What to see in Alishan (things to do):Alishan isn't particularly big, and in a full day you can do it all. Between the Forest Train and your own legs, you can get anywhere.
These are our favorite trails and views:
- Giant Trees Plank Trail (1): a 600m path composed of platforms and stairs that will take you through the most amazing trees in the park. Towering ancient trees reminiscent of the sequoias of the United States. On this trail you can see the Alishan Sacred Tree, Xianglin Sacred Tree, Tree Spirit Pagoda and Thousand Year Cipress.
- Shuishan Giant Tree: a beautiful 1,600-meter trail that follows old train tracks until it reaches this impressive 2,700-year-old tree.
- Giant Trees Plank Trail (2): 450m of trail that descends into the forest, passing through the beautiful Shenyi waterfall.
- Shouzhen Temple: an impressive temple in the middle of the forest. Its roof is simply spectacular. You may pass through here on the way between Giant Trees Plank Trail (2) and the Sister Ponds.
- Sister Ponds: two pretty ponds reached by a beautiful path.
- Ciyun Temple: the temple itself is worth nothing, but just behind it there is a small trail where you can find platforms to see (in a clear day) the sunset and the Sea of Clouds.
- See the Alishan Sunrise: it is one of the most famous attractions, although the truth is that most of the time it is so cloudy that you can't see anything... if you don't mind having a good early start, it can be an experience. The best point to see it is Mt Ogasawara, which is reached from the Zhushan station (most of the people stay at the Zhushan viewpoint). Another good point if you want to be alone is the Duegaoyue viewpoint, but the view is not so beautiful.
- See the sunset in Alishan: although the famous thing is the sunrise, the sunset is also beautiful, and you do not have to stick up early. The best places to see it are the viewpoint behind the Ciyun Temple and the second floor of the Alishan Train Station.
- See the Sea of Clouds Alishan is 2,500m high. Most of the days it is cloudy, and these clouds invade the forest causing the characteristic fog that gives Alishan that mystical appearance. But sometimes those clouds come down from the forest level, and then you can see the famous Sea of Clouds, a marvel for which you will need a little luck. The best places to observe this phenomena is from the sunrise platforms, Ciyun Temple and Alishan Train Station.
- Alishan Sakura Trail: of course, if you go in the cherry blossom season (early spring), you have to do this trail that will take you among wonderful cherry blossoms.