Dajin Waterfall (大津瀑布 [Dàjīn Pùbù])

Sandimen Township / Maolin National Scenic Area / Kaohsiung / Tainan, Pingtung County, Taiwan

About Dajin Waterfall (大津瀑布 [Dàjīn Pùbù])


Hiking Distance: 1.6km round trip
Suggested Time: 75 minutes

Date first visited: 2016-10-30
Date last visited: 2016-10-30

Waterfall Latitude: 22.86081
Waterfall Longitude: 120.64542

The Dajin Waterfall (大津瀑布 [Dàjīn Pùbù]) was a pleasantly tall waterfall directly east of the busy cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan right on the border of the Kaohsiung and Pingtung Counties.

The pretty typical tall and slender falls was where the Dalu Guanliao Stream (大路關寮溪 [Dàlùguānliáo Xī]) dropped some 25-30m into a shady cove.

Dajin_Waterfall_048_10292016 - Dajin Waterfall
Dajin Waterfall

We were able to see this waterfall from a lookout shelter at the apex of the trail as well as from its shady base.

Apparently, there were also more drops further downstream of this waterfall, but we saw some locals trying to erect fences and tape to prevent visitors from getting too close to the edge and falling over.

In any case, Mom and I enjoyed a pretty serene experience at the Dajin Waterfall as we came here first thing on a Sunday morning pretty much before the crowds had started to show up.

Even though Mom and I started this hike early, we still shared the falls with many locals and elders either doing their morning routines.

Dajin_Waterfall_072_10292016 - A couple of guys getting pummeled by the force of the Dajin Waterfall
A couple of guys getting pummeled by the force of the Dajin Waterfall

These routines ranged from calesthenics-type exercises to deliberate tai-chi-type exercises.

We even noticed a pair of guys psyching themselves up before standing beneath the base of the Dajin Waterfall where they’d get a jolt of pressure and cold water.

Hiking to the Dajin Waterfall

Our Dajin Waterfall hike began from a temple right across from a small car park (see directions below).

After a few minutes of walking on a somewhat flat or gently upsloping paved track, the hike then started climbing in earnest.

Dajin_Waterfall_005_10292016 - The temple at the trailhead for the Dajin Waterfall
The temple at the trailhead for the Dajin Waterfall

Most of this climb was over a series of steps amidst some fern-draped foliage as well as bamboo stalks (attesting to the tropical environment here).

Given how muggy it was during the morning of our hike, this uphill induced a lot of sweat from us as we persisted on.

Eventually as we got closer to the top of the ascent, we were able to look back over the valley in the direction of Dajin.

The skies were hazy but we could still see the rooftops of a temple that was much larger than the one we walked past by the trailhead.

Dajin_Waterfall_016_10292016 - Mom ascending the trail flanked by bamboo and lots of jungle bush en route to the Dajin Waterfall
Mom ascending the trail flanked by bamboo and lots of jungle bush en route to the Dajin Waterfall

After about 700m of walking (with about 100m of elevation gain), we reached the apex of the trail where there was a shelter as well as some hazy views back down towards the Dajin Township.

On the inland side of the hill, we could catch a partial view of the Dajin Waterfall, which left us wanting more.

There was also a trail junction here, where it was possible to continue up this trail deeper into the forest.

We didn’t do the other trail so we can’t say anything more on that.

Dajin_Waterfall_080_10292016 - Mom checking out the Dajin Waterfall from the lookout shelter
Mom checking out the Dajin Waterfall from the lookout shelter

However, we did take the path that descended towards the base of the Dajin Waterfall, where we chilled out for a bit while soaking in the cool air before heading back.

My Mom and I wound up spending about an hour and 15 minutes away from the car on this excursion.

The hike covered a distance of about 1.6km round trip (or 800m in each direction).

Of course, the nice thing about a hike like this was that the return was that it was all downhill.

Dajin_Waterfall_087_10292016 - Looking back towards the basin from the lookout shelter at the apex of the hike to the Dajin Waterfall
Looking back towards the basin from the lookout shelter at the apex of the hike to the Dajin Waterfall

Moreover, along the way, we got another opportunity to enjoy the elevated views towards the Dajin Township and its surrounding valleys.

Authorities

The Dajin Waterfall resides in the Dajin Scenic Area (part of the Maolin National Scenic Area) near the town of Sandimen in the Pingtung County, Taiwan. It is administered by the Taiwan National Government. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Maolin NSA website.

Dajin_Waterfall_013_10292016 - Looking upstream at the Daluguanliao Stream early on in the hike to the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_014_10292016 - Mom on the early part of the Dajin Falls Trail, which meandered gently uphill on a concrete path flanked by fern-draped foliage and bamboo stalks
Dajin_Waterfall_019_10292016 - Mom ascending the Dajin Waterfall Trail, which climbed more steply as it went up several steps like this
Dajin_Waterfall_021_10292016 - The higher up the Dajin Waterfall Trail we went, the more we could look back down the valley towards Dajin Town
Dajin_Waterfall_025_10292016 - Mom continuing the climb along the Dajin Waterfall Trail, which really induced a lot of sweat given the steamy climate
Dajin_Waterfall_077_10292016 - Eventually the Dajin Waterfall Trail's climb finally topped out at this lookout shelter
Dajin_Waterfall_027_10292016 - View towards the Dajin Township and the basin beyond it as seen from the lookout shelter at the apex of the Dajin Waterfall Trail
Dajin_Waterfall_035_10292016 - This was the partial view of the Dajin Waterfall that we got from the shelter at the apex of the hike
Dajin_Waterfall_040_10292016 - The trail then descended down these steps from the lookout shelter leading to the base of the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_042_10292016 - Looking back towards where most of the people were relaxing or doing their morning routines a little further downstream from the main drop of the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_055_10292016 - Finally at the base of the Dajin Waterfall, where a pair of guys joined us and were busy psyching themselves up to go right beneath the falls
Dajin_Waterfall_064_10292016 - Closer look downstream towards other early morning people relaxing downstream from the Dajin Falls while trail workers were erecting barricades to prevent visitors from getting too close to the dropoff over a lower tier of the falls
Dajin_Waterfall_063_10292016 - Context of the plunge pool and bottom half of the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_076_10292016 - After having our fill of the Dajin Falls, we had to head back up to the lookout shelter before going back down to the car park
Dajin_Waterfall_085_10292016 - Context of Mom making the long descent from the lookout shelter to the trailhead for the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_092_10292016 - Lots of people were heading up to the Dajin Falls while we were heading down
Dajin_Waterfall_094_10292016 - Mom making it back to the temple at the car park for the Dajin Waterfall
Dajin_Waterfall_095_10292016 - After our hike, we took a little time to check out the worshipping area inside the temple at the Dajin Waterfall Trailhead before returning to the car

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The Dajin Waterfall was probably the closest waterfall that we visited to the cities of Tainan (台南 or 臺南 [Táinán]) and Kaohsiung (高雄 [Gāoxióng]) so far.

It also happened to be close to the famous Maolin National Scenic Area (茂林國家風景區 [Màolín Guójiā Fēng Jǐng Qū]).

We visited this falls after leaving Kaohsiung so we’ll describe what we think would be the quickest route from there first.

We will then describe how we would have driven from Tainan to here as well.

Driving from Kaohsiung to Dajin Waterfall

Kaohsiung_097_10292016 - The Lotus Pond area on the outskirts of Kaohsiung, which was where we started our drive to the Dajin Waterfall on the day of our visit
The Lotus Pond area on the outskirts of Kaohsiung, which was where we started our drive to the Dajin Waterfall on the day of our visit

So from Kaohsiung, we took the Tai-10 Expressway east from the Lotus Pond towards its end, which would deposit us onto the Qibing Road 1 (旗屏一路 [Qíbǐng Yílù]).

After going about 1.5km, we would then turn right onto the Route 28 and follow this road for just under 20km before turning right to go south on the Route 27/185.

We then followed this route (continuing south on the Route 185) for just under 4km before reaching the signposted turnoff on our left for the Dajin Waterfall (the sign was in Chinese).

Next, we turned left onto the local road towards its end where there was a car park right before a temple.

Dajin_Waterfall_096_10292016 - The busy car park in front of the temple at the Dajin Waterfall on a Sunday morning
The busy car park in front of the temple at the Dajin Waterfall on a Sunday morning

There was also spillover parking further down the road if this lot would be full.

Overall, this drive would take between 60-90 minutes depending on traffic.

Driving from Tainan to Dajin Waterfall

Coming from Tainan, we would go east towards the National Route 1 Expressway heading south before taking the Tai-86 Expressway.

Then, we’d head east on the 86 towards the National Route 3 Expressway heading to the southeast for about 26km to the National Route 10 heading north.

Dajin_Waterfall_008_10292016 - Contextual look back at the car park before a temple at the trailhead for the Dajin Waterfall
Contextual look back at the car park before a temple at the trailhead for the Dajin Waterfall

We then would take this expressway to its end, eventually getting onto Qibing Road 1, and then following the directions as above to make it all the way to the Dajin Waterfall Trailhead.

This drive would also take between 60-90 minutes depending on traffic.

As for some geographical context, the Maolin Visitor Center (just north of the Dajin Waterfall turnoff) was about 62km northeast of Kaohsiung (a little over an hour drive) and 81km east of Tainan (under 90 minutes drive). From a more macro scale, Tainan was 318km southwest of Taipei (under 3.5 hours by both car or train).

Nearly 360 degree sweep examining the full extent of Dajin Waterfall while also showing hints of the surrounding scenery

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Tagged with: sandimen, dajin, township, kaohsiung, gaoxiong, southern taiwan, taiwan, waterfall, swimming, temple



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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