Friday, 12 February 2016

Mia's Taiwan Travelogue: Alishan National Park

First up, if you're planning to spend a night or two at Alishan and can't decide on where to stay, you might want to check out my experience at Alishan Lauya Homestay and find out how to get there from Chiayi HSR Station.

And so, after our first day on Alishan, we started our day with a simple breakfast at Lauya before heading up Alishan via the Alishan Bus, which comes in roughly 30 minutes intervals in the morning It is best to check with your homestay, and Lauya gave us a very detailed briefing on all the different timings of the to and fro bus and the Alishan train departure and arrival time etc. 

The bus will bring you to the entrance of the park and you'll alight at the 7-11 kiosk before walking back to Alishan Station to buy your train ticket to go up to Zhao Ping Station (as recommended by Lauya's owner).



It's a short train ride up to Zhao Ping Station, and as advised by Lauya, we retrace our steps back from where the train came from and got onto the abandoned railway track that's located beside the track on which the train came from, to get to the Giant Tree of Mt. Shuishan. 


A few steps along the old tracks and you should get your confirmation that you're on the right tracks, no puns intended. 


We were told that the journey in and out will take about an hour each. But due to too much goofing around and photo-taking along the way, we took about 1.5 hours (or more) to get in. 


Every spot seems like the perfect #ootd spot, no joke.


And when you see this part of the railway, it means you're getting there! 

But, just when you thought the Giant Tree is going to be right in front of your eyes....


You'll see a long flight of stairs instead. HO... =.="



Well, just using me (of 1.7m height) to show you just how 'giant' is this Giant Tree. 

And after taking in the breathtaking view of this impossibly huge and anciently old tree, we retrace our steps back to Zhaoping Station, and it was already almost 1pm when we started off our journey to the rest of the park from Zhaoping station.

First up on the map, was Sister Pond. 
And before that, we got tricked by the Younger Sister Pond into thinking, "Huh, this?" 
But on 2nd thought, though extremely small and resembles nothing more than just a puny water body smack in the middle of some greenery, the Younger Sister Pond actually meant more to us, for all of us are the younger sister (and brother) of the family. 

And this is the actual Sister Pond.

Got some instagram-worthy shot(s) of the day using some iPhone filter. And I swear it wasn't a 'posey' shot. I was waiting for the bf to take my tourist type of look-straight-at-the-camera-and-grin photo, and zh just snapped it randomly while testing her iPhone filters. 

Totally took this at the wrong angle, but the correct angle showing the heart shape was a shot with the bf hence I didn't want to post it up here as it's too 'cheesy'. But yeah, the remains of the tree trunk actually forms a rather obvious heart shape. 

Following down the pathway, we came to the Shouzhen Temple at the pit stop station with a stretch of stalls selling food like roasted sweet potatoes, curry fishballs and some hot soup. This is the only place with sale of food for consumption inside the park, so be sure to at least grab something to keep in your bag even if you're not feeling hungry, just in case. 
And after the pit stop station, we continued with our route to get to the Three-Generation Tree, which is a 'set' of 3 different trees going 'on top' of each other. By this time, we were all pretty tired from all the walking and goofing around for photo-taking previously, so there's almost ZERO photos from this point onwards. 
After the Three-Generation Tree, follow on with the pathway and get to this extremely long flight of stairs down to get to the Giant Tree Boardwalk and the Sacred Tree Station, which is where you board the train back (out) to Alishan Station to take the bus back down. Walking down to your right while facing the station will bring you to a small (and pretty disappointing) waterfall, which might have been better if there had been some rainfall or something. But while we're there, nope. It was rather pathetic, to be honest. 

Stick around for my Day 4 travelogue, where we return to Alishan Park in the early morning to (try and) catch the sunrise and then leave the mountains for yet another one, at Cing Jing. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful place and especially that track photos is so natural.

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  2. I love to meet Taiwan through your blog. Beautiful photos and nice description.

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  3. I wanna have the same photo like yours at the railway, lol
    I hope to visit Taiwan this year or perhaps next year

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  4. I was in Taiwan last November but we only went to Taipei and the northern part. I love the national parks there and I wish we could have visited this park, too.

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  5. I'll be going Taiwan end February! Will be going to explore all these places!

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  6. I have heard of Ali Shan since childhood, but this is the first time I have seen a blog about it. I hope I can really see the beauty of this place first hand.

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  7. Whoa! The place looks absolutely mindblowing. I have to visit your country... You're making it so tempting...

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  8. Its on my list , we are visiting big bend national park this month!

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  9. Alisan National Park is a must visit place in Taiwan. This post making me sad and wanna go gym.

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  10. The place looks very relaxing. I love that walking so I don't mind the trail. It would be great to spend an entire day here with loved ones.

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  11. I have a national park here where I live and I have yet to pay it a visit. This one looks amazing! I would love to visit maybe one day.

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  12. The place looks awesome,there anyone can enjoy the beauty of untouched nature.Nice article with great pictures.

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  13. Taiwan is breathtaking! Thanks for sharing this with us! The photos are lovely and really look like something I would love to do!

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  14. This is something I would definitely enjoy with the nature component of Alishan. I'll check if I can squeeze some time when I go to Taipei during month end.

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  15. I don't know why the trail towards the Giant Tree looked a bit creepy to me. But indeed, the photos you took are all instagram worthy. :)

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