Visiting Taiwan . 2 Oct 2012. Day 5. Part 2/3 Exploring Alishan

It’s really some kind of annoying but I realised that I’m way too slow in posting all my travels! Grrr… These were like past year events!! Nonetheless, I’m only happy to share these moments. Simply because these were happy times spent with people who have made time to travel with us! It’s really getting harder and harder to find a common time among friends to go travelling together, especially when everybody’s schedules are packed! I really look forward to a day where we could go travelling together again! 🙂

We started the day with the sunrise. After a simple breakfast at the minsu, we set off to explore Alishan (阿里山), the highlight of the day!

A statue of a commonly sighted bird in the highlands

A visit to the highland office where the residents can come to get their matters sorted.


There’s a mobile library parked outside when we visited. 🙂

I can’t recall who he was but I think he was the 县长 or 局长. 😛

An indication of how tall we were at…

We spotted some monkeys along the way and according to Papa Liu, these monkeys are pretty fearless of humans and will not hesitate to snatch the food from us. Sounds pretty much like the ones that taunts visitors to MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore. I’m not a great fan of monkeys but seeing the mother hopping around with the baby in its arms/pouch is pretty amusing.

Spot the baby monkey?

Our first stop was brief visit to the Tataka Visitor’s Centre which also housed a mini museum that features the flora and fauna on the Jade Mountain that could be viewed from where we were.

A tablet that informs visitors that the best place for them to view the Jade Mountain is exactly the spot where they are standing at.

I am, however, a bit slow in getting this thus, I did not take any picture of the view from the Tataka Visitor’s Centre…

We continue along the highway til the end of the Alishan scenic area to catch a glimpse of the famous “Couple Tree”.

Ta-Dah!

In case you were wondering if I did any touchups to the photo above, the answer is no. The weather was fantastic in the morning but you would see how the weather dips in the afternoon and the whole place would be pretty foggy by 3 pm and the lovely blue sky was soon smothered when we reached Alishan.

This is a funny photo. It captured the 4 of us but the trees aren’t in whole. Lol…

Here’s a better shot but still, the trees aren’t captured entirely. lol…

Despite the bright sun, the weather is still pretty chilly. For all’s information, the weather in the mountains fluctuate quite drastically in a short span of time and since we were at a pretty high height, we pretty much kept our cold wear on during the whole trip. The guys were the one that had to bear with the increasing lack of warmth as they were in bermudas.

I realised it is absolutely possible to shoot a photo of us with the trees in entirety but oh well… 

A lovely view of how the mountains extends into the horizons

Our next stop is to visit another scared tree that is over 2700 years old!!!

An tree’s age is often revealed through the thickness of its trunk. Just look at how thick the trunk of this tree is!

After spending a while with this really sacred tree and taking in some of the fresh air surrounding it, we head for Alishan!

This is the carpark for all the vehicles before one can choose to ascend Alishan by foot or train. 

If you noticed, by the time we reached the place, the skies are no longer bright and cheery. In fact, it turned a tad darker and made the area looked a little sad and worn out. 😦

An aerial view of the carpark

It was barely past 12, as shown in the clock on the left but the trees in the background were already shrouded by the clouds drifting in. :/

We got ourselves some food as we haven’t had our lunch and headed towards the train station to grab a seat on the train bound for Alishan!

The train bound for the Alishan Recreation Area was pretty deserted so we had the entire carriage to ourselves. However, the one that was returning was packed to the brim! :S

Check out the crowd on the other side of the train. *gasp*

Here’s a better view of the crowd on the other side of the train. *shudders*

All aboard!

Choo-choo!!

As we made our way into the woods, I realised that there are plenty of “Sacred Trees” or “神木” around. Not only have these trees stood where they were for thousands of years, they are probably the only witnesses of all the changes that had took place in the region, thus earning themselves the deserving titles.

The entire recreation area is huge and since we only have limited time to walk around, we decided to just head for the ones that are as near to the train station as possible and of course, visit the ones that are worthy. Ha!

A fallen sacred tree…

A little stop for the ticket conductor on the other side of the rail track.

No. 17

No. 16

Giving No. 18 a virtual hug

No. 15

No. 12

It’s 1900 years old!!!

Note the inconsiderate guy that’s next to Poh? Irritated with him to the max. There were signs clearly indicating to strictly keep to the pathways. Illiterate! Grrr…

A poor tree that almost had its bark peeled off by tourists!!! Crazy shit. Sometimes I do not understand what good does a piece of bark serve as a souvenir? Take some photos! Itchy hands these people got… 

A sign that reminds tourists NOT to peel the bark of the poor trees. 

And finally we reached No. 1!

I don’t really know how these trees are numbered but I doubt it’s by their age. It’s more according to their location. Heh!

We also came across the thousand-year cypress that split. It wasn’t stated why it split and it sure is huge!

Reaching the end of the trail and the No. 1 Cypress Tree, we thought we had covered all the trees in this area only to realised there was really one such tree declared sacred!

Check out the people gathered here. 

Weathering 2300 years of rain and shine…

Unknowingly, we have spent close to 2-3 hours walking through the gigantic trees. With the clouds starting to reach where we were, we decided to save exploring the rest of Alishan (yes… we only covered a fraction of the recreation area!) for another trip. 🙂

Spot me if you can!

Entrance to the Hundred Acre Wood? :p

Back to the station. 

Reading while waiting…

When we arrived back at the carpark where we disembarked, the place looked like a ghost town. Most of the tourists from Mainland were gone as they are often on a tight tour schedule, travelling to places on a touch-and-go basis. It was rather peaceful but considering the hoards of people that we came across when we reached here in the morning, it could be pretty overwhelming. Try to avoid coming to Alishan during China holidays, especially the Golden Week.

All the buses heading off to their next destination…

We boarded Papa Liu’s car and headed back to our minsu for a short rest and an interesting lesson on how to make a local jelly before we visit Fenqihu (奋起湖). Til the next post!

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Comments
One Response to “Visiting Taiwan . 2 Oct 2012. Day 5. Part 2/3 Exploring Alishan”
  1. Jx says:

    Hello, may i know how did you know where to go around in Alishan?
    Also how did plan your way around Alishan area?

    Thanks so much. Read all ur taiwan posts!:)

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