Lingjiao Waterfall (aka "Lingjiao Grotto Great Waterfall" 嶺腳石窟大瀑布) is a large waterfall and swimming hole right next to Lingjiao Station of the Pingxi Railway, on the Keelung River in Pingxi District of New Taipei. It's large cliffs are popular for jumping and has a large deep pool that is safe to swim in. It's accessibility via the Pingxi Railway has made it a popular spot, but most of the time there will not be any crowds there.
Lingjiao Waterfall Is 40 meters wide and 11 meters tall, and is the second biggest waterfall in Pingxi District after Shifen Waterfall.
The town of Lingjiao was named because it sits at the foot of a mountain (the name meaning literally "foot of the peak"). Lingjiao was a mining town on the Pingxi Railway, and a station there was completed during the Japanese Era in 1929.
A few decades ago the waterfall was a popular spot for the locals who dug holes in the rocks at the base of the falls, so the waterfall is also known by the name "Lingjiao Grotto Great Waterfall" (嶺腳石窟大瀑布).
The land around the falls was also once closed off and an admission was required, however due to mismanagement the business has long since closed down, so seeing the falls is now free.
How to get there:
By Train: Take the TRA to Ruifang Station, and then switch to the Pingxi Railway line. Get off at Lingjiao Station, and then walk east down the road next to the train tracks, you will see the steps down to the waterfall on the right.
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 2 east toward Pinglin, then get off the main highway once you reach Shifen. Then turn right and go west on county road 106 until you reach the Lingjiao Station turnoff. After that, you can park next to the train tracks and walk east down the road next to the train tracks, you will see the steps down to the waterfall on the right.
Please see below:
I have been to Lingjiao waterfall a few times and always have had the place to myself. It is a lesser know waterfall but definitely worth your visit.
Check out some drone footage of Lingjiao Waterfall below:
As foreigners coming into Lingjiao, at first waterfall was not easy to find. But with help from Google we eventually found our way there.
View of the bridge that connects Lingjiao to the rest of Pingxi.
Lingjiao Old Street 嶺腳老街
Once you come to Lingjiao one of the first things you will notice is the old street right next to the train tracks. It is extremely small compared to the old streets of Shifen, Pingxi, Houtong, and Jingtong along the Pingxi Railway. The main attraction here is not food or lanterns (you will find almost no shops) but historical remains like the Tsai Family Residence.
For our full blog on Lingjiao Old Street, click here.
Lingjiao Station 嶺腳火車站
Lingjiao station is one of the smallest manned stations on the Pingxi line. But at least there are toilets here. From the station you need to cross the tracks and walk east down them to get to the waterfall.
An abandoned suspension bridge most likely to transport coal to the station from across the river. The coal mining industry wound down in Taiwan in the late 1900's and officially died about the year 2000 as world coal prices dropped.
The other end of the suspension bridge across the river.
Near the entrance to the waterfall trail is a town activity hall that you must walk past.
An abandoned house on the way to the waterfall.
You can also walk on the other side of the tracks to get there. When I was there last they were extending the platform to the waterfall entrance.
The now defunct original private entrance to the waterfall.
You have to walk on a small path next to the tracks in order to get to the waterfall. Sorry for the blurry photos. I am upgrading my camera soon.
It was here that I was confronted by dogs that belonged to someone further down the tracks. If you run into dogs in Taiwan, don't run. Hold your ground and make yourself look big. If you can find one, hold up a stick to scare them off. On days especially when there aren't many people you may run into untied dogs.
From the train tracks you have to walk down some concrete steps which can be slippery on a rainy day. Every day I have gone the weather has been crappy, except for the day I flew my drone.
You can see the relics of the old private property management here. It looks like some of the buildings are still used.
First view of Lingjiao Waterfall as you come down from the trail.
Another view of the falls as you come off the trail.
The above is a video of us swimming in the falls on our first trip around the island in 2014. We didn't jump from the top, it's a little too high for me at 11 meters.
Scott and Matt could not swim to the platform behind the falls because the water was flowing too fast, so I had to show them how its done by backstroking through the middle of the falls between the two main streams of water, thereby reaching the platform.
It's been 5 years since we visited the falls and this blog has finally been finished. I am the only one of us three who has stayed in Taiwan and kept the blog going.
On a day with rain lots of trash can get washed up onto the shore.
Lingjiao Grotto 嶺腳石窟
On the opposite end of the watefall is a grotto dug out of the rock by the locals quite a while ago. I guess they made it to stay out of the sun and make it easier to fish and/or wade into the water. It's a pretty cool hangout spot, and I'm sure it brought people in when there was still an admission fee.
View into one of the caves. As you can tell the bedrock around Pingxi is not very tough, which makes it easy for water to erode it away and make giant waterfalls.
Fallen sky lantern near the grotto. Do not light off sky lanterns. Not only do they pollute the environment, they also cause danger of fire and also car accidents if they land on roads.
View from the falls on top of the grotto with low shutter speed.
Another view of the falls from atop the grotto on a day with more rain.
Some other makeshift tables and carved steps on top of the grotto.
An abandoned warehouse behind the falls that might have been a rest area or restaurant in its heyday.
View looking down from the falls via drone.
Another view via drone.
View of the town of Lingjiao. There is also a small footbridge that goes across the river near the train station.
Grand view of Lingjiao Waterfall and the surrounding landscape.
For some great photos of the falls on a clear day, check out this blog by Josh Ellis.
For our full guide to the Pingxi Railway, click here.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.