Lianyun Waterfall is one of many small waterfalls downstream of Ganlangu (Olive Valley Gorge). The waterfalls are small but beautiful and there are countless amazing swimming holes. It isn’t very easy to get to but you will almost certainly be alone. In addition to the perfect swimming holes there are many large river rocks with fossils in them.
This should only be attempted in a group. There are several areas with swimming, crossing fast moving water and potential slips and falls. River tracing shoes are strongly recommended and helmets and life jackets should be considered as well.
Rating and length
Option 1 – Lianyun Waterfall is about 2.5 km (<2 hours round trip) – moderate
Option 2 – Lianyun and Sanlong Waterfall is <5km (3+ hours round trip) moderate
Option 3 – Fushan Waterfall (downstream) adds 1 km and 30+ minutes to the trip
Accessibility – Hwy 3 is in excellent shape – there is no trail and the hike requires you to walk and climb around on river rocks.
Estimated height – 10-12 meters
How to get there – Follow Hwy 3 north from Tsengwen Reservoir to the 325 km marker. Turn east at an old sign for Lian Yurn Waterfall. At one time this was a popular hiking destination and there was a small snack shop and/or restaurant here. Now it appears deserted although someone is still living here. We parked here but be respectful of the area. I don’t think mass transit is possible for this hike. There is a Chiayi Bus that stops here but I think it only passes once or twice per day.
The hike – A slippery trail leads down to the creek on the left side of the structure and it only takes 5 minutes to reach the river. Fushan Waterfall is 10-15 minutes downstream while Lianyun is 20-30 minutes upstream. To get to Lianyun Waterfall you will need to swim across the river (short distance) at the small dam and walk up the sloped wall (destroyed fish ladder). Next crawl through a short tunnel (easy but dirty) to go past the dam. Follow the river up to Heliu Waterfall where you can spend a lot of time swimming. Lianyun Waterfall is a short distance up the side stream at this this swimming hole. More adventurous hikers can climb up the left side of Lianyun Waterfall and trace further up the stream to more waterfalls. Additionally you can continue up to Sanlong Waterfall by following the main stream for another 1+ km. Along the way you can see an ancient suspension bridge and a collapsed concrete bridge before getting to Sanlong Waterfall
Be very careful swimming in these areas and check for hidden rocks before jumping in.
Seasonality – could be dry from January to April most years
Other blogs –
GPS data – trailhead N23.336920 E120.616757 – Lianyun Waterfall N23.340351 E120.619209
Date visited – 9/6/2015 and 11/13/2016