From Chai-yi City, you can get to A-li-shan either by car or train.
Though if you decide to take the train, you will need to get off at Fen-qi-hu Station and then take the bus to get to A-li-shan.
Our team picked the car route. Entering the rural Chai-yi from Chai-yi city, you'll begin the uphill drive toward the mountains once you reach Chu-kou Village in Fan-lu Township.
There are landmarks, such as the two suspension bridges Eternity Suspension Bridges and Long-yin Temple. We quite like the romantic notion of standing on Eternity Suspension Bridges with our loves!
Pay attention to the traffic here as tourist buses usually park around the area to let tourists visit Long-yin Temple or use the restroom. There is also a LED board to notify you in the event of a road blockage due to rainy weather. When you are good to go, let's head to our first stop Xiding.
Xiding – tea plantations in the clouds
隙頂 – 雲裡的茶區
A-li-shan high mountain tea is very well-known, and it's neat to be able to see large tea plantations on your way to A-li-shan Road. Going uphill on A-li-shan Road, you will encounter 3 different types of forests along the way.
阿里山高山茶全球知名,往阿里山公路走,你就可以看到很大面積的茶園。 沿著公路往上, 會遇到三種林相。
A tropical forest is less than 800 meters above sea level; a subtropical forest is between 800 and 1600 meters above sea level; a temperate forest is more than 1600 meters above sea level.
At an elevation of 1250 meters around the 54th kilometer stone on A-li-shan road, Xiding is where you can check out the first tea plantation for the famous high mountain tea. Due to the subtropical forest, you can sometimes see misty clouds covering the tea plantation by standing on the roadside.
If you planned for a multi-day trip, feel free to walk up the Err-yan-ping Trail to immerse yourself in the misty clouds of the tea plantation. You can also grab a quick bite or drink some tea at the Sheng Li farm over there.
Shi-zhuo – tasting tea in the fairyland
石棹 – 在仙境品茶
The second tea plantation is at the 64th kilometer stone and 1300 meters above sea level. This is the prime area for A-li-shan High Mountain Tea in terms of the production quantity and quality. The clouds coming from the ocean are readily visible on the roadsides.
The place Shi-zhuo has the same pronunciation as "stone table" in Chinese. The locals like to call the place "stone table" due to the large and squarely shaped boulder that looks just like a table on the roadside. Legend has it that this is the place for deities to savor the amazing A-li-shan High Mountain Tea.
Right here, we can totally imagine brewing and tasting the tea, which transforms into the perfect A-li-shan High Mountain Tea by absorbing the essence of mountains and dewdrops! This area is a convenient rendezvous point for the rail road station Fen-qi-hu up north and the settlement for the Native Taiwanse Tsou Tribe down south.