, sunrise-focused Keelung Mountain Trail or the longer, rock-studded Teapot Mountain Trail, both promise unforgettable moments and breathtaking scenery.

As you stand atop these peaks, you’ll realize that Taiwan’s landscapes are as diverse and enchanting as its rich cultural tapestry.

We’ll cover what to expect from each hike, best times to hike, where to visit after, and our final verdict.

Keelung Mountain

Keelung Mountain Trail

Trail Details:

  • Length: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 810 ft
  • Views: 360-degree panoramic views of nearby lit towns, cascading mountains, sweeping sea-to-mountain views, and islands
  • Trailhead Address: Mount Keelung Trail Qiche Rd, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224
  • Trail Map: Link

In the cradle of Taiwan’s Jiufen Old Street lies a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered—the Keelung Mountain Trail, or as the locals affectionately call it, 基隆山 (JīlóngShān). A mere 6-minute stroll from the bustling heart of Jiufen Old Town or a 45-minute Uber journey from the cosmopolitan embrace of Taipei, and you find yourself at the foot of this enchanting mountain.

Embarking on the Keelung Mountain Trail is akin to stepping into a realm of unparalleled beauty. Jade, our intrepid explorer, declares it her favorite hike in Taiwan—and with good reason. The journey unfolds as a straight shot up a celestial staircase, revealing a panoramic spectacle at the top that captures the very essence of Formosa!

As you ascend the mountain, a spellbinding 360-degree vista unviels before you. On one side, the flickering lights of Jiufen dance in harmony against the backdrop of cascading mountains, creating a mesmerizing juxtaposition of nature and Jiufen, the city locked in time. Turn your gaze to another side, and the vast expanse of the ocean stretches as far as the eye can see, with scattered islands dotting the watery canvas. Welcome to Formosa Taiwan!

Best Time to Hike Keelung Mountain

Sunrise steals the show on Keelung Mountain Trail. On a clear day, the sunrise unfolds like a carefully choreographed dance of light and color. To witness this enchanting magic, start your hike 45 minutes to 1 hour before the first light breaks.

Keelung Mountain 45 minutes before Sunrise
Deeshen strikes a Shah Rukh Khan pose at a viewpoint just 15 minutes into the ascent of Keelung Mountain Trial. The anticipation builds as the surroundings transform, offering a prelude to the grandeur sunrise that awaits at the summit.

Keelung Mountain 10 minutes before Sunrise
Fast forward to 10 minutes before sunrise, and the top viewpoint on Keelung Mountain becomes a vantage point to behold. The changing hues of the sky paint a canvas of ethereal beauty, setting the stage for the grand reveal… The glorious sunrise crowns the summit with celestial radiance.

Keelung Mountain during Sunrise
The entire sunrise experience on Keelung Mountain spans a spiritual journey where colors evolve, and the sky undergoes a metamorphosis. It’s an honor simply to witness; it’s an immersion into the poetry of nature.

Duration: As for the duration of the hike, budget approximately 35-45 minutes one way. The exact timeframe depends on your fitness level and pace. Wise hikers plan for at least 2 hours. Ensure a generous allowance to linger for 30 minutes or more at the summit. There, amidst the crisp mountain air, you can soak in the panoramic views and savor the ever-changing sunrise colors.

Facilities: For those practicality seekers, nearby conveniences include a paid parking lot called 九份隔頂停車場 and free restrooms in close proximity. Temples along the route may offer additional facilities and rest stops, ensuring that the journey is both comfortable and memorable.

The amazing aunties and uncles we met on top of Keelung Mountain all agree this was their favorite hike in the Ruifang region! They were so full of life, fit, and inspiring.

After the Hike: Jiufen old street beckons an invitation to explore. Savor Taiwanese snacks, and partake in the allure of magical tea houses that begin to unfold their charm. Note that tea houses open at 9:30am at the earliest. For an ultimate guide to Jiufen and its neighboring attractions, read our Ultimate Jiufen Food Heaven Guide and Houtong Cat Village guide.

Save this JiuFen Food Heaven Guide to read later…

Teapot Mountain Taiwan

Trail Details:

  • Length: Approximately 2.5 miles (4 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft (335 m)
  • Views: Sweeping vistas of the Northeast Coast, Keelung Mountain, and the Pacific Ocean
  • Trail Head Address: 224, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Ruifang District
  • Trail Map: Link

Venture beyond the ordinary with the Teapot Mountain Trail (無耳茶壺山, wúěcháhúshān). It’s a journey that unfolds like an odyssey through Taiwan nature’s rugged mountains. Spanning approximately 2.5 miles, this trail beckons the intrepid with its promise of a longer, more challenging, yet profoundly rewarding adventure. The trail takes you through steep stairs, rocky terrain, and steep switchback inclines – immersive journey that pushes the boundaries both physically and spiritually.

What sets this trail apart is its unique rock formations, masterfully carved by the test of time, and the peak resembling the graceful silhouette of a teapot. It’s nature’s own artwork, adding an extra layer of charm to an already captivating expedition. If you’re a fan of longer hikes and unique rock formations, Teapot Mountain Trail is an excellent choice. The panoramic views of the lush Northeast Coast and the Pacific Ocean make it a must for outdoor lovers.

Be sure to check the forecast when you go. If there’s a chance of heavy rain, we’d advise to come another day though it could still be a beautiful adventure! We went during heavy rain, but still had a blast. As Jade, our fearless explorer recounts, we only saw fog while hiking up due to the rain clouds, and were soaked. However, we were not deterred and were determined to hike to the top. Jade, a conversationalist with nature, expressed gratitude to the elements—sky, rain, mountain, and sun—a ritual we’ve made. And as we reached the summit, a touch of magic unfolded! A moment of transcendence where nature, despite the rain-soaked trials, revealed its unparalleled beauty. After a fury of winds lasting three minutes, all the clouds were blown away, obscuring the peaceful panaramic views.

Best Time to Hike Teapot Mountain Trail

While Teapot Mountain Trail may lack the dramatic sunrise spectacle of Keelung Mountain, its allure spans the entire day. It offers breathtaking vistas of coastal beauty, rocky formations, and lush mountain ranges. Consider a mid-morning or afternoon excursion to witness the ever-changing hues and captivating shadows that play upon the landscape.

Duration: Budget a comfortable 2.5-3 hours for the roundtrip hike. Allow for variations based on your pace, weather conditions, and the time you wish to devote to soak in the panoramic views.

Facilities: There are no restrooms directly on the trail. However, restrooms can be found to the left of Chuen Ji Hall Temple and within the temple itself. For those in need of a pit stop, a convenient parking area and a small rest stop await to the right of Chuen Ji Hall Temple.

After the Hike: Following hiking Teapot Mountain, immerse yourself in the historical charm of Qitang Old Street, pay a visit to the vibrant Chuen Ji Hall Temple adorned with a captivating dragon and phoenix statue, capture moments at the Rainbow Steps (彩虹階梯), and savor repose at charming cafes like Cafe & Me or 金瓜石 祈堂小巷 景觀CAFE館. Discover the remnants of Taiwan’s mining history and cap off your journey with a well-earned meal at one of the local eateries.

Rain or Shine – Witness Jade reveling in the photographic shenanigans at the nearby Rainbow Steps (彩虹階梯):

The Verdict: Keelung Mountain Gets Our Vote!

If time and weather permit, consider hiking both on separate days. If you’re a seasoned hiker, it is possible to combine both trails in one day for the ultimate experience.

Start your day with the enchanting sunrise at Keelung Mountain Trail, explore Jiufen, and then venture to Teapot Mountain for a more challenging hike and additional stunning views.

However, if you must choose one or prefer a more leisurely day, Keelung Mountain Trail gets our vote! It’s 360-degree views are downright magical, slightly closer to Taipei (45 minutes vs 1 hour Uber ride), and the sunrise experience is unparalleled. The hike is shorter and more family-friendly, and there’s little to no chance of getting lost as it’s a straight shot up from the trailhead.

Keelung Mountain Trail is also a 10 minute walk to Jiufen Old Town Street. The many food options at Jiufen is just too good to miss!

Check out our JiuFen Food guide to eat the best fod and visit our favorite tea house in Taiwan!

Final Thoughts: Keelung Mountain vs Teapot Mountain

We hope you found this guide of Keelung Mountain vs Teapot Mountain helpful! Have you hiked these mountains or plan to? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

Want to experience a traditional tea ceremony where tea leaves are actually grown? Grab our Pinglin Taiwan guide to drink tea brewed by one of the best Tea Masters in Taiwan.

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