De-stressing from school: Conquering the highest mountain in taipei

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[Lana L. (’22)/The Blue & Gold]

By Laura H. (’22) and Lana L. (’22)
Located not so far from Taipei American School, the Qixing mountain, or Seven Star Mountain, is the highest mountain in the city. Those who make it to the top can see an extraordinary view of the seven peaks surrounding Taipei city. 
Having been at school for over a month, TAS students have definitely been feeling immense pressure. However, many are neglecting the importance of relieving that tensity. Hiking up Qixing mountain is a great way for them to alleviate this stress; not only is it in close proximity to school, it is also one of the best nature attractions in Taipei. 
The Qixing mountain trail is arranged so that visitors can get a panoramic view along the hike as well as fresh air away from the city; it truly satisfies the senses. It is a great trail to get a long run in and is also a great biking trail. 
There are several ways to arrive at the entry of the Qixing mountain trail. The fastest choice is to drive up the mountain, as it is around a 30 minute drive from Taipei American School. Another option would be to take the shuttle bus that rotates every hour near the Taipei American School and Japanese School stop to Lengshuikeng stop. 
The trail leads to different paths, such as the Menghuan pond, Zhonghu, the Xiaoyoukeng, and the East peak. 
For beginners, the path heading to Menghuan pond would be a better fit, as the hills are not very steep and its distance is relatively shorter compared to the other paths. The pond is also a stop-off point where visitors sit in the tranquil atmosphere and meditate; it is highly recommended to take a break at the pond before proceeding to the next destination. 
Experienced hikers should definitely try to reach the peak. The trail leading to the peak is moderately steep and approximately 2.5 km long, which takes around an hour to an hour and a half.
Overall, the Qixing mountain hiking trail is suitable for all – beginners and elite hikers. So next time school work takes a toll on your mental or physical health, make sure to take a good breather and hike at Qixing mountain for a day off.