Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

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Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby Iwakura Ken » 22 Apr 2012, 10:36

My wife and I are planning a trip through Taiwan in August (first visit), and have booked a few days in Puli and Sun-Moon Lake (after Hualian & Taroko). On leaving SML we are thinking of taking the bus up to Ali Shan but don't need to stay for the mob scene sunrise. Would it be practicable to go by bus to Alishan, look around, and then go down to Jiayi (train or bus?) to stay that night? (Forumosa is a wonderful resource for travel info! I tried searching on this topic, hope I haven't asked a question that is already fully covered elsewhere.) Would appreciate advice, also recommendations on other worthwhile but not-too-crowded places in the vicinity or as a stop-over on the way back to Taipei... Thanks!
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Re: SunMoon Lake - Alishan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby tommy525 » 22 Apr 2012, 11:04

You might well be able to do that, but really it defeats at least some of purpose , to rush through everything and all.
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Re: SunMoon Lake - Alishan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby finley » 22 Apr 2012, 11:48

It's probably possible, but as tommy says the logistics might be awkward and/or rushed. Alishan is ... well, it's a mountain. It's in the middle of nowhere. So you might be better off staying somewhere nearby, then set off for Jiayi in the afternoon. There's no mob scene for the sunrise (or at least there wasn't when I tried it) but frankly I'd rather have stayed in bed.
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Re: SunMoon Lake - Alishan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby tango42 » 22 Apr 2012, 13:03

Can you travel that far in a day spending nearly the whole day on a bus, train, or taxi? Yes.

Can you enjoy anything other than looking out the window of the bus, train, or taxi? No. And if its rainy or foggy which is a lot of the time, nothing much too see.

Ok, to be fair, if you leave early enough, which you should before the rain and fog sets in, you might get a couple of hours at the rest stop at the top with 7/11 and food stalls. And maybe a short walk through the trees nearby.
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Re: SunMoon Lake - Alishan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 22 Apr 2012, 22:32

A trip I always wanted to take was to rent a car or scooter and travel from Jiayi, stay the night at Alishan, do the sunrise and then drive on to sun moon lake (it's 2-3 hours through the mountains). I don't think buses will take you through the mountains though. You could go the other way too I imagine.

Honestly, if you're going to Alishan do one of the little minibus tours and see the sunrise. It's GREAT fun, you won't regret it.
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Re: Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby Iwakura Ken » 25 Apr 2012, 21:37

Advice appreciated. Seems major hotels in Alishan are (predictably) quite expensive, and already booked out for mid August anyway.
Any recommendations for reasonable accommodation (double room not dorm preferred) around Fenchihu or vicinity? Thanks...
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Re: Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby *monkey* » 26 Apr 2012, 10:21

I think that for the kind of travel you want to do, renting a car is the way to go. I would go insane trying to do Taroko/Sun Moon Lake/Alishan by public transport.
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Re: Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby sandman » 26 Apr 2012, 11:15

I think I'd prefer to go straight to Jiayi and take the train up to Alishan. You'll be sitting in some form of public conveyance for nearly the whole day whatever you choose to do, but at least the little mountain railway is a pretty cool form of public transport. A lot more fun than a bus. Just make sure to sneer at the Chinese tourists.
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Re: Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby tango42 » 26 Apr 2012, 11:31

Iwakura Ken wrote:Advice appreciated. Seems major hotels in Alishan are (predictably) quite expensive, and already booked out for mid August anyway.
Any recommendations for reasonable accommodation (double room not dorm preferred) around Fenchihu or vicinity? Thanks...


There are not a lot places along the way to Alishan, but there are a few mostly simple. If you are driving, not really a need to make a reservation, just pull over and pick one you like in a small town with a feeling that matches your feeling and timing.
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Re: Sun-Moon Lake - Ali Shan - Jiayi in one day?

Postby *monkey* » 26 Apr 2012, 11:35

sandman wrote:I think I'd prefer to go straight to Jiayi and take the train up to Alishan. You'll be sitting in some form of public conveyance for nearly the whole day whatever you choose to do, but at least the little mountain railway is a pretty cool form of public transport. A lot more fun than a bus. Just make sure to sneer at the Chinese tourists.


That Jiayi-Alishan train hasn't been operating since Typhoon Morakot in 2009.

There are a couple of spur lines open at higher elevations, though. Maybe the Zhushan line and the Shenmu line?
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