Three days to Explore Alishan: The Most Scenic Mountain Area in Taiwan
Alishan is a mountain inside the Alishan National Scenic Area which located between Taichung and Tainan. Alishan is famous for its five wonders - railway, forest, sea of clouds, sunrise and sunset. No wonder it is popular among tourist and mountain climbers. Alishan along with Taroko Gorge and Sun Moon Lake, is one of Taiwan’s most popular scenic attractions.
To Promote the high-quality tourism environment, Alishan Tourism Bureau is recently broadening its market to Muslim Tourist to experience halal-trip over the area with all Muslim-friendly facilities. Alishan ’s Tourism Bureau, worked with the International Muslim Tourism Industry Development Association, has helped many hotels, restaurants, cafe and souvenirs to pass the halal certification.
Day 1: Sipping tea and watch sea of clouds in Xiding
Xiangshan, located on Alishan Highway 56.1km, is the landmark of Xiding. From the lookout platform, you can see the sunrise, rainbow and Xiding's famous cloud waterfall. From the platform, you can see Xiangshan, which is shrouded by fog all year round. Here, you can see the cloud waterfall moving slowly, and you will feel as if you were in paradise.
Day 2: Immerse yourself with Alishan’s Sunrise and Sunset
Sunrise at 7:08 at Zhushan Sunrise Observation Deck, take the Zhushan line of the Alishan Forest Railway to get there. The position and time of the sunrise at Alishan differs through the year. In summer the earliest sunrise is 5am and the latest in winter is around 7am (source:this administration’s website and Chiayi County Travel Bureau).
Alishan National Scenic Area
Alishan is famous for its five wonders--railway, forest, sea of clouds, sunrise and sunset. The climate of Alishan is similar in all four seasons. The average temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius. In the coldest time of winter, it can reach 3 degrees below zero. Since ancient times, it has been one of the best places in Taiwan to escape from the summer heat. Now, convenient means of accommodation has attracted more tourists to come and watch the sunrise. Alishan is also perfect for bird watching, with species including the collared bush robin, the Taiwan rosefinch and the Taiwan wren-babbler. There are also easy trails about four km long with lush forests and beautiful scenery all around, and scenic spots such as Zhaoping Park, Jiemei (Sister) Lakes, Shouzhen Temple, the old Alishan Shenmu Historical Site and Ciyun Temple along the way.
Fenchihu Lake is famous for its old street, bento and square bamboo in the past, is a checkpoint in the Alishan Forest Railway. Surrounded by mountains in the north, east and west and low-lying in the middle, it looks like a dustpan (in Chinese it is pronounced as "benji"). It is surrounded by mist, like a lake, so its old name was Benji Lake. Later, it was changed to Fenchihu Lake, which has the meaning of "strive to be strong". There are trails around Fenchihu Lake, and you can walk along the sloping wooden steps between the Japanese cedars and Taiwania. You can see all sorts of peculiar ecological landscapes and enjoy the natural forest spa and the cool breeze that chases away summer.
Some Muslim-friendly street food you can try in Fenchihu Old Street are Hinoki Coffee, Donuts and Aiyu Jelly.
Day 3: Back to nature
Dinghu Ecological Park
Dinghu Ecological Park, located in Leye Village, Alishan Township, has moso bamboo trails, old-growth forest walkways and trace fossils. The park has an open view of a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. The area is peaceful, quiet and beautiful, with farmhouses and tea gardens enclosed by green trees. You can often see local farmers working in the tea gardens and fields under the blue sky and white clouds. The rolling mist in the mountains gives us inspiration for landscape poems.
Yuyupas Tsou Cultural Park
The YuYuPas Tsou Cultural Tribe Park is a tourist attraction located at about 1,200 meters above sea level in the mountainous Alishan. Originating from the Tsou language, YuYuPas means "very rich." It covers an area of roughly two hectares and is surrounded by extensive tea gardens planted with alpine oolong tea. Keep in mind, you should visit Trou Cultural Park and experience the authenticity of the village architecture, craftsmanship, festivals, traditional and innovative dances and music of Tsou Tribe.
There are several lodging you can choose during your stay in Alishan.
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