Nicola Smith, a British reporter working in Taiwan, posted several photos of Alishan scenery on Sunday (Dec. 5), including misty tea plantations, tea plantations against the backdrop of the setting sun, and a sea of clouds in the mountains, as well as the caption “You all better come to #Taiwan after this pandemic is over….”
Smith’s tweet has attracted many comments, including that of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who said, “We can’t wait to share Taiwan’s natural beauty with our friends around the world. We hope everyone can stay safe during this difficult time. Taiwan will be here for you once we’ve beaten the pandemic.”
The county’s tourism bureau seized the occasion to recommend the public visit four trails in the Alishan area: Tefuye Historic Trail (特富野古道), Eryanping Trail (二延平山步道), Mt. Erjian Trail (二尖山步道), and Zhukeng River Trail (竹坑溪步道).
The railway was used to transport Taiwan red cypress and yellow cedar lumber during the Japanese colonial period. Now many traces of the tracks can still be seen today, such as sleepers and loading bridges, and part of the archaic railroad has been rebuilt into steps, according to Hsu.
The entrance to Eryanping Trail is located at the 53.5km mark on Provincial Highway 18. At 1,500 meters long, the trail takes about one hour to complete a round trip.
Facing the Chiayi-Tainan Plain and the Bajhang River, the pavilion at the top of the mountain is a good spot to watch the clouds.
Mt. Erjian Trail, only 380 meters in length, is popular for viewing sunrises and sunsets. The long stairway meandering through tea plantations offers wide-open views, and the trail has been strongly recommended by netizens as Chiayi’s version of Tea Mountain.
The 3.3-kilometer Zhukeng River Trail features 10 suspension bridges and several magnificent waterfalls. Longgong Waterfall, with its natural cave which is long and narrow, is the most attractive.
It’s a special experience to stand in the cave and watch the water coming down from above, according to Hsu.
Tefuye Historic Trail (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)
Eryanping Trail (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)
Mt. Erjian Trail (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)
Zhukeng River Trail (Google Map photo)