Shaonianshi was a popular wild hot spring on the Southern Cross Island Highway that also featured a waterfall upstream and downstream. Today the hot spring along with the downstream waterfall that flowed into the Laonong River are buried but Changlong Waterfall upstream is still amazing and rarely visited (old photos – link).
It is a little tricky to get there though and almost all of the man made structures are washed away. They was a suspension bridge across the Laonong River right to the creek but that was wiped out in Typhoon Morakot. There is still a small mountain road that can be taken to the creek and then it is a 20-30 minute walk up the rocky creek since the trail was also washed away in the typhoon.
Rating and length – moderate (due to uneven rocky footing) – 1.5 kms – 1 hour round trip
How to get there – Go through Baolai Hot Springs to Taoyuan (in Kaohsiung) on Hwy 20. At the elementary school turn left across from the basketball court and follow the road uphill to a tiny village. Turn right immediately before the village. The road is in good shape until it turns left in 1/2 km. Motorcycles and braver drivers can follow the road about 1km down to the stream but cars should park on the side of the road at the farmhouse. The road is in alright condition but it is steep with some loose rock. At the bottom of the hill there is a small parking lot, a Shaonianshi sign (in Chinese), an abandoned ticket booth and a mostly destroyed bridge.
The hike – There is an old trail between the Shaonianshi sign and the abandoned ticket booth. Unfortunately the trail is completely washed away after a few minutes. Continue following the old trail (just a rocky creek bed) up until you reach the main creek. It will take another 10 minutes to reach the waterfall. The entire trail is gone and just a pile of rocks.
GPS data – N23.177308 E120.763346
Date visited – 11/27/2015