Thursday, November 21, 2013

Feitsui Reservoir in the Pingling District

After leaving Shiding, I was still intent on getting to Shifen before the light faded.  Shifen appeared to be on highway 106 after Pinglin. However, when I reached the Pinglin District, I realized I had gone onto Route 9 at some point as I was only 16 kilometers away from Xindian.

The Pinglin District (坪林區) is the third largest district in New Taipei City, Taiwan. It's a rural area in the mountains which connect to Yilan County on the east coast. It took about 20 minutes to get there from Shiding by scooter. I think this was Yongan village.

Buddhist Guanyin Statues protecting a dangerous part of the road to Pinglin
Buddhist Guanyin Statues protecting a dangerous part of the road to Pinglin
I decided that rather than backtrack and try find the route to Shifen, I'd have a look at the beautiful reservoir with an emerald surface I saw from the road. There were no safe places to stop along the highway, but I finally found an entrance to the reservoir itself.

It turned out to be the  Feitsui Reservoir, which  flows all the way from the Fetsui Dam (翡翠水庫)  in the Shiding District.  The Feitsui Dam spans the Xindian River and is one of two major reservoirs supplying water to the Taipei-Tamsui-Taoyuan region. The other is Shimen Dam in Taoyuan County. This hiking and bicycling area around Pinglin is one of the few places the reservoir is publicly accessible.
The enchanting views of these serpentine bright emerald green waters among the steep hills and tea farms is quite spectacular.

 To get there directly from Taipei, ride along Route 9 from Beishin Road in Xindian. Or to go through Shenkeng, and Shifen, take Route 106 from near the Taipei Zoo in Muzha.

To learn more about interesting places and sights to visit in Taiwan, check out my list of Places to see in Taiwan

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