Taiwan travels: Jinmianshan Hiking Trail

Richard Brown
3 min readFeb 24, 2024

My first hike up Jinmianshan (金面山), just north of the Taipei suburb of Neihu this morning. It is less than half the height of my usual haunt of Jiuwufeng (九五峯), but its boulder-strewn trails make the ascent and descent just as challenging. You have to keep your wits about you every step of the way. I cannot see me tackling it on a rainy day.

Even just a couple of hours out on the hillside reminded me of the importance of spending time out in nature — not just because of the physical benefits but the mental and spiritual ones. No wonder Laozi calls for a return to the simplicity and spontaneity of the natural world in the Daodejing. It is the best way to recharge, reconnect, and recalibrate.

It has also never been more critical now that we are cramming our heads with a raging torrent of new information generated by AI. While the technology does have enormous potential to benefit us through, for example, more efficient and effective drug discovery, it does also risk taking us so far away from reality that we lose the essence of our humanity.

I know it can be difficult, but if you have the chance this weekend do take some time to get outside for a while. The fresh clean air and the physical exercise will help clean out the gunk that is clogging up your mind.

Jinmianshan Hiking Trail
Jinmianshan, which means Gold Face Mountain, is located on the edge of the Taipei suburb of Neihu. It is only a fifteen-minute walk to the head of the Jinmianshan Hiking Trail from Xihu Station on the Brown Line of the MRT. Bus routes are also available.

Although Jinmianshan is only just over 250 metres high, the ascent and descent can be quite challenging because the trail is very rocky in places. The views of Taipei and the surrounding countryside from the top and various vantage points along the way are spectacular.

Check out these two excellent articles for more detailed information:

Hiking in Taipei: Jinmianshan, Neihu
Taiwan Outdoors: #021: Jinmianshan (金面山)

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Richard Brown

I live in Taiwan and am interested in exploring what ancient Chinese philosophy can tell us about technology and the rise of modern China.