Chikong Waterfalls - Kenting, Taiwan

While traveling in Southern Taiwan, my wife and I heard about this really cool waterfall called Chikong, which basically means 7 waterfalls.  After scouring the internet for information, we had a rough location, and a 300 word paragraph describing how to get there.   We decided to rent a scooter as the 9 passenger VW can be a little gnarly on the narrow jungle roads. I will also mention I don't have the best track record driving that beast in Taiwan.  Both my wife and I were surprised at how cheap you can rent a scooter for in Kenting.  400NTD (about $13.00 USD) gets you a 100cc two-wheeled powerhouse for 24 hours.  It just so happens you get the rust and blown out shock absorbers as an added bonus!  It's probably actually a good thing we ended up with one a little rough around the edges, as my wife decided to take the thing ditch diving....more on that later...

My wife the Motorcycle Cop, and me the dorky guy with a big head and small helment

My wife the Motorcycle Cop, and me the dorky guy with a big head and small helment

The main purpose of writing this blog is to help other find this amazing place.  Trust me all the other blogs on the interwebs do a horsetrash job of explaining how to get here.  I'm going to do my best to set the record straight.  Start the journey by driving to Hengchun, and turn East on Country Road 200.  Follow this road past the Chuhuo Eternal Flame, you can stop by if you'd like, but in all honesty I've seen more exciting fires in a Yankee Candle Store... Anyways here is where my blog shines above the rest.  Instead of describing where to turn left off Country Road 200, I'm going to show you... 

After about 5-6kms past the Eternal Flame you will see this intersection.  Turn left at this light. 

After about 5-6kms past the Eternal Flame you will see this intersection.  Turn left at this light. 

One blog we read had a bunch of BS about a sign post and the turn being 4kms past the Eternal Flame.  This lead us on a wild goose chase up every left turn road from 3-5kms past the Flaming Rocks.  Simply put, just turn left at the blinking yield lights.  Once you are on this road you will follow it to the top where you will pass an abandoned toll gate.  Although you don't have to pay a toll here, you will have to pay once you get to the parking lot.  It seems like it's just some random guy who's capitalized on the situation, but you must pay him to use the trail.  For a scooter it was 20 NTD.  After you park, visit the man in the house, and give him the money.  He will say some things in Chinese and all his friends will laugh, and you are free to go.  He kept pointing to our shoes.  Maybe I'll bring him a set from the employee store next time we are town.  

If you are planning to make it to the waterfalls you will need some decent shoes, and be ready to mountain climb a little bit.  The trail is pretty steep, but there are ropes all the way to the top so it's fairly easy with only a few sketchy sections.  There were only 4 other people at the base of the falls, and they didn't go any higher so my wife and I had our own private pool to swim in.   

Audrey trekking to the top of the Falls

Audrey trekking to the top of the Falls

It really is a wonderful place, and while we didn't stay for that long, you couldn't definitely spend 2-3 hours messing around and swimming in the various pools.  Also a little public service announcement.... this is in the heart of the jungle.  These tropical environments are shaped by evolutionary patterns where the big, strong and gnarly survive.  During our trek we encountered plenty of these creatures that are not to be toiled with.  On the way down from the hike, out of the corner of my eye I saw a spider the size of a drink coaster going HAM.  The sucker was sprinting like and 8-legged Micheal Johnson and jumping around like a Chinese Gymnast from boulder to boulder.  It scared me so bad I almost fell over, as I thought he was in attack mode.  But after further examination we realized he was in flight mode, because out of no where the largest WASP I've ever seen in my life swoops down out of the sky like a Peregrine falcon.  As a scene from the Bug Wars YouTube channel is acted out in front of us, we can hardly believe what's happening.  The two creatures were locked in a NatGeo worthy battle for about 15 seconds before the WASP delivered the "Finish Him" Mortal Kombat style death blow.  Within another 5 seconds the spider lay motionless as the WASP began tending to his minor injuries.  At this point I'm thinking okay, this can't get any crazier.  Next thing you know the WASP grabs hold of this monster spider carcass and drags his lifeless pile of flesh away like it's a feather.  Later we come to find out that these WASP's are mean SOB's and poisonous to boot.  So if you make this trek just be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye for these mothers!