Yuanyang 鴛鴦瀑布 is actually two waterfalls that merge together in a tight gorge at the bottom. The waterfall on the right cascades several hundred meters down the cliff side while the waterfall on the left is a small drop in the main stream with more waterfalls (inaccessible) upstream. The stream has considerably changed the riverbed since I first came here in 2014 and I expect more rock to wash downstream during the next several years.
Accessibility – the last 1.8 km of the drive is on a rough dirt road. Cars can drive it but some (with really nice cars or large vehicles) might prefer to walk from the red bridge.
How to get there – Take Pingtung county 110 into the mountains in Laiyi Township. Turn left 1/2 km after Yilin Waterfall and cross a bridge at a small aboriginal village. Follow this road for 2 kms along the river and turn left at the next bridge. Follow the road along the river for 3kms and turn right at the red bridge. After crossing the bridge turn left and follow this small road for 1.8kms to the end of the road. You will arrive at Ke Zui Villa. To the right is the farmyard and you can park to the left near the river.
The hike – There is no longer a trail to the waterfall but hikers can find their own path in the rocks and follow the river valley (take the right fork) until it ends at the waterfall. Walk down the road next to the large vegetable farm and continue down a large dirt ramp. A new access road was recently bulldozed and scooters can take it almost an extra kilometer past the car parking.
The summer floods are constantly reshaping the riverbed to the waterfall and each time I have taken a very different route up the riverbed. Hikers should expect to get their feet wet and be walking entirely off trail. There are several small waterfalls along the way and one time we saw some Formosan Serow running on the cliffs. The final 100 meters is in a tight gorge but at the end of 2016 it was blocked by a 4+ meter high boulder. It is possible crawl up it but you shouldn’t be alone. The gorge has been damned up by rock and the pool at the end of Yuanyang is awesome for swimming right now.
The left fork of the stream near the trailhead is also hikeable and there is a really tall waterfall similar to the right waterfall of Yuanyang after 5+ km. I have not done this yet but it is on my to do list.
Seasonality – The main stream should be perennial but I suspect that the taller waterfall on the right is usually dry from January to May.
Other info – There is a farmhouse (Ke Zui Villa) that is setup for camping at the trailhead. There are bathrooms, a general purpose area with tables and room for tents. 150/person/night
Date visited – 10/25/2014 – 5/29/2016 – 11/22/2016 – 2/19/2017