The tourist train from Taichung to Fenqihu is slower than the coach. But I went by train because I read that there were stunning views as the train climbs from sea-level to 1500m. The old-fashioned look didn’t stop the train having (very cold!) air-conditioning which, by the last stop, most of us were trying to redirect since it couldn’t be switched off.
We arrived in Fenqihu just a bit too late for me to do one of the longer hikes. My hostel owner said the clouds were descending and it would start raining higher up. The mist was already beginning to surround us.
One of the reasons to go to Fenqihu is to be near Alishan National Park, a popular tourist attraction because of its landscape. You can walk on the friendly trails or the more challenging mountains.
However, Fenqihu has its own charms. There are plenty of trails around the town even if you don’t venture up a nearby mountain. I walked around most of these trails in the afternoon.
I enjoyed being immersed in the misty bamboo forest.
When I finished, I went to look for food. Despite being small, Fenqihu has several places to eat. In the one I eventually went to, there was the usual to-ing and fro-ing before the waitress and I understood each other via Google Translate. Eventually, she got a menu that had “vegan” on the front of it but was in Chinese! Then she abruptly took it away and bought another menu in English which was slightly different and didn’t highlight the vegan options! After more dialogue, she brought back the vegan menu, and I pointed Google Translate at it and all was revealed.
The first dishes to come out were a great big plate of cabbage and bamboo soup. It looked filling. Then braised tofu came out and I thought, hm, I didn’t expect the plates to be that big. Finally, a noodle dish came out. There was enough food for at least two people.
Since my eating had been a bit erratic, I welcomed the relatively healthy food and ate what I could.