Last weekend we travelled down to Chiayi to sample the local tea, breathe the mountain air, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and pay a visit to Alishan. We stayed at the Plum Blossom Villa in Ruili, Meishan Township.
This spacious and comfortable B&B in a small town on the road up to Alishan provided sweeping views of the mountains and the stars. There was even a tea farm directly across the road.
It was a relaxing getaway, made all the more enjoyable by our gracious hosts: Scott, Tiwa and Shiny. We ate a tasty home-cooked dinner together, Scott shared some of his excellent tea with us, and they made us feel right at home. Shiny is an adorable girl who lights up the room, and their dog Xiong Xiong is a friendly fellow.
Official Website: http://plum.okgo.tw/ (Chinese) or Airbnb: www.airbnb.com/rooms/4260247
On Saturday, we drove up the winding mountain roads to Alishan National Scenic Area. This region is famous for its high-mountain tea, and along the way we saw some stunning plantations up the mountainsides.
We parked up the road from the main gate, purchased tickets and wandered into the national park. Across the valley stood a group of impressive peaks. We were surrounded by picture-postcard-worthy sights!
After snacking on a bowl of the local delicacy - 雞肉飯(chicken rice), we took the shuttle bus up to the temple. We walked along the boardwalk to Alishan Sacred Tree, admiring the dozens of ancient red cypress that have stood the test of time. The Sacred Tree itself was not so lucky, as decades ago it was twice struck by lightning, and eventually came down in the late 90s. It remains in pieces alongside Shenmu station to this very day.
As the sun set we made our way back down the mountain, pausing to savour the view. Back at the B&B, we mingled over more of Scott's lovely tea with a group of young visitors who were making their way down to Yushan to hike up the highest peak in Taiwan.
Our whole time in Chiayi was a wonderful adventure full of spectacular sights and flavours. We made some great new friends, enjoyed some delicious tea, and soaked in the serenity. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan for good reason. We will no doubt return again soon!