A new day begins when the sunshine jumps up from the top of mountain. This is one of the most attractive scenery in Alishasn. Sunrise shows in different place and different time in different seasons because of the Earth revolution. You can either take the Sunrise Train or walk through Zhushan Footpath to go to Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot, the best place to appreciate sunrise.
Sea of Cloud
Winter is the best season to watch sea of cloud. You can appreciate the wonder nearby Alishan bus Station, Alishan Train Station, Alishan Museum, Zhaoping Park, Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot, and Alishan House.
Ciyun Temple, Alishan Train Station, Zhaoping Park, Duegaoyue Viewing Lot, Mt. Ogasawara Viewing Lot, Alishan Bus Station, and Alishan House are suitable places to see sunset.
Alishan was one of the three major logging areas. People can relish walking in the forest enjoying the mother natural. The mountain will be filled with sea of flower when it comes to the flower season. Alishan is characterized by tropical, subtropical and temperate forests. The tropical forest contains longan, areca, acacia, and laurel bamboo. When you go up to 1,800-meter-high, you can see the subtropical forest including Moso bamboo, awkeotsang, and Alpine tea plantation. The temperate forest contains Cedar, Taiwan cypress, armand pine, Taiwan fir, and red cypress.
The zagging Alishan Forest Railway, nowadays is famous tourist train, originally constructed for logging。There are three branch lines, Zhushan Line, Mianyue Line, and Scared Tree Line. Zhushan Line is built specially for Sunrise Train.
Mianyue Line is famous for the beautiful scenery and Stone Monkey Area. (This branch is closed now due to the damage of 1999 Jiji earthquake and Typhoon Morakot.)
Scared Tree Line crosses through the Giant Trees of the Recreation Area. Steam train No.25, No.26, and No.31, were left over from the early years. Now they have been restored as a dynamic heritage.
Shenmu Ruins (Scared Tree)
The Scared Tree was struck by lightning in 1953 and 1955. After heavy rains in mountains, the soil could not support the tree; finally fell down at Jul-1st, 1997.
Alishan Creek shows beautiful waterfalls after raining. Shenyi Waterfall is one of them, and it is the beginning of Giant Tree Plank Trail.
Ciyun Temple Scenery
Ciyun Temple is one of the recommended places to watch sea of cloud and sunset glow. At the starting point of the earliest trail from Ciyun Temple to Shenmu, you can appreciate the Alishan settlement and Tashan.
No.28 Giant Tree
No.28 Giant Tree is the eldest and the tallest Taiwan Cypress around the Giant Trees Plank Trail.
Xianglin Arch Bridge
The Japanese-style Xianglin Arch Bridge is between Alishan Ranger Station and Shouzhen Temple.
Shuishan Giant Tree
The 2700-year-old giant tree, which is beside the Shuishan Trail, is the eldest tree in Alishan.
The new viewing lot is finished in Nov-2005. It is suitable to appreciate the scenery like sunrise, sunset, sea of cloud, and starry sky. Sometimes Mikado Pheasant will appear in the mountain.
Tashan, the holy mountain of Tsou people (the Taiwanese aborigines in Alishan), is famous for the precipice. Part of the trail is made of wood for preventing visitors trample on tree roots.
The original Zhaoping Station was constructed in 1914. However, it is rebuilt in 2013 due to the fire disaster. The new building, which got the honorable mention of the 13th Public Construction Golden Quality Award, is one of the new features building in Alishan National Forest Recreation Area.
Zhaoping Park has the broadest vision in the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area. It is constructed by the Forestry Bureau because the original business district was burned in 1967. This park has the highest Yoshino Sakura density in Alishan.
The wooden trail beside the Sister Pond is constructed in Ecological Engineering.
Tree Spirit Pagoda
The Tree Spirit Pagoda was built in 1935 for commemorating the trees which were felled.
The first generation fell down when it was about one thousand and five hundred years old. The second generation grew up on the trunk of the first generation. After the second was cut down, the third generation grew up on the stump of the second generation.
Ciyun Temple, which was named Alishan Temple, consecrates a Buddha statue of Shakyamuni gifted by King of Thailand.
Giant Trees Plank Trail
Trail No.1 begins at Thousand Year Cypress ends at the Scared Tree.
Trail No.2, which has 21 giant Taiwan Cypress along the way, begins at Shenyi Bridge. No.28 Giant Tree is the eldest and the tallest Taiwan Cypress around the Giant Trees Plank Trail.
Dr. Kawa Memorial Monument
It was erected to pay tribute to Dr. Kawa Ichitaro for his contribution to the forestry industry.
Shouzhen Temple is the largest temple in Alishan National Forest Recreation Area. The temple consecrates Xuanwu God, Tudigong, and Songzi Niangniang. There will be several owl moth stay on the Idol a week before March-3rd of Luna Calendar.
Xianglin Shenmu (Xianglin Scared Tree)
Xianglin Scared Tree, as known as Guangwu Cypress, is near the Ciyun Temple and the Xianglin elementary school. It was called “Guangwu” because the tree flourished during the Emperor Guangwu of Eastern Han dynasty.
Thousand Year Cypress
The Thousand Year Cypress, a 2000 years old Taiwan Cypress, is near the Xianglin Scared Tree. It was named Wansui Cypress because it looks like a person rising up his arms for cheer. (“Wansui” is from Japanese “Banzai”. “Banzai” means hurrah.)
There are rich animals and plants species in this area, even has endangered and extinct species. Following are brief descriptions:
The Composition of the Forest: Alishan used to be one of the three major Forest Farms because it contains rich forest facies. The main forest facies in the Recreation Area are distributed between 2,000 and 2.7,000 meters above sea level. This elevation is located in the “prevailing cloud zone”, so juniper, cypress, Taiwan cedar, cedar, Huashan pine and other forests are bred. The Taiwan Cypress and Cedar forest currently seen, which is called Plantation Forest, were rehabilitated in 1970s.
The Animals: The representative conservation mammals in the Alishan area include Taiwan black bears, mountain gills, masked palm civet, Formosan Sambar Deer, etc. Formosan Sambar Deer is a subspecies of Taiwan. Other representative mammals are red-bellied squirrel and striped squirrel.
The representative birds are Emperor Juvenile, Blue-bellied Bird, Serval Bird, Golden-winged White Eyebrow, White-eared Thrush, Blue-backed Titmouse, Fire-Crowned Daisy Bird, Chestnut-backed Forest Owl (Atian Mountain Owl), Winged Eyebrow, Guanyu thrush, etc.
Representative amphibians include Alishan Mountain Pepper Fish, Brown Tree Frog, Red Sard's Red Frog, Swinhoe's Red Frog, etc.
Formosan salamander mainly lives in the bottom of the coniferous forest under high altitude rocks or streams. This ice age species belongs to Taiwan's endemic species of conservation class. In addition, the brown tree frog is also a conservation class in Taiwan.
Reptiles include Formosan pit viper, Stejneger's pit viper, Taiwan japalure, etc. Among them, Formosan pit viper belongs to the conservation class of Taiwan's endemic subspecies, which are widely distributed but not many in number.
Erwanping, where the Alishan Youth Activity Center located, is the earliest logging area in the Alishan. It is named “Erwanping” (meaning twenty thousand Ping in Mandarin) because this terrain is large and flat. This is where the Alishan Youth Activity Center is located.
Tfuya Historical Trail and Alishan Railway is crossed at here, so this place is named Shizilu (meaning crossed road in Mandarin).
“Fkuo” comes from the aboriginal pronunciation of Tsou, which means “Hibiscus taiwanensis.” Fkuo Bridge is one of the popular spot for taking galaxy photo at night.
Dinghu is well-known for the tea farm and Moso bamboo alone the trail. It is also an important base for ecotourism in the Alishan area.
Muhu Trail is named Miyangxi Trail since it begins from Miyang Creek.
Lulin Sacred Tree
Lulin Sacred Tree, the second huge sacred tree in Taiwan, is near the forest beside Provincial Highway No.18 (88.8K). This 2700 years old giant tree is like a cliff when people look it from its side. Visitor can only see part of it from the bottom of Lulin Sacred Tree.
Since Lulin Sacred Tree grows on the cliff, people can only see the top of the tree when they stand on the road side. Not until the Forestry Bureau built a wooden trail, this huge Taiwan Cypress has shown to the world.
Tataka is at Yushan National Park eastern-north side, where locate many climbing trails entrance.
Beside Zhushan, Zihjhong (the junction of Alishan and Yushan) is also a popular place to appreciate sunrise.
Tataka Couple Tree, one of the well-known scared trees, is located at Provincial Highway No.21 (147.6K), where Yushan climbers must pass by. The special scene is made up of two dead Taiwan Cypresses. It was dead due to the fire disaster in 1963 and lightens in 1996.