Chiayi’s Suantou Sugar Refinery

Suantou Sugar Factory

In early October, my school embarked on a company trip to some of Chiayi County’s lesser-known attractions. It’s impossible to enjoy the scenery pass-by or engage in a pleasant conversation with the person sitting next to you on a bus ride for a company trip.  Every minute on the bus has an activity planned:  Ours included some goofy memory games, an informative speech about the destinations we would be visiting [followed immediately by a Q&A session to make sure we were paying attention], raffles, number guessing games, riddles, and KTV.  For losing one of the games I was forced to tell a joke, I chose the Joker’s final joke from The Killing Joke.  As a reward I won a pack of instant noodles – clearly the highlight of the bus ride.  I was reluctant to take part in the KTV portion of the trip but sang an Wu Bai song to be a good sport.  My portion of the bus was particularly rowdy – I don’t know if that had to do with KTV coupled with room temperature Heinekens or the fact that all my coworkers are overworked and don’t get out enough.
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Alishan – Rock Monkeys and the Fuci Tree

Formosan Rock Monkey

On the way home we spotted two Formosan Rock Monkeys [Macaca cyclopis] sitting next to the road. I believe at this point we were driving through a portion of Yushan National Park [玉山國家公園].
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Alishan – Zhaoping Station to Shenmu Station

Alishan - Chaoping Station

After the sunrise, we took the train from Zhushan Station [祝山站] to Zhaoping Station [沼平車站]. From there we followed the gorgeous trail headed towards Shenmu Station [神木站].
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Alishan – Zhushan Sunrise

Panorama Sunrise

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Woke up early for the 4:30 train from Alishan Station [阿里山火車新站] to Zhushan Station [祝山站]. The narrow-gauge train followed a twisting path along the mountain at an elevation from 2,216 meters to 2,494 meters.
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Alishan Train Station

Alishan Train Station - Panorama

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As you can see in the pan, the people on the left side of the pan had walked over to the right side by the time I had shot the final frames.

The original train station was severely damaged after the 921 Earthquake. The station reopened after years of reconstruction this month at a cost of NT$120 million (US$3.6 million). It is the largest railway station made of wood in Taiwan [China Post].
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Alishan – Fenqihu

Fenqihu Station - Alishan Trip

This is the first of five posts covering a two-day trip to Alishan [阿里山]. Our three car caravan’s first stop was Fenqihu [奮起湖]. The spot marks the half-way point on the way to the top of Alishan on the forest railway.
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