Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Alishan (Ali Mountain) in Chiayi County, Taiwan


Throughout my trip in Taiwan, I feel National Alishan Forest Recreation Area is the most beautiful nature scenery to be appreciated. National Alishan Forest Recreation Area (or Ali Mountain) is situated in Chiayi County which takes about 15 hours train ride from Taipei Main Train Station to Chiayi Railway Station and followed by a local bus ride to get to the main destination of Alishan Forest Railway Station. This is very exhausting trip. However, if you follow the local tour which takes you to Sun Moon Lake and National Alishan Forest Recreation Area then, this will be more relaxing and exciting trip to be enjoyed.

National Alishan Forest Recreation Area is a sanctuary for diverse wild lives - myriads of flora and fauna within 1,400 land hectares. Alishan is not just a mountain but a beautiful nature and wildlife in forest and mountain scenery where the scenic changes from early in the morning until the evening. Alishan also changes according to weather season from winter, spring, summer and autumn. Alishan is famous for its "Five Enchanted Moments" which includes from sunrise, cloud sea, fiery sunset, ancient forest and historical mountain railway. However, most visitors aren't aware that Alishan has its beauty for different seasons from winter (snowing), spring (famous for its cherry blossom), summer (covered with hot sun, flowers and plants) and autumn (covered with dry maple leaves).  

An old railway tracks was built along the Alishan Mountain in order to transport the logs during Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945). Alishan was one of Taiwan's three major logging areas. As such, the old train is still operating from the main station of Alishan Forest Railway Station to Zhaoping Station and Zhushan Station. As you take the train ride from Alishan Forest Railway Station, you will be amazed with breathtaking views of protected trees and plants at Alishan Sacred Tree area. There are Eight Wonders of Alishan to look out and experience as you hike along the forest mountain:
  1. Wonder Cliffs of Tashan
  2. Ogasawara Mountain Overlook
  3. Alishan Sacred Tree
  4. Giant Tree of Mt Shuishan
  5. Scented Wood Arch Bridge
  6. Giant Tree No. 28
  7. Shenyi Waterfall
  8. Viewing the Cloud Sea from Ciyun Temple

There are many small hotels operating nearby National Alishan Forest Recreation Area. You may need to stay at Chiayi County at least for three days in order to visit all the beautiful spots including the Eight Wonders of Alishan and enjoy the local food in a small town of Chiayi in cool weather. Otherwise, you may consider to book the ground travel tour operated by some Taiwan travel companies. In my case, I joined the local tour package of 3-Day Alishan and Sun Moon Lake Tour with Edison Tours who arranged my transportation and accommodation from Taipei to the destinations and back to Taipei again.



Beautiful red bridge on the way to Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi county of Taiwan
Beautiful red bridge on the way to Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi county of Taiwan

Seeing many tour buses at Alishan National Scenic Area arrival at Chiayi county of Taiwan
Seeing many tour buses at Alishan National Scenic Area arrival at Chiayi county of Taiwan

Bus and Train Schedule to Alisan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Bus and Train Schedule to Alisan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Chinese Tea Marble Eggs and Guan Dong Zhu (Yong Tau Foo) are Taiwanese Specialty Food which can be found in Alisan, Taiwan
Chinese Tea Marble Eggs and Guan Dong Zhu (Yong Tau Foo) are Taiwanese Specialty Food which can be found in Alisan, Taiwan

Heading to Forest Railway Alishan Station to take train ride for scenic view at Alishan in Chiayi county of Taiwan
Heading to Forest Railway Alishan Station to take train ride for scenic view at Alishan in Chiayi county of Taiwan

A closer look at the old train at Forest Railway Alishan Station at Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan
A closer look at the old train at Forest Railway Alishan Station at Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Riding the train at Alishan for forest scenic view in Chiayi county of Taiwan
Riding the train at Alishan for forest scenic view in Chiayi county of Taiwan

Hiking along the rail trail to Alishan Sister Pond and Alishan Sacred Tree at Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Hiking along the rail trail to Alishan Sister Pond and Alishan Sacred Tree at Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Hiking through the tree and love shape at Alishan Sacred Tree of Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Hiking through the tree and love shape at Alishan Sacred Tree of Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Elder Sister Pond at Alisan National Scenic Area in Chiayi county of Taiwan
Elder Sister Pond at Alisan National Scenic Area in Chiayi county of Taiwan

Pig shaped Old Stump at Alishan Sacred Tree in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Pig shaped Old Stump at Alishan Sacred Tree in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Hiking along forest scenic view of Alishan Sacred Tree at Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Hiking along forest scenic view of Alishan Sacred Tree at Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Walking along this long wooden bridge which can hold 78 people at Alishan Sacred Tree on top of Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Walking along this long wooden bridge which can hold 78 people at Alishan Sacred Tree on top of Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan

Waiting for the train back to the main station of Forest Railway Alishan Station at Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan
Waiting for the train back to the main station of Forest Railway Alishan Station at Alishan Mountain in Chiayi County of Taiwan

By evening, most of tour buses begin to leave Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan
By evening, most of tour buses begin to leave Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County of Taiwan

My Older Post:
  • Sun Moon Lake Temples for Blessings in Taiwan (Part 2)
  • Taiwan Sun Moon Lake, a stunning landscape view (Part 1)
  • Taroko (Marble) Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan
  • Tamsui Lover Bridge & Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Taipei 101 Observatory & Shopping in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Taipei National Palace Museum in Taiwan (one of the largest Chinese Historical collections in the World)
  • Ximending in Taipei (a busy night street for shopping and food) in Taiwan
  • An Introduction to Taiwan


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