Located in a valley on the outskirts of Taipei City, Maokong (貓空) is a famous attraction featuring interesting tea houses, tea plantations, and spectacular night views of Taipei City. Maokong literally means “cat hole,” as “Mao” means “cat,” and “Kong” means “hollow.”
It is easily accessible by bus or car, but the best way to visit Maokong is by taking the Maokong Gondola scenic cable car. It takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the peak of Maokong from the Taipei Zoo Station. There are also some crystal cars that enable visitors to take in glass-bottom views of the countryside and tea plantations.
Please watch the following video of Maokong:
Currently, there are around 60 tea houses with diversified styles in this area, scattering either at the top of the hill or on the hillsides of the valley.
One of them even has dining tables under tents separated by live tea trees outside the tea house. It’s relaxing to have meals and drink tea while enjoying the scented flowers on the tea trees if you visit during the right season.
There are also tea houses that provide around-the-clock services. As a result, visitors can appreciate a warm and romantic ambiance with traditional tea culture at night while overlooking the spectacular scenery of the metropolitan city, including the Taipei 101 Tower flickering in the distance at night.
The Muzha Tourist Tea Plantations (木柵觀光茶園) in Maokong is Taipei’s first designated area for agricultural tourism. It is a great place for visitors to explore tea growing, tea culture, as well as the peculiar landscape of the lush tiered verdant slopes.
Covering over 100 hectares (247 acres), there are about 90 tourist plantations in the area. They are mostly dedicated to the cultivation of Tieguanyin Tea (“Iron Goddess of Mercy” Tea 鐵觀音), and the yearly production is around 60 tons.
The Taipei Tea Promotion Center for Tieguanyin Tea and Baozhong Tea (台北市鐵觀音包種茶研發推廣中心) in Muzha is another good place for tourists to satisfy their thirst for knowledge of the history, culture, picking, processing, brewing, and free taste testing of tea.
There are also hiking trails winding across Maokong, and one of the most popular ones is the Camphor Trail (樟樹步道). It is a gentle trail spanning about 1.1 km (0.68 miles) in length, and its entrance is close to the Maokong Gondola Station. Visitors not only can see terraced tea plantations on the two sides, but they can also appreciate the rural culture and have a bird’s eye view of the Taipei 101 Tower and a famous local temple along the way.