It started with a trip that lacked planning. Judging by the phone I owned in the image it should be easy to conclude that it was a trip taken years ago when iPhone was still bulky and had a short battery life. I sat at the front of a van I hitched watching Sex and the City episode as we ascended the slope into Alishan because I missed the last scheduled bus ride at noon.
Travelling alone has its perks, especially in a country like Taiwan where people tend to be extremely protective of a solo Asian female traveller. So I managed my way around half of Taiwan riding on locals' generosity and insistence much to my very pleasant surprise.
(read post on Getting Free Drinks in Taipei Bars)
I was given this delicious odd fruit to try on the van by the friendly driver who was fetching a group of tourists up the mountain, who declared me his cousin so I managed to sit in free, and front seat no less.
On the way up we stopped by half mountain in a place called Eryanping for some photos of the famous "Yun Hai" (translates to: sea of clouds) that's such a novelty in Alishan. Many elegant homestays can be found here for visitors to wake up among the clouds and experience serenity of mountain beauty.
Catching the Sea of Clouds isn't as easy as one thinks, but it's more frequent in certain season than others and not as rare as a clear view of Mount Fuji in Japan (which is only fully visible 20% of the time in a year). So just ensure a longer stay and you'd be rewarded handsomely.
By the time I got to Alishan, it was already nightfall. And like any of my travels, my meals usually consist of food bought from 24 hours mart or 7-11; mostly out of convenience but mainly because I'm not really a picky travel eater.
Besides, isn't instant noodles in Taiwan a sort of local delicacy as well? :p
It was closing on winter when I last visited Alishan, and while it was fairly nice cooling weather in Taipei, it was really cold up in the dense forestry of Alishan National Scenic Area; which I have visited twice since and have extremely fond memories walking alone among thousand-year-old cypress trees. And also Yu-Shan National Park that's not far a drive from Alishan for a beautiful sunrise if you have the time.