Every year, around Feb or Mar, there will be a flower festival lasting one month at Yangmingshan. A lot of people go there to view the sakura (cherry blossoms), especially on the weekends, so if you're there, try for a weekday where your photos will include more scenery and less people. There's actually alot to see, but we only went to Yangmingshan Park (the area where the cherry blossoms are) and Zhuzhihu (bamboo lake) and it already took us half a day.
Directly north of Taipei is Yangmingshan National Park, where visitors can find waterfalls, volcanic craters, lakes, steaming hot springs, and in the springtime, cherry and azalea blossoms. Well-maintained walkways and trails lead to the park's main scenic spots, which offer picnic and recreation areas.
Hsiaoyukeng is famous for its fumaroles and thus makes it an interesting spot to visit in Yangmingshan National Park. Here a large stream of sulphurous gas erupted through the fault and it looks quite impressive. Also can be seen is the sulphur deposits on the rocks nearby.
Also the hiking trail to the Cising peak (highest mountain in the Taipei area) begins here. It only takes around 45 minutes to reach the peak and get a great view of the Taipei Basin.
Don't get confused by Yangmingshan Park with Yangmingshan National Park. It is just one place located within the national park. The best time to visit is during the flower season (February to March) as the cherry trees in the park blossom and attract lots of visitors. However the heavy rains this year has destroyed many of the flowers and thus they don't look too impressive when I visited.
Yangmingshan national park is a very interesting place to visit for those want to get out of the crowded city and enjoy some fresh air. It is at the north of Taipei city and very accessible by public transportation. Some mountains in the park were ancient volcanoes. Today many volcanic features can be still seen there. Hot springs are also abundant in the park. Trekking in also very popular there.
Yangmingshan has the two things that I enjoy most in this world, besides beer,of course: Lots of hiking trails and hot springs.
One of the best trails in the park starts at
Sulphur Valley and leads to the top of Chishingshan mountain (Seven Stars Mountain). At 1120 meters, this is the tallest mountain in Yanminshan National Park. All along the trail, you can see volcanic vents spewing steam and suphuric fumes. (Good for warming you hands on a cold day...) It is about a 50 minute hike to the top of Chishingshan.
There are numerous other trails in the park, so you could easily spend a few days wandering around here. The only drawback is that this park is too close to Taipei, so it can get overrun on weekends/holiday...
Divided into the front and back mountain parks, the front mountain park (including Chung Cheng Park) is situated in the high mountain between Shamao Mountain and Chihsing Mountain. There are also public baths for hot springs which can be enjoyed here. The back mountain park (Yangmingshan Park) is famous for its flower clock, Chanwang Pavilion, waterfalls, plum orchard, tea garden, and azalea garden.