A while back I attempted to go hiking for the first time in Taiwan. I picked Lion's Head Mountain because of what seemed to be an easy busy system there run by a tour company. Things were in English, it seemed simple. Actually, the information was completely wrong and super confusing, but regardless I got to the base of the trails eventually.
Turns out that even in November it is uncomfortably hot in Taiwan. Maybe I was silly to think it would automatically be cooler on a hiking trail, but let me tell you, it was hotter. I felt like I was in Thailand - lush, green vegetation, humidity so thick you can see it, and a sudden downpour that ended up sending me running back to the bus stop. I was surprised just how lush and amazing the area was, but even more surprised that it was so oppressively hot in early November. Part of me thinks eventually I will just "adjust" to the weather, but that is probably just wishful thinking. As much as I love hiking, I think this is going to be a primarily winter activity for me in Taiwan. Also, I will pick higher peaks that might be cooler next time.
After talking to some friends who live here and doing some research, I have to accept that motorbikes are the best way to get into the mountains. The bus systems are not as extensive as I hoped and the information just is not as reliable or up-to-date in English. I think I will have to get over my fear of driving in Asia and get one sometime soon.