February 26, 2015

Alishan, Taiwan

What Lonely Planet said: If you want to see Taiwan's natural environment raw in tooth and nail, visit a national park. If you want to see how humans have tried to make a go of settling on landslide-prone mountains and battered escarpments (as spectacular as they are to merely gaze upon), come to the Alishan National Scenic Area. From a starting altitude of 300m in the west at Chukou, the 327-sq-km scenic area quickly rises to heights of more than 2600m. The great diversity of climate, soils and landscapes allows for the growing of everything from wasabi and plums to high-mountain oolong tea, the latter some of the best in the world. From the Tsou aboriginals, the original settlers, come foods you've never heard of, such as bird's-nest fern, tree tomatoes, ai yu jelly and millet wine.

I was there: September 23, 2010

Camera used: Canon EOS 40D

A cool, misty day on the mountain

Alishan Railway station

Food and souvenir stalls in Alishan

There's daily performance of songs and dance at the train station

The host is a very good singer

There is a famous song about Alishan. The song says Alishan's ladies are as beautiful as water and the men are as strong mountains

Wood sculpture at the station


The train service to the forest starts just after the show. The carriages are made of cedar wood. It smells great!

At the Shenmu (Sacred Tree) Station

A sacred trees trail start at the Shenmu Station

Small creek near the entrance of the trail

Mist and tall trees give it an aura of mystery

One of the giant sacred trees that met their ends

The train service  uses narrow-gauge

The ride is short with great views of forests and mountains