Taiwan Day 2 – The Forest Train to AlishanThursday, 21 February 2008
I can’t ride the narrow gauge Forest Train up to Alishan this morning so instead I take an early morning bus and come back down on the train in the afternoon.
Forest Train ticket
It means I can’t overnight in Alishan, but I do have time to make a couple of short walks including the ‘Giant Tree Circuit’ which takes you by an assortment of big (very big) and old (very old) trees. The relevant ones all numbered, like ‘Tree No 9’. The Japanese, during their occupation of Taiwan, named one the ‘Myriad Years Old’ tree, but it’s been renamed. It may have been old, the sign announces, but it certainly wasn’t a myriad years old.
The narrow gauge Forest Train is Alishan’s big attraction. It takes much longer than the bus (more than 3-1/2 hours versus less than 2-1/2 for the 70km trip), but hey, look at what it does, according to the sign at Alishan station:
• The train is driven to the mountains with the way of ‘push’
• The train is winded three circles (about five km) in the Dulishan (Tuli Mountain) with the way of the spirally mountaineering
• From 1st switch, it called ‘Alishan bumping into the wall’ and it changed into ‘Z switchback’
the Forest Train enters a tunnel
Back at the bottom I soon get an express train for the short trip south to Tainan