Featured Destinations
The Alishan Forest Recreation Park
Solar Exploration Center
Dongshih Fisherman's Wharf
Fenci Lake
Haomeiliao Nature Preserve
Rueili Scenic Spot
Zengwun Reservoir Scenic Spot
map The Alishan Forest Recreation Park Rueili Scenic Spot Fenci Lake Solar Exploration Center Dongshih Fisherman's Wharf Haomeiliao Nature Preserve Zengwun Reservoir Scenic Spot
In Taiwan, the most beautiful place to watch sunrise is the Alishan Forest Recreation Park. Due to its gifted advantages: a location at an elevation of over 2000 meters above sea level, the Jade Mountains in the east, the Jade Mountain National Park next to it, the Chianan Plain in the west, high mountains surrounded by, cool weather all year round, and an average of 10.6 degree Celsius; therefore, the Park is famous for the sunrise, the sea of clouds, and the rosy clouds just before the sunset here. The Alishan area sits astride on all tropical, subtropical, temperate, and frigid forest zone of Taiwan, so it got very unique scenery. You get to see them all in one unbelievable trip. Its rich forest resources ferment a multi-dimensional ecological landscape. The plants here are world-famous for “cypress” trees. It is also the best place to go watch birds from mid and high elevations.
  The Alishan Forest Recreation Park was an important wooded land in the Japanese occupation era. In order to get the economic benefits out of the cypress trees, the Japanese built railways and chopped off the woods for 30 years. When Taiwan was returned to the Chinese after World War II, the original cypress trees were almost gone. Therefore, the Taiwan Forest Forestry Bureau made Alishan and the Jade Mountain area, the public forests of more than 39600 hectares, “the Alishan Forest Recreation Park” protect the natural resources here. Unexpectedly, the forest railway was recognized as one of the three greatest mountain-climbing railways in theworld. From Chiayi to Alishan, the railway has three spiral screws
and one Z-shape sclimbing up in its first sideline, which are amazingly engineering accomplishments. It shows how bold the Japanese were. They overcame all the geographic difficulties to get the economic benefits. There are also some sidelines in the park: the Divine Tree Line, the Mianyue Stone Monkey Line, and the Jhushan Sun-Watching Line. After the 921 earthquake in 1999, however, the Mianyue Stone Monkey Line was so badly destroyed that they had to close it down. Trains going on the Divine Tree Line are still irregular. Only the Jhushan Sun-Watching Line operates normally. It takes eager people to
go up in the mountains to see sunrise.
The park can be divided roughly into three landscape areas: the first area is the Alishan
Forest Recreation Park, the second area includes the Chushan Sun-Watching Track and the Towards-High-Mountains Sun-Watching Track; the third area includes the Mianyue Line, the Datashan Track, the Aji Vertical Walk and the Afong Vertical Walk. Most people visit the first area only. If you like more challenges, you may go to the second or the third area, the most difficult one. In the first area, there are many landscapes all connected with each other. For your reference, here are some routes for taking a forest bath: start from Jhaoping Park towards the Sisters’ Ponds, here is the highest-density cypress area in the Alishan Forest Recreation park; go along the track by the pond, the “Three Brothers” cypress tree landscape is here aside the wooden bridge by the Missing Pavilion, and the “Four Sisters” cypress tree landscape is at the end of the track; walk further, you will see the “Forever Love” dry decayed cypress landscape with another two cypress trees right
next to it, responding with each other. Then you can pass through the Mulan Park and the Shoujhen Temple to the Hanging Bridge. The trip is about 1 kilometer in length. It feels like walking in a green tunnel is very nice and cool even in hot summer. Next, start from the Alishan Hanging Bridge and pass through the original cypress trees logged-form road area behind Siangshan Elementary School. This route is mostly downwards. The section is also about 1 kilometer long. If you start from the old Divine Tree, the route will be all upwards until Siangshan Junior High School. So it will take you much more energy if you choose to hike this way. At last, a Steam Train Exhibition and many cherry blossoms are around the Jhaoping Park and make it an excellent photo place.
Although it is in the high mountains, accommodation and dining here are all very convenient. In the early days, tourist spots were mostly around the old Jhaoping Station. Since the new Alishan station and the Alishan highway (Tai 18 Line) were open, more and more new hotels and restaurants are open up near the new station and make it a rather busy business district. On the contrary, the old station faded out.
Alishan has been known for its five spectacular views: the mountain-climbing railways, the forests, a sea of the clouds, the sunrise, and the rosy clouds just before the sunset. The Forest Recreation Park is a good place to relax. You may take an easy walk or hike with light equipment, receive the energy from the forest flowing all over your body, and indulge in the aroma essence of the forests with birds singing and insects beeping in the background. The moment when you let go your heavy burdens is the time to begin a party for the body, heart and soul. Trips for two or three days are very good, and it all depends on your need.
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