Richard Saunders let me know about the Yuemeikeng Waterfall sometime ago and he mentioned that it was a relatively unknown and hidden place and so when I visited last year, I decided not to write about it to try and keep it that way. But now it has been discovered by the masses and the trail is well tagged and well beaten, I think it’s OK to write a quick post.
The weather on the weekend was looking decidedly dodgy with some heavy downpours in Taipei and I was somewhat nervous about going. The last part of the hike follows the stream up to the waterfall and it would be a bad place to get caught in a thunderstorm. However, the CWB showed that Yilan was pretty much dry so we met at the train station and went all the same. I figured if the river was too high, it would be easy enough to turn back anyway.
Fourteen brave souls showed up at the train station which was not a bad head count given the weather! I got there early and was half expecting no one to come.
We caught the bus to the hot spring town of Jiaoxi and then walked the road up the start of the Wufenqi Waterfalls. At a small park below the trail to Wufenqi, there’s a river with a makeshift bridge. We crossed it and turned right to follow a rough track up to the trailhead.
The hike in is pretty short. After a crossing couple of bridges, we should have made a left, but someone had moved the sign and I sped straight past it up the mountain. Luckily we realised pretty qucikly and got back on the right trail a few minutes later. I am very curious to find out where that other path goes though. It seemed to be heading towards the top of the waterfall. Anthoer adventure for another day perhaps?
Heading the right way, we climbed down the steep path to the river. From here the trail crosses over the river once before dropping down in the water on the opposite side. I was trying desperately to keep my feet dry, but one slip and I was knee-deep. I gave up and just waded up the rest of the way.
With all the we rain we’ve had recently, the waterfall was in full flow and looked spectacular! Most of us stripped off and got into the pool below. It was an awesome experience, the wind created by the huge of volume of falling water was like a gale and the roaring noise was deafening. It was very intense and after getting out and walking away just 10m, it felt strangely peaceful compared to being under the raging waterfall.
Hiking out we stopped near the entrance to the Wufenqi Waterfalls before walking back to Jiaoxi for a well deserved pint. I was really glad I didn’t cancel. A great hike! Thanks for coming along everyone!
We got lucky with the weather. I really wouln’t recommend coming here on a day with a lot of rain.
You can catch the bus to Jiaoxi from the new bus station north of Taipei Main Station, the new station by Taipei City Hall MRT Station or by the Technology Building MRT Station. It takes around an hour. Coming back always seems to take longer with the traffic in the Xueshan Tunnel.
From Jiaoxi Train Station there is a tourist bus that heads up to the Wufenqi Waterfall car park. However it only runs every hour or so. We missed it both times and just decided to walk.
The hike itself is fairly short. Perhaps 1-2 hours.
Look out leeches! Most of us made a friend or two in the water and even those who didn’t get in, still got bitten!