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Review Highlights
Epic Views, Lovely Trails & Amazing Trees

We took the Sunrise Train from Alishan Railway Station to Jhushan Station via the Alishan Forest... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
infinitely-moving
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Keene, New Hampshire
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Beautiful place and fit for family

A beautiful place and fit for family, children, and elders. The air is clear and the scenery is so... read more

Reviewed May 1, 2019
SHIYIJIN
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Reviewed December 22, 2010

The air is fresh and the sacred trees are huge! Nice place for a leisure 2 hour walk. Remember to take the little forest train down to Alishan station even though it's only a 10-min joy ride. :)

3  Thank sllee8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2010

I love Alishan. The mountain people are so friendly. And the barbecued pig at Cicero's is a symphony of incredulity! I highly recommend the Mountain!
David Sutherland
film producer and gourmet cook

4  Thank Latsuo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2009

On my recent business trip to Taiwan I knew that we would have a weekend off. My research indicated that Alishan is a favorite destination of Taiwanese people. Once I started mentioning it to my business associates, they all raved and told me how often they had been there. The narrow guage train from Chia Yi sounded quaint, too. We made plans to visit in mid-March with some work friends.
We discovered that the train tracks had been washed out by a recent landslide.You can still travel by train, but you have to get out of one train, walk 300 yards (very steep) and get on a waiting train. Since our friends offered to get a van to take us part way up, we only had to do this on the return trip. It was a unique experience, but I caution anyone not in good physical shape not to do it. I don't know when they will have this part of the track repaired. Also, these are very small trains and there is no room for a big bag. We deposited our suitcases in Chia Yi and took a small overnight bag.
We stayed at the Alishan Gou. This hotel was not very opulant. I would rate it with the average Motel 6. But be a good sport and think of it as comfortable camping. The hotel serves a very Asian breakfast. I love all types of Asian food for lunch and supper, but did not find much to my liking on the buffet. Bring granola bars.
Alishan Village had a variety of shopping and eating options. Nothing stands out.
The main reason to go here is to walk among the mountain trails and see beautiful flora. We went when the cherry blossoms were in full glory and it is a really attractive park. However, be prepared for huge crowds, especially at this time of year. Big crowds in many places make me nervous, but the people all seemed really friendly and peaceful and I enjoyed it.
An Alishan ritual is to get up before dawn and trek to a particular spot to watch the sunrise. It seems as though seeing this sunrise is evidence that you are "lucky" (or makes you lucky?). I do not recommend planning to sleep in. Trains start carrying passengers to this spot at 3:30 AM and blow their whistles joyously. Go ahead and join the fun. If you don't want to squeeze into one of the trains you can hike. It is a mostly uphill walk and takes at least 45 minutes.
I did not find the actual sunrise all that amazing, but at 8000 feet you are above valleys full of clouds, they call it the "Sea of Clouds". Beautiful.
I'm happy that I have experienced Alishan, but feel no need to return. I suspect that Americans, who are spoiled by all the amazing National Parks in our own country, might not be as enthralled with Alishan as Taiwanese people are.

8  Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2009

I travel to Alishan from Taipei city. Most of the train tickets are booked advance online.

U need to travel to the Chiayi HSR from Taipei Main Station (HSR). Please take the early HSR, i.e. 7.06am if you’re catching the 10am Alishan forest train. U’ll arrive at Chiayi HSR around 8.35am. Walk out of main entrance, you’ll see a bus-stop located there, board the SHUTTLE BUS that goes to Chiayi Train Station (ask the driver if not sure), waiting and journey time is around 20 minutes each (weekday).

Here’s the complicated part - the shuttle bus WILL NOT alight u directly in front of Chiayi train station. U need about 10-15 minutes walk (including crossing an overhead bridge). The SHUTTLE BUS stops at the back of the station, ask the local once u alight, they will direct u. Take a cab if all these sounds too complicated. Cab fare is estimated at NT300++.

HSR Fare = NT1080 per pax one way – 1.5 hrs journey
Alishan Forest Train = NT399 per pax one way (Alishan back to Chiayi is NT360) – 4.5hrs journey one way

SHUTTLE BUS Fare is NT40 per pax one way (Chiayi HSR to Chiayi train station) – 20 minutes journey

*note*
U will need to walk (hike) about 500m in-between one of the Alishan Forest Train station as it was destroy by heavy rain. It took us about 20 mins, a little tired if you're not an active person ... :p But you are given 40mins to complete the walk.

<that's why we opted to travel back to Chiayi via Express Bus instead – 2.5 hrs journey – NT204 per pax>
the express bus ticket can be purchased at the 7-11 (in Alishan, behind Starbucks). U’ll alight at the Chiayi Train station. Walk the same way back to the Shuttle Bus Stop (ask the local if unclear).

Part 2 – Accommodation @ Alishan

I’m staying at ShinShin Homestay (欣欣民宿).
One night rate (weekday) is NT1200 (1 queen bed).
The homestay is located very near the train station, just need about 3 minutes walk. The rooms are located behind their restaurants.. The rooms are very simple, woody deco, simple toilet.

As it’s the winter season now, the room is VEY VERY VERY cold. Probably only a few degrees Celsius in the night, we have to pile on all our clothings to keep warm. It’s probably our worst experience. As we have to wake up at 3.45am to join the tour to see Sunrise (will give more details in Part 3), we practically stay up all night to fight the cold…

The room only provide a SMALL towel, slightly bigger than a hand towel as they assume u won’t be bathing since it’s already so cold.. Bring your own if you need to shower (but not sure if they have hot water, as we are too cold to bath). They do hot/cold water dispenser along the corridor.

7-11, Starbucks, eatery, restaurants are located just within short walking distance..

Part 3 - Sunrise Tour!!!

Alot of touters will be asking you to join the tours, even Hotels/Homestays have their own tours. But this is the only ONE using a very nice & comfortable bus, the rest are using vans/car.

The tour includes a guide which he'll do all the explanations.. The tour will leave at 4.50am (depending on Sunrise timing) and back at around 9.00am.

First stop - my favourite of all - Stars!
As I grew up in the city, i have not seen SO MANY stars up in the sky before!!! It was so beautiful, i think i'll never forget in my whole life. The tour guide will explains (in Mandarin) the name of the stars, your horoscope stars, etc etc..

Next, we proceed to see the cloud forming, the first light and finally Sunrise...

The tour cost is NT300 per pax. U can look out for a red bus (see picture via link below) parked outside Starbucks around 4pm.. or check with the ppl in tourist informations centre.

Last part - summary

There're alot of trails/hike in Alishan, take a map from the Tourist Info Centre and it's easy to follow. We went to the trails of Giant Trees which most of them are more than thousand yrs old.. This ttrails took us about 2.5 hrs to complete..

Overall I personally felt that Alishan is alittle overrated, it is not very worth the efforts going through the hassle of transferring trains/buses. It'll be much easier if you have a car..

Generally i still enjoy it - especially seeing so many stars at the same time!!! But I will not visit again, not at least in the next few decades... ... There're still many places to explore in taiwan!

Cheers!

13  Thank Wensi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2019
Google Translation

Date of experience: April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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