Tea for Taipei: Maokong Gondola to Taiwan's past

Whether Taipei’s Maokong is a quiet place to enjoy a cup Taiwan’s famous tieguanyin tea or an overly-accessible carnival for tourists depends on just how far you are willing to walk.

Disembarking from the 4.2 kilometer gondola which connects the mountainside village with the Taipei Zoo and the local metro, we joined the throngs of tourists nibbling on peanut-brittle ice cream burritos and squid-sticks and contemplated our first fork in the road. I am momentarily distracted when my companion suggests to me that “fork in the road” is a culturally unsuitable metaphor and instead proposes that I call it “the place where the disposable chopsticks split.” I propose that I need a new travel companion.