ALISHAN NATIONAL SCENIC AREA
Chiayi County, Taiwan
Alishan National Scenic Area is one of my favorite places to visit in Taiwan. It is a mountain resort and natural reserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County. We took a bus from the Chiayi High Speed Rail (HSR) Station. The ride up to the mountain is full of twists and turns so have your Dramamine ready if you ever have motion sickness!
Once you reach the resort area, there are several hiking trails that offer a wide variety of gorgeous sights to see. Can you believe all these pictures were taken in the same area?
Alishan is famous for producing oolong tea and wasabi. My grandpa drinks tea everyday that he purchases directly from a tea farmer in Alishan. According to my mom, the cabbage is also supposed to be better quality so we always order some. The climate in the mountains is cooler than down by the coast and the temperature drops significantly at night so hotpot is a no-brainer after a good day’s hike.
Besides hiking, it is also popular to go see the sunrise. We took the train from the resort area to watch the sun rise over Jade Mountain. There are only a limited number of tickets available so I am thankful that my parents don’t mind getting up super early to get in line for the tickets. In the past we have also hired a car through our hotel, but my mom wanted Billy to have the whole experience of being on the extremely crowded train.
On the way down from Alishan, we stopped at Fenqihu for lunch. Fenqihu is small town that is part of the Alishan Forest Railway. You used to be able to take the train all the way from Chiayi to Alishan, but the line was damaged in a typhoon. You can still take the train between Chiayi and Fenqihu though. It is still popular and frequently sells out.
We really lucked out with the weather. Warm and sunny in the middle of winter!