This is a great waterfall on the Caoshan Stream but it might not actually be Sanlong Waterfall. The maps show Sanlong Waterfall in a side stream and not the main stream. The local fisherman said that it wasn’t Sanlong and I think there are also some old photos of a different Sanlong Waterfall. However we looked upstream where it was supposed to be and couldn’t find anything. Until someone can produce the real Sanlong Waterfall I will be calling this Sanlong Waterfall. This is an awesome waterfall and it should be named. It is a very challenging daytrip with many opportunities for swimming.
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 – Lianyun and Sanlong Waterfall is <5km (3+ hours round trip) moderate
Additional waterfall – Fushan Waterfall (downstream of the trailhead) 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 – 20 meters
Elevation – 400 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 – It is on the main river and should flow for the whole year
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GPS data – trailhead N23.336920 E120.616757 – Lianyun Waterfall N23.340351 E120.619209 – Sanlong Waterfall N23.345510 E120.617539
Date visited – 11/13/2016