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Alishan Attractions

Chiayi County ─ Chashan (Tea Mountain)
Known as “Cayamavana” by origin, meaning - “Plains by the mountain side”. It is the most southern village in the Alishan area. Its altitude is between 260 to 1600m and has the largest land area in all 9 towns in Alishan. In the recent years, Chashan has become famous for its different variety of pavilions (over 60 or so) and its garden-like surroundings due to natural ravine and waterfalls. Although the name “Chashan” means “Tea Moutain” in Mandarin, the village actually does not grow any tea in the past, it is initially said that the ancient locals used to plant “bitter-tea tree oil”, and thats where the name came from.

The population of Chashan is just over 500 people living in over 100 households. Over 70% are aborigines, consists of 60% Tsou tribe, 20% Bunong tribe and 10% Han people. Nowadays, Chashan not only plant and produce bamboo shoots, it also started to live up to its name by planting tea leaves and produce mountain tea as well.

The Pavilion culture represents hospitality, sharing and relaxing among the villagers. People sit inside the pavilion with a cup of tea and share ideas with each other, it’s also a place for the hunters to gather and share their stories and rewards after their hunting trip. The pavilions mean so much to the villagers that they even made a annul festival about it. During the festival, visitors are given a map which directs to all 66 pavilions on site, upon arrival to each pavilion there will be a local villager giving visitors information about its history and also there will be various local agricultural products on display which you may purchase. Upon completion of the course, visitors will also be given a souvenir to take away.

According to the traditions, the people in Chashan follow the seasons to work throughout the year. During summer(June to Sept) would be the busiest season for the farmers, they also use fire and burn the mountain to develop wasteland during November and December, plant new seeds during February and April, fishing in the river during April and May and starts to hunt in the mountains for the raining season which is around May till June. Through visiting Chashan, visitors will have an idea of the local aboriginal cultures and histories for their Taiwan travel.

There are all sorts of activities to do in Chashan depending on the season and here are some recommendations.
February to March : Cherry blossom sighting
April to May : Firefly sighting
Summer : Farming activities
Autumn : Batrachians reproduction period, Scarab sighting
Winter : Pavilion Festival (29th Nov to 1st Dec)
Located south of Alisan Nationa Scenic Area in Chiayi and its about 28km from Longmei.

Kevin L.
google map

Drive on your own:
No. 3 National Highway (國道三號) -> exit from Zhongpu Interchange (中埔交流道) -> No. 18 Provincial Highway (台18線) -> Longmei (龍美) -> No. 129 Chiayi County Road (嘉129) -> Chashan (茶山)

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