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Taiwan: Alishan Main Attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area 阿里山國家風景區 (Taiwan Travel Review Series)

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!

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Mountain View on the bus ride up to Alishan’s main attraction

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Mountain View on the bus ride up to Alishan’s main attraction

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Bridge in the midst of beautiful scenery

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!

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Spicy Ma Lo Tofu is very good to warm up our system in 4 degree Celcius weather

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Vegetable Rice on top of Alishan

 

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Brrrrrrr

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!

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Lots to see on Alishan

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Traditional train on Alishan!

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Train stop at Sacred Tree station 神木車站

Train at Shen Mu Station

Train at Sacred Tree Station (神木車站)

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.

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I enjoyed walking in the forest of Alishan Giant Trees (huge giant cypress trees) which were up to 1000+ years old.

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Forests of Alishan in cool air… hard to explain its beauty in words, or even in pictures

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

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Shoujhen Temple (受鎮宮) – the largest temple in Alishan and definitely worth a visit. Ornate exterior, and the second floor has a surreal room with 10,000 miniature Buddha.

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Food stalls to warm up our tummy, outside Shoujhen Temple (受鎮宮)

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Beautiful lake outside Shoujhen Temple (受鎮宮)

There were also interesting tree structures like “Love Forever” (Yong Jie Tong Xin) and “Pig Shaped Old Stump“.
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Can you see the <3 shape?

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Spot the pig face! 🙂

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.”

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Sister Pond, Alishan

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Sister Pond, Alishan

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)!

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Last Wall Mural on the way down to the public bus stops area. Bye Bye Alishan.. I will miss you 🙂

Full sets of posts that might be useful for your Taipei planning:

For locations outside of Taipei:

10 Comments

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  6. Ashlie says

    Hi, chanced upon your blog and was totally sold after reading your posts on Alishan. My itinerary is quite similar to yours, upon arriving Taiwan, travel to Chiayi, stay for a night at 53.1 and the following day will travel to Sun Moon Lake.

    However I’m not too sure if I will have time for everything or not. Would you be able to share your detailed itinerary (including the time you spent at each place)? Also, would you advise to watch sunrise at the peak of alishan or just outside 53.1 minsu?

    Thanks so much!

    Ashlie

    • espie36 says

      Hi Ashlie, I believe you would have sufficient time.. Sorry I don’t have a detailed itinerary with exact timing but we just told the locals we needed to get to next destination by what time then they will advise accordingly 🙂

      Many will insist that its more authentic to watch at alishan but that means getting up at 4am in the cold. so we opted to watch just outside 53.1 so we got up at 6+ and had good energy for rest of the day. enjoy! you will have such a good time 🙂

      Bea

  7. Audrey says

    Hi! May I know where should I buy the tickets after I reached Alisan? We will be going from 奋起湖 to Alisan.
    How long is the tour at Alisan that you have mentioned in your post? 🙂

    • Beatrice says

      Hi Audrey, it will be a very obvious booth to get your tickets. The tour at Alishan is at your own time own target 🙂

      <3, Eatprayflying

  8. Grace says

    Hello! From Minsu how did you get to Alishan National Scenic Area? Did you take bus?

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