All posts tagged: 阿里山

Taiwan: Alishan 阿里山 – Fen Qi Hu 奮起湖 and 53.1 Homestay Min Su 民宿 (Taiwan Travel Review Series)

From Taipei, we took the High Speed Rail (HSR) to Chiayi to get to Alishan (阿里山). We chose 53.1 Homestay Min Su (民宿) from very good online reviews on its location, friendliness of hosts and cleanliness.  53.1 Homestay Min Su (民宿) arranged a taxi for us (NTD$2000, SGD80+) which picked us up from the Chiayi HSR station to bring us to Fen Qi Hu (奮起湖, also spelled at Fen Chi Hu) and then drive us to 53.1 at Alishan. Including the stop at Fen Qi Hu, the total journey was ~3.5 hours. For those we are prone to motion sickness like me, tip: I highly recommend you to take motion sickness pills and sit at the front of the taxi. The ride is windy and quite bumpy! Fenqihu (奮起湖) has a long history that can be traced back to 100+ years before the opening of the Alishan Forest Railways in 1912.  As I learnt from the official Alishan site, Fenqihu is surrounded by mountains on three sides and with the ground low and flat, it looks like a bamboo …

Taiwan: Alishan 阿里山, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 , Cing Jing 清境, Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 (Taiwan Travel Review Series)

After 2 good days at 53.1 Min Su in Alishan, it was time to do the long 8 hour route to Taroko National Park. If you ever want to take this route, we highly recommend our driver, Mr Lu (Contact number:  +886928569081), who is a robust, healthy 68-year-old grandfather retiree. He is enthusiastic and friendly, suggests locations for us to take photos, suggests and helps us take “jumping” shots, feeds us fruits and slows down because I am car sick and tells me his life stories to distract me from my motion sickness. He is also very knowledgable about Taiwan’s history, economy and details of the various tourist sites so he made the entire day tour much more educational. First up, after leaving Alishan at 830am, 2 hours later, we stopped by the Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) to take the obligatory shot with the “Sun Moon Lake” Stone Carving.  The lake view against the mountains and clouds is beautiful but I felt the entire Sun Moon Lake area has become quite commercial and touristy, with a lot …

Taiwan: Alishan Main Attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area 阿里山國家風景區 (Taiwan Travel Review Series)

The very first tip before I start on the attractions is that up this peak at Alishan’s Main attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)is much colder than the base of the mountain. We dressed for the 10 to 15 degC we were experiencing at 53.1 Minsu, which is just 1 hour away from the peak, but the temperature was only 4 degC up at the peak, so do pad up before heading up! Good thing there are a lot of good hotpot stalls so we ate our fill to fuel up, and walked around a lot to warm ourselves up!   The traditional train ride at Alishan was slow, historic and enjoyable. Tip: take to Zhaoping Station (Rather than the more popular Sacred Tree station 神木車站 ) and walk from Zhaoping 沼平車站 because there will be a lot more downslope walking than an uphill climb! The most popular site is the Sacred Tree, which has since collapsed. But the trunk remains, giving a glimpse of the tree’s majestic breadth when it was still alive.