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.more
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!more
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.more
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.more
Our guide brought us to this place (Ai Yu Bo's House) to eat our railway lunchboxes and to enjoy a cooling desset - Ai Yu. Ai Yu is made from a fruit, the fruit is grounded into powder which turns into jelly when mixed with water. Each bowl of Ai Yu is topped with bits of passionfruit...Yummy! This place has been visited by scores of Taiwanese...more
As trains travel slowly and the journeys are long, some people with good business acumen started selling "railway lunchboxes" at the train stations to the hungry passengers. These lunchboxes are actually quite famous, and some people are actually known to travel from Taipei to Fen Qi Hu, just to eat these lunchboxes! We ate these railway lunchboxes...more
During the old times, there used to be commercial logging activities on Alishan. The trains and railway system were used to transport the logs down from the mountains. Nowadays, these trains are used to transport people from Fen Qi Hu to Alishan. The trains travel at a slow speed, and there are only 2-3 trains arriving / departing from this train...more
Inside the Alishan Forest Reserve, there is a Sisters Pond. As we went there during winter, the water level is lower (the water level would be much higher during the summer season). There is a legend behind this pond. It was said that 2 beautiful sisters, belonging to one of the indigenious tribes on Alishan, drowned themselves in the pond in an...more
Sunrises and sunsets are what Alishan are most famous for. I didn't have a chance to see a sunrise at Alishan, and didn't see a full sunset either, but I did see some beautiful scenery on the Alishan highway on the way down to Chiayi, and partially saw a sunset. The Alishan Highway winds through thick, rugged, forested mountain peaks and tiny...more
Elephant Trunk Tree (Xianbi mou) (?Û•@–Ø) is one of the typical photogenic stumps in the Alishan Forest. At one point the cypress tree that is now the Elephant Trunk must have been quite large, considering the width of the stump. The stump got its name because viewed from a distance, the fern and moss covered stump looks somewhat like the head and...more
There're several food stands and restaurants around the train station providing local food. Actually,those are typical taiwanese food, but the vegetable and tea are worth trying.
The cost depends on which restaurant you choose. Not too expensive though.
Favorite Dish: Vegetable , rice and nudles....
I went to a-li-shan several times before, but this time is the first time I went there all alone. In my college life,I went there 2 times with the Astronomy club....so you now know what we did during the night....HA HA.....
Remember to bring a flash light though! Oh,and better not to be alone especialy if you're a cute girl.(I'm not saying it's dangerous, but this is common sense.)
Dress Code: Warm clothes definately!!
The Alishan Narrow-Gauge Railway (阿里山小火車) is one of the more popular and famous methods of getting around Alishan. It is one of the five famous sights there; it is also rickety but overall a pleasant ride. Tickets (I believe) are NT 50, or at least from Sacred Tree back to Alishan Main Station. Trains chug...more
There're several shops close to each other, they are almost the only light after sunset, you won't miss them.
What to buy: Tea : a-li-shan tea!
Sweets:ma(2) shu(3), cakes
Aboriginal craft: mostly made from woods
Other agricutural products, like vinger,honey,cafe and so on.
What to pay: Tea bag: 20 tea bags for NT.180.
One tends to be in lower elevation Taiwan and never thinks about Taiwan being cold. Alishan gets cold, bring jacket/jeans! in winter it can snow and get icy, so also prepare for driving if thats how your getting there.
The first time i went there i was used to my 25-30 degree February here in southern Taiwan, so stupid me went to Alishan for the weekend with shorts and t-shirts, big mistake.
Unique Suggestions: Bring, at least some, warm clothes.
Thick jacket is a must! Bring some motion sickness pills if u have problems with train / bus journey more than 2 hours... especially if u take a bus... there are many sharp turns that may make u sick. Bring a tripod if u want to capture a non-shaking sun. Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glaring sunrise.more
a small bag for your own trash when trekking/hiking in the moutain,let's protect and maintain the beautiful area together! warm, better with goretexNo sandel in winterumbrella , just in case Some headache pills maybe, for it's over 2,200m high. Of course! If you use DC, you can recharge at the hotel. If watching stars at night, maybe a tant is...more
On the drive to Alishan, close to it, sometimes you will see little pull offs and trails into the forest, sometimes they are wasabi farms. They are truly mystical looking things, something youd think of from a fantasy movie. Often they are trellised up the hill of a river under the cover of the forest canopy. Really neat looking places, scattered throughout.
They are private property though, so its best to view them, take a photo and and not disturb the area.
Favorite thing: If you want to hike to the Chuashan Sunrise Lookout instead of taking the train, you should follow the main road "Trail to Chuashan". Then use Chuashan Sunrise Viewing Trail as a shortcut. Entrance to this trail is right before the Chaoping Station. Eventually the trail will take you back to Trail to Chuashan. Afterward just keep following the road and it will take you to the lookout.