Friday, October 2, 2009

Alishan Photo Gallery

The Alishan (阿里山) Forest Recreation Area located in central Taiwan's Chiayi county (嘉義縣) is a beautiful and serene place to visit. The main town, called Zhong Zheng village (中正村) (more commonly known as Alishan Village), is basically a big parking lot adjacent to a bus station, train station, visitor center, gift shops, and restaurants. This area can seem a little bit crowded and touristy, especially when the cherry blossoms are blooming, but I find it charming. There are lots of nice hotels around Zhong Zheng village, but you can also find comfortable homestays and hostels nearby.

The real draw for me is the sweet, clean air and lush green forests that surround the town. There are also a couple of great tea shops such as "Sun Rise Tea Shop" run by my friend Ming Chuang. The tea prices in Zhong Zheng village are understandably higher compared to an actual tea farm, but they are negotiable.

Because the Alishan Forest Recreation Center is over 2000 meters elevation, the temperature can get a little cold. When I went in January, the nighttime temperature hit freezing and many tourists were taking photos of themselves in front of a large digital thermometer in the center of town. The next morning everyone was taking pictures of the ice on their windshields.

If you are a fan of trains, sun rises, forests, cherry blossoms, hiking and/or high mountain oolong, I would definitely recommend a trip to this very scenic and relaxing alpine area.

Here is a photo gallery of pictures taken in the area. Photos with a * were taken by my friends David and Gwen who traveled with me in May, 2008.

Cool tile art*


Foggy Afternoon*


Sunrise and Sea of Clouds*


Tasting Sun Rise Tea Shop's
"Green Guanyin" Alishan High Mountain oolong*


Tasting oolong at Sun Rise Tea Shop*


The little old forestry train roundin' the bend*


Sunrise and Cloud Sea*


Dramatic Mountains*


High Mountain Cliffs in Fog*


Sunrise*


Sea of Clouds*


Old hotel in the rain*


Crags and cliffs*


Here comes the sun*


Misty foggy trail*


Incredible Cloud Sea*


Zhong Zheng Village:


Fog rolling in*


Sunrise with fellow pilgrims


Classic peace sign pose with Cherry blossoms!


Rolling down the line


Zhong Zheng village in the rain


Zhong Zheng in the rain 2

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks!
TokyoB

Jason Witt said...

I'm very pleased to see these photos. I like the misty times and in particular those old cobblestone-type paths. I know it's not really representative of the rest of China, but it all looks so unspoiled. --Teaternity

Alanna said...

These are great photos... they bring back so many lovely memories of our trip to Alishan. It truly is a magical place!