A couple of favorites for different reasons include Shang Yang Tea house, which served one of the best Jin Xuan's I've ever seen or tried. Dark emerald green tea glistened in the yixing pot. After a 13-hour flight and the rigors of engaging in a new culture, this was a most welcomed tidbit from the heavens.
Yang Syu Yang tearoom is spectacular for it's decor and views. The tea is not superb, but the views, and even the gold-leaf wallpaper make up for whatever is lacking in the leaf. This tea house features an indoor koi pond, with stepping stones over a bridge to a number of private rooms with carved doors and windows that overlook Taipei, temples, and the lush tropical flora of Taiwan.
For those who don't mind heights, a gondola will take visitors up (or down) the mountain, offering panoramic views of Taipei and the tea houses and temples tossed across the landscape like so many jewels flung from the hands of ancient gods.
I couldn't manage to tear myself away, and as night descended, decided to brave the gondola the trip down the mountain rather than wait an hour for the bus (which had just come and gone). Bravery has its rewards: the views were stunning with Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, glittering in the distance.
Coasting through the dark, starry sky, you can hear cicadas chirping along the side of the mountain and the dark sky means one isn't completely aware of the gondola's altitude. More coming soon, including a few videos.