A trip to Alishan doesn’t necessarily mean battling with crowds. It is perfectly possible to get away from the beaten track, taking a less-trodden route away from the wooden pathways that weave among the ancient trees Alishan is so famous for.
The mist-shrouded area of forest with the steps leading up to the left of the first photo was not too far from the more crowded paths of the main tourist area.
There is also an abandoned railway. Taking a diversion along this will take you through the ancient forest. At the end of this path we came across a dilapidated railway bridge, over which we found a section of forest with truly massive trees. The wall with the cross — color added later — the woman is touching in the second photo is, in fact, not a wall. It is part of the side of one of the massive tree trunks in this section.
You could also tackle the steep staircases leading up to higher altitudes. This was our favorite trail, traversing different kinds of terrain including railway bridges, wooden steps, paths through the ancient forest, steep climbs, open spaces. The whole time, we didn’t meet another soul.
(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)