Shifen Waterfall is the widest waterfall in Taiwan, and perhaps the most picturesque in all of Taiwan. It is easily accessible by foot from Shifen Train Station, and includes restaurants, gardens, and suspension bridges along the way. It's spectacular cascading falls are definitely worth a stop for anyone in Taiwan.
Shifen Waterfall is 20 meters high and 40 meters wide (66 x 130 ft.), and is the widest waterfall in Taiwan. It is located near the town of Shifen, which was originally named for the ten families that lived there in the Qing Dynasty, who needed ten portions of goods (Shi = ten Fen = portion).
The waterfall lies on the Keelung River which runs through Pingxi and Ruifang, creating a cluster of waterfalls. The rocks here easily erode, making for odd shapes in the riverbed. The waterfall is also known as Taiwan's "Niagra Falls."
Before 2010, some government officials illegally charged tickets to see the waterfall. However, since then the waterfall has been made into a park free of any entrance fee.
You will also notice that there is a small 1 foot dam on top of the falls. This unnatural feature is according to Taiwan researcher Mike Fagan, "...not a dam, it's a broad-crested weir [that] allows the northern WRA office to calculate flow volume rates." Now you know.
Winter ( October to May): 9 AM -4:30 PM (last people admitted, park open till 5:00 PM)
Summer (June to September) 9 AM -5:30 PM (last people admitted, park open till 6:00 PM)
How to get there:
By Train: Take the TRA to Ruifang Station, and then switch to the Pingxi Railway line. Get off at Shifen Station, then walk along the main road south until you reach the Shifen Waterfall trail. It will be hard to miss; there are signs along the way.
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 2 east toward Pinglin, then get off the main highway once you reach Shifen. The waterfall is to the left of the main bridge across the valley, and parking is plentiful. Scooter parking is free at the entrance.
Please see below
Please see below for our drone footage of the falls:
I have been to Shifen Waterfall a total of three times, and I have enjoyed it every time. It is truly one of the most grand waterfalls in Taiwan.
From Shifen Station, you can walk along the river down to Shifen Waterfall.
The parking lot in front has plenty of room for cars and scooters are free.
The main entrance also has some bathrooms and restaurants.
Siguang Suspension Bridge 四廣吊橋
Walking from the parking lot, you will first come across Siguang Suspension Bridge （四廣吊橋) which gives some great views of the Keelung River.
Another view of Siguang Suspension Bridge.
View of the Keelung River to the south; notice the many fallen lanterns in the background polluting the water.
Characteristic of the rocks along the Keelung River in Pingxi are small holes which are carved out by erosion.
A small waterfall pouring into what looks like a perfect swimming hole.
Guanpu Suspension Bridge 觀瀑吊橋
The next bridge you will come across is Guanpu Suspension Bridge (觀瀑吊橋) which is the final connection to Shifen Waterfall. The railroad bridge sits right next to it.
Yanjingdong Waterfall (眼睛洞瀑布)
From Guanpu Suspension Bridge you can see Yanjingdong Waterfall (眼睛洞瀑布), which is literally translated "Eye Glasses Hole Waterfall" because of the shape of the eroded holes at the bottom of the waterfall which look like glasses (pictured above).
Walking across Guanpou Bridge.
View of the railroad bridge, Guanpu Bridge, and Yanjingdong Waterfall. Notice you have to walk some stairs in between.
View underneath Guanpu Waterfall.
Down below is some private land on which are some shops and things to take photos with, like an entire train full of real coal!
Also there are some fake horses and an abandoned suspension bridge to take selfies with.
Red ribbons tied to a tree as part of a Buddhist shrine next to the waterfall.
Four Sided Buddha 四面佛
Here you can see the shrine to the four sided Buddha, with the four sides representing success in business, love in marriage, wealth and prosperity, and peace.
You have to walk through a bunch of overpriced shops in order to get to the waterfall.
A tea drinking area with carp pond.
There are also many souvenir shops along the way.
First view of the waterfall after walking through the tourist traps.
Map of the waterfall and hiking trails.
Side view of Shifen Waterfall.
Some people have been dumping coins in the waterfall over the ages. You can also see plenty of fish in these pools.
A view higher up of the falls.
For the full frontal view of the falls, you have to hike on a steep trail to the other side of the pool.
Front view of the falls.
Closeup on the falls.
View of the falls via drone.
View of the falls from straight up in the air. The waterfall pool makes a heart shape!
After we were done looking at the falls, I wanted to get a good shot of the train going by next to Guanpu Waterfall, but I was just too late.
And when we were walking away, I saw another train go by. Just my luck.
Well I guess there is always a good reason to go back.
But I did capture the train going by with my drone, and the rest of Shifen in the background.
To read our blog on the nearby Shifen Old Street, click here.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more of our adventures on the Pingxi Railway.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working 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.