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Alishan National Park

In the heart Taiwan, Alishan National Park is a mountainous area of natural beauty set in the hills and peaks of Chiayi County. Spanning more than 160 square miles, it covers terrain as varied as rugged mountain passes and green, lush tea plantations. Hugely popular with hikers and outward-bound folks, the many trails take in waterfalls, countless species of flora and fauna and include Mount Ali, a peak that is visually synonymous with Taiwan. The area is home to only four small villages including the inhabitant aboriginal Tsou tribe whose young women inspired the famous Chinese folk song, "The Girls of Alishan".

Designated a national scenic area since 2001, Alishan is a constantly changing landscape, covered in cherry blossom during spring and blanketed with orange montbretia in summer. Visitors flock there for the hiking trails and views, though some cheat and take the pre-dawn train to the peak for a view of the sunrise without too much effort. The small villages are seats of ancient indigenous history and burst with tradition and culture, while the Japanese occupation is in evidence with the logging railway running through the area.

In the heart Taiwan, Alishan National Park is a mountainous area of natural beauty set in the hills and peaks of Chiayi County. Spanning more than 160 square miles, it covers terrain as varied as rugged mountain passes and green, lush tea plantations. Hugely popular with hikers and outward-bound folks, the many trails take in waterfalls, countless species of flora and fauna and include Mount Ali, a peak that is visually synonymous with Taiwan. The area is home to only four small villages including the inhabitant aboriginal Tsou tribe whose young women inspired the famous Chinese folk song, "The Girls of Alishan".

Designated a national scenic area since 2001, Alishan is a constantly changing landscape, covered in cherry blossom during spring and blanketed with orange montbretia in summer. Visitors flock there for the hiking trails and views, though some cheat and take the pre-dawn train to the peak for a view of the sunrise without too much effort. The small villages are seats of ancient indigenous history and burst with tradition and culture, while the Japanese occupation is in evidence with the logging railway running through the area.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Alishan forest railway

Originally built by the Japanese to transport cypress wood from the area, the railway was updated in the 1970s after the decline of the logging industry and the onset of tourism. Travelers explore the gorgeous landscape in colonial rail-travel style.

Fenqihu

This small, indigenous town comprises only a small number of low, traditionally-built wooden houses but it is responsible for production of local produce and it is surrounded by mysterious rock formations and charming mountains streams.

Hiking

Spanning a spine of peaks, Alishan is riddled with mountain trails of varying difficulty, attracting walkers of all abilities. Visitors pack picnics and set out for a pleasant day enjoying scenic delights. Some stay overnight to avoid the day-tripper crowds.

Longyin Temple

The small and unassuming village of Chukou in Alishan draws visitors with its eye-catching temple. A colorful and highly-decorated feat of traditional Chinese Buddhist architecture, visitors come to explore and marvel at the intricately-fashioned dragons lining the roofs.

Sunrise and sunset

One of the most famous and popular scenic spots in Taiwan, the view from the peak at dawn has long been acclaimed as an unmissable experience. The sun rising behind Yushan - the highest mountain in Taiwan - above the sea of clouds, is unforgettable.

Two Sisters Pond

Within the cool, shady trees, are the two sisters - a pair of forest pools. At the center of the larger of the two sits a picturesque pavilion. A great spot for a photo, this area also marks the start of the mountain trail to the top of Mount Tashan.

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