When we go on this kind of short trip we usually don’t do much research or planning before hand. This means we’re always taking a bit of a chance with the places we go to, normally it works out just fine but sometimes It doesn’t; today things didn’t go as well as we hoped. We were planning to hike the Spi Spi trail to a place called Titanic Rock. When we got to the trailhead however, a sign informed us it would take two and a half hours to hike there which we felt would demand better preparation, so we had to skip it. Close by was a restaurant that Yini really wanted to try so we had an early lunch there. The bread was really fantastic but the rest of the food just OK.

After lunch we headed to Fengqihu, a small village on the way up to Alishan, a famous tourist spot in the central Taiwan mountains. Fengqihu is touristic and pretty crowded and there was nothing particularly unique about the small market street. So, after having a drink in a small cafe we left and headed towards Alishan itself.

Alishan was almost as crowded as Fengqihu but we eventually found a parking place. We walked up to the town center, thinking we could see the cherry blossoms, but ended up spending our time finding a hotel. After that we had to head over to our final destination for the day, a hiking trail supposed to be great for viewing the sunset.

view from Alishan

We got to the trail a bit before five and started hiking so we would get up in good time. We hiked on a gentle slope between fields of tea up to a small pavilion. From there we climbed a series of stairs up to a second pavilion at the top.

Tea fields

happy couple among the tea bushes

When we got up, mists had closed in and we couldn’t see much. A few minutes later it cleared up and we got a view of the setting sun.

Soon there after the mists closed in again but since the sun hadn’t set completely we decided to wait, hoping the sun would come out again. Just as we were about to give up and walk down, things cleared up a second time and we got some marvelous views of the sun, and as a bonus, a series of mountain tops poking up out of the sea of clouds like islands.

That fantastic view immediately cleared away all the disappointments from earlier in the day. Some planning might have made they day even better but both Yini and I were happy when we got back to the hotel. Tomorrow we will check out the cherry blossoms before heading back to Hsinchu.