- Travel to Chiayi City in southern Taiwan to take the Alishan Forest Railway and experience the "highest” narrow-gauge mountain railway in Asia!
- In the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area which is famous for its Chinese cypress trees, you will see tall, lush specimens of Taiwan red false cypress, Cryptomeria-like Taiwania, Taiwan yellow cedar, Taiwan hemlock, and other giant “sacred trees” all over the place.
- Take the Sunrise Watching Train to the highest train station in Taiwan, Zhushan Station, from where you continue to the Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot to watch the amazingly beautiful Alishan sunrise.
Chiayi city, located in the south of Taiwan, was particularly prosperous during the Japanese administration period due to the trade and distribution of alpine forestry timber; so much so that it was even listed as one of Taiwan’s four major cities.
On this 2D1N trip you’ll experience the "highest" narrow-gauge mountain railway in all of Asia up close and personal: the main line and branch line of the Alishan Forest Railway, climbing from Chiayi Railway Station at only 30m above sea level to Zhushan Station at an amazing 2,451m above sea level（partly closed for the whole line）. Along the way you’ll witness the changes in the forest as you climb higher and higher, while enjoying the striking beauty of the mountain and river valley formations.
In the afternoon, we will take a leisurely stroll along the two sections of the Giant Trees Plank Trail in the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area to the 36 Millennium Taiwan red false cypress giant trees, which are the oldest living cypresses in the entire Alishan region. In the early morning of the next day we will take the Forest Railway branch line to Zhushan Station where we will climb up to the Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot to enjoy the 360-degree view and the magnificent Alishan sunrise!
Alishan National Forest Recreation Area
The Alishan Mountain Range is one of the five largest mountain ranges in Taiwan. However, “Alishan,” which means “Ali Mountain,” is in fact not a single mountain, but rather refers to the entire mountain range. The area has been home to a rich stock of Taiwan red cypresses and Taiwan yellow cedars since ancient times. From 1912 until the late 1960s this was the site of the largest forestry center in all of Taiwan. The Giant Trees Plank Trail within the recreation area currently has two sections. Walking along the trail, you’ll encounter 36 red cypress giant trees that have survived through the centuries, reminders of the magnificence of these sacred trees.
Alishan Forest Railway
The Alishan Forest Railway was built during the peak period of global railway technology. Four major engineering methods were used on this one railway. It has been a national landmark of Taiwan’s cultural landscape, serving as a witness to the historic development of Taiwan's forestry sector over the past 100 years. During the rocking, swaying journey up from Chiayi you’ll see the changes of plant species as you pass through three different forest zones: tropical, warm, and temperate. The various track sections also have their own unique characteristics, such as a spiral section (Dulishan Station), and the horseshoe bend (Shuisheliao Station), making this railway journey a truly rare attraction.
Alishan 8 New Scenic Spots & Attractions
The Alishan National Forest Recreation Area has many scenic spots and attractions. In addition to the railway, forest, seas of clouds, sunrises, and sunsets, which are renowned as the Alishan 5 Attractions, the Forestry Bureau has now packaged various other draws as the “Alishan 8 New Scenic Spots & Attractions.” These are the Tashan Peculiar Rocks, Ogasawara Mountain, Shuishan Giant Tree, Xianglin Arch Bridge, No. 28 Giant Tree, Ciyun Temple Scenery, Shenyi Waterfall, and Alishan Sacred Tree Relics. These fascinating scenic highlights capture every tourist’s interest and imagination, slowing their pace in order to fully savor the unique and enchanting charms of these eight marvels.
Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot
The Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot is the best place to enjoy the sunrise at Alishan. It offers a wide panorama, and has no dead corners. Not only will you have the chance to see the flaming sun rising out of the distant mountains, but from here you can even see all three major Taiwan mountain ranges at once (Central Mountain Range, Yushan Mountain Range, and the Alishan Mountain Range). On a clear day, you can even see the summit of Yushan (Mt. Jade), the highest peak in Taiwan.
Taiwan Pleione Formosana Story House / Alishan Salamander Exhibit Hall / Zhaoping Park