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Ali Shan  

Ali Shan is a branch Mount out of Yu Shan Ranges and is made up of total eighteen mounts like Ta Shan, Jian Shan, Dawuluan Shan and others, which are located in Chia-I City and Nantou County. According to a very old folk story, long long ago, a Zou Clan cacique whose name was Ali came hunting here and got a bountiful harvest. Then the cacique led his followers to come here hunting frequently when he went back to his clan’s area. In order to remember the cacique’s contribution the local people named the Mount by Ali. Around the scenic spot of Ali Shan, there are both bountiful valuable natural resources and particular humanistic sceneries about original clans like Zou Clan who have been living here over 200 hundred years. At present Yu Shan national Park has been connected with the New Zhongheng Highway. It is much convenient for the forest travel around the scenery. The railway up to Ali Shan climbs up at the end of the mountain and then goes along “cockle stairs “circling up, which passes by tunnels and valleys. The train is going as birds are singing. On the up way to Ali Shan, there are old tropical trees like high standing eucalypts, coconut trees areca trees and others. There are evergreen sub- tropical trees like camphor trees, beeches and others. There are luxuriant conifer trees living in the temperate zone like cypresses and pines. Over the altitude of 3,000 meters there are old trees living in the frigid -zone. All the rare different old trees have developed a sea of green forest. When it is blowing fiercely there will be a “thunder” made by the blowing among the magnificent forest. It is the famous sight of the forest billows in Ali Shan.

Almost all the tourists who come to Ali Shan will see Ali Saint Tree by themselves and experience its charm. Ali Saint Tree is lying in the east of Saint Tree Station, which is slanting high and seems to reach the clouds. Its trunk has been broken. But its branches are dark green with verdure. The height of the Saint Tree is 52 meters or so. Its circumference is about 23 meters. More than ten people would hold it hand by hand. It is estimated that Saint Tree has been more than 3,000 years old and it should live in the period of Zhougong Regent ruling in Zhou Dynasty (around BC1042). So the Saint Tree is also called “Zhougong Bolt”. It is the Asian tree king and it is only next to American tree king by its age in the world.

In the southeast of Ali Saint Tree there is a “three Generations Tree”. They are from the same root and one of them died and another relived again .It is a circulation and miracle too. At present the first two generations have been dead and the third generation is booming.

Cherry blossom all over Ali Shan is another great scenic spot. Flourishing and vigorous cherry blossom is round “the travels centre”. In spring, red and white cherry blossom is colorful and gorgeous, which frames with the dark green and jade green forest, and drawing into a beautiful and splendid picture. The mounts look like dressing up well. It is a real splendid landscape. When it is clear with slight clouds at sunrise or at sunset magnificent Sea of clouds would be observed in Ali Shan observed from a far place on a high flat terrace white clouds are rising from valleys slowly and gone with wind into a wide sea of clouds overwhelming the mounts. The obscure peaks and trees among the sea of clouds look like floating, which float with great waves sometimes and which move slowly like a land covered by snow and which wave to and fro like snow falling into valleys. The sight is like a mirage. When it is clear sunshine at sunset will shine against the sea of clouds with accompanying hundreds of different colors, which are shining, changing, moving and floating. There are Sapphire blue, jade green, apricot yellow, deep red and others, for example. The colors are charming and attractive. So the sight of Sea of clouds will not missed.

On the top of Zhu Peak of Ali Shan a beautiful sunrise observation is lying on a high flat terrace. Climbing on the terrace at dawn, a tourist will experience the fresh air around mounts and there are a few stars in the sky. The waves of forests are wafting out of mounts which looks like moving. At that time there is a slight flush from the east, which is filling all over the sky and just a moment, red light strengthen suddenly. The dark green figure of Yu Shan in the far becomes clear with golden colors quickly. Sun rises so quickly that it seems to jump over Yu Shan in a minute. Rays of light are pervading and rosy clouds are dancing. Dark green mounts and the jade green valleys are refreshing themselves. Natural sights are in changes in a short time, attractive and vibrant. The sunrise is a great sight! Tourists can climb up Zhu Shan by train or set off from the telecommunication Bureau along the stone steps.

There are Sisters Lake and Peacock Lake near Ali Shan. They are also great scenic spots. Considering the Sisters Lake they are two small lakes which connect shoulder by shoulder closely. They are compared to the beautiful bright eyes of Ali Shan. In a folk story the two young beautiful girls committed suicide for love and their boyfriends together and became the two lakes .The elder sister lake is rectangular and deep. And the younger sister lake is round and shallow like a mirror. The figure of trees around the lakes reflects in the lake water, which looks like a beautiful picture.

There are summer houses and simple bridges which are framed among the sights. Besides the natural scenic spots there are humanistic sights like temples, pagodas, museums and botany vivariums. In a word, the sights of Ali Shan are varied and so great that only a few can be mentioned in the above paragraphs.