Chinglong Waterfall (青龍瀑布 [Qīnglóng Pùbù])

Shanlinhsi ("Sun Link Sea") Nature Park and Resort / near Xitou, Nantou County, Taiwan

Rating: 4     Difficulty: 3
The Chinglong Waterfall

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Chinglong Waterfall (青龍瀑布 [Qīnglóng Pùbù]; meaning "Green Dragon Waterfall") was perhaps the waterfalling highlight of our short but very sweet visit to the Shanlinhsi (杉林溪 [Shānlínxī]) Nature Park. This towering waterfall was where the Jiazouliao Stream (加走寮溪 [Jiāzǒuliáo Xī]) plunged some 116m. Its grandeur took Mom and I by surprise as we were expecting something similar to the nearby Songlong Rock Waterfall (which was also in the same park) but the Chinglong Falls turned out to be far taller and more precipitous. The signs here suggested that this was the prettiest waterfall in Shanlinhsi (that seemed like a no-brainer), but it also suggested that it was the most beautiful waterfall in Central Taiwan, and that would be hard to dispute. Moreover, this waterfalling experience also featured a bit of variety as our visit took in rock formations, panoramic views above the inversion layer, and even a second waterfall.

We began our visit from the Theme Hall parking lot as we would hike in a counterclockwise direction on this semi-looping hike. Since we did this trail first thing in the morning before breakfast, we started off by hiking 400m along the road towards the tollbooth or entrance gate, where there was also the Sun Link Sea Land God's Temple. From there, we then hiked on the 400m Shyrjing Trail (石井磯 [Shíjǐngjī]), which followed the northern banks of the Jiazouliao Stream. We actually continued past a suspension bridge with the number 88 on it (there was some kind of rock resembling a baby elephant here) and made it a short distance further to a dead-end where we could see the Shyring ji - an interesting series of potholes in the stream.

Back at the suspension bridge, we then crossed to the other side, where we went up some steps before picking up the Chinglong Fern Trail just downstream from the junction with the Yueling Trail (which we didn't take). The trail then skirted the deep gorge where we started to get profile views of the impressive Chinglong Waterfall. The trail continued to descend gently towards overlooks providing a more frontal view before we reached four-way junction. We kept right to take the descending trail towards the base of the Chinglong Waterfall. Early in the descent, we passed by a strangely tilted "Energy House", which used to be a restroom facility before an earthquake tilted its foundation. The result was a pretty trippy and disorienting experience inside the building, which felt as if the building could slide further downslope at any minute.

The descending path provided more glimpses of the inversion layer as we were still above the clouds and the steam looking more in the direction of Western Taiwan. Eventually, the trail terminated at an elongated lookout deck with shelter where we got the closest views of the Chinglong Waterfall that we were going to get. The trail wouldn't let us get any closer to the falls so it was pretty much a look-but-don't-touch waterfall.

After having our fill of this experience, we then hiked back up to the four-way junction where I then explored the last path to the right. This 200m or so spur trail led down to the second Chinglong Waterfall (the signs and literature called this the "Chinglong 2th Waterfall"). Unlike the main Chinglong Falls, this one was significantly thinner and shorter. Given its more diminished flow, I'd imagine that this was really more of a seasonal or temporary waterfall. Still, it offered a nice precipitous view towards the inversion layer downslope.

When we had our fill of this spot, we then returned via the 1.6km Chinglong Fern Trail. It was a pleasant trail following along the southern banks of the Jiazouliao Stream amidst more tall trees. At the end of this trail, we'd then cross over a solid footbridge spanning the stream before returning to the Theme Hall part of the Shanlinhsi complex. So when all was said and done, we had hiked roughly 3.5-4km in total, which took us about 2 hours to complete.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Right before we made the drive up to the Shanlinhsi Nature Park, we had made a visit to the ornate Ban Tian Yan Zhuyin Temple in Chiayi CountyRight before we made the drive up to the Shanlinhsi Nature Park, we had made a visit to the ornate Ban Tian Yan Zhuyin Temple in Chiayi County
Not far north of the Shanlinhsi Nature Park was the Sun Moon Lake (日月潭 [Rìyuè Tán]), which was a famous lake near the geographic center of TaiwanNot far north of the Shanlinhsi Nature Park was the Sun Moon Lake (日月潭 [Rìyuè Tán]), which was a famous lake near the geographic center of Taiwan
A real nice place to enjoy views over Sun Moon Lake was at the Wenwu Temple on the northern shores of the lakeA real nice place to enjoy views over Sun Moon Lake was at the Wenwu Temple on the northern shores of the lake
Looking downstream from the bridge near the Theme HallLooking downstream from the bridge near the Theme Hall

Looking upstream from the bridge towards some parked tour busesLooking upstream from the bridge towards some parked tour buses

Walking along the road towards the Shanlinhsi entranceWalking along the road towards the Shanlinhsi entrance

Looking upstream from the road towards the Theme Hall area of ShanlinhsiLooking upstream from the road towards the Theme Hall area of Shanlinhsi

Context of the entrance gate and templeContext of the entrance gate and temple

This was the Sun Link Sea Land God Temple near the entranceThis was the Sun Link Sea Land God Temple near the entrance.

Starting to hike the Shyring TrailStarting to hike the Shyring Trail

Looking downstream along the Jiazouliao StreamLooking downstream along the Jiazouliao Stream

A man-made dam contraption along the Shyring TrailA man-made dam contraption along the Shyring Trail

Looking ahead towards a suspension bridgeLooking ahead towards a suspension bridge

Checking out the pothole formations of the Shyring jiChecking out the pothole formations of the Shyring ji

Another look at the Shyring jiAnother look at the Shyring ji

Crossing over the suspension bridge with 88 written on itCrossing over the suspension bridge with 88 written on it

Looking back at the suspension bridge as we were climbing up to the Chinglong Fern TrailLooking back at the suspension bridge as we were climbing up to the Chinglong Fern Trail

The trail started to reveal the deep gorge that contained the Chinglong WaterfallThe trail started to reveal the deep gorge that contained the waterfall

Looking downslope towards the inversion layer as we were still above the steam and cloudsLooking downslope towards the inversion layer as we were still above the steam and clouds

Our first look at the Chinglong WaterfallOur first look at the falls

Mom checking out the Chinglong Falls from one of the lookout platformsMom checking out the Chinglong Falls from one of the lookout platforms

Direct look at the Chinglong Waterfall before making the final descent to its lower lookoutDirect look at the Chinglong Waterfall before making the final descent to its lower lookout

Mom hiking down the trail for the bottom of the Chinglong FallsMom hiking down the trail for the bottom of the Chinglong Falls

This was the kind of scenery we got to enjoy while making the final descent to the bottom of Chinglong FallsThis was the king of scenery we got to enjoy while making the final descent to the bottom of Chinglong Falls

This was the eccentric and disorienting 'Energy House'This was the eccentric and disorienting "Energy House"

Mom continuing to make her way to the base of Chinglong FallsMom continuing to make her way to the base of Chinglong Falls

Mom continuing to descend steps to the bottom of the Chinglong FallsMom continuing to descend steps to the bottom of the Chinglong Falls

Our first look from near the bottom of the Chinglong WaterfallOur first look from near the bottom of the Chinglong Waterfall

Context of the Chinglong Falls and the last stretch of trail to its endContext of the Chinglong Falls and the last stretch of trail to its end

Context of the bottom lookout of the Chinglong FallsContext of the bottom lookout of the Chinglong Falls

Direct frontal look of the Chinglong Waterfall from near its bottomDirect frontal look of the Chinglong Waterfalls from near its bottom

Mom checking out the Chinglong Waterfall from the lower lookoutMom checking out the Chinglong Waterfall from the lower lookout

After visiting the last of the main lookouts for Chinglong Waterfall, I took this detour to check out the second waterfallAfter visiting the last of the main lookouts for Chinglong Waterfall, I took this detour to check out the second waterfall

The Chinglong 2th WaterfallThe Chinglong 2th Waterfall (mispelling intended)

While hiking back to the trailhead, we couldn't help but wonder to which town or village did these buildings belong to?While hiking back to the trailhead, we couldn't help but wonder to which town or village did these buildings belong to?

Taking the Chinglong Fern Trail all the way back to the Theme HallTaking the Chinglong Fern Trail all the way back to the Theme Hall

Still following the Chinglong Fern Trail backStill following the Chinglong Fern Trail back

Mom continuing along the developed Chinglong Fern TrailMom continuing along the developed Chinglong Fern Trail

Finally starting to see the Theme Hall complex againFinally starting to see the Theme Hall complex again

Approaching the bridge leading us back to the Theme HallApproaching the bridge leading us back to the Theme Hall


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


360 degree sweep from a viewpoint providing us with a direct look at the impressive Chinglong Waterfall


Sweep of the impressive falls from the end of the trail at a sheltered viewing deck


Sweep checking out the second Chinglong Waterfall with some views towards the steamy basin in the distance


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Being in the Shanlinhsi Nature Park, the Chinglong Waterfall excursion shares the same general directions and car park as that of the Songlong Rock Waterfall. So see that page's write-up for specific directions on getting here from either Chiayi (嘉義 [Jiāyì]) to the south or Taichung (台中 [Táizhōng]) to the north.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES


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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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