Like I said in my last post, we arrived back to Alishan town on Saturday evening with the intention of catching the last bus home. Rather than go straight to 7-11 to buy bus tickets, we decided to ask a taxi driver how much the trip from Alishan to Fenqihu, the home of the fireflies, would cost. The fireflies were after all what we had gone to see. What happened next reinforces my belief that Taiwanese people must be the nicest people on Earth.
As we discussed the price with the taxi driver, a Taiwanese couple approached us and asked where we were going. When we told them we were going to Fenqihu, they said they were headed to Taichung but would be happy to take us where we wanted to go. When we got out of their car, they refused to take any money for the extra miles they had driven just to help us out. Without them, we would have never been able to see what we had traveled all the way to Alishan for. I couldn’t believe their kindness.
As we were driving the windy road between Alishan and Fenqihu, the rain cleared and the sun came out. The views were stunning! Unfortunately, I never got the chance to snap a picture.
The guest house we stayed at in Fenqihu offered a free tour of the firefly areas of the town. That evening, a young man took us down the street from the 7-11 where we could see hundreds of fireflies frolicking on the mountainsides. It was magical. You, in no way, need a guide to see the bugs. Just walk out of the town a bit, turn off your flashlight, and you will be sure to see them. This video shows a net full of fireflies that our guide caught. I apologize for the low quality of the video, but I never caught a decent picture of the things. I guess you will just have to go experience it for yourself.
If you want to go to Fenqihu to see the fireflies, I highly recommend going directly there from Chiayi. The fireflies are present from April to June every year. I will discuss the logistics of Fenqihu more in my next post. There are plenty of local foods to taste, tea to drink, and viewing platforms offering inspiring views. Fenqihu is definitely worth a visit any time of year.