Manyueyuan 滿月圓 is one of the 18 National Forest Recreation Areas in Taiwan. Each one of them are beautiful places designed to accommodate large weekend crowds. Some will complain about the overbuilt trails but usually there is a side trail that few will hike and they are wonderful places to visit on weekdays.
Manyueyuan has two great waterfalls and I highly recommend hiking the self guided trail as part of a loop hike. It is also possible to do an all day trek from Yunsen Waterfall to Manyueyuan. The trail to Dongyan Forest Recreation Area was closed (and had been for awhile) when I visited.
How to get there – Manyueyuan is located almost at the end of county road 114 near Sanxia. There are many signs to the park. Parking can be a bit of a problem on weekends but there are several parking lots although you will have to walk a little further.
Mass transit – From Sanxia you can take bus 807 and it will take about 1 hour. Bus 807 departs Sanxia 5:20/7:00/9:30/12:00/15:00/17:30 on weekdays and 6:00/8:30/11:00/14:30/17:30 on weekends. It returns from Xiongkong Bus Stop and Manyueyuan about 1 hour after those departure times. Getting to Sanxia is a bit of a hassle but not actually that hard. There are many buses that go to the Sanxia Bus Depot (or to Sanxia Old Street) from MRT stations. Bus 702 from Banqiao MRT – Bus 779 from Xindian MRT – Bus 812 from Yongning, Far Eastern and Fuzhong MRT – Bus 910 from Xinbu and Fuzhong in addition to numerous others buses
The hike – There are several different options for hikes in the park. Starting in the parking lots you can hike a riverside trail instead of walking on the road almost the entire way to the ticket office. Once in there will be one trail along the river and a second self guided trail parallel to that with only a few hikers even on the busiest days. I think it works best to hike up Virgen Waterfall first and then to Manyueyuan Waterfall before taking the self guiding trail back. Manyueyuan Waterfall is viewable at a short trail to waterfall view point near a bathroom. It isn’t very obvious.
It is also possible to hike to Yunsen Waterfall from Manyueyuan. The trail starts at the barrier at the end of the park just above Manyueyuan Waterfall where it says DO NOT ENTER.
Date visited – 2/4/2017
It is possible to camp at the nearby 831 Campground.