A-li-shan Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by cal6060
  • Things to Do
    by cal6060
  • Things to Do
    by cal6060

Most Recent Things to Do in A-li-shan

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    Cihyun Temple

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013
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    Cihyun Temple is located near the Sacred Tree Station. It was built in 1919 and enshrines a statue of Sakyamuni donated by the king of Thailand. The 1000 year old bronze statue is filled with gold dust. We did not spend much time here because of the heavy rain. This temple has a Japanese style prayer room.

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    Shouzhen Temple

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Shouzhen Temple, Alishan
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    Shouzhen Temple has a striking facade with red and gold typical Taiwanese Temple architecture. It is the highest elevation temple in Taiwan, located in the Alishan National Park. The temple was constructed in 1911, its devotion to Xuan Wu God (玄天上帝), a Taoist deity also known as the "Mysterious Heavenly Emperor on High." His birthday on the lunar March 3rd marks the annual migratory return of the congregation on temple statues. It is an important event for the believers.

    During the Japanese colonial period, lumbermen wanted the Temple to be built in order to protect them of safety and luck when they worked in the forest.

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    Magnolia Garden

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013
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    Magnolia Garden is located near the sisters' ponds. It has many magnolia trees, which belong to Magnoliaceae. They are one of the existing and more primitive families in plant evolution. One characteristic of the magnolia is its heady scent. The magnolia belongs to a type of deciduous trees with extremely large, six-petal bloosoms. In spring the blooming flowers are at the most vivid and brilliant stage. There are white and purple species mixed in this area.

    During our visit in Summer, we only managed to see Crocus Tritonia.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
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    The Sisters' Ponds

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    To me, this is an overrated attraction of the National Park. They are two small ponds with clear green water surrounded by green forest. It is nice to walk by the Sisters' Ponds but no reason to purposely visit the ponds to see how beautiful they are!

    The locals love visiting the ponds because there is a sad story behind these sister ponds. A couple of sisters falling in love with the same man and decided to jumped to death to kill themselves instead of hurting their sisterhood. To co-memorate their death, they put a root head of a big cypress tree on the elder sister's pond to be the base and built two Missing Pavilions on it, connected to the shore with wooded bridges.

    They also built a 180-meter long boardwalk surrounding the ponds. The boardwalk goes through cypress stands and around the pond is about 186 meters long. Walking along the trail, you will enjoy the beautiful reflection in the pond and the scenic surroundings while having a fresh breath of the forest.

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    • Jungle and Rain Forest
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    Forest in Alishan

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    The forest in Alishan has been long destroyed during the Japanese colonial period due to heavy logging activities. During my visit, I noticed that most of standing trees here are still young and not tall enough to form a good forest. Sad to note that a lot of the old trees had been damaged and left with the big roots. Now I understand why the Alishan National Park is still waiting to be listed at UNESCO site! It is nothing much left needed more time to let the trees grow. The tourism board is smart and promote this area as an important forest in Taiwan and showcase some of the death species or roots as part of its attraction.

    It is still a nice forest walk with quiet surrounding, birds, and small waterfalls. You don't have to worry that you will get lost in the forest because there are plenty of signpost to show you the directions.

    You can walk thru the forest from Zhaoping to Sacred Tree Station or Alishan Station.

    Also read The trees in Alishan National Park

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    Zhaoping Park

    by cal6060 Written Dec 22, 2013

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    In the early 1976, a brush fire was causing the destroy of the forest in Zhaoping. The government decided to build Zhaoping Park here. The park lies on the edge of the forest and is cut through by streams, making it highly suitable for bird watching. Tourists can also gaze at the 2,484 meter-high Tashan Mountain. The most interesting thing to do here is walking on the pedestrian bridge that you can enjoy the tree, birds, and the forest surrounded the park.

    If you are coming in March or April, you will be seeing the Cherry blossom. The cherry belongs to the rose family and is a deciduous tree. Cherry blossom species have single petal or multi-petal. There are about 18 cherry blossoms species in Alishan.

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    Zhaoping Train Station

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 22, 2013
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    The Zhaoping Tain Station was an important logistics hub for the logging industry and had the largest log collection center during the Japanese Rule. Zhaoping was formerly known as Alishan. The original railway station was established in 1914 for logging business.

    The Japanese had destroyed the original forest of Alishan during its colonial period. During our visit, I never heard or read any negative comment about the Japanese related to logging activities in the region.

    You can take a train from Alishan Station to get here. Nearby attractions include Zhaoping Park, The Sister Pond and Magnolia Garden. It is a newly built station with viewing platform and a park in front of the Station. You can see the Alishan Forest Railway Track on a mountain from the viewing platform.

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    Duigaoyue Viewing Platform

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 21, 2013
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    The Duigaoyue Viewing Platform is another place where you can see the beautiful views of Mt. Yushan. It is located north of Zhushan Viewing Platform or about 15-minutes walk. There is a good signpost that gets you to the platform. If you have more time, you can even walk on the Duigaoyue Forest Trail to reach Duigaoyue Pavilion.

    I would find this viewing platform is much more relaxing than Zhushan Viewing Platform. It is much more relaxing to enjoy the views here as less crowd and no business vendors or tour guide using speakers of loud noise.

    The reflection of the sun with the shadow of people, trees, and plants are beautiful in photos. The blue sky with artistic cloud makes the views even more fantastic.

    Don't miss this while visiting Zhushan!

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    Sunrise at Zhushan

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 21, 2013
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    Enjoying the sunrise is Zhushan is the most famous thing to do in the Alishan National Park. Most tourists won't miss this while visiting Alishan. Is it really that beautiful? It think it must have different views and sceneries based on the weather condition during a visit. I won't say we had an amazing view of Mt Yushan at Zhushan but beautiful enough to get up at 3:30am! The sea cloud is not so colorful but soft and gentle. When the sun rose, it did not get a colorful shine to the mountain. It might get a better view during a normal day at least can see the Mt Yushan with clear sky!

    The sunrise was at 5:33 am during our visit in Summer. The last train returned to Alishan Station is at 6:00 am. You can choose to walk rather than relying on the train.

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    Train to Zhushan Station

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 21, 2013
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    It was fun to visit the Zhushan in the early morning by catching the train from Alishan Station to Zhushan Station. We were in the queue for about 15 minutes to enter the train platform. Despite it was very crowded, but the tourists well behaved and followed the order and instruction to enter the train. There are many mainland Chinese tourists visiting the park and local tourists from another part of Taiwan visit the park during summer school holiday. It takes about 20 minutes for the ride. They have two trains traveling in each direction to pick up and drop off passengers between Alishan and Zhushan Station. I don't think you have to worry about missing a train as long as you would be at the Alishan Station by 4:00am. When we arrived, we took pictures of the signpost stated Zhushan is situated on a highland as 2451 meters high. It was a good experience to wake up so early to see the train and the sunrise of Mt Yushan.

    Good To Know: You can buy the Zhushan Train Ticket one day ahead in the afternoon between 14:00 until 17:00 at the Alishan Railway Station. You don't have to take the train to see the Sunrise at Zhushan. You can walk by foot to the Zhushan to catch the sunrise! If you want to go somewhere quiet to see the Sunrise, you can go to Duigaoyue Viewing Platform instead.

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    Alishan Museum

    by cal6060 Updated Dec 21, 2013
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    Alishan Museum is located in a forest near the Sacred Tree Station. The Museum has a small and simple structure building. It is a good stop while walking on a forest trail near the Sacred Tree Station. It exhibits the construction history of the Alishan Forest Railway. It has great photos of the railway and the surround forest. It also educates the visitors of the forest including the flora and fauna and the aboriginal tribes of Alishan.

    Admission: Free

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    • Historical Travel
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    Looking for Flying Squirrels & Fireflies at night

    by chatterley Written Dec 24, 2007

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    At night, our guide took us deep into the forest for a walk, and to look at 2 types of animals - the "flying squirrel" and fireflies. I especially enjoyed watching the hundreds of fireflies, giving out a green glow in the dark. It was a magical experience for us city dwellers.

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    A 2300 year-old tree - Guangwu Cypress

    by chatterley Updated Dec 24, 2007

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    This tree, a Taiwanese red cypress tree, has been around for 2300 years! It was tall and huge and was named as the Alishan Siang Lin Sacred Tree. It is also one of the monuments of the Alishan Forest Reserve. It has another name - Guangwu Cypress, as it had been around during Emperor Guangwu's (Han Dynasty) time!

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    Wild cherry blossoms

    by chatterley Written Dec 24, 2007

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    wild cherry blossoms

    We saw red maple leaves on Alishan, and some wild cherry blossoms. The cherry blossom is a major attraction every March, and our guide told us that many visitors would make their way up to Alishan to view the flowers. All the wild cherry trees would be full of pink flowers by then.

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    Seeing the Gu Fish at DaNaYi Valley Nature Reserve

    by chatterley Written Dec 24, 2007

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    Gu Fish

    The nature reserve is run by an indigenious tribe - the Zou tribe. These fishes are a protected species, and they feed on algae on the rocks in the rivers. When feeding, they turn their bodies belly-up, and expose their silver bellies. When viewed at a distance, these feeding fishes appear as silver streaks in the river.

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A-li-shan Things to Do

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