Jiaoxi City is a recently popular tourist spot, known for it’s “hot spring” hotels and dried fruits. Granted, there are some really cool thinks to check out in Jiaoxi, such as the bicycle paths near the coast, and the free public hot spring parks throughout the city. But maybe the most famous natural site is the Wufengqi Waterfalls.
In fact, Wufengqi is quite impressive: 3 tiers of waterfalls make for a nice little hike up the well-maintained paths, and even on a busy day you won’t get too many people reaching up to the highest (and best looking) waterfall. Most of the people go for a quick selfie opportunity anyway, carefully avoiding any sweat-inducing activity.
On top of that, there are some pretty cool sites to see around the area, such as the very secluded Catholic church (Of Our Lady of Wufong 天主教五峰旗聖母朝聖地) that requires and even longer trek up the mountain. Furthermore, you’ll see people swimming in the dams and rivers, as well as get some pretty amazing views!
Creative Commons – 女王
creative commons – Wangkai
However, there is an even better waterfall that most people don’t know about, or aren’t willing to work for, that is lying just beyond the hustle and bustle of the tourist spot: Yuemeikang 月眉抗瀑布
Taking a left over the river behind the dam (the opposite direction of Wufengchi) you will find a straight trail that runs back along the river for quite a ways. This is the path to the Yuemeikang Waterfall, a secluded little quiet paradise.
While in fact quite a few number of people do know about the trail, most choose not to head that way. Firstly, because it’s about an hour-long trek to the waterfall. Secondly, although the hike is actually quite well marked and developed, it’s still a serious adventure, and you can expect to get wet and muddy. So, at the very least prepare proper hiking shoes and a change of clothes.
The first part of the trail isn’t hard to follow, simply keep walking. You will pass over a small footbridge and up some semi-steep hills, but nothing too serious. However, the crucial moment is when you enter a clearing just at the top of the biggest hill. There is a fork and you need to make sure to take a small downhill trail to the left. There is actually a small sign there now to help guide you, but if you are lost just pick the one that looks harder 😉
From there, someone actually installed a series of ropes making it quite easy to follow, and it’s only about 20 minutes to the waterfall. However, it does get harder with much narrower paths, river tracing, and lot’s of mud. Just be aware the rocks are very slippery (My butt still has bruises on it…)
Even better if you have the gear, try wading up the entirety of the river as there are some really cool things to see, and at least one place to rock jump.
You’ll know when you reach the waterfall. The lack of civilized sounds and people will have you instantly at ease and you can even proceed to take a dip underneath the waterfall.
While there have been more adventurous souls finding their way to the waterfall lately, the most we encountered were very nice groups of hiking grannies that helped point out the way. But if you are afraid of hitting crowds, make sure to head there early!