The very first tip before I start on the attractions is that up this peak at Alishan’s Main attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)is much colder than the base of the mountain. We dressed for the 10 to 15 degC we were experiencing at 53.1 Minsu, which is just 1 hour away from the peak, but the temperature was only 4 degC up at the peak, so do pad up before heading up!
Good thing there are a lot of good hotpot stalls so we ate our fill to fuel up, and walked around a lot to warm ourselves up!
The traditional train ride at Alishan was slow, historic and enjoyable. Tip: take to Zhaoping Station (Rather than the more popular Sacred Tree station 神木車站 ) and walk from Zhaoping 沼平車站 because there will be a lot more downslope walking than an uphill climb!
The most popular site is the Sacred Tree, which has since collapsed. But the trunk remains, giving a glimpse of the tree’s majestic breadth when it was still alive.
I enjoyed walking in the forest of Alishan Giant Trees (huge giant cypress trees) which were up to 1000+ years old.
The Alishan Forest Recreation Park was an important wooded land in the Japanese occupation era. In order to get the economic benefits out of the cypress trees, the Japanese built railways and chopped off the woods for 30 years. When Taiwan was returned to the Chinese after World War II, the original cypress trees were almost gone. – Chiayi Information
There is also the famous Two Sisters Ponds. According to sinotour.com, “the story is about a couple of Tsou sisters fell in love with the same man. Not wanting to hurt the sisterhood and not able to have the man for themselves, they jumped into separate ponds to end their lives, which are now known as the Elder Sister Pond and Younger Sister Pond.”
From Zhaoping, we decided to take a slow walk downhill back to catch the public bus back to 53.1 Minsu. Loved the cool and scenic walk at Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)!
Full sets of posts that might be useful for your Taipei planning:
- Wu Fen Pu (五分埔) Shopping and Rao He Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市)
- Xi Men Ding (西門町)
- Shi Lin Night Market (士林夜市)
- Taipei 101, Christmas Illuminations, 大佳河濱公園 Park for 2014 Countdown
- Restaurant – L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Restaurant (侯布雄法式餐廳)
- Hotel– Hope Hotel (全家歡商務旅店 ) and Cosmos Hotel (天成大飯店)
For locations outside of Taipei:
- Taiwan: Alishan (阿里山) – Fen Qi Hu (奮起湖) and 53.1 Homestay Min Su (民宿)
- Taiwan: Alishan Main Attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)
- Taiwan: Alishan 阿里山, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 , Cing Jing 清境, Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Silks Place 太鲁阁晶英酒店
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Leader Village 立德布洛灣山月村