'Land of Legends' – short film celebrates charisma of Taiwan’s Alishan

Year of the Mountain promotional video captures spirit of central Taiwan's mountain range as nation reopens

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(YouTube, Land of Legends screengrab)

(YouTube, Land of Legends screengrab)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A press event for the release of a short film introducing the mountainous beauty of central Taiwan took place on Friday (July 17), seeking to promote the Year of the Mountain tourism initiative.

Titled “Land of Legends – Taiwan’s Ali Mountain (神話的大地),” the 3-minute video features tales of the indigenous Tsou people (鄒族) in Alishan, a mountainous area in Chiayi County home to a vast forest of divine giant trees. The project was commissioned by the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration (ANSAA).

The clip was filmed by Kengo Kobayashi (小林賢伍), a Taiwan-based Japanese photographer known for his “Matcha Mountain" (抹茶山), an Instagrammable spot in Yilan. “Legends create conversations along the journey,” says the film, which takes the audience on a journey through mountains that teem with natural treasures, a sea of clouds, steam trains, and indigenous features.

According to Kobayashi, Alishan boasts a rich legacy from the Japanese colonial period. He believes those visiting the area from his home country will feel right at home, noting that many senior Tsou tribespeople even speak Japanese.


Guests at 'Land of Legends' press event (Taiwan News photo)

Ma Hui-ta (馬惠達), director of the ANSAA, told Taiwan News the island country offers a unique travel experience that integrates forests and indigenous cultures. The campaign seeks to revive the country’s tourism sector, which was hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Since the launch of a travel campaign highlighting Taiwan’s mountain ranges last year, a total of 296 people have participated in tours organized by the administration. Nearly NT$3 million (US$101,760) in tourism-related revenue has been generated, benefiting local tribes, according to ANSAA.