Wenshan (文山區)  is a southern district of Taipei, formed by the merger of two historical townships, Jingmei and Muzha. It is home to Taipei Zoo and there are many tea plantations in the hills that surround the district.
The Maokong Gondola runs from Taipei Zoo MRT station to Maokong, with stops at the Taipei Zoo South and Zhinan Temple stations. A one-way fare to Maokong is NT$50, a bargain for this type of transport. Two bus lines serve the Maokong area: bus number S10, which departs from the Wanfang Community MRT Station, and bus number BR15, which can be boarded at the Taipei Zoo and Taipei City Hall MRT stations.
After a long outage due to typhoon damage, the gondola is now back in service as of March 2010.
As the two metro lines serving Wenshan stop at opposite ends of the district, transportation within the area is mainly by bus. Bus BR 6 connects the brown line and the green line, and there are various other routes within the district.
Taipei Zoo (台北動物園)  - Nestled in a tight, lush valley, Taipei zoo has all the leisurely charm of a large park, but you also get the enjoyment of wandering through trees and along lanes with a variety of animals and birds. Unlike many traditional zoos, the animals here are not confined to cages, but allowed to roam freely in open paddocks, and it is a very clean and well maintained facility. Furthermore, due to the city government's education policy, the zoo is very much an integral part of Taipei life. So much so in fact, that when an old elephant became ill and died several years ago, several generations turned up, many with tears in their eyes, to say their farewells. The zoo is recently popular in Taiwan for its two pandas, a gift from China. The zoo is located in the suburb of Muzha, and the entrance is just outside the terminal stop on the Muzha MRT line, 'Taipei Zoo'. Admission is quite affordable, at NT$60 for adults, and if you have a Taipei Metro EasyCard, you can pay the admission fee with that.
Zhinan Temple (指南宮) - One of the most important of Taiwan's early Taoist temples, Zhinan Temple is dedicated to main deity Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals, and various other deities. Follow the directions for Maokong above and get off at Zhinan Temple Station.
Zhang Nai Miao Memorial Hall (張迺妙茶師紀念館) - A small and intimate museum built in memory of tea master Zhang Nai Miao, who brought the first Tieguanyin plants from Anxi, Fujian to Zhanghu, Muzha, which marked the beginning of Tieguanyin tea cultivation in the area. To get there, follow the directions to Maokong above.
National Chengchi University (國立政治大學)  - NCCU, often abbreviated to Zhengda (政大), is Taiwan's leading national university focused on humanities and social sciences. It is large with lots of greenery and open spaces. There are hiking trails up the mountains in the back of the campus with teahouses and temples all over the hills. The campus grounds are surrounded by shops, bookstores, eateries, cafes and teahouses popular with students and scholars.
Jingmei Night Market (景美夜市) - Many small street vendors and shops selling items including various snack foods, clothes, and accessories. Businesses in the night market typically open around 4PM and stay open well past midnight. To get there, take the MRT Xindian (Green) Line to Jingmei Station.
Jingmei Jiying Temple (景美集應廟) - Jingmei Jiying Temple honors Zhang Xun and Xu Yuan, both of whom fought and died bravely during the An Shi rebellion. It is one of Taiwan's designated historic monuments and a great example of Qing dynasty temple architecture. The closest MRT station is the Jingmei Station.
There are numerous tea gardens in the Maokong (貓空; cat empty) and Muzha Tea Plantations (木柵觀光茶園) area, most of which are concentrated in Zhinan Road, Sec 3. Local Oolong tea specialties include Muzha Tieguanyin (木柵鐵觀音) and Wenshan Baozhong (文山包種茶).
Many tea makers have tasting rooms for sampling the latest teas, or will do so by appointment. Taipei Tea Promotion Center (台北市茶研發推廣中心) at 8-2, Lane 40, Zhinan Road, Sec. 3 (free admission; tel: 2939-1473) offers introduction to tea picking, processing, brewing and free taste testing.
The Wenshan District is nestled between beautiful green mountains crisscrossed with hiking trails. Some of the most popular trails are:
Xianjiyan hiking trail (仙跡岩步道) - Many curious visitors come here to see a footprint supposedly left by the Taoist deity Lu Dongbin. The view from Xianjiyan trail includes natural vistas as well as a bird's eye view of the southern districts of Taipei. Located on the hill behind Jingmei Night Market, this nicely built and well-marked network of trails also features a temple located along the trail. The main trails are all paved with concrete or raised wooden walkways, and are lit with lamps at night, so you can go for an evening walk or watch the sunset from the summit. There are no technically difficult trails, but be prepared to climb a long, steep stairway to get on top of the hill.
Zhinan Temple & Cihui Temple hiking trail (指南宮&慈惠宮步道) - In addition to the beauty of the temples, visitors can also enjoy an excellent view of the Taipei Basin, Danshui River, and Guanyinshan.
Zhangshan Temple hiking trail (樟山寺步道) - Offers spectacular views of the Taipei basin and Taipei 101 from in front of Zhangshan Temple.
Ergeshan (二格山) and beyond - This is an excellent choice for a moderately strenuous hike lasting several hours. Ergeshan is the highest peak along a ridge trail extending from Shiding in the east to Ankeng in the West. The peak of Ergeshan is at the border of the Wenshan District and Taipei County. The hike to the ridge can be a challenge, but the ridge trail is excellent, offering spectacular views and the occasional glimpse of monkeys in the woods.
Riverside Park - Not a hiking trail proper, but popular among those out for a relaxed stroll. The various sections of the park run most of the length of Jingmei Stream, the main body of water in Wenshan District. The park is characterized by large grassy areas interspersed with public sports facilities (such as tennis courts and softball diamonds). It's a good place to go for casual exercise or for viewing the bird life around the creek (herons and egrets are a common sight).
Zhang Xie Xing Tea Company (張協興茶行), 93 Zhinan Road, Sec 2 (near the entrance to National Chengchi University, next to Giordano), 2939-4866. Famous for its Tieguanyin tea (Iron Goddess of Mercy) and tea candies.
Yao Yue Teahouse (邀月茶坊), 6, Lane 40, Zhinan Road, Sec 3, 2939-2025, . Offers creative tea cuisine with restful views over the surrounding countryside. Open 24 Hours.
Yuan Xu Yuan Teahouse (緣續緣茶坊), 16-2, Lane 38, Zhinan Road, Sec 3, 2936-7089. Offers spectacular views of Taipei on a clear day. Specialties include Osmanthus Tieguanyin Tea (桂花鐵觀音) and tea cuisine.
Xing Hua Lin Teahouse (杏花林茶坊), 30, Lane 45, Laoquan Street, 2936-9367. Estimated best time for apricot blossom viewing - February to March. The best time for viewing varies according to the weather conditions.
The Taipei Public Library offers free access to the Internet. Check their website for a list of branches in Wenshan district.
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