Climbing inside a teapot sounds just like something out of Alice in Wonderland to me. Of course, Teapot Mountain is quite different to the hallucinogenic landscapes of Lewis Carroll’s world but it’s just as enchanting. In the early morning sunshine, we made our way to the base of the trail, which is a 10-minute walk from the Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park. Just follow the wooden signs across the river, up the stairs, past the giant gold statue sitting proud overlooking a temple, along the road and turn left.
The trail itself consists mostly of gradual upwards slopes, though there are a few staircases. There are beautiful views the whole way along the trail because you are never enclosed by trees, however this also means no shade, so in the sunny weather be sure to cover up and drink heaps of water.
At the base of the teapot, you must use ropes to hoist yourself up to the rocky outcrop.
When we reached the top, we sat down on the gravel, feeling very sweaty, but also in awe of the endless sea and magnificent Keelung mountain.
Three Taiwanese hikers with bandanas tied round their heads and strange black rain boots looked passed vertically by us, hoisting themselves right inside the teapot. We stared at the gormlessly until one of them said, “You can go inside the teapot you know.”
“Oh really?” we said, and they invited us to follow them in. The rocks were relatively easy to manoeuvre around once I’d got my balance, though the three hikers and Luke had already disappeared round and out the other side. Now we really were at the top of the teapot!
(Well, actually, Luke spied another rope but the ascent was literally vertical, and even he decided it was above his ability).
Time: The hike took us around 2 hours, with plenty of time for photographing and drinking water. It could probably be done in 90 minutes or even less in cooler weather.
Drink: On the way back in the jumbled streets we took a wrong turn and stumbled across a quaint and quirky cafe, where we drank lemongrass and mint tea.
How to get there?
To get the Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park, you can take a bus from Ruifang train station. It’s about a 20 minute journey. Then follow the signs to the base of the trail from there. We stayed the night in Sea Point B&B, which is reatively close to the Park, in fact the lovely owner gave us a lift there in the morning.