Jinyang waterfall is infact so super secret, that I didn’t even take a picture. This was a crafty plan on our part to preserve the waterfall’s secret-ocity, and certainly not a cock-up on my part. Honest.
Jinyang waterfall is little known, but completely stunning. Hidden away near Nan’ao in Yilan County, the waterfall spills aimlessly over cliff face at least twenty-feet high. The water flows into a series of glassy-clear pools that are picture perfect, and make for excellent swimming. The river is strewn with car-sized boulders, so it’s a scramble rather than a stroll upstream. I completely missed out on a opportunity to explore as much as I’d like due to not bringing suitable footwear. An adventure for another day…
We’re once again completely grateful to our friends Anakin and Audrey for their kindness in showing us this one. They are living testimony to the kindness unparalleled friendliness of the Taiwanese. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the Nan’ao locals where conspiring against us reaching the place, but one old man sent us completely off track when we stopped and asked for directions!
Wear: River tracing booties (溯溪鞋) are essential if you want to explore. They cost us 420NT (£8.99) from Oasis in Luna Plaza. If you’re not into exploration, you could easily spend a day simply swimming there, especially if you have younger kids with you.
Eat: There’s nothing at the river, so eat at the nearby town before or after. We stopped at a place that did great vinegar noodles and a curious pi dan style egg. Apparently pi dan are duck eggs which are buried underground before consumption. Nice.
Eat more: Afterwards, we stopped at a bing dian (ice shop). The lemon sorbet with passion fruit was an excellent cure for the heat. We also got to try peanut sorbet and pumpkin ice cream, which taste marginally better than you’d imagine, though not so much. There was also the option to have raw egg on your ice cream, which we politely turned down… The staff spoke no English, and they spoke a mainland style Mandarin, so the little Taiwanese-inflected Mandarin I spoke was even less helpful than usual…
Get there: Take the infamous mountain highway from Su’ao down to Hualien, and stop in Nanao. From there, wriggle your way towards Jinyang. If you have to ask for directions like we did, try saying “Jinyang pubu, zai na li?” (Where is the golden peaks waterfall?)