The Majia area of Pingtung is less known but possibly more beautiful than nearby Wutai. Wutai is a wonderful destination with a great road, numerous restaurants with stunning views and several great waterfalls. However Majia is a quieter place with one of the best waterfall groups in all of Taiwan and a beautiful aboriginal slate village at Jiupaiwan. Shalawan Waterfall, Shiwang Waterfall and Deer Creek Waterfall (have not visited this one yet) are a trio of spectacular waterfalls located a few kilometers apart before the creek flows into the main river above Sandimen.
Hard core river tracers (technical equipment) go from Shalawan Waterfall to Shiwang Waterfall and hike out. Definitely do not try this without the necessary experience and equipment.
Rating and length – strenuous – 2 km round trip (2+ hours) – in reality you will want to spend at least 3-4 hours doing this hike.
Accessibility – a poor road that is driveable in a car – There isn’t much of a trail and many sections are just loose rock. It requires route finding (mostly following red ribbons).
How to get there – Shiwang (Lion King) Waterfall is located past Majia near Shalawan. First go to Sandimen on Hwy 24. Once in Sandimen follow the signs to the Taiwan Aboriginal Museum. Don’t enter the museum parking lot but stay to the right on Pingtung County Rd 35. This is a small mountain road with many twists and turns but it takes you to Majia. Stay on the main road until you come to a 3 forked interesection in Majia. The right fork takes you to the Zhenlishan trail. The left fork takes you to Jiupaiwan. Follow this road for about 9 kms to the aboriginal village where the roads appears to end. There is a large village with many well maintained slate houses below the road. Turn left and go down the hill about 1km until you see a small parking area (room for one car).
The hike – There is a trail but there isn’t much of one. Drive down from the aboriginal village to the 1st parking spot at a sharp bend in the road. Walk down the road and within 5 minutes you will find 2 faint roads (100 meters apart). Other than that they are unmarked and this hike will require some routefinding. It is generously marked with red cloth ribbons but we missed a turn or two on the way down. Be especially careful just following the old road. This is not the trail all the way to the bottom. As you get closer to the bottom the trail becomes steeper with more loose rock. One of the last obstacles is a steep rock with ropes. After that the waterfall comes into view and there is a little rock hopping required to access the large pool.
Alternate route – It is possible to begin the hike at the same place as the Jiuhaocha hike in the main river valley and hike up to Shiwang from the bottom. The stream is not very steep below the waterfall and it shouldn’t require any significant bouldering. I have not done this yet but it is on my to do list this winter.
Do not hike this alone or in bad weather. There are numerous chances to slip and fall.
Seasonality – year round
GPS data – parking – N22.664853 E120.715069 – waterfall – N22.670199 E120.722625
Date visited – 8/21/2016
Other nearby waterfalls – Shalawan Waterfall
Other blogs – Asher at followxiaofei.com