"Exploring the Beauty and Culture of Shihmen Reservoir: Taiwan's Hidden Gem"

 January 23,2023

Trip. com

Shihmen Reservoir, also known as Feitsui Reservoir, is a large artificial lake located in the northern region of Taiwan. It was created in 1964 as part of a hydroelectric power project to provide electricity to the surrounding areas.

The reservoir is situated in a picturesque mountain valley and is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. The area around the reservoir is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including several endangered species. The reservoir also serves as a major source of drinking water for the nearby city of Taipei.

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One of the most notable features of Shihmen Reservoir is the Shihmen Dam, which stands at a height of 225 meters and is the second highest dam in Taiwan. Visitors can take a tour of the dam and learn about its construction and operation.

In addition to its ecological and practical importance, Shihmen Reservoir has also played a significant role in Taiwan's cultural history. The Wulai Atayal indigenous people, who have lived in the area for centuries, have a strong connection to the reservoir and the surrounding land. Their traditional practices and way of life have been impacted by the construction of the dam, and many have had to relocate from their ancestral homes.

Wulay atayal mouseum

Source photo by Taiwan tourism bureao

Despite the challenges faced by the Wulai Atayal people, Shihmen Reservoir continues to be an important part of Taiwan's landscape and culture. It is a destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and modern engineering.

In recent years, the government has made efforts to balance the needs of the local population and the environment with the practical benefits of the reservoir. This has included implementing measures to protect endangered species, such as the Formosan landlocked salmon, and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

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One popular tourist attraction at the reservoir is the Shihmen Teng, a scenic hiking trail that offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountainsThe trail is relatively easy to hike and takes about two hours to complete. Along the way, visitors can also see the Wulai Waterfall, one of the most famous waterfalls in Taiwan, and learn about the local Atayal culture at the Wulai Atayal Museum.

Species of bird in shihmen

Source photo by pizabay

Another popular activity at the reservoir is boating. Visitors can rent boats to explore the lake and see the dam up close. There are also guided boat tours that take visitors to some of the more remote areas of the lake where they can see different species of fish and bird

In addition to recreational activities, the reservoir is also used for educational and scientific research. There are several research institutions located near the lake that study the area's ecology, hydrology, and geology. Visitors can take part in guided tours and workshops to learn about the reservoir's natural and cultural history.

Overall, Shihmen Reservoir is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Taiwan. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern engineering. Whether you're interested in hiking, boating, or learning about the local ecology and culture, the reservoir has something for everyone.

Another popular activity at Shihmen Reservoir is fishing. The reservoir is home to a wide variety of fish species, including carp, tilapia, and the Formosan landlocked salmon, which is native to Taiwan and considered endangered. Fishing enthusiasts can rent a boat or fish from the shore, and there are also guided fishing tours available for those who want to learn more about the local fish species and fishing techniques.

Camping

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The reservoir is also a popular spot for camping and picnicking. There are several designated camping and picnic areas around the lake, and visitors can rent camping equipment and supplies on site. It's a great way to spend a weekend and enjoy the beauty of nature.

The area surrounding the reservoir is also home to several hot springs, which are a popular attraction for visitors looking to relax and unwind. The hot springs are believed to have therapeutic properties and are said to be good for the skin and joints. Visitors can take a dip in the hot springs and enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and the mountains.

In addition to recreational activities, the Shihmen Reservoir area is also home to several temples and shrines, which offer a glimpse into Taiwan's rich religious and cultural heritage. The most famous temple in the area is the Shihmen Tianshui Temple, which is located on a hill overlooking the reservoir. Visitors can take a tour of the temple and learn about the history and significance of the temple.

Overall, Shihmen Reservoir is a destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or relaxation and rejuvenation, the reservoir and its surroundings have something to offer. It's a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse oneself in Taiwan's natural beauty and rich culture.

Shihmen Reservoir is also a popular spot for water sports like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wind surfing. The reservoir is large enough to accommodate these sports and the surrounding mountains offer a great backdrop for a day of fun on the water. Visitors can also take lessons from experienced instructors to learn the basics of these sports.

The reservoir is also a popular spot for bird-watching. The lake and its surrounding areas are home to a wide variety of bird species, including migratory birds that stop here during their annual migration. Visitors can take a guided bird-watching tour to learn more about the local bird species and their habitats.

Another popular attraction at the reservoir is the Shihmen Dam Visitor Center, which offers a glimpse into the history and technology of the dam. Visitors can take a tour of the dam and learn about its construction and operation, as well as see the dam's control room and turbine hall. There are also several interactive exhibits that explain the dam's role in Taiwan's water resources and power generation.

In addition to its recreational and educational offerings, the Shihmen Reservoir also plays an important role in Taiwan's economy. The reservoir provides irrigation for the surrounding agricultural areas, and the hydroelectric power generated by the dam is an important source of electricity for the country.

In conclusion, Shihmen Reservoir is an ideal place to visit for those looking to experience Taiwan's natural beauty and culture. The reservoir offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. From hiking and boating to fishing and bird-watching, the reservoir offers something for everyone. It's also a great way to learn about Taiwan's history, culture and economy.

It's worth noting that while Shihmen Reservoir offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, visitors should be aware of the potential impact of their activities on the local environment and the indigenous Wulai Atayal people. Visitors should be mindful of preserving the natural beauty of the area and respecting the traditional practices and way of life of the local population.

In addition, visitors should be aware that the reservoir is a major source of drinking water for the nearby city of Taipei, which means that swimming and other activities that could potentially contaminate the water are not allowed. The reservoir is also a popular spot for visitors, so it's always best to plan ahead and expect some crowds during peak seasons.

Overall, Shihmen Reservoir is an important and unique destination for those visiting Taiwan. It's an ideal place to experience the country's natural beauty and culture, while also learning about its history, economy, and current challenges. Visitors should be mindful of the impact of their activities on the environment and the local population, and plan their visit accordingly.


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