Some 20km south of Daxi, the inland resort town of JIAOXI (礁溪; jiāoxī) is best known for its hot springs and the spectacular waterfalls just outside the city. Buses drop you on Jiaoxi Road, a short walk from the train station on Wenquan Road. You can pick up taxis at the latter for the 5km ride to the Wufengqi Falls (五峰旗瀑布; wŭfēngqí pùbù), among the most impressive in Taiwan. If you have time, you can walk through town (via Deyang Road) and up Wufeng Road, but only the last section is pleasant and there’s always a lot of traffic.
The falls consist of three separate cascades, with the upper two thin threads of water plummeting dramatically over sheer, moss-smothered bluffs at least 30m high – the first falls are the highest and most spectacular. A paved pathway leads some 550m to the top, but it’s a steep climb. Just before the trailhead is a line of food stalls selling an assortment of snacks and drinks, usually including the area’s famed crop of kumquats (jīnzǎo). Make sure you take your taxi driver’s number if you want a ride back.