When Elephant Mountain is too crowded...
I discovered this spot by accident.  There's some stupid rule in Taiwan that says you can only open a bank account at the branch closest to your home.  I had just moved so after opening my account I found myself in an area I had never been before.  Then I saw a sign for a hiking trail.
I had the rest of the night off and was curious so I just followed it all the way up...
I was not shocked at all that the trail led to a temple since pretty much every hiking trail leads to one.  If there's no temple there will at least be a small shrine or something.  However I was shocked by the view.  There was a huge balcony with stunning panoramic views of the whole city.
The main lookout from the temple is probably the best overall view, but there are other areas where you can view different areas of the city.  If you walk through the temple it leads to a set of stairs that converges with a hiking trail.  Walking north for about one minue will lead you to a clearing with this view pictured below.
Walking south will immediatly lead to a pavilion and a HUGE rock that overlooks XinDian District, the southern mountain range, and even the HTC headquarters.
Sure, it's not a close-up view of downtown like Elephant Mountain, but it's basically the widest unobstructed view you're going to get of the city.  The only issues is that these photos are a bit old and the foliage has grown significantly since then.
But as I mentioned, the best view is the one from the temple, and that remains unobstructed as far as I know.
What's shocking about this place is how few foreigners know about it.  Elephant Mountain is only about 20 minutes away and it's constantly crawling with tourists.  I understand this place isn't a close-up view of 101, but it's still an amazing view of the city.  I would expect that this place will blow up eventually when some popular travel blogger or Instagrammer exposes it.  
Luckily for you I'm not popular so if you go now you'll likely have the spot to yourself.  
📍 Address: No. 28, Lane 263, Jingxing Road, Wenshan District.
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