Looking for a short hike on a somewhat sunny January Sunday, I take the bus to Keelung from Jiantan station. From here, I make my way to Ren’ai District to begin a short climb up to peek #7 on the Xiaobaiyue list: 紅淡山 Hongdanshan.
A side road leads to the trailhead, hiding between 寶明寺 Baoming temple and a car repair shop. From here, I soon climb above the village into a green forest. The typical flights of stairs lead me upwards. On one of them, I see something move. It’s a small 黑頭蛇 Many-Toothed Snake that quickly slithers back into the woods.
The trail branches off a few minutes later, and I follow the route to the top. The peak offers good views of the port city below. Like Hollywood, its name is written in large letters on another hillside: K-E-E-L-U-N-G.
I enjoy the quietness for a while before heading down the other side of the mountain. The trail conveniently leads to 三坑車站 Sankeng train station from where it’s a 40-minute ride back to Taipei on an almost empty local train.