TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – International News media organization CNN published a piece exploring the history of Taiwan’s Alishan Forest Railroad, and the beauty of Taiwan’s central mountain range.
The Alishan Forest Railway dates back to 1912, when it was constructed by the Japanese Colonial Government to assist in logging. Now it is celebrating its 106th year, and has become an important cultural symbol, and a fantastic tourist attraction in central Taiwan.
Covering around 71.4 kilometers of tracks over the steep, winding, and often misty mountainside, the Alishan Railroad seemingly takes riders on a trip through time, providing panoramic views of the lush forests and quaint mountain rail stations along the way.
(Wikimedia Commons Image)
A trip on the Alishan Forest Railway can be an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of Taiwan’s cities, and may remind visitors of a time when life was simpler. Liao Yuan-chiao, a train captain is quoted in the report "It feels more human, unlike the cold and automated modern machines.”
Taiwan’s mountains are full of wonderful trails and breathtaking views, not to mention the fresh, cool air available to enjoy at the higher mountain elevations.
To help attract more visitors to Alishan, the Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office has begun offering “cruise tours” for people to explore the length of the historic mountain rail system, which actually consists of five lines, one of which is no longer in use, but it can still be explored by the adventurous hiker.
(Image from Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office)
Alishan is also a great place to enjoy some of the best teas and teahouses in all of Taiwan. Alishan can be accessed from Chiayi on Taiwan's west coast, and tickets for the forest railway can be reserved here (Mandarin).
Check out the article at CNN for some more great photos and more info on the Alishan Forest Railway.