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