The mountain/railroad town of Fenqihu (pronounced “Fen-Chee-Hu”) (sometimes spelled “Fen-ci-hu”) is a great stop for a few hours if you are traveling up into Taiwan’s famous Alishan. It is currently the final stop on the famous Alishan Railroad line that makes its way up the mountain from the city of Jiayi. Fenqihu has an old street selling delicious foods and snacks, a locomotive museum detailing its storied past, and a few walking paths to enjoy the bamboo forests and mountain air.
Fenqihu Town at Alishan is located 5km from a left turn off from mountain road Route 18 at kilometer marker 63.5.
Below, the town of Fenqihu’s railway station and the Alishan train preparing to depart.
History of Fenqihu Town at Alishan
Fenqihu was founded in 1850. The first settler saw that the area was surrounded on three sides by mountains, but had an opening in the south. This geographical position allows Fenqihu to have cool summers and warm winters.
Fenqihu was a major stop on the narrow gauge train from the city of Jiayi up to Alishan. The Japanese built and used the train for many kinds of raw material exports, most importantly wood.
Fenqihu was a town that sold quick rice box lunches for train passengers and was also a loading/unloading point for agricultural products.
What to see and do in Fenqihu
The OLD STREET of Fenqihu is a major attraction of the town for visitors. Visitors can see the old train station and narrow streets. Vendors packed sell many different kinds of famous snacks and foods.Click HERE for What to EAT in FENQIHU.
Above and below, pictures of Fenqihu Old Street.
Fenqihu also has a small locomotive museum with two old steam engines that were imported from the USA in the early 1900’s.
After you walk through the Fenqihu old street, there are several walking paths around the small town. Visitors can follows the signs and walk past residences, an ever older “old street”, and a small visitor center showing some town history with a coffee shop to enjoy the scenery.
Fenqih also has an abundance of bamboo forests. The bamboo is unique It looks round, but actually it’s a square shape. See the photo below.
Fenqihu residents stack cut bamboo for firewood.
Below, the old, old street in Fenqihu and the small visitor center/coffee shop.
Taking the Alishan Railway to Fenqihu
The Jiayi to Fenqihu train, which is part of the Alishan Forest Railway, is back in service after the line was damaged by typhoons and landslides. The trip takes about 2 hours 20 minutes one way and and only leaves once a day during the week and twice a day during weekends and on holidays.
The train leaves Jiayi at 9:00am on weekdays and 9:00am and 10:00am on weekends and holidays. There are 9 stops with Fenqihu as the final destination.
Prices are 240NT for a round trip ticket and 120NT for a one way ticket. Tickets can be purchased 4 days in advance before departure or 5 days in advance by phone.(including day of travel)
Get to Fenqihu by car or scooter
Getting to Fenqihu is quite easy by car or scooter.
- Take National Highway 3 and get off at the Zhong Pu Exit for Route 18 (blue sign).
- Follow Route 18 towards Alishan and head up the mountain about 1.5 hours.
- At around the 63-64 km marker, just past the town of Shizhao, look for the signs to Fenqihu (route 169) and take a left turn.
- Travel on Route 169 for 5km and you will arrive in Fenqihu
Route 169 takes drivers in to Fenqihu.
- Depending on where you are coming from, get to Route 18 (which starts in Jiayi City) and head up the mountain.
- Follow above car directions to get to Fenqihu