ー Featured Report ー
Explore Chiayi from Alishan
Alishan is world-famous for its natural beauty and is a must-travel place in Chiayi. How to integrate local tourism resources such as the environment, industries, and cultures? How to promote distinctive tourism in exquisite and in-depth ways? Let’s see the introductions from Wei-xin Hong, the director of the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau.
Interview with Wei-xin Hong, the director of Alishan National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau
Alishan has different sceneries and ecological values in four seasons. People visit cherry blossoms in spring (March to April), fireflies in summer (April to May), cattle egrets in autumn (September), and cloud sea and cloud waterfall in winter (December to January). The weddings under the Alishan sacred tree are held in October every year. Brides and grooms vow under the witness of the divine tree. People can also experience the traditional wedding of the Tsou tribe, getting married romantically in Alishan. In addition, tourists can take the Alishan Forest Railway to enjoy the journey along the way. Stroll the Fenqihu Old Street, enjoy the nostalgic railway bento, and walk into the woods to experience quiet and comfortable leisure time.
In the past 2 to 3 years, the Alishan tourism industry has been severely affected due to COVID. Thus, three major sightseeing circles (Alishan Tourism Circle, 235 Tourism Circle, and the Caoling Tourism Circle) are created to facilitate industrial diversified development in the Chiayi area. It covers Chiayi County, Chiayi City, and Caoling in Yunlin, expanding the sightseeing attractions to form a tourist corridor. It invites several public and private associations to integrate the tourism resources of the Chiayi area, creating tourism experiences with industrial partners. Various information technology platforms and channels promote and advertise it. The “Alishan New Impression" fan page held more than 10 live broadcast events during the epidemic. Experts unboxed, and traders recommended “Alishan EASY GO" selections. It cultivated traders’ online selling skills and engagement with fans during the epidemic period.
Wei-xin Hong said the bureau aims to develop distinctive tourism in exquisite and in-depth ways because it has inconvenient public transportation from Alishan to other scenic spots. He said that the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau has been established for more than 20 years, conceiving six themed tours of ecology, indigenous people, romance, tea, coffee, and railways. For example, Wedding Under the Alishan Divine Tree Part II –Wedding Under the Stars will launch on March 13th and 14th. It is combined with the concept of wisteria romance, connecting local cultures, specialty stores, handmade DIY experiences, and purple love feasts. The event creates a romantic atmosphere in a purple mountain town under a starry night. Couples from home and abroad promise each other for a lifetime under the wisteria, entwining like leaves and flowers and blooming the most beautiful love.
Taking coffee as an example, Alishan is a constant winner of the coffee competition in Taiwan. There are some coffee farms in the mountainous area and various tribes. In recent years, the bureau has been actively assisting local traders in training and has invited all Taiwanese coffee traders to participate in competitions and matchmaking meetings. The dealing in the 2021 matchmaking meeting was booming. The coffee beans which got the grand prize of natural coffee were bid at the high price of NTD$420,000 (1 pack of 5 kg). It proved that Alishan coffee is another international champion after high mountain tea.
Provincial Highway 18, also known as Alishan Highway, is the main road that traverses the Alishan National Scenic Area. It is also the most classic itinerary. From the flat land to the high mountains, people can see the tea garden, sea cloud, sunrise, sunset, the early reclamation, the Japanese style, and the wooden railway. In addition to the Alishan Highway, tea, coffee, and ecology (fireflies and cattle egrets) in the northwest corridor area are also new options worth exploring. Besides, visitors cannot miss the aboriginal cultural experience of the Tsou tribe.
The Tsou is the largest indigenous group in the Alishan area. There are nine indigenous tribes in total. Enter the tribe and take a tour of the indigenous people to experience the beauty of the Tsou culture. There are many Tsou cultures and experiences, such as the sacred fire from gods, the hunter camp, the coffee DIY, and the handicraft production. Visitors will be impressed by their enthusiasm and leave unforgettable memories after having traditional Tsou food and dancing with them.
Furthermore, the bureau recommends visiting Taiping Suspension Bridge, the highest scenic suspension bridge in Taiwan. It is under the jurisdiction of the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau and is currently outsourced. Tourists can also drop in on Taiping Old Street on the way. Also, the 1314 Observation Deck symbolizes the love of a lifetime. A famous tea brand has shot its commercial at the deck. People can enjoy a 360-degree view of the tea garden. It is also a great spot to watch the sunrise in Alishan.
For more information:
Alishan National Scenic Area Administration Tourism Bureau http://www.ali-nsa.net