Located in the northeast part of the Jiayi County in Taiwan Province, Ali Mountain is in fact the general name of the eighteen hills including Zhu Hill and Tower Hill. The highest peak of Ali Mountain is Tower Hill with the height of 2,663 meters (about 8,736 feet). Ali Mountain is world famous for its 'five rare sites' including the Sunrise, the Ali Mountain Forest Railway, the famous Alishan Sacred Tree, the Grand Sea of Clouds, and the Flamboyant Cherry Blossom. It is said that one who has not been to Ali Mountain will never know its wonderful beauty.
The sunrise is a must for everyone who travels the Ali Mountain. Many have said "to miss viewing the sunrise on Ali Mountain is like returning empty after entering the Golconda." The best place to view the sunrise is on the top of Zhu Hill. The place and time of the sunrise are different due to the changes of the four seasons. If you plan to view the sunrise it is best to ask the local people the time of sunrise, so you don't miss this magnificent opportunity. When the sun is rising slowly from the peak, it sends out the golden rays for a short time which provides a spectacular scene.
The Ali Mountain Forest Railway is regarded as one of three mountain climbing railways. Traveling along the 72-kilometer-long railway, the train climbs from 30 meters (about 98 feet) to 2,450 meters (about 8,038 feet) above sea level. Its gradient is so great that it is rarely seen in the whole world. From the bottom of Ali Mountain to the top, the train crosses four forest areas – tropic, subtropical, temperature and the frigid zone. While traveling up the mountain the forest scenery is spectacular including eucalypt trees, coconut trees, conifers and the Frigid Zone forest.
There is a Chinese Juniper within the Ali Mountain forest area, with some 53 meters (about 174 feet) high, and 23 meters (about 75 feet) wide. This Juniper is so huge that more than ten people can surround the circumference. It has a history of more than 3,000 years, thus is called Alishan Sacred Tree. The most wondrous tree is a 'three-generation' tree. The three generations of this tree exist in the same trunk. Now since the first and second generations have faded, the third generation is still flourishing. This tree is really a wonder of nature. The forest sea on Ali Mountain creates a relaxed and pleasant environment for the people living in the city nearby.
The sea of clouds and the cherry blossom should not be overlooked. If you want to avoid sunstroke, the comfortable climate in midsummer on Ali Mountain will be a good choice.