4 Shifen waterfall

The30-minute walk through pleasant pathways and steep inclines to this cataract high up the reaches of the Keelung river seems worth it when you finally sight it, through a screen of native ferns.

As waterfalls go, this one’s pretty quiet, falling from a height of 20 metres and across 40 metres, but without much murmur.

It’s also the perfect selfie spot. Tourists cheerfully gesture someone, asking if they’ll move a little, and then some more, for that perfect shot — with the waterfall in the background and a lone red hibiscus on the side.

Walk back through another route, and take in the sights of the waterfall from another angle. Stalls selling souvenirs and eateries stocking boiled sweet potato and a delicious-looking slush of lemon and a local root slake the thirst to shop and eat.

Carved horses burnished a deep silver-brass stand guard before you walk up to a wooden staircase, where two decorated lions take over. You then cross a swaying bridge before finally reaching where you set out from. From the well-maintained main road, it’s difficult to believe you just returned from the lap of Nature.

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