Sunday, May 19, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 5 - Alishan (阿里山) | Toushe Reservoir 頭社水庫| Chiayi Turkey Rice | 天长地久吊桥 | Xiding Lookout Point

5 December 2018

8am - We checked out of Blue Sky Bay B&B (Sun Moon Lake) and will be continuing our journey to Alishan. Prior to that, we stopped by Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫), a beautiful nature spot in Sun Moon Lake.

Part 1 of Day 5 @ Sun Moon Lake - Alishan
1) Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫)
2) Chia'yi Turkey Rice (嘉義火雞肉飯)
3) Tianchangdijiu Suspe (天长地久吊桥)
4) Xiding Lookout Point

We got off from the car and it leads us to Toushe Reservoir Ecology Trail - a broadwalk that runs about 300 meters along the bank of Dasheman River (大舌满溪). The round-the-lake trail runs about 1,300 meters and links to the Ecology Boradwalk. It takes about half an hour to walk around the reservoir and visitors can enjoy the tranquility of nature.

A little background of Toushe Reservoir (頭社水庫): The area was once filled with small streams and fields. Completed at the end of 1979 to provide a stable supply of irrigation water for the local farms, drawing water mainly from Dasheman River (大舌满溪) as well as seepage from Sun Moon Lake. Besides irrigating the land, the reservoir is opened to tourists and has become one of the popular scenic spots of Sun Moon Lake.

Shanlongkeng Suspension Bridge (山龙坑吊桥) is 65 meters long and links the east and west shores of the lake. The water in the lake is crystal clear and has a gorgeous reflection of the greenery and blue sky.

According to the signboard, Toushe Reservoir is open to public from Tuesday to Sundays from 9am to 4pm and closed on every Mondays. Do take note to avoid making a wasted trip. We continued our drive towards Chiayi (嘉義) which is about 1.5 hour drive.

10:30am - It was a little too early yet for lunch but we have to give this Turkey Rice (嘉義火雞肉飯) a try as our guide highly recommended it. Apparently Turkey Rice is a local delicacy in  Chiayi. Traditionally, the turkey meat is placed on the white rice and topped with chicken sauce and lard.

There are many shops selling Turkey Rice is Chiayi, but our guide particularly recommended this shop that is located along Shizi Road, Zhongpu Township in Chiayi County, (GPS: 23.4415174,120.5297738). We were lucky as it was just opened for business and we were able to sit in and place our orders.

Fish belly soup 鱼肚汤 (NT120)

We ordered a bigger plate of cut turkey meat (NT200) to share and it actually looks like our chicken plate.

Renowned Chiayi turkey rice (NT40) - Honestly speaking, it is absolutely different from how I thought turkey meat would taste like. Deliciously greasy, the meat is tender and the overall fragrance is more layered. Topped with a yellow radish, this is indeed a comfort food.

11am - Another 15 minutes drive ahead and we arrived at Tianchangdijiu suspension bridge (天长地久吊桥) - The two quaint suspension steel cable bridges namely 天长 and 地久 were built in 1937 during the Japanese occupation period. The Japanese built the bridges to commemorate the Japanese Emperor and Emperor's birthday as their birthday is called 天长节 and 地久节 respectively. It is to bless the couple to have a blissful marriage then. Legend then has it that lovers will love each other till old if they can cross the two bridges together. This is also the gateway and beginning path towards Alishan.

Near the bridges is Longyin Temple (龙隐寺). Built in the 1980, the temple mainly enshrine Li Xiuyuan master (李修缘师父), also commonly known as Jigong (济公禅师). Surrounded by mountains and river streams, the area is attracting many tourist to stop by for photography.

The two-storey temple is beautiful with many exquisite carvings. 

Due to time constraint, we only had time to cross the 地久桥 as it is near the carpark on the ground level. 天长桥 is located further up which needs a bit of climb.

Cross the 地久桥 and there is a shop selling assorted local snacks where tourists can buy some back if they are interested.

The bridge spans across Bazhangxi (八掌溪) which originates from Fenchihu (奋起湖). It is 81km long and made up of 8 small streams. as it overlooks like a palm-shape, hence the name Bazhangxi.

11:55am - Quick stop over at Xiding Lookout Point (Address: No. 58阿里山公路 Fanlu Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan 602). From here you get a gorgeous view at the platform. If you are lucky, you may see the sea of clouds. Eryanping Trail is also not too far ahead.

View of the mountains from the viewing platform

From here, we are actually not far away from our accommodation for the next 2 nights : Homestay - David's House 茶米屋 . However we decided to continue our drive up to Fenchihu since we have booked the vehicle to drive us around and dedicate the next day to tour Alishan on our own instead.

More of Day 5 on our next post.

More photos @ BPDGTravels Facebook page
Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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