The nine-day Lunar New Year holiday presents an opportunity for nature lovers to explore some of the attractions in the southern county of Chiayi that are off the beaten track.
Stargazers can hit the Eryenping Trail (二延平山步道) in Fanlu Township (番路) and go all the way to the top of Alishan (阿里山) for a splendid view of the stars.
On the way up, hikers can look out over the Jianan Plain and see the Zengwen Reservoir. They can also look across to the imposing 3,952m high main peak of Yushan (玉山).
Some lucky travelers might be able to catch a glimpse of sea clouds against the setting sun. At night, they can enjoy a sky full of stars, clean air and the absence of artificial lights.
For those heading in the direction of Fencihu (奮起湖), one of the best spots to catch the sunrise is Dadongshan (大凍山). From that vantage point, the sunrise lasts three to four minutes, in contrast to the rapid sunrise on Alishan.
From the 1,976m peak of Dadongshan after the sun comes up, the view is a panorama of rolling hills and plains.
Another attraction in Fencihu is a little cabin that was one of the locations of the movie Starry Starry Night (星空), which was adapted from an illustration book by famed Taiwanese artist Jimmy Liao (幾米).
The interior of the cabin brings to life Liao’s original art and the clouds floating past the cabin create an ethereal scene.
Lovers who are looking for a more romantic spot can take a stroll on two suspension bridges named “Eternity” and “Permanence,” which command an excellent view of the surroundings.
A stroll on the bridges is also recommended for visitors suffering from travel fatigue.