Thousand Island Lake (Officially Feitsui Reservoir 翡翠水庫 or Emerald Lake) is a reservoir in New Taipei that sits in Shiding District. It is a popular place to visit because the reservoir winding through the mountain valleys looks like many islands from a distance. It also has the largest concrete dam in Taiwan.
When it was seen in the 1970s that the Shimen Dam could not meet all the water needs of greater Taipei, the Taipei City government set out to build another dam along the Beishi River.
The Dam was completed in 1987 at a cost of 11 billion NT.
The Dam holding the reservoir back is 122 meters high and 510 meters long, making it the biggest concrete dam in Taiwan by volume.
The Dam today serves over 6 million people in greater Taipei. Besides providing water, the dam also generates electricity.
To ensure water quality, most of the Dam is closed off the the public, expect with a permit and accompaniment by a guide. The best place to see the Dam is from the tea plantations on the Shiding side (northeast).
How to get there:
Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 9 east toward Pinglin. Take a right down the mountain right before Taipei Garden Cemetery. There are a few restaurants and lookouts along this road.
Bus: Take Sindian Bus GR12 east to Shisangu Station. From there you can walk about half an hour down to the lookout.
Please see below:
I have been to thousand island lake three times because it is one of the most beautiful places in Northern Taiwan. The drive to the lookout from my house is only about 45 minutes.
Check out our drone footage of the lake above for reference.
The entrance to the lookout can be hard to find. I got lost in some tea plantations the first time looking for it. Just use Google Maps.
Whenever I go there are always lots of hikers taking pictures. There is not a lot of parking for cars, so a scooter is the best choice here.
One of the best place to see the views is the Qiandaohu Lookout (千島湖觀景臺). They also sell coffee and snacks here.
The snack shop right near the lookout.
View from the snack shop.
Another view from the snack shop on a day with less water. If you keep going down the road there is another lookout which you can see at the bottom of the photo above.
View from the lower lookout.
Another view from the lower lookout.
View from above via drone.
Another view via drone.
For another amazing view of this reservoir, check out this blog by Josh Ellis.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our guide to Shiding!
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.