Taiwan’s Provincial Highway #3 (省道3號) is a really mountainous route for road trips going all the way from north to south. One cool feature of it being near mountains is that it passes by many beautiful reservoirs. Here we introduce three major ones from north to south: (1) Shimen (石門水庫), (2) Liyutan (鯉魚潭), and (3) Tsengwen (曾文水庫).
Shimen Reservoir, Taoyuan (石門水庫，桃園)
South of Taoyuan City lies Taiwan’s first multi-purpose reservoir behind Shihmen Dam, completed in 1964. Here you can enter the reservoir from the north, drive through the main dam, and connect to Provincial Highway#7. After driving on #7 for a little while, you can get onto the famous Rome Highway (羅馬公路) at the reservoir’s south end and connect back to #3.
Looking down from the road above the dam.
Reservoir’s main spillway.
Bridge view from the Rome Highway.
Liyutan Dam, Miaoli (鯉魚潭水庫，苗栗)
While being a smaller reservoir, Liyutan Dam has a unique saw-like dam and is quieter with less visitors. Provincial Highway #3 directly crosses the upper reservoir, and you can see the entirety of the reservoir’s scenery without turning into reservoir area. Finally, surrounding the reservoir is Taiwan’s major fruit production area.
Reservoir’s unique saw-like dam.
One of Liyutan’s monument. The bridge in the background was part of Provincial Highway #3.
Nearby town welcome sign showing various local fruit production.
Tsengwen Reservoir, Chiayi (曾文水庫，嘉義)
In southern Taiwan southeast of Chiayi City, Provincial Highway #3 goes through the east side of Taiwan’s largest reservoir, the Tsengwen reservoir, climbing mountains over 3000 feet in elevation.
The famous Grandma’s grocery (阿婆柑仔店) near #3’s highest point.
Giant reservoir fish that can be made into famous pot-stewed fish (砂鍋魚頭)
Reservoir’s viewing tower.
Reservoir’s main rock dam.
While enjoying the reservoir scenery, it’s worth it to take a detour to reservoir’s west side on #172 and #175. #172 passes through Guanziling (關子嶺), a unique hot spring resort with Taiwan’s only muddy hot spring. #175 has a nickname of the “coffee highway”, featuring many small cafes along the way.
The muddy Guanziling hot spring.
T2 Cafe on #175