Introducing Alishan Forest Recreation Area
The high-mountain resort of Alishan has been one of Taiwan's top tourist draws since the 1920s. Today, it’s most popular with decidedly senior Chinese tour groups who arrive by the busload virtually every day of the year. True, there may be similar – and less-visited beauty – elsewhere in Taiwan, but do not let the crowds at Alishan spoil your visit, as they usually only stay for a couple of hours in the morning. Apart from the standard attractions such as the charming old narrow-gauge railway, the glorious sunrises, sunsets and the 'sea of clouds' phenomenon, there are some walking and hiking options, and you can have the high mountain beauty to yourself if the time is right.
In spring the cherry trees in Alishan are in bloom, while summer is busy with city folk looking for a cool retreat. Anytime between March and early June is a good time to see fireflies.
Summer temperatures average from 13°C to 24°C, while those in winter are 5°C to 16°C. You should bring a sweater and a raincoat no matter what time of year you visit.
It's simple to get your bearings in Alishan. Most people stay in Zhongzheng Village, though most just refer to it as Alishan Village. This village comprises a car park, post office, bus station, visitor centre, and most of the hotels and restaurants.