Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Guanyinshan mountain hiking trails

View of Guanyin Mountain From Danshui RiverIf you like walking and you want to visit Danshui, this is a great day trip. You will see amazing views of the river, the ocean, the mountains, and the city, and you can enjoy shopping, sightseeing and a delicious meal at one of the many great restaurants in Danshui before taking the Metro home.

How to get to Guanyinshan?

Take the Metro Orange line to Luzhou station. Leave the station from exit 1, you will see a bus stop right outside the exit.

Take bus 20 to the last bus stop (Guanyinshan, Ling Yun temple). The full name of the bus in Chinese is Orange 20, it comes every 20-30 minutes, and the bus journey takes about 20 minutes.

The bus takes you about halfway up the mountain, which makes the walking much easier. If you need to ask for directions, Guanyinshan is pronounced as 3 separate words: Guan Yin Shan.

Hiking route

Next to the Ling Yun temple is an entrance to the main hiking trail. From the bus stop entrance to the highest point, Ying Han Peak, is about a 2km walk. The peak's height is 616 meters (about 2000 feet).

After you've rested and enjoyed the view from Ying Han Peak, take the trail down to the Bali ferry to get to Danshui. The distance down is about 4.6km. When you reach the highway and the river and the bottom of the trail, turn left and walk about 20 minutes alongside the riverside bike paths to the ferry.

From Bali Ferry pier, the ferry to Danshui costs NT$20, and takes about 15 minutes including waiting time. Metro card is also acceptable. The ferry makes the river crossing regularly from 7am until 9pm (10pm at weekends).

How much time will it take?

The entire walking journey over the top of the mountain takes about three to four hours (without taking long rest breaks). Allow yourself plenty of extra time for resting, visiting temples, taking the ferry, and visiting Danshui. If you start your journey in Taipei at 11am, you should easily get to Danshui by sunset.

What should I bring?

Depending on the time of year and the weather, take sun and rain protection, including sun tan lotion and a hat or umbrella. In warmer months, bring insect repellent for protection from mosquitos. Take plenty to drink, and some snacks.

What to see on Guanyinshan?

There are many large Buddist and Daoist temples, bamboo forests, orchards, beautiful seasonal flowers, and farm houses. And there are amazing views of the river, the ocean, the mountains, and Taipei city.

What facilities are available on the trail?

There are several rest areas on the trail with protection from sun or rain, and there are bathroom facilities at most temples and on top of the mountain. Most of the trail up the mountain is lined with trees, which help shade you from the sun during hot days. However, the last half of the walk down is more exposed, so on very hot summer days you might find it easier to walk down after 3pm or 4pm, when it's cooler. There are good English-language signs to show you the way on the trail.

Things to do in Danshui

Activities in Danshui include eating in the seafood restaurants, renting a biciycle, walking along the riverbank and resting at bars or coffee shops, visiting morning and night markets, visiting temples, taking the ferry to the fishermen's wharf, and enjoying sunset on the river bank.

Why is the mountain named Guanyinshan?

When I was six, I walked with my grandpa from his home on the hillside near Danshui down to the riverside. Grandpa told me the big mountain on the other side of the river was called Guanyinshan.
I asked my grandpa why was it called that?

He pointed at the different peaks of the mountain, and described how the peaks make the mountain look like the Goddess Guanyin lying down. Guanyin in Chinese means Goddess of Mercy, and Shan means mountain.



Thank you for this

Thank you for this information on Guanyinshan. A friend and I hiked the route yesterday. It was a steep uphill and steep and long downhill to Bali.
Note, when you finally get down to the main road in Bali, turn LEFT to get to the ferry terminal, not Right. Then walk along the bike/pedestrian path.
Thanks again!

Yes, it is quite steep and

Yes, it is quite steep and then a long walk down. I'm glad you found the information useful. Thank you very much for the correction - we edited the article.

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this hiking activities at Guanyinshan. I can't wait to experience myself soon.

Thank you for posting this

Thank you for posting this hiking information. I can't wait to experience this Guanyinshan myself soon.

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