Taiwan: Day 1 Arrival & Alishan Forest

Travel Period : 30th Oct – 6th Nov 2012

Day 1 Morning to Afternoon Itinerary :

  • Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 –>>
  • Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2 桃園國際機場–>>
  • Taoyuan HSR Station 桃園高鐵站–>>
  • Chiayi HSR Station 嘉義高鐵站–>>
  • Lovers Bridge 天長地久橋–>>
  • Alishan Tea Garden Home-stay 茶香花園民宿–>>
  • Alishan National Forest Recreation Area 阿里山森林遊樂區 –>>
How We Got There :
Took UBus from Taoyuan Airport to Taoyuan HSR (15-20mins) // Transfer from Taoyuan HSR Station to Chiayi HSR Station (40 mins) // Pre-arranged driver Mr Lin picked us up from Chiayi HSR Station // Cab to Lovers Bridge // Cab to Alishan Tea Garden Homestay // Cab to Alishan National Forest Recreation Park 

Arrival . Flight

We took a midnight flight by Scoot Airlines and arrived at Taoyuan Airport early in the morning at 5am+ as scheduled. Despite it being a budget airline, the seats were rather spacious and we were comfortable throughout, though it got pretty cold halfway through the journey. I had especially booked our seats but soon realised that I had chosen a row where there was no window! Fortunately it was mostly pitch dark outside during our flight so we didn’t really miss out much.

We then tried to catch as much sleep as possible since it was a 4-hour flight. Cat and Dar were more successful than me in that. I was too excited about the upcoming trip and hardly caught any sleep.

Transfer . Bus to Taoyuan HSR

Prior to our trip, we knew we would want to get the local pre-paid SIM card from any MyFone Service Center which is under the 台灣大哥大 service provider. Upon arrival at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport before 6am, despite knowing there is such a center at the airport, we did not want to waste time waiting there since it will only open at 7am. As a result, we decided to get the SIM card later and headed straight to the bus terminal where we would catch a shuttle service to Taoyuan HSR Station. We turned right upon leaving the Arrival Hall to reach the bus terminal.

There were several tickets booths from various bus companies there. We headed to the UBus Booth and bought 2 Adult tickets at NT$30 each (more info here). Since Dar was 4 years old and less than 110cm in height, he could travel free but had to sit on one of our laps (this is a common criteria for free rides for most of the transport in Taiwan). We then left through the nearest exit and turned left to get to Berth 1 to wait for the bus to arrive.

There was already a queue formed up so we just simply joined in. We managed to get onto the second bus that arrived at around 10-minute intervals and placed our luggage in the middle of the bus, where an open area was especially reserved for such use. We then found some empty seats near the back of the bus and it soon started moving off, stopping briefly at Terminal 1 before reaching the Taoyuan HSR Station in 15 minutes time.

Transfer . Taoyuan HSR to Chiayi HSR

After we got off the bus, we proceeded to the HSR (High Speed Rail) ticket counter near the entrance of the station to purchase our tickets. There was a detailed list of the subsequent trains indicated on the screens so we just needed to get tickets for the next train that would bring us to Chiayi HSR Station, which cost NT$920 each. We didn’t buy a ticket for Dar (same rule for free boarding as above) in order to save some money. Though the temperature read that it was 23 degrees celsius, we actually felt it was hot and didn’t put on our jackets. This made us disappointed because we were here to escape the hot weather back in Singapore.

Initially, we had thought that we would buy food and snacks on board the train, but after checking with the staff, that service is only provided for train rides during peak hours, such as lunch and dinner hours. We quickly proceeded to the 7-Eleven convenience store located in the station to get ourselves some bento (rice) to eat on the train. The staff did the heating up using their microwave machines for us after we had paid for the food.

We then rushed towards the platform as we knew that the trains in Taiwan depart punctually most of the times. The lift ride up to the platform, however, took quite a while (their lift doors close very slowly, probably for safety reasons) but fortunately, we managed to board the train in time.

There were also a luggage area (able to fit in about three or four luggage bags) at the end of each carriage and we left our luggage there before we proceeded to our seats. There were also metal railings on both sides of the carriage, above our seats, which we could put our smaller luggage on. The seats were also spacious enough to place small bags below them.

Foldable tables were available at the back of each seat and we had our bento breakfast on them. However, we started to regret not getting a ticket for Dar too as it was difficult for us to eat our breakfast with him sitting on one of our laps. Also, there’s the inconvenience of passengers at the window seat (we were occupying the outer two seats out of the three seats on one side) moving in and out the aisle as they boarded/alighted from train as it reached the various stations along the way. We reminded ourselves to get a ticket for Dar next time we take the HSR.

The train ride itself was smooth as it moved rapidly yet steadily, and Dar enjoyed looking out of the window constantly to enjoy the scenery. In about 40 minutes’ time, we arrived at our destination and made sure we took photos of the High Speed Rail that Dar loved so much. “Bullet Train!!!” He had been very fascinated with it even before coming to Taiwan, after we told him about them and watched some videos of them on YouTube.

Arrival . Chiayi County

We then met up with our pre-arranged cab driver for the day (booked via email). Our original driver was supposed to be Mr Zheng (鄭先生), who was recommended by Doris Home (朵麗絲的家) but he had something on at the last-minute and arranged for his friend, Mr Lin (林先生) to be our driver for our first day’s itinerary instead.

As we passed through the Chiayi County on our way to Alishan Area, we felt it was rural and countryside with large patches of grasslands or plantations. The buildings were also quite old.




At the Foot of Alishan: Lovers Bridge Area 天長地久橋

Visited: Lovers Bridge (Lower Bridge) 地久橋 > Long Yin Temple 龍隱寺
#1: Lovers Bridge (Lower Bridge) 地久橋

This wasn’t part of our original itinerary as we knew time was limited for our first day’s itinerary (especially when daylight is short in the later part of the year in Taiwan). However, when we reached the foot of Alishan, we realised that the road uphill was blocked as a time-limited access was in place to restrict the number of vehicles in Alishan at any one time. This was due to typhoons earlier causing landslides covering the roads and thus need clearance of the mud. It seemed to be a pretty common occurrence and can make travelling up the area quite dangerous during certain seasons (especially during August and September). They would close the entrance and restrict people from going uphill if the damage was bad and thus, travelers need to check the weather conditions and read the news before they decide to go to the Alishan area.

From what we understand from our driver, vehicles going in or out of Alishan would only be permitted within the first 20 minutes of each hour (from 8am in the morning till dusk). During the remaining 40 minutes, all traffic access would be stopped.

As a result, we had around 20 minutes more to spare at the foot of Alishan. Mr Lin suggested us to tour around the Lovers Bridge and the Long Yin Temple while we waited for the access to be granted. We didn’t mind the idea since it would be a waste of time if were to just wait in the cab anyway. Stepping out, we finally felt some cool breeze but it was still not cold enough to put on a jacket. Nevertheless, our spirits were uplifted by the sight of the mountainous regions.

The Lovers Bridge actually consists of two bridges, named 天長橋 (Tian Chang Qiao) and 地久橋 (Di Jiu Qiao). We crossed the lower bridge (地久橋 Di Jiu Qiao) and looked down at the dry stream below, since it wasn’t the wet season then. Dar also walked on a suspension bridge for the first time and wasn’t afraid. He kept calling it the ‘shake shake bridge’, named after the bridge in Thomas & Friends as it was a bit shaky while we walked. We didn’t try going to the higher bridge (天長橋Tian Chang Qiao) since a lot of stairs climbing would be needed and we doubt we had the time to do so. From the bridge, we could see a huge empty piece of land on the slope of Alishan, a result of landslide during the recent typhoon.

#2: Long Yin Temple 龍隱寺

Situated between the two bridges was Long Yin Temple and we took the opportunity to take a look at its interior structure. We were impressed with the detailed architecture and carvings that we observed on its walls and ceiling.

There was a small walkway and garden beside the temple, which brought us to a lookout point that provided us a nice view of the stream and valley. There were many nice structures for photo opportunities and Dar even rang the bell with me over the wishing well.


Along the Way : Alishan Tea Garden 茶香花園民宿

We made a brief stopover at Alishan Tea Garden, our homestay for the night after 1.5 hrs of winding up the road. We thought we could deposit our luggages and take a look around the homestay or our rooms first as it would be very late at night later when we come back. It looked as pretty as in the pictures. Cat felt the compound looked smaller than she thought. For more details, please read the ‘Travel Taiwan – Accommodation‘ post.


< FIRST PLACE OF INTEREST >

Alishan National Forest Recreation Area 阿里山森林遊樂區

Visited: Tourist Centre > Alishan Station 阿里山站 > Zhao Ping Station 沼平站 > Sisters Pond 姐妹譚 > Shoujen Temple 受鎮宮 > Huge Trees Pathway 巨木群棧道 > Shen Mu Station 神木站 > Alishan Station 阿里山站
#1: Tourist Visitor Centre

201210_Day1_EntranceToAlishan

We arrived at the visitor centre via our hired driver and found a vacant parking lot easily, after paying for our entry at the main entrance. The place also wasn’t as crowded as what we had expected to be, since this was supposed to be a tourist hotspot. Maybe it was because of the roadblock earlier.

The temperature was 15 degrees celsius according to the display panel we saw there and we felt cold enough to put on an extra overcoat over the ones we were already wearing so we were all wearing three layers (t-shirt, one cotton/sweater jacket, one lined windbreaker jacket). As the next train into the forest area will only arrive at 1pm due to an one-hour lunch break (see train schedule here), we decided to fill up our stomachs first which would also help build up our resistance against the blowing cold air.

#2: Alishan Forest Railway (Alishan Station 阿里山站 to Zhao Ping Station 沼平站)

We bought our two-way trip tickets for Cat and myself, with Dar riding for free. Earlier at Tea Garden Homestay, where we had deposited our luggage before coming over, the owner Mr Xu had advised us to start our forest trail from Zhao Ping Station 沼平站. In this way, we would be traveling downhill as we pass through the forest and end our trail at Shen Mu Station 神木站, where we would be taking our return train ride from. Anyway, despite us alighting/boarding at different stations, the two-way tickets would still be valid since it’s independent of the stations.

The train arrived ten minutes before 1pm, with a small crowd from a tour group already waiting eagerly before us. We had no difficulty finding seats (free seating) however, since there were quite a number of carriages on the train.

Right on the dot at 1pm, the announcement was made that the train was moving off, and off we went towards Zhao Ping Station. There wasn’t really much to see on board the train frankly and we reached our destination in just about ten minutes’ time. Well, Dar still had quite a lot of fun on his maiden ride so we believed he had enjoyed the ride nevertheless.

#3: Sisters Pond 姐妹譚

Some construction work was ongoing at Zhao Ping Station, so we quickly snapped some photos with the train before heading towards our forest trail. We passed by a railway crossing and believing that the Alishan Railway doesn’t travel along that part of the track, we posed ourselves and took some funny photos on the railway track. After we walked away from the track, we saw a truck (something like those we see in coal mines) carrying some people zooming pass us! Oops! :p

201210_AlishanForest1

After walking past the Alishan Ko Hotel 阿里山閣 along the way (used the toilets here since there were only makeshift toilets at the station due to construction works), we entered the forest trail and surrounded ourselves with the cypress trees.

We were the only visitors in the vicinity at that time (the rest of the people on the train earlier had gone into the hotel) and upon stepping into the area, we discovered that the surroundings filled with tall skinny trees were of utter silence — not even any sound coming from the wind, insects or birds, except from our footsteps and voices! It was of such amazing serenity and one must be there and experience it to understand the ‘awe’ we felt. The air was also very refreshing. According to a signboard, it was due to the release of ‘phytoncide’ from the surrounding trees.

201210_AlishanForest3
Signboards with clear instructions are always provided along trails.

The trees there were mostly hundreds of years old and some had interesting structures at their root areas, forming structures like caves. We could not resist taking photographs with them.

We then arrived at the Sisters Pond after a short walk and Dar chose the boardwalk to circle around the pond. We began to spot some visitors like us and were somehow glad we were not the only ones there, since things were getting a little too quiet for comfort.

< Photo Spot >

We forgot to pack our trusty tripod in our backpack and had to place the camera on a rock for our first family photo.

#4: Shoujen Temple 受鎮宮 ( Snack Break )

We arrived at a busier part of the park after a 15-minute walk, which consists of the Shoujen Temple and Shianglin Elementary School. There were stalls lined up near the temple and the smell from the wild boar sausages quickly attracted my attention. We ended up buying some of these delicious sausages and several packages of barbecued wild boar slices to bring back home.

Following the directions given by the friendly stall owners, we came to a sign pointing towards Shen Mu Station and followed it. We soon reached a short suspension bridge which we crossed it and the road across the bridge led us to a small altar. Cat took a rest there while Dar and I continued on towards the Three Generation Trees.

There was a small crowd of people sitting and merrying in front of the Three Generation Trees when we arrived. We thus didn’t stay long after taking some shots at the trees, which like its name implies, consist of a generation of three trees growing on top of each other.

#5: Huge Trees Pathway 巨木群棧道

Dar and I then met up with Cat and we returned to the suspension bridge, which was then crowded with people wanting to cross it. A sign on both sides of the bridge stated that a maximium of 6 person are allowed on the bridge at one time but apparently most of the visitors chose to ignore the warning and stood on the bridge trying to take photos.

After crossing the bridge ourselves when the crowd was cleared, we ventured into the Huge Trees Pathway 巨木群棧道, Trail No.2, in search of the famous No. 28 Huge Tree. As we were walking, a white dog appeared behind us all of a sudden and gave us a scare each, one at a time since we were walking in one line then. The three of us then had a good laugh over our reactions. ^^

As we passed by each huge tree, we would check its corresponding ‘number tag’ but we were still unable to find that elusive No. 28 tree. Cat then started to wonder if the white dog earlier was actually trying to lead us to the right spot. We did find another huge tree in the end with a different number, whose thickness of the trunk was so great and the tree so tall, that a full picture could not be taken.

Anyway, as the next train was bound to arrive soon (trains only arrive every 30 minutes), we gave up our search and headed quickly to Shen Mu Station (神木站). We were surprised to see a large crowd already waiting at the station and by the time we managed to get into one of the carriages after the train had arrived, all the seats were already filled up.

Unlike the local Taiwanese who were always spontaneous in giving up their seats for children and the elderly, the carriage was then filled with tourists and nobody was willing to give up his/her seat for Dar. Concerned over his safety since the train was also crowded with standing passengers, I started asking if anyone was willing to give up the seat for our 4-year old boy. It was only after quite a while later that a man finally stood up and gave up his seat. I thanked him and was glad that Dar could be seated safely during the ride as we made our way back.

We were greeted by a cloud of mist when we stepped out of the station. It was only 3.17pm then but the skies were already turning dark.

[ RECAPS ]

Time We Spent There: Around 3.25 hours ( didn’t manage to explore enough of the Shenmu forested area Trail 1)
Time it takes to reach Fenchihu by car: 1 hour and 15mins.
Overall experience (Cat): A very interesting natural experience if one had never walked in a huge forest before (like us).  We had been to a few nature reserves but those trees didn’t tower over us like the ones in Alishan which were decades/thousand years old. Read more information here. We didn’t dare to even talk loudly because it seemed to disturb the peace and tranquility the ‘sacred trees’ provided. Go in the early morning because after 1pm, bus loads of tourists would be there. They sang loud songs, make too much noise photographing each other and disturbed the peace. We were lucky to have gone earlier and in a different direction from them.

{ Next Post : Fenchihu & Night }

  1. Mrs Sze August 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Vin / Cat,

    I’m planning to do a Taiwan trip with my family in coming Oct also. Looking at your travel blog and find it so interesting! Would it be convenient to email me your itinerary?
    Thanks!

    1. Cat August 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Hee, thanks Mrs Sze. No problem in the emailing. Will send to you soon.

      1. Chai Phei Sin March 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Hi Cat,
        I know it will be a rush but i will be visiting Alishan this 24-25 MArch 2016. Can you pls share the itinerary pls?
        Email

  2. Ai Loon August 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Vin / Cat,

    I’m going to Taiwan on Feb 2014 and planning to go Alishan, SML and CingJIng. Would it be convenient to share your itinerary?

    1. Vin August 22, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Hi Ai Loon,

      Sent as requested.

    2. veronica tan September 6, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      hi, will be going to alishan this 26th…care to share itineries?

      thanks.

  3. diana August 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Would you send your itinerary to my email, too? Appreciate your kindnes.Thank you

  4. JX August 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi Vin and Cat
    Your travel blog is really interesting with lots of useful information 🙂 Would you be able to share your itinerary with me? Thanks a lot! JX

    1. Cat August 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hi everyone, thank you for reading our posts and wanting to learn abt our itinerary. I am doing up a post which would be posted up soon on a summary of our Taiwan Trip with our itinerary. Actually nothing much, it’s all in each of our posts (at the top part)just that it would be easier to read as a compilation and summary.
      Look out for that post soon. We would not be emailing anyone anymore. Thanks!

  5. Cat August 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I had edited our planned itinerary to the ACTUAL one we did for our eight-days trip to Taiwan. Please check out this post with all the details summarised.
    http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2013/08/summary-of-taiwan-experiences/

  6. Jolene Ang November 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Hi, I’m searching for Taiwan itinerary and came across your website. I am planning something similar to your itinerary. Is it too rush for each of the place that you went? It seems quite packed for me.

    1. Cat November 28, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Hi, we usually spend at least 2-3 hours in each place we went to in Taiwan and most were strolling, enjoying the place and taking photographs. For this Alishan Forest trail, we do walk quite fast as we are used to physical activities so I’m not sure how it is for someone who are not used to climbing slopes and trekking. Still, we spent around 3 hours walking inside and just enjoyed the forest. As we had a dedicated driver initially, it was also quite alright for us as we could rest on the vehicle while he drove us to the next destination in a short time.
      For those days we took the trains, we spent a long time in each location and rested very frequently in between walks.
      It would be a little packed if one needs more time at night to sleep but we thought we need to make best use of the only 8 days we had so we were quite energetic. We were on a sight-seeing trip and not really a ‘vacation-rest-relax’ trip so that’s how it ended up. 🙂

  7. Linda December 21, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Hi cat,
    Could you share the taxi contact no from chiayi to alishan?
    May i know, how much you pay ?

    Thanks and Regards,
    Linda

    1. Vin December 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hi Linda,

      You may find Mr Lin’s contact details here: http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2013/05/taiwan-day-1-fenchihu-night/

      As for the price, it’s better you check with him directly since many factors may affect the final price.

  8. joycelyn January 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    hi, how long is the train journey from Shen Mu Station back to Alishan Station? Thank you.

    1. Vin January 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Hi Joycelyn,

      It’s a 7-minute train ride.

  9. Darrius February 2, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Hi,

    I am going to Taiwan on Mar 2014 and planning to go Alishan, SML and CingJIng.
    Would it be convenient to share your itinerary?

    1. Vin February 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Darrius,

      You may find our itinerary here:
      http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2013/08/summary-of-taiwan-experiences/

      Hope you have an enjoyable trip there!

  10. Ayessha Farveen February 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Hi cat,

    Im travelling to taipei in March and got inspired to go to alishan thanks to your blog entry. I’m quite keen to try the bullet train, the steam train (for the amazing scenery) and also visit the recreational area. Do you think a day trip from taipei is possible to visit alishan?

    🙂

    1. Vin February 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Ayessha,

      If you were referring to the steam train departing from Fenchihu (奮起湖), we would not be able to advise you as the train was not operational when we were there.

      Otherwise, our Day 1 itinerary here should still be useful to you.

  11. Michelle February 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Hi, Can send me your itinerary causse i have no idea about alishan. Thank so much

    1. Vin February 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      You may refer to our following summary post here for the itinerary: http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2013/08/summary-of-taiwan-experiences/

  12. Hui Ching February 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Hi, can email me your driver contact for chiayi? Thanks

  13. Cat March 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Cat
    We are in Alishan next week very excited to be going back. We need to transfer back to HSR on the Thursday then back to taipei. Do you think your driver would do a trip just one way?
    Thanks in advance
    Cat

    1. Vin March 14, 2014 at 9:23 am

      Hi Cat,

      Unfortunately, we will not be able to answer that on behalf of the driver. Please contact him directly.

  14. Ignatius May 6, 2014 at 12:35 am

    HI, found your post and its interesting, would love to have you itinerary, please…..

    1. Vin May 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Hi Ignatius,

      Thanks for your kind comment. You may find our itinerary here.

  15. Jolene June 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Hi,

    Can I know where did you get your simcard after that? Thanks!!

    1. Vin June 6, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Jolene,

      In the end, our driver bought it for us, where he had bought from a convenience store. It was the size of the normal SIM card so we had to manually cut it to a microSIM. After that, it worked well for the rest of our trip.

  16. Betty June 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Hi,

    Can advise if it’s better to stay in the hotels near Alishan Recreational area or further in B&B and travel up there?

    1. Cat June 19, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Betty,

      If you want to watch the sunrise, it’s better to stay near the Alishan Recreational Area and near the railway station so you can wake up before dawn to get on the train.
      Otherwise, people usually stay further or even in the Fenchihu area (more food options) because it’s nicer to stay in a cosy B&B. There’s not much choices of hotel in the AR area, I remembered when I searched then (not sure now), there was only a few old ones with poor reviews /poor condition or poor breakfast. That’s why I preferred staying elsewhere.

  17. Cymphere September 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hi, we wish to know if we leave early morning fm 清境 & 1 day able to cover Alishan National Forest Recreation / Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village / Homestay, following day leaving Taichung by HSR to Taipei

    1. Vin October 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Hi Cymphere,

      If you refer to our Taiwan map on our Summary post, you will see that Formosan/Sun Moon Lake is nearer to Cing Jing than Alishan. As such, you may wish to plan Cing Jing –> Formosan –> Alishan instead. You may then take the HSR at Chiayi Station back to Taipei.

      However, I would advise against such a rushed itinerary as the travelling time for each of the location would be around 1.5 hours each, not including possible delays due to traffic restrictions up Alishan. Formosan Culture Village itself is worth an entire day’s visit.

      Hope this helps.

  18. Jiexin October 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Hello, im planning a trip to Alishan and am intending to stay at Alishan tea garden (mountain hometown). May i know how i could plan my trip there? We will be reaching taoyuan airport at around 2pm.

    Thanks so much. Love ur travel tips!!!!!

    1. Jing Qin November 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Vin, Cat,

      I really enjoy reading your blog about the Taiwan trip. Appreciate your generous sharing. My Fiance and I are also considering Alishan tea garden (Tuscany or mountain hometown) for our trip in March next year. Can you advise what public transport can I take from HSR Chiayi station to the B&B and from the B&B to the Alishan Forest Recreation Area. I understand that you hired a taxi but we are exploring buses/trains.
      Are there shops or 7-11 nearby the B&B (we get hungry easily at night)?
      Does your stay includes breakfast?

      Thank you very much!

      Best Regards.

      1. Vin November 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        Hi Jing Qin,

        The place is pretty secluded with no visible shops (only saw tea farms and houses far apart). When we were planning for our dinner outside the Homestay, the owner did recommend us steamboat at a nearby eatery. You may have to book this earlier through the owner so that they can get the preparations done. Breakfast is included in our package.

        About public transport, we are not aware there is any, but we did not come across any during our stay there or during our road trip. It’s best to check with the Homestay owners.

        Hope you have a wonderful trip ahead!

        1. Jing Qin November 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

          Vin, thanks alot for your prompt reply! Appreciate it. Hope all is well for your wife and boy.

  19. Vanessa December 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Vin, I am planning a trip to Alishan next year in March, and will require a ride from Chiayi HSR to my Alishan B&B. Could you please share with me the email address of the taxi driver, Mr Zheng/Lin so that we may link up with them please? Thanks!

  20. marliana February 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    hai.. i’m planning go to Taiwan in this March. may you share your itinerary for me? thanks for the respons
    waiting for your email.. 🙂

    1. Cat February 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Hi Marliana,

      Our Taiwan itinerary, costs and tips had been written as a post. It’s available via the link at the bottom of each Taiwan Post (in this post too at the bottom). It is also in the post category, ‘Travel Itinerary’, together with itinerary of other countries we visited.
      Please read that post.

  21. Karen February 22, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Hi! Really enjoyed the informative post! I’ve relied on your blog so much:)
    Could I check, to get to the Alishan Station 阿里山站, we need to first purchase the admission ticket to the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area 阿里山森林遊樂區 is it?
    I am intending to head from Alishan Station to the Zhushan Station to view the sunrise only, and not explore the Forest Recreation Area, not sure if i still need to pay general admission ticket? Thank you!

    1. Vin February 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for your support! ^^
      For us, the payment for admission was made the moment our vehicle passed through the main entrance.
      Since 阿里山站 is inside the 阿里山森林遊樂區, I believe the admission fee is unavoidable.

  22. Audrey March 5, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Hi! Your blog is very detailed and helpful!
    For the train tickets to Chiayi, do you recommend to buy on that day or purchase it earlier? Coz we will be reaching at 5.30am. Not sure if we could get up to the train at 6.47am for the TRA and the queue for taiwan customs will it be jammed?

    1. Vin March 6, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Hi Audrey,
      Thanks for your support!
      About the train tickets, I believe you were referring to HSR instead of TRA? If so, I would advise you getting the train tickets after you’ve arrived at Taoyuan HSR Station.
      Even if you’ve bought the tickets in advance, it would be a waste if you can’t arrive in time to board the train.

      1. Audrey March 6, 2015 at 11:34 am

        Oic. I’ll be taking the TRA, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get the tickets. Yea, I know it’s a 3hr ride. Haha.

  23. ahfangs May 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Hey! I am going to Taiwan this coming July and I find that your blog is very detail and useful!
    Do you mind to send your itinerary to me? Thank you!

  24. Elsie September 26, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Great travel stories! Will be planning a family trip 9D8N next month. Care to share your whole Taiwan itinerary? 🙂

    1. Cat September 27, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      It’s already beneath every post in the link: summary of Taiwan experiences

  25. Polly September 27, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Hi Cat/Vin,
    Had heard of landslide at Alishan but have longed to visit the place. Any idea if it would be safe to travel in Oct / Nov? Many thanks, Polly

    1. Cat September 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Polly,we wouldn’t know abt this. You would have to check their weather reports. Thanks. When we travelled, we were lucky and missed the storm by a week though some path were still obstructed

  26. steven kok October 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Vin/Cat

    I find your blog very detail and helpful and the photos you guys took just amazing. I am going to Alishan this coming november with my family. Would like to know how long does it take for you to walk from Zhao ping station to Senmu station? TIA

    1. Vin November 18, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for your compliments!

      As we were on a relaxing stroll, we took almost 2 hours for our trail. There are shorter paths and I believe it could take an hour or less to complete.

  27. Cy November 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Vin/Cat

    Do you have Mr Zheng or Mr Lin contact. Thank q

  28. Cheryl April 5, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Cat,

    I found your posts are so detailed and is really a good guide for us to take on. do u mind send me a email regarding the alishan itinerary? we wanted to book a cab from chia yi up alishan and have a homestay there for a night, however,one taxi driver offers 8000TWD for 2d1n.. which is kinda expensive and this excludes the homestay. homestay is abt 2800TWD.

    We plan to reach alishan on 30apr

  29. Sheryl April 18, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Hi hi,

    Im also finding a driver to bring us from chiayi hsr to alishan on 22 april. Could you send me his contact and your itinerary? How much is your fare? Thank you!

  30. Joyce September 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Hi

    I am going to Taiwan in Nov. Found your blog very useful. Could u share ur itinerary with me ? Thanks

  31. Anonymous October 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for your blog post 🙂 This is very informative and very helpful for those who wanted to travel Taiwan for the first time. Again, thank you for this 🙂

    1. Vin October 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Hi,

      Thanks a lot for your kind comments! Glad you have found it useful!

  32. Karen May 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Vin,
    Can you give me the email address of the taxi driver?
    And alo i would like to ask that on the way from alishan back to fenqihu, did you go by taxi as well. Then in that case the driver will wait for you?
    Thanks
    Karen

    1. Cat May 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Karen,
      The driver who drove us was Mr Lin even though we booked Mr Zheng as he had another client then..so he asked Mr Lin to take over for him for one day. His contact is +886 921-341-279 which I had wrote in the Fenchihu Post. Yes, he drove us from Chiayi Station to our minsu for us to check-in, then to Alishan where he waited for us to come out of the park. Then, he drove us to Fenchihu, and finally back to our minsu for the night. You can read the Fenchihu post about it. Mr Lin has no email. Mr Zheng, our pre-booked driver’s email is zxcv531666@yahoo.com.tw. After so many years, I’m not too sure whether their contact is still valid. They are both very nice and friendly drivers!

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