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3 Gorgeous Waterfalls Near Taipei You Can Hike To

These gorgeous waterfalls are easily accessible from Taipei. Get out of the city and explore these natural beauties!

Many visitors to Taipei steer towards the standard activities such as shopping, having xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung, and taking the rapid elevator up Taipei 101. While these are all activities that sum up the Taipei experience as advertised, there’s so much more you can add to your Taipei adventure.

Taiwan is a beautiful country with an abundance of mountains, hot springs, and other natural landscapes to explore. Wherever you are in Taiwan, a geographical formation is a stone’s throw away. Even in the metropolitan city of Taipei, you can explore waterfalls just one to two hours away by public transport.

Here are three waterfalls you can enjoy as a day trip from Taipei, and the hikes are very doable for people with low to moderate fitness.

1. Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布)

Probably the most popular waterfall on the list due to its proximity to Jiufen Old Street (popular tourist area), Shifen Waterfall is also one of the most majestic waterfalls in Taiwan. It is not very tall (20 metres) but very wide (40 metres) and powerful, and really accessible.

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Image Credit: 國禎 吳

Getting there

From Taipei Main Station, take a train to Ruifang (about 1 hour). Transfer to the Pingxi line at Ruifang to get to Shifen. From Shifen station, it is about a 20–30 minute walk to the waterfall area. There are many signs along the way that beckon tourists to head to Shifen Waterfall.

After spending some time at the waterfall, you may want to head back to Ruifang and then take a short bus ride to Jiufen Old Street to end the day with traditional snacks and souvenir shopping.

2) Wufengqi Waterfall (五峰旗瀑布)

This trail of five waterfalls is a tourist-friendly one, so expect plenty of visitors on weekends! The last waterfall is quite a climb to get to – it left me catching my breath quite a bit – but the area is well-paved throughout with concrete steps.

If you’re ever short of breath and need a breather every now and then, there are several sheltered rest stops along the way. You will find many older Taiwanese doing this trail as a weekend pastime with fellow retiree friends. Depending on your speed with stairs and how long you stop to take photographs, hiking this trail of five waterfalls may take about one to two hours, to and fro.

explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Calvin
explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Calvin

Getting there

Take the train from Taipei Main Station to Jiaoxi Station (about 1.5 hours). Go to the bus station and take bus 111 to the Wufengqi Scenic Area (6 stops away, 15–20 minutes).

3) Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail (三貂嶺瀑布群)

Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail is not too far from Shifen Waterfall. Although so named, there’s actually no waterfall called Sandiaoling Waterfall. The trail comprises of three waterfalls in the Sandiaoling area — Hegu Waterfall (合谷瀑布), Motian Waterfall (模天瀑布) and Pipadong Waterfall (枇杷洞瀑布).

The first waterfall you will see near the start of the trail is the Hegu Waterfall (合谷瀑布). However, you will only be able to view it from a distance.

explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Foodie Baker

Keep walking and you will soon reach Motian Waterfall (模天瀑布). What I like about this waterfall is the sheer height of it. Also, you can actually climb carefully to the area behind the waterfall to have a different view. You just have to look out for a path with a rope that will help you pull your way up to the vantage point.

explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Foodie Baker

As you proceed, you will discover that the last section of this waterfall trail has a ladder made of wooden logs leading to the third and last waterfall. It looks intimidating, but as long as you hold the side ropes tight with both hands and go up slowly one step at a time, you’ll be fine. This adds excitement to this already great hike!

explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Jennifer

After the adrenaline-filled climb, you will be rewarded with the loud, gushing waters of Pipadong Waterfall (枇杷洞瀑布).

explore, travel, 3 gorgeous waterfalls near taipei you can hike to
Image Credit: Foodie Baker

This trail is the hardest of the three, and takes about three hours to complete.

Getting there

Take a train from Taipei Main Station straight to Sandiaoling station. It takes about one hour, and don’t be surprised when few people alight at this station. Not many tourists are aware of this wonderfully doable trail.  Once you exit the small and empty train station, turn right and walk, following the path. After about 200 metres of walking along the train tracks, you should see a sign for the trail. Cross the tracks cautiously. You will see an elementary school to your right, and this is probably your last toilet stop for some time. There’s a map at the start of the trail, follow the signs to begin your journey.

Taiwan is a great country to embrace both nature and the bustling cities at the same time. You can spend the day working up an appetite by hiking one or two of these trails and end the day with a well-deserved meal at one of Taipei’s best night markets. That’s what the locals love to do!

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