Xikou Little Switzerland (aka Tianjing Whirlpool) is a glory hole above Wushantou Reservoir in Dongshan District of Tainan City. It looks like a giant bathtub drain, moving water from the waterway above down to the Wushantou power station below, making a giant whirlpool, and has become a unique tourist destination in Tainan.
The glory called "Xikou Little Switzerland" was built as a drain to connect water coming from Tsengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫) and Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫). The water from Tsengwen River below Tsengwen Reservoir flows through an underground tunnel under a mountain to the small waterway where Xikou Little Switzerland lies. This underground tunnel and waterway was built during the Japanese Era in about 1930. Wushantou Reservoir was also completed in 1930. The Xikou Little Sweden drain was also completed at this time.
Tsengwen Reservoir was completed later in 1973 to increase water capacity in the area.
The water from Xikou Little Switzerland flows down to a tower and then a power generating station at the mouth of the Wushantou Reservoir.
The name "Xikou" means west entrance, referring to the west entrance of the underground tunnel connecting the Tsengwen River.
The name "Little Switzerland" was used to describe the area long before the dam was built, because the surrounding mountains to the east make the place look like a miniature Switzerland.
Now the area only sees a few visitors a day because of its remoteness, but is still a unique place that many people want to see.
How to get there:
By car/taxi: From Tainan, take National Freeway 3 north to Wushantou exit 329. From there take Tainan City highway 174 east, and turn right at the sign to 西口小瑞士.
Unfortunately there is no public transport to this location; the nearest bus stop is 3-4 KM away.
Please see below:
I have been to Xikou Little Switzerland once. It's really far out of the way in Tainan, and you need your own vehicle or a taxi to get there. It is a really unique feature, and it makes it seem like the lake is draining from the ground.
Check out our drone video above for an overview of the area.
Or check out the 360 degree spherical panorama above.
To get to Little Switzerland, you must drive one some one lane roads through rural Tainan, until you reach the waterway.
The drainage hole is near the road, but there are some trees on the shore closest to it so you can only see it from a distance.
View further to the right.
Another choice is to walk over to the waterworks, which is not encouraged.
From the top of the waterworks, there is a much better view.
Closeup on the drainage hole.
View of "Little Switzerland."
View of the drainage area via drone.
View of the drain straight from above.
View of the bamboo forests in the mountains of Tainan as we were leaving. Extremely beautiful, but resembling nothing like Switzerland.
Tainan's central plain in the background.
Driving down the rural mountain road through bamboo forests.
Interesting geology in the hills of Tainan.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs in Tainan!
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