Continuing my Alishan Travelogue in April 2017.
Most people visit to Alishan will at least ride on famous Alishan Forest Train. I love taking old train especially the routes which give me good natural view. The Alishan Forest Train is famous during Cherry Blossom Season. You need to book the ticket very much earlier or you end up with disappointment. I went there end of April and I miss out the pretty Cherry Blossom view. WTH! I need to finish my work before go for long leave. So got to miss that and satisfy with jungle and green view. Aihhhh!!!
Seriously , it really confusing when I was planning for this trip. Being a foreigner and Chinese illiterate, ,not easy to book Alishan Forest Ticket online. I end up get help from 'Mingsu Owner as Sizhao to help me with it. Thank God! he manage to buy the seating ticket. He drove out around 1 hour all the way downtown to get me the ticket because online seems no the seating ticket. I don't want to stand for 2 hours plus all the way down to Chiayi with my bad knee.
Warning! The bus and train timetable keep changing. So please get the updated one before you heading there.
My routes at Alishan :
Chiayi THSR - Alishan (by bus) - Shizhao (by bus) - Fenqihu (Mingsu Owner drove me) - Chiayi Railway Station (by Forest Train)
I requested the Mingsu Owner to drive me to Fenqihu around 2 hours earlier because I wanna explore that old town. Many things to see. Love the atmosphere there too. I visited Fenqihu the day earlier and tried many of street food here too. I keep my backpack into one of those coin locker near train station with hope I know how to open it back to the last minute boarding the train. kekekeke...Sweating and almost faint miss the train when I was trying to open the luggage and holding on to my pee. Who knows the toilet can be that crowded ? I end up ran up to opposite road for toilet before board that 2 hours plus train. phewwwww!!!!
Things to do at Fenqihu Old Town Street
1. Visit Old Train Museum
I spent sometimes exploring the Old Train Museum at Fenqihu again. Its free entrance anyway. The Alpine Routes train I took in Japan few years back is the sister train of Alishan train.
2. Eat Fresh Stir Fried Cook Mountain Vegetables
The Mingsu Owner suggested to try this. I don't regret it a bit. Now I wish more people join me so I can order more. Its a vegetarian old shop. Cook by one uncle and assisted by his Old Mum and Dad too.
Everything was superb and tasty. I sat at the corner digging in this Omellete with some veggies which I donno what type, Monkey Ear mushroom, Spicy Bamboo Shoot slices , Ginger Dragon Beard and one bowl of brown rice. I don't order rice at first but can't help it. So healthy that day and I am loving it every moment the spoon of food enter my mouth.
3. Famous Crispy Doughnut
This famous doughnut really have long queue. But not sure whether I can eat or not. So end bought the vegetarian one near the train station. Regret! I didn't buy more than one. Aihhhh!!!! So delicious!
4. Jungle Trekking
Mingsu owner keep asking to try the jungle trekking nearby. I thought just a short walking trail. Who knows I got lost and almost late for my train. Nice view but too much of staircase and by that time my bad knee was in super duper pain. End up crying all the way up to the train station. Ya.. Ya.. there were people there too look me weird for walking and crying at the same time. But the pain was unbearable at that time. Nothing or No one can stop me from crying. Not even that doggie! Stress up at the same time and regretted to dare myself for short jungle trekking. Where got short walk??? Its a long up and down staircase trekking through out the jungle. isk isk isk . I should have just sit at one cafe sipping on the hot black coffee while enjoying the view. What have I done????
Praying hard my knee will be alright when reach Kaohsiung or I will end up stay put in the hotel most of the time. If this really happen! So lame, right?
5. Quench your thirst with Aiyu Jelly Drink
I finally reach to the train station area. No more crying. Then saw many people sitting chatting and drinking. Oh! this is the famous Amma Aiyu Jelly Drink. Bought one and join the sitting crowd sipping through the Jelly Drink. Phewww!!! I made it, despite all the crisis!
6. Taking the Forest Train down to Chiayi Train Station
If you bring big luggage with you , there are some limited space for it. The top compartment is very small. I brought a small backpack with me. But the backpack was super fat. Aiyahhhh!!! fat lady carry ma...sure fat like the owner one. End up can't fit in above compartment. The backpack end up on my lap through out the journey. The seating leg room is pretty much small. A bit uncomfortable if you are sitting next to big people. huhuhuhuh
There some people who standing through out the journey. The unique features of Alishan Forest Train are Spiral railway, zigzag switchbacks and Horseshoe turns. There are few small stations stop along the way down to the city. The journey going through jungles , mountains and more than 30 tunnel all the way down is something not everyone can do. Seriously, if you have that motion sickness you will get really sick. Thank God! I was OK during the journey.
I reached Chiayi Train Station almost late afternoon. Quickly exited the station for the bus to Chiayi THSR to take the speed train back to Kaohsiung. By the time reached Kaohsiung the sun was halfway down. Do I still have energy to go out for dinner ?