Alishan Township (Chinese: 阿里山鄉; pinyin: Ālǐshān Xiāng) is a rural township in Chiayi County, Taiwan. Alishan National Scenic Area covers most, but not all, of the township and also parts of neighboring townships.
The Alishan area was originally settled by the Tsou tribe of the Taiwanese aborigines; the name derives from the aboriginal word Jarissang. From 1920 to 1945, the area was classified as Savage Land under Kagi District, Tainan Prefecture. After 1945, the area was named Wufong Township (吳鳳鄉), after Chinese merchant Wu Feng, but was renamed to Alishan Township in March 1989.
It has a population total of 5,764 and an area of 427.8471 square kilometres. It is located at an elevation of 2,190 metres (7,190 ft) in the western highlands of Taiwan.
Alishan has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwb) with extremely wet and mild conditions during the monsoon season when the town receives 3.2 metres (130 in) of rain in five months, and cool and drier conditions during the winter months. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, with only noticeably cooler temperatures during the winter months of December to February of the following year. When typhoons hit Taiwan during the wet season, rainfall in highland locations like Alishan can exceed 1 metre (39 in) per day, which is the heaviest rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere and exceeded only in a few oceanic islands of the Southern Hemisphere such as Réunion.
|Climate data for Alishan (1981—2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||11
|Average low °C (°F)||2.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)||71.7
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||7.6||8.5||10.6||13.3||18.4||20||20.3||22||17.9||9.7||5.7||6.2||160.2|
|Average humidity (%)||71.4||73.1||73.7||75.2||76.7||77.7||75.8||76||76.5||72.5||70.8||69.3||74.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||158.8||126.9||141.5||121.8||109.2||105.1||127||107.7||104.2||142.3||155.5||165.5||1,565.5|
|Source: Central Weather Bureau|
- Zhongshan Village
- Xianglin Village
- Zhongzheng Village
- Shizi Village
- Fengshan Village
- Laiji Village
- Leye Village
- Dabang Village
- Lijia Village
- Shanmei Village
- Xinmei Village
- Chashan Village
Alishan is the main base for trekkers in the highlands of Taiwan and for mountain climbers aiming to scale Yu Shan, Taiwan’s highest peak and the highest and sole formerly glaciated point on the Tropic of Cancer. Chu Shan, though lower, is more accessible and climbed by most visitors to the region, which is extremely popular with Taiwanese tourists. The highland region in which Alishan is situated also contains a number of notable rock formations from the continuing uplift of the island.
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