Shimen Dam and reservoir are popular destinations in Taoyuan City of Taiwan. The dam is open to the public, and around the dam are many parks and trails to enjoy, as well as great scenery of the surrounding mountains and plains.
The name "Shimen 石門" which means "stone gates" comes from the fact that the dam was built on a narrow gorge in the Dahan River valley, which was called the "stone gate."
Shimen Dam was completed in 1964 and took 9 years and NT 1.4 billion to complete. It was the ROC's first major water project. 2,000 people were displaced due to the dam's construction. The reservoir created year round water capacity for surrounding farmland, doubling agricultural yields.
Since it was built, the water capacity has been reduced by about a third due to silting.
The dam has also become a popular tourist destination due to the beautiful scenery surrounding it.
8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entrance Fee: 80 NT for cars, 30 NT for scooters
How to get there:
By Bus: Take Taoyuan Bus 505 from Zhongli Station south until you reach the Dam (about a two hour ride).
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 3 in Taoyuan South until you reach county road 63. Then turn south toward the reservoir. There is parking near either side of the dam.
Please see below:
We have been to Shimen Dam once. It was beautiful and majestic, and definitely worth the journey.
To get a full view of the area, check out our drone footage of Shimen Dam below:
We drove a car to the dam, and there was still parking next to the dam on a busy weekend.
Map of Shimen Dam recreational area.
View of the lower dam or after bay.
People taking a walk on the lower dam.
View of the after bay looking toward the main dam walls.
Rusty railing at the after bay.
We ended up driving on top of the dam wall to the other side to find parking, which was fun.
View of the after bay from where we parked.
On top of the dam is a road and sidewalks.
The water level seemed a bit low when we were there.
You can see some resorts or other houses in the mountains across from the dam.
Another view up the Dahan River Valley.
View of the south side of the reservoir.
Another resort being built next to the dam.
People walking along the dam.
At the center of the dam is a rock precipice with a pavilion at the top.
View from near the pavilion.
Another view looking north toward Daxi.
The pavilion on top of the rock precipice.
Another view looking north.
On the other side of the dam are many shops, most selling dried tofu which is a delicacy near here and in Daxi.
Statue of Chiang Kai Shek near the dam entrance.
Another map of the area around Shimen Dam.
Drone shot of the dam from above looking south.
View looking southeast.
View looking east.
View looking northeast.
View looking northeast.
Another view looking at the dam entrance.
View of the spillway. Notice the tons of people walking on top.
View looking north.
View of the east side of the dam.
Last view of the full dam. I was not the only person flying a DJI drone that day.
Buddha World Park 佛陀世界園區
Further up the mountain is an abandoned theme park turned Buddhist Monestary.
This is the best shot I could get with my drone before I was told that drones were not allowed here, so I quickly landed. For some reason there were also a bunch of bugs around that got slaughtered by my drone.
If you plan on visiting this place please note that it is only open to the public on weekdays and closes at 3:30 PM.
For a full blog of this place, check out this post by Josh Ellis.
Leo Foo Village 六福村
Another popular theme park in the area is Leo Foo Village. You can tell the place is a rip off of Disneyland. Because Disney has not built a park in Taiwan, it's the next best thing we have.
Window on China 小人國
Another popular theme park in the area is Window on China (in Chinese it's just little people world), you can tell they were not thinking about foreign visitors when they thought of the name. Here are a bunch of miniatures of Taiwan and the world, and a water park and roller coasters.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Taiwan!
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.