The stone statue of a baby elephant, resting at the side of a stone hiking trail.

Stone Elephant Baby

(Elephant Mountain Exercises, 1/7)

Let’s revisit Elephant Mountain. (This means less preparation for me at a time where I’m rather busy ;)).

Elephant Mountain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taipei, offering a “jungle experience” close to the city and a postcard view on Taipei and Taipei 101. We have been here a couple of weeks ago, mostly focusing on nature, the hundreds of tourists, and the view.

Yet, coming as a regular, I quickly learned it’s much more than that. There is a candid group of locals. It’s a bit hidden from the crowd, coming early in the morning, mostly walking the side-trails. You recognize each other by the swiftness with which you both crest the steps; by the fact that both of you are here even in the humid summer months.

While some of the locals just come to enjoy the view as I often do, many have their quite sporty routines, running up and down the hill, using some of the exercise facilities – often 60+, topless, with Bruce Lee-like abs. It’s this crowd we will visit in the next days – a crowd greeted by the elephant baby in the picture whenever they ascend or descend the sidetrack of the mountain.

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