Monday, 14 April 2014

Day 3: Travel up the Alishan mountain

No Taiwan trip is complete without seeing the Famous Alishan Sunrise, up in the mountains, over a sea of clouds.

On day 3 we left for Alishan, on a bullet train from Taipei. It was Prasha's first bullet train ride.
One can get as much as 35% off if booked a train ride 28 days or before.
Refer this website for more details.
They dont let you wander on the platform but it is more like waiting for your plane to dock at the gate number at airports. There is a waiting area and you cant even be there to see the train leaving or entering the station. 

We had left the luggage at the Taipei hostel.
To get there you need to travel towards Khaosiung in the HSR or High Speed Railway.
It is a long journey towards Alishan.  We took the 8:36 AM THSR to Chiayi from Taipei. 

The train reached at 10:00, our bus was at 10:10 just outside the station. Tickets on board.
The Chiayi HSR is 15 km outside from the city but is connected by a free shuttle bus to the city.
Also there are 3 buses in a day for Alishan direct from the Chiayi HSR station.

More details here .

Once on the bus we dozed off. It is a winding journey through hilly area. The air starts getting chilly as the bus  negotiates steep slopes and climbs up the atmosphere.

Cherry blossoms are seen in February in Taipei for about a week. So in April, Alishan was our last hope to see the famous Sakura or Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan.

We got off the bus and head straight to the hotel Alishan Shermuh Hotel .

It was time for a quick dip in the hot tub! We had been travelling for over 2 hours now and it was really cold outside. The clouds were floating at line of sight...

Once refreshed we headed off to the attractions of Alishan mountains. Sister ponds was the main attraction in mind. The Sacred tree line was about to dispatch in another 40 min.

All other restaurants were out for Tea and hence not open for business!

 So we headed to the 7-11 nearby.
They have vegetarian noodles! They provide sitting place and hot water for free.

The destination station.

The sister pond is at a little walking distance from the station.

You are not alone.. people accompany you. But it is still eerie in the jungle even in the day time.

The scenery on the way:-

Sisters pond

The pig 

The   shape of a fallen tree

Walk back to the main town...

Thats me at work!

A chinese temple on the way back.

The beautiful sunset in the mountains

Local Wasabi produce

Shopping for local farm products.

When we reached the town it was already dark and restaurants were serving early dinners.

We bought the tickets for the next day early morning train. It is wise to do so because otherwise you have to wakeup even earlier to book the tickets. 

We bought another veggie noodle at the 7-11 and retreated to the hotel to enjoy another hot water tub dip...
Life was never so beautiful before.....