Alishan National Park – First day in the clouds

Today I travelled from Taichung to Alishan National Park. I went by train to Chiayi and then took a bus to the park. The park is not very far from Taichung, so the journey didn’t take too long. I took the train at 9:20 am and arrived at Alishan at around 14:00.

Tired waiting for train in Taichung

While I was waiting for the train in Taichung, a Taiwanese girl approached me. She took the picture you can see above. She was curious about my trip to Taiwan. “You are travelling alone?” She said with a surprised face, “are you not afraid?” I don’t feel that I have to be afraid in Taiwan, it is actually a very save country to travel. The girl then started to teach me a few phrases in Chinese – but the train arrived and we said goodbye and went to our seats. At my arrival in Chiayi, I went directly to the visitor information. Then the girl came running after me and gave me a paper – she had used the time in the train to write a few useful phrases in Chinese for me! This was very thoughtful of her and it is an example of how friendly many Taiwanese people are.

Chinese Phrases from Liz

I am staying here at the hostel 力行山莊 (嘉義縣阿里山中正村38 號). I first had booked a room at Alishan Youth Activity Centre. But I was informed that that hostel is really far from all the touristic sights. It is outside of the National Park. I guess that is better for people who stay longer or really like hiking. Especially because I am travelling alone, I preferred a hostel closer to the touristic sights. The hostels offering information in English in this area are really expensive (for my taste). Luckily my contact at the Youth Trekker Wanted Campaign helped me out and booked that hostel for me. It is located close to the Alishan train station.

Here you can see the hotel:

My hotel in Alishan

7-11 is next to the hotel:

7-11 convenience store in Alishan

The visitor center in Alishan is currently at a different location then it says on the maps, so I had to look around a bit. But one automatically comes by the temporary location when walking into the park from the Alishan train station area. Unfortunately, the employee there did not speak English and I couldn’t properly ask about the Pleione Orchid I wanted to search in the park.

I found a map of the park, showing the flower of Pleione Orchid: (bottom right)

Map with Pleione Orchid

Regarding the trains in Alishan, the train connecting Alishan to Chiayi is under repairs as far as I am informed. But some trains connecting the small train stations in Alishan are working. I will take one of these trains to watch the sunrise – maybe tomorrow if I can get out of bed!!

Especially because I might want to get up early tomorrow, here just a few pictures with little text. I will have more time to write tomorrow!

Alishan Alishan train station

Pleione Orchid flowers are depicted behind me on the right:

Pleione Orchid picture

I am not sure, but I think this is what one can see from the Pleione Orchids:Now they have no flowers. The leaves are turning yellow and will completely fall off for winter. Each plant has only one leave, they like to grow together in groups. This is why I think these could be the right plants. In couldn’t get closer to check because it is a protected area where i saw them.

Maybe Pleione Orchid Maybe Pleione Orchid

Pleione Orchid information

Panorama taken on my way to find the Orchid:

Panorama in Alishan forest

Tree in the clouds Red flowers in Alishan Train passing by in Alishan

View from hotel area in Alishan


And my dinner:

Dinner in Alishan


I am currently on a trip sponsored by the Youth Trekker Wanted Campaign. As part of this campaign, young people from around the world get to travel Taiwan with a budget from the organizers. In return, we write daily blog posts during our trips. While I therefore not have to pay for this trip, what I write in this blog is my own, true opinion. For more information on the activity, check I am also posting my blog entries on an official activity blog here.

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