Sprawling east of Chiayi City, Zhuqi Township is a largely rural area in the centre of Taiwan. It’s home to an immense suspension bridge and is traversed by the historic Alishan Forest Railway, which is dotted with picturesque villages that mushroomed along its route.
Things to do in Zhuqi Township
For spectacular views across Chiayi County, head to the Taiping Suspension Bridge, a 281-metre-long landmark that spans the mountains of Taipingshan and Guishan. It offers sweeping panoramas of the Chianan Plain and the Taiwan Strait, as well as nearby villages and waterfalls. After dark, the bridge is illuminated by a rainbow of colourful lights.
One of the best ways to explore Zhuqi Township is along the Alishan Forest Railway, a narrow-gauge logging railway constructed in 1899 by the Japanese Colonial Government. It features more than 50 tunnels and 77 wooden bridges along its 70 kilometre-long route, as well as spectacular switchbacks around Mount Duli. Several locomotives from the Alishan Forest Railway are on display at the Zhaoping railway station.
Located midway along the Alishan Forest Railway is the atmospheric settlement of Fenqihu, which was where the steam locomotives would historically stop to refuel with coal and water. As passengers had time to stroll around the town, bento shops began flourishing and the town developed. Many of the railway bento stores are clustered along Fenqihu Old Street, which stretches for 500-metre-long along a gently sloping hillside.
Getting around Zhuqi Township
Zhuqi Township is around 25 minutes’ drive from Chiayi City and 35 minutes from Chiayi Airport, which has flights to Kinmen and Penghu. Regular trains connect to several railway stations throughout the township, including the Zhuqi railway station. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of exploring Zhuqi Township.