I went to Yang Ming Shan (陽明山) while I was at Taipei as I am more of a nature person. Since this was a free & easy trip, we decided to be adventurous and take the public transport to Yang Ming Shan. With the power of the Internet and Google of course, it is quite easy to do your homework before embarking on this trip.
First of all, you will need to catch the Bus 260. This bus will bring you directly to Yang Ming Shan. I took the bus (公车) from the main Taipei Railway Station. You can find the bus stop below at the North Bus station.
A quick crash course on taking a bus in Taipei. When you get up on the bus, you should be able to see a lighted up sign at the 上 or 下 word. 上 means that you should pay your bus fare when you get up on the bus, while the other means that you should pay your bus fare when you get off the bus. Do note that it is possible that you have to pay the bus driver twice as the sign switches halfway through your journey, which will happen if you take this bus 260. If you're paying cash, then this doesn't apply. :) Do note that you will be able to pay the bus fare using the EasyCard. The journey to Yang Ming Shan should take less than an hour.
Below is the map of Yang Ming Shan.
There is an internal bus 108 that will bring you around the place. You can pay NT$60 for unlimited trips, or pay NT$15 per ride. You can use the EasyCard for payment. You can see the bus stop near the sign you see above. Do note that the map above is not deceiving to the eye. Meaning that it is quite a distance between the locations if you attempt to walk.
Our first stop is to the Yang Ming Park. Below are pictures of some of the scenery while taking a stroll to the park. There is quite a number of elderly walking there too.
Well, you could say that I heard the clock before I seen it. Apparently, the flower clock of Yang Ming Park will play a jingle at every half hour mark. The flower clock is also quite old I think. My mother-in-law mentioned that she saw this when she went there over 25 years ago. Below is a picture of the flower clock.
Below are some of the scenery pictures taken around Yang Ming Park. It's quite a nice place and I understand why there so many old folks around the area.
After that, my wife suggested going to the Zhuzi Hu (竹子湖) as she wanted to see the Calla Lilies (海宇). That was where I made my first mistake. I thought the map may have been overblown up like some tourist areas so I suggested walking there. We backtracked almost to our starting point and made our way to the Yang Ming Shan National Park Visitor Centre. According to the signage, it was 600m away near where we started walking. However, it didn't say that you have to climb many flights of steps, and you have to hike up and down slopes to reach the centre. After reaching there, even though it was quite cooling, we are already sweating. It was at this point that we took the Bus 108 located at the Visitor Centre.
The bus stop is next to the sign of the visitor centre seen below.
Do note that although bus 108 is an internal shuttle bus around Yang Ming Shan, the interval is about 15-20 mins. That was one of the reasons why I initially did not want to take this bus. The other reason is that the bus is very small and you may not be able to squeeze into the bus.
Anyway, we managed to squeeze into the bus and made our way to Zhuzi Hu. This place is quite big and only after walking around, we realised that the bus S8 and S9 do go around that area. However, the frequency is quite long though.
Anyway, after walking around for quite a bit as we were trying to figure out where to go, we managed to find some of the flowers. :) Below was the place where we found them.
Yes, the above picture is a real volcano crater. This view made the walk worthwhile. :) At the foot of Zhuzi Hu, there is a small shop where you can have your meals if you wish. They sell small buns and some dishes too.
We regretfully have to leave Yang Ming Shan after this as we need to go to other places. :( Our trip is quite short so we tried to squeeze in as many things as possible. You can refer to my other post here for the pictures of the flowers that I took around Yang Ming Shan.