Giant Cypress, Alishan Township, Chiayi County, Taiwán 

Blessed with abundant rain and mist-covered peaks all year round, Alishan is home to the rich forests of precious trees. Giant Tree Trail is the most acclaimed highlight of Alishan, where the millennia-old trees like cypress, yellow cedar and spruce dominate the sacred forests.

The landscape here changes dramatically from season-to-season. When the fog starts to roll in, Giant Tree Trail is often shrouded in a mist of mystery. When the weather is fair, rays of sunlight creep through the breaks in the dense foliage, creating a tinge of poetic tranquility. The trail is divided into two sections, respectively departing from Shenmu Station and Xianglin Giant Tree. An online voting was conducted in 2006, and the 43.5-meter-high Guangwu cypress located next to Xianglin Elementary School was selected to be the second Sacred Tree of Alishan after the fall of the first one. Having been standing for more than 2,000 years and measuring 13.1 meters at its trunk circumference, this Guangwu cypress was later renamed “Xianglin Giant Tree.”

Epic Taiwan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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