We have already heard that one big part of Taiwan’s territory is highly mountainous area. In order to protect the uniqueness and natural beauties of these areas, the Government officially confirms these areas as protected natural regions in the form of National Park or National Scenic Areas.
One of the most popular destinations of one foreigner visitor in Taiwan is Alishan National Scenic Area. Since all the mountainous range has average height 2600 m, all the opportunities for developing of tourism here in a higher scale are obvious. But, everything has not started so smoothly and easily.
The Alishan National Park was settled for many years only by Taiwanese aborigines. But, Japanese occupation of Taiwan had left an important mark in this mountain. Same as today, Alishan National Area is almost completely covered by forest. That fact offered a fantastic opportunities for logging and in order to convey as much as possible good wood from here, Japanse build a railway system.
Today, the Alishan railway system is the biggest attraction on the mountain and one of the only three remaining alpine railways in the world. rom Chiayi City about 30 meters above sea level, the railway ascends into the mountains to over 2,000 meters above sea level. There are 49 tunnels, 77 bridges and numerous wonderful sights along the railroad. Unfortunatelly, the ALishan railway system is closed until the last 2011 because of Typhoon damage two years ago. (See attached video about this amazing experience).
Other facilities which make the Alishan National Park so popular are (except of fresh air and beautiful nature) are: famous Chinese tea which is been cultivated around the mountain and small traditional villages around the main road to Alishan tourstic center.
Due to very strong raining, we spent our most time in the car. I didn’t experience above mentioned ” tour package ” but at least I figured out how the weather here can be changeable. From extremely sunny morning, it started to rain with temperature bellow 17 C degree.
On our road back home, nature showed us one of its unbelievable works of art: