Shuishang Waterfall 水上瀑布 near Puli was an unexpected find over Chinese New Year. The entire area and the trail was really, really dry and we assumed the waterfall would be dry as well. Instead we found an idyllic oasis with icy cold water. The temps weren’t quite warm enough to enjoy swimming (I did swim) but this would be a great place to visit on hot days. I am not sure but it is possible that Shuishang Waterfall is fed via an underwater spring from Sun Moon Lake since one of the upstream tributaries begins really close to the lake. That would explain the icy water and the fact that it was running after 3+ dry months.
How to get there – Shuishang Waterfall is located in between Puli and Sun Moon Lake near Hwy 21. This road can be very busy on weekends but all of that traffic disappears once you turn off. It is easiest to turn off at the Family Mart and go through the village. You will come to a Y intersection (county roads 64 and 68) as you exit the village. Veer left onto county road 64 and follow this for a few minutes. Despite there being earlier signs (in Chinese) there isn’t a sign at the trailhead and you will drive right past. There is a informational signboard and sometimes the red house serves coffee. Park on the side of the road.
The hike – The follows an old and overgrown road downhill and then becomes a rocky trail. At one point the trail appears to split but the left branch is a dead end. The trail appears to end at a beautiful blue pool but actually continues on the other side. During the winter we could cross without getting our feet wet but most of the time your shoes will get wet. On the other side of the creek take the right fork to the waterfall. I don’t know where the left fork goes yet.
Date visited – 1/30/2017
Other blogs – Richard Saunders – Puli’s Waterfalls