Maokong Gondola Experience?

Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby Big Vern » Thu May 16, 2013 09:50

divea wrote:
Big Vern wrote:
divea wrote:Who told the OP it's a must see??? I've been on it a few times (kids and zoo trios) but it's nothing. :idunno:


Perhaps it depends upon the age of the children. Mine's two and she loved it. I also enjoyed it as a day out. What would you recommend as a better experience in Taipei?

In terms of crowding, as with everything in Taiwan it's best not to go on a weekend or public holiday. I'm lucky in that I get two weekdays off to spend with my daughter.

The children love it. So that's why we go, but from what I understand the OP just wants to go by himself just to tick off the 'must see'. No? :ponder:


If a friend of mine were visiting Taipei I'd take him up the gondola. You get to see some pretty nice views and have a meal and some beers at the top. The list of "must sees" is limited to the fact that it is Taipei. I think the gondola would be high up the list for me.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby super_lucky » Thu May 16, 2013 10:08

divea wrote:Who told the OP it's a must see??? I've been on it a few times (kids and zoo trios) but it's nothing. :idunno:

To be honest, ma'am, nobody whispered in my ear, "You must go to..." any of the landmarks or sights in or around town, unless you consider the 2007 edition of Lonely Planet Taiwan a living, breathing creature that can talk. If you go to the Wikitravel page for Taipei, the gondola experience is in boldface and all that. I realize that you're not in Taiwan anymore but look around, there isn't that much to do in this town. Shop, eat, drink yourself blind, ride some fruity little cable car up the side of a hill. In the same manner, I know there's a resto/bar at the top of 101, but I'm not paying NT500 to get up there, and then NT200 a pop for (insert beer name here).

However, I will admire and complement your honesty. Plus, you're the third person this morning to call it a ho-hum experience. The others are locals, which surprised me, since these two seem to be the most easily impressed people I've ever met in my life. If they say it's boring, I'm thinking it's on par with watching golf on TV. Hence, the need for alcoholic beverages. Anybody know if absinthe is legal and-slash-or available in this country?

P.S. I noticed you and Dr. K were kickin' my girl Yoko around yesterday. Please don't do that! She's like a surrogate grandmother to me.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby Dr Kurt Langstrom » Thu May 16, 2013 10:16

super_lucky wrote:P.S. I noticed you and Dr. K were kickin' my girl Yoko around yesterday. Please don't do that! She's like a surrogate grandmother to me.


Hey hey HEY now!!
No kickee no nothin, boss.
I simply suggested that instead of posting bleedingly dopey comments to what basically amounts to a real estate thread, The Goddess of Domestic Insanity might better spend her time in Central Park looking for the lovely and talented Ms Ono-Lennon, whose near-daily habit of strolling through there is well storied.
I personally know THREE unrelated individuals who've spotted her there in the (diminutive) flesh.

Me no no go no no to Ono!
Hummel from Alcatraz...out.

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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby Beaker » Thu May 16, 2013 10:18

Absinthe is legal here although it can be a bit hard to find.

Second, as I recall I have previously seen you at the palace museum four years ago. So you have, at least, that under your belt.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby super_lucky » Thu May 16, 2013 10:18

Big Vern wrote:
divea wrote:
Big Vern wrote:
divea wrote:Who told the OP it's a must see??? I've been on it a few times (kids and zoo trios) but it's nothing. :idunno:


Perhaps it depends upon the age of the children. Mine's two and she loved it. I also enjoyed it as a day out. What would you recommend as a better experience in Taipei?

In terms of crowding, as with everything in Taiwan it's best not to go on a weekend or public holiday. I'm lucky in that I get two weekdays off to spend with my daughter.

The children love it. So that's why we go, but from what I understand the OP just wants to go by himself just to tick off the 'must see'. No? :ponder:


If a friend of mine were visiting Taipei I'd take him up the gondola. You get to see some pretty nice views and have a meal and some beers at the top. The list of "must sees" is limited to the fact that it is Taipei. I think the gondola would be high up the list for me.


1. I'm of the same mindset, Big Vern: IF a friend ever came to visit me, I'd drag his or her ass up the gondola, for sure. Same with all the other joints. And then we'd cap off the day with a KTV session in The Zone.

2. I guess it's implied that I want to go alone but that's not the case at all. As Barney the imaginary purple dinosaur likes to say, "Everything is better with a friend" and that's especially true for married, middle-aged men who sit around drinking beer and perving on the local fauna, which is what I am and a lot of what I do. So consider that an invitation to join me, Dr. Kurt Langstrom.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby super_lucky » Thu May 16, 2013 10:20

Beaker wrote:Absinthe is legal here although it can be a bit hard to find.

Second, as I recall I have previously seen you at the palace museum four years ago. So you have, at least, that under your belt.

That's the National Palace Museum?
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby super_lucky » Thu May 16, 2013 10:23

Dr Kurt Langstrom wrote:
super_lucky wrote:P.S. I noticed you and Dr. K were kickin' my girl Yoko around yesterday. Please don't do that! She's like a surrogate grandmother to me.


Hey hey HEY now!!
No kickee no nothin, boss.
I simply suggested that instead of posting bleedingly dopey comments to what basically amounts to a real estate thread, The Goddess of Domestic Insanity might better spend her time in Central Park looking for the lovely and talented Ms Ono-Lennon, whose near-daily habit of strolling through there is well storied.
I personally know THREE unrelated individuals who've spotted her there in the (diminutive) flesh.

Me no no go no no to Ono!

OK OK. No beef. I admit to doing the same thing (looking for her in CP) 20 years ago. When that failed we tried to loiter around the Dakota, but as you might imagine, that wasn't happening either.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby Bu Lai En » Thu May 16, 2013 16:40

I think Maokong's a great place. If you go up in the late afternoon and find a restaurant with a deck to sit ut on you can get a fantastic daytime to nighttime view of the city. The place I go has excellent cheap local food (fried noodles, vegetables and the like) and cheap beer by the bottle.

(That said, I have never actually taken the gondola).

Edit: Re absinthe: it's pretty much legal everywhere now (although it's one of the few spirits/liqueurs that I really don't like). The stuff you can find everywhere is cheap Czech swill. Avoid it. There's better French stuff in the Breeze Supermarket.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby maoman » Thu May 16, 2013 18:20

Bu Lai En wrote:Edit: Re absinthe: it's pretty much legal everywhere now (although it's one of the few spirits/liqueurs that I really don't like). The stuff you can find everywhere is cheap Czech swill. Avoid it. There's better French stuff in the Breeze Supermarket.

Try this. La Maison Fontaine.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby Beaker » Thu May 16, 2013 18:53

There is a type with the anise plant inside the bottle (actually, I assume it is anise, I don't really know). It was some of the best absinthe I've had. I hope it isn't the cheap stuff. It is not common in the USA at all. Our liquor store only had one kind so my absinthe knowledge is rather... Minimal.
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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby cranky laowai » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:33

I went on the gondola yesterday for the first time in many years. On a Sunday just past noon the wait was less than ten minutes. :eek:

It wasn't especially crowded at the top -- certainly not for Taipei on a weekend. It was simple to find trails without many people on them. And the views were terrific.

The shuijing ("crystal") carriages with glass floors are especially cool if you don't get freaked out by heights. Those also take only four people (as opposed to seven or eight in the regular carriages), even though they're no smaller inside; so taking one of those will also give you the bonus of more room, though the wait may be longer and for this sort of car you should get a reservation ticket of sorts just to the left of the 1F entrance.

And at just NT$50 for the half-hour trip each way (if you go the full distance) the gondola ride has got to be one of the best bargains in Taiwan. I'm a bit surprised Mayor Ko hasn't yet announced a massive increase in the fare.

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Re: Maokong Gondola Experience?

Postby belgian pie » Mon Jun 29, 2015 13:43

Be careful when going, read the info at the MRT stations before leaving, they close down the gondola often during summer afternoons due to probable thunderstorms.
But, you can always go to the zoo when there and caught by a closed gondola.
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