One of the best ways to escape Taipei's urban sprawl is to take the metro south to Taipei Zoo, and step aboard the Maokong aerial gondola, which departs continuously on a 2.7-mile trip into the greenery of Maokong mountain. The station at the top offers panoramic views back down over the city, as well as plentiful chances to eat and drink tea—the latter is a particularly popular pastime among locals on weekends. For an added thrill (not recommended for vertigo sufferers),
a number of the gondola cabins have been converted into special "Eyes of Maokong Gondola" Crystal Cabins—look out for the markings on the side. These have glass floors allowing you to peer vertically down at the treetops far below, creating the sensation of flying.
Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan