Meiya Waterfall


Meiya Valley has changed a lot since I first visited in 2011.  Typhoon Morakot devastated southern Taiwan and Meiya Waterfall was reportedly destroyed.  I first tried to visit the waterfall in 2011 but turned back due to an impending rainstorm.  The following year I found that the waterfall was indeed still there even though the trail was completely destroyed.

Caution – do not attempt to hike here if rain is likely.  Flash flood potential.

The waterfall was quite nice but the entire river valley was just a big pile of broken up black rock that had washed down the valley during the big typhoon.  3 years later (and 6 years after the typhoon) the valley is a sea of green and it is stunningly beautiful.  Most of the post Morakot changes in southern Taiwan have been repairing damaged trails (like at Maolin Waterfall) but I haven’t seen anything like the regrowth at Meiya.  The hike is a little tricky but it is an awesome place that is rarely visited.

Rating and length – Easy – 1.5 hrs – 3 kms (round trip)

Accessibility – narrow road in excellent condition – no real footpath and the hike requires crawling over rocks in the riverbed

How to get there:  Enter Maolin Valley on Hwy 132 from Hwy 27.  Take hwy 132 past Maolin and turn left in 3-5 kms when you see a Meiya Waterfall sign.  At the first intersection go straight (not to Duona Bridge) and at the second intersection take the right branch of the road going down to the river.

The hike:  Park your car at the parking lot waterfall (great swimming area) and hike past the (now fixed) bathrooms.  After crossing the bridge turn right and walk down to the river.  The left trail (now completely overgrown) takes you up to a nice pavilion and it might be possible to go as far as an old aboriginal village.  One of my favorite Chinglish signs is located near the small bridge.  It says ‘To oil fast up to’ but actually says ‘Jiayou’ (go, go, go – like cheering for someone) to encourage hikers up the (small) hill.

The concrete trail is partially destroyed at the junction of the river but it is the only way down.  Walk upstream on an established path that now leads almost the entire way to the waterfall.  You will have to hop onto and off of boulders and large rocks several times.  As you get close to the waterfall you will have to walk next to (or in) the stream so be prepared with water shoes or take off you shoes to keep them dry.

GPS data – waterfall: N22.92892 E120.68781 parking lot: N22.92341 E120.68235

Other info: No entrance fee

Dates visited: 2/19/2012, 2/15/2014 and 12/27/2015

7 Replies to “Meiya Waterfall”

  1. I visited here in July, 2014. I hadn’t realized the path to the waterfall was destroyed. Had all my (audio) recording equipment and backpack full of necessities strapped to my while trying to negotiate the riverbed rocks. It was a great little adventure. Had I thought to bring sunblock, everything would have been perfect! It was so hot – not a cloud in the sky. The rocks could literally cook an egg in a minute. Despite the horrible sunburn, I made it to the waterfall and was certainly rewarded for my efforts. I wouldn’t recommend going alone (like I did!) but it’s doable by yourself. But if you get hurt, it’s all on you to help yourself. I’ve got a recording of the waterfall if anyone is interested. Sounds much the same as any other waterfall though. Oh! And I saw a wild boar while making my way up the river. It was a stone’s throw away. And if you’re more adventurous, there are two dirt “roads” on your left before hitting the parking area (with awful bathrooms!) these will take you quite far up the mountain. Lots of great views and good hiking. I don’t know where the hiking trail begins, but I saw several hikers while off-roading there. (And this during the week) I also saw an 10 foot long snake on the trail (same day I saw the boar!) and several birds of prey. (Hawk? Falcon? What birds like this live in taiwan? No clue…but I was really close to them). Anyway, between the waterfall and those trails, this is one of my favorite areas to visit…though it nearly killed me the last time I went! Enjoy!

  2. As an update, I’m up here now near Meiya. I noticed the road was recently repaved, and followed it to the bathrooms. They have fixed the bathrooms and they are (somewhat) useable now. My hope is they decided to rebuild the walking path to the waterfall. From what I could see at the beginning of the trail, it looks the same. I didn’t venture further. Let’s hope fixing it is on their to-do list. Why else fix the road and bathrooms?

  3. They have been doing a lot of work in Maolin. They have completely rebuilt the trails to Maolin and Lover’s Gorge so I am guessing that at some point Meiya will be rebuilt. I am unsure where they would be able to put the path though. I am planning to go out there in the next couple of weeks because I haven’t hiked the rebuilt trails to the other waterfalls yet and hope I have time for Meiya also since I haven’t seen it during the summer (high flow) yet.

  4. I first went here pre-Morakot and even then the trail was broken. A bridge (remains still visible) had been taken out by an earlier typhoon, so it has already been 10+ years since this place had a proper walking trail. It’s about time they fixed it!

  5. Yeah, last time I went up there a few weeks ago newly re-done bathrooms looked like crap again. 🙁 Place looks like a disaster again. A shame really. But for those who like a little adventure without a lot (or ANY in this case) people, it’s perfect.

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