Day 3 26/04, Thurs

0730 hrs: Breakfast @ hotel, (as promised, images of the simple fare), then rushed to Hualien(花莲)station.

Simple dishes of Egg, Veg, and porridge with pork floss, and bread.

0810hrs: Ride towards Taipei(台北) {NT$804/pax/return, see Day1}.

1050hrs: Reached Taipei(台北)... ...

  On our flight back home??.

1115hrs: Haha, no lar... High Speed Rail(高铁) to (嘉义) {NT$1080/pax}, looks cool rite? 260km/h.


便当 bought from train station outlet, 八角鸡腿便当(NT$80) & 排骨便当(NT$60). Delicious food on the go, quite an experience. Vending machine on the train, they had nicer toilet, great seats and leg space... Comfort level much better than Jetstar.

1247 hrs:
Reached Chia Yi(嘉义), but had to take a Cab(NT$360) to reach 北门 station, to purchase tickets(NT$408/pax/return) of Forest Railway up Alishan(阿里山)

*If you take HSR(High Speed Rail, 高铁), do check out the location of the stations. Apparently, in 台北&台南 the station is the same as the main railway, but in 嘉义, its 30min bus or 20min Cab away from the city area...

Beimen, 北门, suppose to be the only place to get tix up Alishan.
Queuing up to buy tix.
Info abt the Railway, the place we were going, Fencihu, 奋起湖, is 1400m above sea level. As the humble train arrives.... about 30km/h, but the scenery was worth it.

*Had a problem getting Alishan Forest Train tickets from Singapore, 1) Tickets reserved muz be picked up 1 day before the travel, which was not possible for us, 2) The ticket sales was @ Bei Men(北门), which is 2nd station, instead of 嘉义 main station.
You see, its like in sg, you took east line to City Hall, then wanna go to Bishan, but muz go Dohby Ghaut to buy tickets, so how??

**Problem understooded, when we bought tix. Actually, you can board @ 嘉义, with no designated seat no., and grab a seat, and buy tix from the train master on board... but you can risk not having a seat at all. While @ Bei Men(北门), the tix sold will guarantee a seat...
Those who knew abt my planning, will realise this is the most hiccup part of the planning.

Reached 奋起湖,checked-in 奋起湖大饭店, wasn't as nice as shown on the Channel 8 Show - 铁定台湾, but perhaps because we booked the cheapest room(NT$2300). But it came with local style dinner, 7-11 breakfast, and herbal bath in wooden tub...
we walked around too, fully enjoyed the highland weather, misty thou...

A decent looking hotel, the most prominent accomodation in this humble town. The Famous Alishan Railway bian dang(铁路便当), the first stall you see, stepping out of train station. Owned by the same owner of hotel.
Up a viewing platform, but as you can see, the fog is quite thick. Plenty of walking trails to enjoy the nature.
Sumptuous dinner @ hotel with the bamboo rice(a local Alishan style). Herbs provided for the Wooden Tub bath, provided in each room.
竹炭花生, Charcoal peanuts, suppose to be a healthy snack, as carbon will remove toxic. 火车饼, famous one leh....

**Alishan is well known for wasabi, introduced by Japanese since 1920s, and nowadays, Japanese will come Alishan to buy...

Finished dinner, and had a free tour by the hotel to 老街, which is quiet, as not weekend. Then saw some fireflies at a forested area, not bad.
*Think its a better idea to visit Alishan area, including 奋起湖 during summer break or weekends, it will fill more crowded, like in the TV show.
Normally, shop closes quite early, so muz shop earlier...

(*Fireflies got 2 kind, the summer and winter species. Best period to observed them is May/Jun, and Nov/Dec respectively.
Winter species kinda unique, lesser but bigger, and not flashing, unlike those in summer{or in Malaysia})