5. Fenqihu / Fencihu (奮起湖 see map)
Where: The small town of Fenqihu is located about 7km down County Route (CR)-169, which intersects Provincial Route (PR)-18 between the 63 and 64km markers.
What: The Alishan Forest Train makes its way up the mountain largely out of sight of PR-18. However, the train passes through Fenqihu, once an important repair and maintenance center. The town seems of another era, with weathered wooden buildings, a warehouse displaying nearly century-old engines, and well-maintained footpaths disappearing into surrounding hillsides. Fenqihu is usually quiet and can be a pleasant alternative or addition to the often busy Alishan (albeit without the sunrise).
The area also grows high quality wasabi (わさび / 山葵 / 哇沙比 / green mustard root), and Fenqihu is one of the only places that fresh wasabi can be purchased in Taiwan. The best quality roots are exported to Japan, with the remainder sold to local processors.
Suggested Time: A good walk through the town and over nearby forest trails can easily consume half a day.
6. Danayigu Community Park (達娜伊谷 see map)
Where: At the town of Longmei (龍美), turn at the PR-18 50km marker onto CR-129.
What: This is an extensive private valley developed and maintained by the Shanmei Community Development Association (山美社區發展協會) working to preserve indigenous Tsou (鄒族) culture and provide opportunities for economic growth and environmental conservation. Much of the valley is accessible via a well-maintained, relatively level footpath interspersed with suspension bridges, rest areas and viewing platforms and bounded by beautiful trees and subtropical flowers. The full circuit will take about 1-2 hours to walk. Visitors are welcome to wade into the shallow river that runs through the park and which is home to a rare breed of carp. The Danayiku community puts on performances of Tsou dance on weekends. Food and snacks are available on site as well.
Suggested Time: To fully enjoy the park and its scenery, a stay of 3 hours is recommended.
Visiting Hours: The Park is open from 8:00am to 5:00 daily.
Fees: NT$/150; NT$80 for kids 15 & under; discounted admission on weekdays.
Contact: TEL (05) 258.6994
Website: http://www.tanayiku.com.tw/ (sorry, Chinese only)