Fenghuang Waterfall (鳳凰瀑布 [Fènghuáng Pùbù])

Fenglin District, Hualien County, Taiwan

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Fenghuang Waterfall or the 'Phoenix Waterfall'

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Fenghuang Waterfall (鳳凰瀑布 [Fènghuáng Pùbù]; translated as "Phoenix Waterfall") was one of a handful of pretty straightforward waterfalls that we visited while self-touring the less-populated Eastern Taiwan. Since my Mom and I visited this waterfall on the day after visiting the famous Taroko Gorge to the north, we wound up with a splendidly serene and more tangible experience as we were the only people here to enjoy it on the morning of our visit. It contrasted mightily to the busier and grander (yet strangely distant) attraction to the north. And while this waterfall was more modest in size (we're guessing it was probably about 15m tall), it still chilled us out as the light mist from the falls contrasted the stifling tropical heat and humidity that affected most of our visit to Taiwan at the end of October and early November. Apparently, the lack of Autumn during our visit was a bit unusual according to my relatives who live in Taiwan.

Aside from finding the falls (see directions below), our visit was very easy. Once we stopped the car at a pullout next to a shelter with prayer flags adjacent to it at a hairpin turn, we then walked up a short and gently uphill paved walking path lasting a mere 30m or so ending right at the base of the Fenghuang Waterfall. There were a couple of greenish stones marking the end of the short trail (Mom thought initially they were jade-like, but I figured they would have been quarried or stolen if they really were jade). With a little rock hopping, I was able to get a more frontal look at the twisting falls from the middle of the waterfall's stream. Other than that, there wasn't much else to do with this waterfall so we don't have much more to say about it. Overall, our visit only took about 25 minutes away from the car most of which was spent taking pictures.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

To the north of the Fenghuang Waterfall and Hualien City was the famous Taroko Gorge, which could very well be Taiwan's most popular natural attractionTo the north of the Fenghuang Waterfall and Hualien City was the famous Taroko Gorge, which could very well be Taiwan's most popular natural attraction
Most towns in Taiwan has a night market, and Hualien was no different. The one shown here was called the 'Rainbow' Night MarketMost towns in Taiwan has a night market, and Hualien was no different. The one shown here was called the 'Rainbow' Night Market
Tall mountains backed the farmlands and towns lining the coast and rift valley along Eastern Taiwan. Shown here were tall mountains backing Hualien CityTall mountains backed the farmlands and towns lining the coast and rift valley along Eastern Taiwan. Shown here were tall mountains backing Hualien City
On the coastal road leading south from Su'ao to the Taroko Gorge, the highway passed by the Qingshui Cliffs, which could be appreciated from a pullout by this tunnelOn the coastal road leading south from Su'ao to the Taroko Gorge, the highway passed by the Qingshui Cliffs, which could be appreciated from a pullout by this tunnel
I wasn't sure if this area was a car park for the temple up ahead or if it was something elseI wasn't sure if this area was a car park for the temple up ahead or if it was something else

The faded brown sign pointing the way to our right for the Fenghuang WaterfallThe faded brown sign pointing the way to our right for the Fenghuang Waterfall

Looking ahead towards some temple at the head of this flat areaLooking ahead towards some temple at the head of this flat area

Looking up in the distance towards some big but temporary waterfall, but it was not the Fenghuang WaterfallLooking up in the distance towards some big but temporary waterfall, but it was not the Fenghuang Falls

Looking back at the road leading up to the Fenghuang WaterfallLooking back at the road leading up to the Fenghuang Waterfall

A shelter and footpath leading up to the Fenghuang WaterfallA shelter and footpath leading up to the Fenghuang Falls

Looking back down towards the hairpin turn and road that got us here to the Fenghuang FallsLooking back down towards the hairpin turn and road that got us here to the Fenghuang Falls

Mom making her way up the footpath to the base of Fenghuang FallsMom making her way up the footpath to the base of Fenghuang Falls

Our first look at the Fenghuang WaterfallOur first look at the Fenghuang Waterfall

With a little rock hopping, I got this frontal look at the Fenghuang WaterfallWith a little rock hopping, I got this frontal look at the Fenghuang Falls

Mom checking out the Fenghuang FallsMom checking out the Fenghuang Falls

One of the stones left at the end of the footpath right on the fringes of the plunge pool of the Fenghuang FallsOne of the stones left at the end of the footpath right on the fringes of the plunge pool of the Fenghuang Falls

Mom making her way back down the trail to the carMom making her way back down the trail to the car

Prayer flags (I think) next to the shelter by the trailheadPrayer flags (I think) next to the shelter by the trailhead


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


360 degree sweep at the base of the waterfall while also examining its full height


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We drove to the Fenghuang Waterfall from Hualien City (花蓮市 [Huālián Shì]) so that's how we'll describe the driving directions. Heading south of Hualien City along the Tai-9 Highway (台力) for about 31km towards the town of Fenglin (鳳林 [Fènglín]; meaning "Phoenix Forest"), we then kept right at a fork to leave the Tai-9 onto Zhongzheng Road Section 2 (中正路二段 [Zhōng zhèng lù èr duàn]) to go into the town itself (as staying on the Tai-9 highway would bypass the town). Continuing on Zhongzheng Road Section 2 for the next 1.2km, we then turned right onto Shuiyuan Road (水源路 [Shuǐ yuán lù]) or Hua-46 (花46). By now there should be signs for the Fenghuang Waterfall (or 鳳凰瀑布).

Continuing on Shuiyuan Road for about 2.4km, we passed through an archway then entered some kind of park or parking area. Then, we saw a faint brown sign for the Fenghuang Waterfall telling us to turn right and follow a narrow road past a bridge over the Fenglin River (鳳林溪 [Fènglín Xī]) before continuing up a narrower paved road that climbed the final 550m up to a hairpin turn, where there was a shelter and shoulder space for parking. This was the trailhead for the falls. Overall, we spent about 45 minutes on this drive.

For geographical context, the Fenglin Township was about 36km south of Hualien City. Hualien City was 98km (over 2 hours drive) south of the Su'ao Township, 122km south of Yilan City (over 2.5 hours drive or less than an hour by train), and 173km south of Taipei (over 3 hours drive or 2 hours by train). Hualien City was also 173km north of Taitung (台東 [Táidōng]; 3.5 hours drive or over 4 hours by train).




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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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