Thursday, 9 July 2015

One day short trip Taichung-Alishan (Taiwan)

How to visit alishan from taichung? Transportation to alishan? So after some research using internet, this is what i founded, if you want to visit alishan from taichung... And also what i did with my trip. ALISHAN OFFICIAL SITE
There are 2 options to reach alishan, but there are not a direct trip, u have to choose to reach chiayi first or reach sun moon lake first.

1. First option, Taichung-sun moon lake-alishan (by bus)
There is a shuttle bus from taichung-sunmoonlake-alishan-chiayi and they sell it one set including (+alishan forest ticket),very affordable only 699nt. More cheaper than take a transit one. And the 699nt pack valid for 5 days trip, buy the ticket at Taichung THSR Station or Taichung Train Station. You only need buy another bus ticket from chiayi back to taichung, so another 150nt. Total will cost only 849nt.

But i prefer to take a train (because they said go to alishan using train is for get the best view and experience ya!) but if you dont want a trouble, then just take the tourist shuttle bus.

2. Second option, Taichung-chiayi-alishan (by bus, train, thsr)
 -Bus operator to chiayi from chaoma-taichung are hoshin 和欣 and guoguang 國光 it cost 150nt estimate time travel around 1,5hours. The first shift of hoshin bus is 7:10am, and for guoguang is 6:00am. If you are from taichung train station, there is a taichung bus operator 台中客運, where the first shift is 7:00am and also cost 150nt. Check the web for detail.
 -By train, there are three operator Chu-Kuang莒光 172nt,Tze-Chiang 自強 224nt,and Local Train 144nt. Check the web for detail.
 -By THSR of course it will be more expensive la, start from 410nt for adult, with duration only 27minutes, the first shift leaving on 6:30am. Check the web for detail.

I take 07:10am Ho-Shin Bus from chaoma taichung to chiayi, cost me 150nt for oneway, the seat is very big, comfortable and clean, there is also small television for your entertainment on the road. 

After get chiayi, you have so many option to reach alishan, take a train, take a bus, or just rent a taxi. But first, no matter what you take, you need to go to front station after you get-off from the bus. Follow the instructions!
- For train, you will be have a long trip, 2hours20mins, and it will cost a lil bit more expensive. You will have to stop at fenqihu station, and you have a lil time to visit fenqihu old street, have some local snacks there. Then take another local bus to reach alishan, another 1hour.
嘉義火車站Chiayi Train Station-奮起湖火車站FenQiHu Train Station  「train」
 (Departure everyday 9am, Extra on Sat,Sun 10am)
 (Ticket Price 240nt oneway)
 (Travel Duration 2hrs20mins) 
奮起湖FenQiHu-阿里山ALiShan 「local bus」
 (Departure everyday 1300/1440, Extra on Sat,Sun,Holiday 11:55)
 (Ticket Price 98nt oneway, estimate travel time 1hrs)

Please remind! If you plan to travel using train, need to book the ticket 2-3days before, or you wont get the seat, and u need to stand in the train for 2hours and more! Because i didnt get the ticket, so i just cancel the trip using train la. Huft~~

- Tourist Shuttle Bus, visit the shuttle bus counter, from front station, you just go out and find a blue building on the right (picture below), there is a small counter specially for selling bus ticket to alishan. It cost 236nt/way, 2,5hours on the road.
There is also have a shuttle bus from THSR station, it cost 276nt/way, 2,5hours on the road.
Find all the information about the tourist shuttle bus here.

- Or u can take a taxi la, there is so many sales person offering u a private taxi to alishan. They just sell it 250nt/pax, but because i go with 3 other friends, and they just offer me 900nt/one-way/4pax, save 11nt compare to the shuttle bus and save time, good deal. Ok la, just take taxi then, more efficient and more comfortable. And we ask them to pick us again later at 5pm.We take a private taxi when we go, but they sometimes scheduled a sharing taxi for back.
~beautiful scenery, clean air, and good weather~
For people who easily get a carsick, you better prepare!

That's how you get alishan from taichung. I also found out that if you are from taipei, guoguang motor transport also have a direct bus to come here alishan, it cost u 620nt for one way trip. There are so many ways available to reach alishan, not as hard as we think to travel.


And this is my trip! Its a noon time when we arrive at alishan, but the air is so fresh, so cool, even on summer day and its shows 21 degree celsius. Its great weather to explore the nature, but first thing first was find a lunch, and we found a small restaurant near the alishan train station.

One medium hotpot, taiwan's fresh veggies, sweet and sour fish, and braised chicken, 880nt.
The hotpot actually really big size, is enough for 4-5people, and after cooked long enough to let the soup become a broth, its so delicious to drink a hot warm soup in cold weather. Sweet sour fish dish also not bad, but the size is too small. And the braised chicken, well we dont really like it, i think its a cooked meal and they just steam it to make it warm before they served it. So i just feel its just not so fresh made.

Alishan Map and Hotel Area Map

Then time to explore, so this is the legendary alishan train. They have 2 destination point, zhao ping station near the sister pond, or sacred tree. U can walk thru there anyway, but because i want to try sit on traditional running train at least once in my life, so~~~I buy the train ticket that cost me 50nt/pax/trip and pick the sacred tree. And i plan to going down on walk.
We see the timetable there, its written that we will spend 15mins on train, but i feel like just 5minutes just pass and they told us to get-off the train because its arrive already. Hahaha....

If the train is not running anyway, u can take a small shuttle bus, with same price but different experience only. So anyway, 3-4hours is so enough to go around the alishan. And advise for u, dont be lazy to explore, hey u already come so far just don't waste your time because u are too tired to hike. LoL!

Sacred Tree, when u got there then u will really know how big is that tree!

Three Generation Tree, the first generation tree has lived for 1500years and then died, after 250years passed there was a seed dropping on the dead root and lived for 300years, that's a second generation tree, and even the others died, the root still got alive and grew up as a third generation tree. 

Pig Shaped Old Trunk

Forever Love Tree

Three Brothers Tree, and they just near the three sisters tree.

Shouzhen Temple of Alishan

Sister Ponds

One of Alishan's Beauty

Sky Walk, good for bungee jump~~~

I got the mist coming experience also, wow its cool! Like a misty monster is coming try to reach you! (Too much film i guess) hahaha...  

The Red Cypress Forest

So this is my itinerary
- 07:10 depart from taichung to chiayi.
- 08:40 arrive chiayi, and find the taxi.
- 09:10 depart from chiayi to alishan by taxi.
- 11:15 arrive at alishan.
- 11:15~16:30 sightseeing!!
- 17:00 the driver pick us up.
- 17:10 leaving alishan, have a very nice day!
- 19:15 arrive chiayi
- 20:10 depart from chiayi to taichung.
- around 22:00 just arrived in taichung.

There is still one hour to go until our bus leaving to taichung, thats why we decided to have a dinner first, and here we are! At this old restaurant near chiayi train station to eat chiayi most famous turkey chicken rice. Why old? They said its been 35years since they opened. 280nt for 4 ppl.
And guess what, its really delicious ye~~~ Nom...Nom...Nom... They pour a lil bit broth into the rice, but its so different flavor compare in taichung. Cheap also!!

And the expenses each:
-300 round trip bus taichung-chiayi-taichung
-450 taxi (round trip chiayi-alishan-chiayi)
-100 alishan national park entry ticket (200nt for normal price, 100nt for student price)
- 50 alishan train (toward sacred tree or sister pond)
-220 lunch
- 70 dinner
Total 1190nt