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Alishan (Ali Mountain) is the most famous scenic spot which is formed by Dawu Mountain range, Jian Mountain, Zhu Mountain and Ta Mountain. 18 large mountains, stretching from Nantou to Jiayi in two counties. It takes 4 hours by mountaineering train from Jiayi County to reach Alishan scenic spot. There are connected mountain peaks low and high, streams and ponds. Vertical and horizontal in the area, which have not only utter danger of sheer precipices and overhanging rocks, but also the elegance of flying waterfall in deep valleys. The highest peak is 2663 meters above sea level. The mountain is well known to the whole world for its four beautiful scenes of mystical tree, oriental cherry, a sea of clouds and sunrise, thus goes the saying; "Those who haven't been to Alishan can not know the beauty of Taiwan." |
The railway leading to Alishan is 72 km in total. It starts from the space 30 meters above sea level and rises up to 2450 meters above sea level, the gradient of which is so big that is rare in the world. From the mountain foot to the peak, train ascends as if it were travelling spirally along "winding staircase". Circling mountain and warming itself into tunnels, striding valley, with birds hovering below the train wheels. Along the route of ascending in a few hours, one can enjoy the scenery of vegetation of four categories in tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and frigid zones. Those rare and grotesque trees form the "green sea" on the Alishan. When the mountain wind blows hard, the mountain forest, like terrifying waves, makes big loud thunder, which is the famous soughing in the forest trees of vast area in Alishan.
Every tourist for Alishan is interested in witnessing the majestic view of "Mystical Tree of Alishan". On the east side of the Mystical Tree Railway Station of the main Peak of Alishan, there stands a sturdy towering tree slightly slant. Although the main trunk is broken, yet the branches on the top are green and verdant. The tree is about 52 meters high and the diameter is about 23 meters, which needs ten more people to jointly embrace it. It is estimated that its high age is 3000 odd years, a king tree in Asia.
The oriental cherry all over the slopes of Alishan is also a wonder. During spring, red and white oriental cherry blossoms up hill and down dale, crowding together gorgeously. They mingles with the verdant forest, as if the peaks of Alishan had been splendidly attired in green clothes dotted with red flowers, making one intoxicated.
In the evening, there appears often the magnificent sea of clouds in Alishan. Reaching the terrace at the peak, when one looks far into the distance, he can see the white clouds emerging form valleys and hovering with wind. Sometimes it looks like a vast expense of water drowning mountains and peaks, making pinnacles and tops of trees above turn out like floating islets. Sometimes it looks like waves breaking and foaming with tides high and low. Sometimes it looks like earth covered with cotton, and you feel a vast expanse of whiteness under you feet. When it is fine day, the verdant sunset-bathed sea of cloud glitters in different colors, dark-brown, apricot pink, sapphire blue, bright red and dark green, all changeable without end, it appears more mystical and attractive.
There is a beautiful sun observation tower on the terrace of the famous Zhu Mountain peak of Alishan. At the crack of dawn, if you ascend the tower in the midst of freshness of air, you can see the grey outline of Yu Mountain far away would suddenly be edged with golden glow when radiance, increases all of a sudden. At the very moment, the sun as if jumps out off the top of Yu Mountain, shining with boundless radiance to all sides, myriads of golden rays burst one after another from blue mountain and verdant valley, a scene majestic in all its variety.