Eat. Discover. Record.
Die Gegend um meine Universität ist vor allem bekannt für eines der Naturwunder Taiwans – den Alishan Nationalpark in den Bergen. Dort findet man dichte Bambus- und Pinienwälder, Tee- und Palmenplantagen und einige abgelegene Bergdörfer. Praktischerweise kann ich von meiner taiwanesischen Heimat aus nur für einen Tagesausflug dorthin fahren! Als Einstieg bin ich mit meiner lettischen Kollegin Ieva den historischen Wanderweg von Rueli nach Fenqihu gelaufen. Wir haben während der ganzen vierstündigen Wanderung niemanden getroffen und konnten daher wunderbar die Ruhe und die Exotik der subtropischen Wälder genießen!
The district of Chiayi is known among tourists first and foremost for the scenic area of the Alishan National Park. Its characteristics are the thick bamboo and pine tree forests, but you will also find tea and palm tree plantations as well as several remote mountain villages there. Luckily I can go to the Alishan area from my Taiwanese home for just a day trip! To start with my Latvian colleague Ieva and me decided to hike the historic Rueli to Fenqihu trail. We didn’t meet anyone for the whole four hours which allowed us to fully enjoy the tranquility of the subtropical forests!
For the people who would like to do an easy and nice one-day hike in the mountains around Alishan (coming from CCU, or from Chiayi), this is an how-to:
Take the bus on 7:50 from CCU to Chiayi, arrival at about 8:30. Go to the visitor center in the train station and ask for information or maps if you need them, you may also want to double check if all the buses are running as planned and if the trail is open. Buy a bus ticket at the small white building in front of the station to go to Rueli (185 dollars), the bus will leave at 9:30am. Tell the bus driver that he needs to drop you off in Rueli at the entrance to the Rueli – Fenqihu hiking trail. At some point during the ride you will change from a big bus into a smaller one, just follow the bus driver, you will arrive at the head of the trail after approximately 2.5 hours.
Go hike the trail and enjoy the bamboo and pine forests! Just follow the signs which say Fenqihu-Rueli trail. There will be a crossroads where the sign is only tied to the signpost by simple means, but yes, that small path there is the right way. You will arrive in Fenqihu after approximately four hours (walking slowly, with lots of photo stops). There you can go to the railway station or sit down and relax for a while. The bus stop is uphill from the railway station and the bus will leave at 5pm from there to Chiayi, which takes about 2 hours and costs 161 dollars. You can go back from Chiayi only at 9pm, so plenty of time for having dinner and a stroll over the nightmarket! On Sundays there is also a bus going back at 7pm, which might be more convenient. Enjoy!