There are signs all over the place for Xiaobantian but Xiaobantian Waterfall (小半天瀑布) is rarely visited. Xiaobantian could be translated many ways but one translation is ‘A little piece of heaven’. The area surrounding the waterfall is beautiful with tea farms, bamboo, scenic views and very few people. It is a great area to explore more than just the waterfall. Just drive around aimlessly until you find something interesting. Be prepared for rough roads though.
Rating and length – moderately easy – 1.5 km (1 hour) round trip
Accessibility – a long rough (awful) paved road to the parking lot – 1/2 is trail and 1/2 is an unimproved worn path
Estimated height – 20-25 meters
Elevation – 575 meters
How to get there – From Zhushan go up Hwy 151 towards Shanlinshi/Xitou. At the 9 km marker turn right onto county road 55 following signs to Xiaobantian (Siaobantian). Cross the bridge and follow the road to the right. Continue following signs to Xiaobantian Waterfall (signs in Chinese 小半天瀑布). The road will be very rough for the next 5-6 km. The parking lot has a pavilion and 2 broken/unused toilets.
The hike – The hike goes down a small road for a couple of minutes and then down an old trail that has been recently improved (remaining work is unknown). The trail passes a pavilion and then a house before reaching an intersection. Going straight will take you down to the creek and turning right takes you to the waterfall. Shortly after turning right the trail becomes an unimproved path that is overgrown in places. It is easy to follow but not a very nice trail. You might have to get your feet wet to get to the waterfall. It is a great place to swim on hot days but there is very little space to sit outside of the water.
Seasonality – unknown
GPS – trailhead N23.706325 E120.751782 – waterfall N23.708738 E120.752540
Dates visited – 12/30/2012 and 11/7/2016