maokong hiking trail

One of the easiest Maokong Hiking Trail around is the Enlightenment Trail that brings you to see the mysterious rock potholes.  This trail starts directly in front of the Taipei Tea Promotional Center and takes about 1 hour or so to finish.  It is a relatively easy trail to go without any particular hiking gear, as the trail path is well laid out.  Here’s what the trail is like.    

The trail starts right in front of the Taipei Tea Promotional Center, right in front of its main sign.  It starts off with a boardwalk with a series of wooden stairs leading you down the hill side.  Just follow the boardwalk and take in the scenic views as well.  However, beware of the giant spiders hanging around on the their giant webs, I almost ran directly into the web!

maokong hiking trail

The main sign of the Taipei Tea Promotional Center.

Boardwalk taking you down the hill side.

The boardwalk goes right along a small creek.

Boardwalk continues down the hill slope.

You see the giant spider and web in this pic?  (hint its in the top center)

Twisty trail.
The series of steps we came down from.

Pass by some tea plants.

Pass by a tea plantation field.  Pretty cool as it seems the path lead us to the bottom of the mountain valley.

Picture of the mountain valley.

A small farm house overlooking the tea plantation.

Once we passed by the small farm house (picture above), the trail lead us through a series of more steps heading towards the rock potholes.  So what exactly are these potholes?  From what I learned is that these are basically intriguing rock formations where due to thousands of years of wear and tear from the river, it formed these unique holes in the rocks on the river bed.  Hence the term potholes.  It looked kind of interesting, and at the same time kind of creepy as some of the potholes resembled skulls.

Trail leading towards the rock potholes.

Sign indicating the direction to the potholes.

Riverbed below is where the rock potholes are located.

The rock potholes.  Don’t they look like skulls?

The rock potholes run through the entire river.

Close up view.


Even closer view of the potholes.

After the potholes, the trail will loop back around to end up on the other side of the Tea Promotional Center.  To know that you are on the right track, you will end up seeing a small temple along the way back to the Tea Promotional Center.

The small temple that you will pass by enroute back to the Tea Promotional Center.

The path heading back to the Tea Center from the small temple.

Finally we finished the trail and end up circling back to the other side of the Tea Promotional Center.

There you have it folks!  The Enlightenment Trail, hope you enjoyed it!

So if you are in Maokong and just dropping by for a quick walk, then I highly recommend walking through the Enlightenment Trail as it is very easy to walk, and can be completed within 1 hour.  Just remember this Makong hiking trail starts off directly right in front of the Taipei Tea Promotional Center!

You been to other interesting and easy hiking trails?  Please share your experiences below!


Alec Chan

Alec Chan is an intrepid traveler, travel writer, author, speaker, serial entrepreneur and self professed Asia travel ambassador. Traveling all around Asia since 2003, and still traveling, Alec is an accomplished and passionate traveler seeking to bridge the cultural gaps in Asia. Through his unique perspective as a Canadian born Chinese, Alec shares his special insights on Asia to help others around the world to have a better understanding on Asian culture so that they can have a more meaningful, fun, and stress free trip to Asia. Alec has written numerous travel guides on several destinations in Asia and is the editor in chief of

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7 Responses to Maokong Hiking Trail to the Mysterious Rock Potholes

  1. BH says:

    How long did you take to complete this trail? I have a young child, age 4, and an elderly (in her 50s). Do you think the trail is suitable for them?

    • Alec says:

      HI BH;

      Thanks for stopping by at!

      It took about 20 mins to reach the start of the trail by foot from the Maokong cable car station. And then the trail it self took about 1 hour to complete. It is a fairly easy trail to walk, but based on your criteria the only concern I have is that the trail has alot of steps to climb…it starts off with walking down a huge series of stair cases as it will bring you to the bottom of the valley, and then eventually you will need to walk back up when you finish the trail. So I’m not sure if that will be convenient for the young child, or elderly…

      Alternatively there are many other trails at Maokong, that can equally provide great views of the area…the other one I walked in the post below, is simply by following the road side that brings you thru the many tea plantations there…

      Lastly when you arrive at the Maokong cable car station, there is a visitor’s information office there, so the people there can also further advise what other good trails there are for you and your family. Here’s their office hours:

      Hope this helps! Cheers! – Alec

  2. Huiyin says:


    Im planning a trip to taiwan this December. Do you think it’s a good period to go for Maokong Hiking?

    • Alec says:

      HI Huiyin;

      Thanks for dropping by!

      It is an okay period to go hiking in December in Taiwan, however it may get quite chilly (temperatures hovering as low as 10 degrees Celsius), and with the elevated altitudes at Maokong, it maybe even cooler. So I suggest to dress in layers to keep yourself warm. And if it ends up warming up abit then you can always peel one layer off.

      Cheers! – Alec

  3. Daniel says:

    Hi Alec. Interesting features you have done on Taipeh. Enjoyed it very much, and I will check them out when we are there mid April.

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