Discover Jiangmen’s Twin Falls: Hiking Off the Beaten Path
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Justin and I are always up for exploring new hiking trails, so when a friend asked if we wanted to go to Jiangmen for the day to check out the trails, we were totally on board. We drove to the far side of the mountains from our usual waterfall hike making the drive about an hour/hour and a half from our home in Zhuhai, China.
The hike starts at the Tangtian Reservoir 唐田水库in Jiangmen. Our driver dropped us off right in front of the reservoir down the road past the Jiangmen City Middle/Elementary School 江门市中小学 sports fields. As it turns out, you can choose to either walk along the reservoir or continue to drive down the dirt road and park right next to where the trail goes up the mountain. Having no clue that the dirt road continued alongside the reservoir we ended up walking about 5-7 kilometers before reaching the base of the mountains.
To get to the start of the hike your best bet will be to hire a driver to take you to the TangTian Reservoir 唐田水库 (tangtian shuiku) for the day as there’s little in the way of public transport in this area.
It’s a nice walk, but the reservoir, while beautiful, has a tall wire fence around it that obstructs what would otherwise be a beautiful view. Why the fence? Where the trail ascends up the mountain there’s an intersection in the road. To the left is a paved road that leads to a gate with a guard standing watch, and directly in front of you is another road that leads to a second reservoir a little ways up the mountain.
Go left and you pay the guard 5rmb/person to enter the “scenic area” of the reservoir. Now you can walk around and fish in the lake, or cross the creek and turn right up a little dirt trail to a swimming hole and the juiciest glimpse I’ve ever seen of a thundering waterfall. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, this isn’t the Twin Falls, oh no, this one’s a bonus, which means you really get 3 waterfalls in one hike, plus a swimming hole, how epic is that?!
If you love climbing and scrambling over rocks you can stepping stone across the creek, then think really skinny and shimmy along the ledge at the base of the swimming hole until you get to the little waterfall that fills the pool. There are a couple of natural rock steps that get you to the top of the mini waterfall before you’re faced with about 200 meters of slippery boulders to navigate before reaching the base of the falls. The trek, while short, is not for the faint of heart, and could prove dangerous if you’re not careful, so only attempt if you feel comfortable scrambling over lots of wet rocks.
The boys, Justin and our friend, made it to the waterfall to take some photos while I stayed behind with our friend’s girlfriend. Justin’s reaction of climbing over to the waterfall was something like “It’s a good thing you didn’t go. You wouldn’t have liked climbing over all those wet rocks, it was really tricky.” When Justin says it’s tricky then it should definitely be attempted only by experienced hikers, or extreme daredevils, one of the two.
Once done exploring the reservoir and hidden waterfall (we actually did this after our hike to the twin falls) head straight, and go up the mountain towards the other reservoir. You’ll first pass through a tiny village. After you walk through the village continue on the main path, which will then become a road leading up to the Man Bei Tou蛮陂头reservoir.
Here’s where finding the Twin Falls gets tricky. Maybe 2 kilometers up the road from the village you’ll pass by some little farms. They’ll be a skinny path off to the left of the main road which goes back to the creek. Walk down the creek and scramble over the rocks until you get to a rock ledge. You’ll hear the waterfalls before you see them as you’ll come out directly on top of the Twin Falls. If you peer over the edge you can watch the falls tumble down from above. It’s a great picnic spot.
For the ultra brave, or those with really long legs, you can jump over a gap in the rushing water into the woods (on the right-hand side if you’re facing the pool below the falls) and take a trail down to the bottom of the falls. There’s a pool below the waterfalls for swimming as well as just really cool views of the two falls.
The rarity of finding twin waterfalls rivals that of seeing a double rainbow, and this place is so undiscovered that it’s not even on the map. We literally just happened to stumble upon it looking for the first waterfall thinking that it was more remote and further up the mountain. Turns out both Google and Baidu Maps have the scenic area marked in the wrong place, whoops! But hey, talk about a beautiful mistake!
Being that the waterfalls are so hard to find, I’ve dropped some pins on a map for you below with their approximate locations.
Walking down into the scenic area and up the trail to the swimming hole below the waterfall: easy.
Climbing the rocks to get to the base of the big waterfall: hard. Lots of rock scrambling involved.
Walking down the creek to the top of the Twin Falls: easy.
Climbing down to the pool below the twin falls: hard. You have to cross the creek just before the water flows over the edge and it’s a pretty widespread.
After visiting the Twin Falls you can continue up the road to the Man Bei Tou 蛮陂头 reservoir. You’ll get to a little parking lot type area where the path diverges. The path off to the left leads up to the reservoir, whereas the path to the right snakes up the mountain. We couldn’t find any loop or end point to the trail and looking at the map it looks like the trail pretty much ends at a certain point, but it’s still a pretty hike if you’re looking to get some more kilometers in before the end of the day.
To get to the start of the hike your best bet will be to hire a driver to take you out here for the day as there’s little in the way of public transport in this area.
If you’re a waterfall lover, you will absolutely love exploring the mountains of Jiangmen 江门. Between the Twin Falls and the local favorite waterfall and swimming hole on the other side of the same mountains, you’ll have no shortage of adventures and stunning natural scenery.
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