Maokong – A Location for Tea-for-Two

Text: Mark Caltonhill Photos: Vision The Taiwanese are fond of their tea and love to climb hills overlooking their hometowns to take in a “night view.” Put these two together, stipulate that you do not want to drive more than one hour, and Taipei residents still have a large number of choices. One of the most popular is the historic tea-growing area around Maokong in the southwestern part of the city. Tea plantation at Maokong The Taipei basin is surrounded by hills – many of which offer excellent hiking opportunities – and Maokong (貓空) in the hills above Muzha would be just another of these, were it not that at the end of the 19th century immigrants, most famously Zhang Nai-miao (張廼妙) from the tea-growing region of Anxi in mainland China’s Fujian Province, discovered that this particular mountain area’s moist climate and good soil perfectly suited the strains of tea…