Shifen’s popularity means that it's a common feature of day trips to northern Taiwan from Taipei. In addition to Shifen Waterfall, a typically tour itinerary includes stops at Jiufen, a mountaintop mining town that inspired the setting of the iconic Studio Ghibli film,Spirited Away; Yehliu Geopark, where unique rock formations resemble queen’s heads and dinosaurs; and the village of Shifen, which is split into by a railway line formerly used to transport coal throughout Taiwan.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Wear comfortable shoes as a moderate amount of walking is required to access the falls. There are stairs to the viewpoints.
En route to the falls, find toilets, food stalls selling local delicacies, and water dispensers.
Due to uneven surfaces and stairs, the waterfall is not accessible to travelers using wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Take the train to Ruifeng from Taipei Main Station and then transfer to the Pingxi Line; alight at Shifen, from which the falls are a 30-minute walk via a marked nature path. If you want to extend your scenic hike, alight at Sandiaoling and follow the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail, which takes three to four hours.
When to Get There
The waterfall is open daily from morning until early evening. You pay a small admission charge to access the falls. For the best weather, visit Shifen between March and May, when temperatures are pleasant and skies are generally dry.
Shifen Old Street
Surrounding Shifen railway station is Old Town of Shifen, a labyrinth of lanes and alleys. At its many shops and stalls, you find handcrafted souvenirs and Taiwanese delicacies such as stinky tofu. The area is famous for its annual sky lantern festival during which you can release a sky lantern with a wish written on it; however, the tradition is in decline due to concerns about its environmental impact.
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