We have finally reached the last day of our Taiwan tour, and we are visiting Alishan, another one of Taiwan’s national scenic areas located near Chiayi, at the center of Taiwan. Our Ownrides driver, Sam, picked us up from our hotel in Taichung earlier than usual, as it was quite a long drive.
I’ve seen and read about Alishan in a lot of blogs, and I must say I included this in our itinerary simply because it is considered one of the must-visits in Taiwan. I wasn’t too excited about it, BUT I am happy to report that I was wrong.
This day tour tops my list– Alishan is simply one of the most amazing and memorable places I’ve been to.
Going up the mountain itself was enthralling already. The mountain views were great, and we saw tea plantations here and there, where they get the famous Alishan Tea!
Our first stop was Fenchihu Old Street, which was formerly a stop for the old Alishan railways. Now, it is home to quaint restaurants and shops selling local food, souvenirs and the likes. It is here, by the way, where we bought the best tasting mochi EVER.
After some time sampling and buying local goodies, we headed up to the national scenic area where we had lunch at a place our driver took us to. I’m really sorry I didn’t get its name, but it was the usual group feast of the freshest veggies, chicken, pork, but this time we had hot pot! 🙂
After lunch we headed to the Alishan Railway station, and purchased a one-way ticket to Zhaoping station from where we would jump off our exploration of Alishan. The plan is to walk from Zhaoping station, all the way to the Sacred Tree Station, and take the train back. It’s funny because our driver, Sam, keeps on telling us to walk, because it’s easy and we need some exercise. HAHAHA.
Us: So we could also take the train back from Sacred Tree Station?
Sam: Yes, if you’re lazy. You can walk!!
From Zhaoping station, we walked…
And we got to the viewing area of the Xianglin Sacred tree, a red cypress tree that is 2000 years old. Man, it didn’t even fit in one photo. Check the people for scale!
And we walked along the giant tree trail to get to the Sacred Tree Station.
While I loved this part of Alishan, I have to note that it was quite unpleasant for my grandmother who had difficulty with loooong walks. and especially with that number of stairs. I saw many seniors walking this trail with no difficulty, but I also kind of noticed that seniors here are really fit. haha. Just saying, it might be difficult for some!
The sight of the train ends our day trip in Alishan, and basically our tour in Taiwan! I must say that our Alishan experience was the perfect way to end the tour, because it left me with an awe of nature and God, and how privileged I am to have seen trees that have stood for thousands of years. Imagine the strength, care and grace given to these trees. I am reminded of this verse in Matthew 6:
26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
All my worries suddenly seemed so petty, and I am left grateful for this trip! 🙂
***I skipped Day 6 cause my brain cells were working for this post. Haha. Will hopefully get to write it soon!