Taiwan overall is a tea lover’s paradise. If you didn’t already know, I’m quite the tea lover. So being able to go on a hike up and around tea farms was a special treat.
Enjoying the beauty of tea farms and the idyllic mountain environment makes it pretty easy to understand what makes high mountain tea so delicious on a poetic level. It’s as if the leaves are infused with the very beauty of the wind, water, air, and land of this otherworldly environment, and somehow that is infused in the taste of tea grown there. Now, when I drink my favorite Taiwan high mountain oolong or green tea, the taste is more magnificent as it now evokes the elegant views and zen serenity of the place they came from.
As we ascended, there were plenty of stairs and hike paths all over. The tea farm hike is not just a “let’s walk through random mountain fields of tea”. It’s definitely something people come here specifically to do and enjoy, and the developed trails are proof of this.
There are even series of gazebos at which hikers can stop and enjoy the scenery, working their way up the mountain at a pretty leisurely pace if so desired. If I remember correctly, there were three gazebos each in ascending order, but we unfortunately were pretty exhausted, so we only made it up to the first one. At least I have more to explore when I come back to Alishan in the future.
Although I probably missed out on some incredible views at the higher elevations, there was still no lack of them on the part that I was able to conquer.
As we descended, we walked among the roads between the tea farm plots.
An interesting local custom is that the plots of tea plants were marked off by cement signs that had family names and, more often than not, other markers of the owning family’s distinct personalities.
I guess that last family really loves mahjong.
Next up, Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.