Cengwen Reservoir is Taiwan’s biggest reservoir and manmade lake. Found in the Cengwen River’s upper reaches, it forms part of the Siraya National Scenic Area, together with the reservoirs Jianshanpi, Baihe, Hutoupi, and Wushantou. The Siraya National Scenic Area has both mountains and plains and many interconnected rivers and streams. The reservoir itself lies near the border of Chiayi County and Tainan.
The reservoir was built mainly to control the river in order to increase the water supply in Chiayi County. Before it was built, Chiayi County primarily depended on Wushantou reservoir, whose water supply was limited and was not enough to provide for the entire area. Thus, Cengwen Reservoir was built in 1967, and it was finished in October 1973.
It stretches for 400 meters and is 133 meters high. This reservoir gathers water from the Wushantou through connecting tunnels. The water is then distributed to different parts of Chiayi. There are 10 recreational activity centers in the reservoir, such as a waterslide amusement park, lakeside park and villas, and a papaya garden hotel. There is also a garden displaying various colors of leaves and flowers. The reservoir also has an administrative center.
Surrounded by nature at its best, the reservoir offers splendid views of the mountains. The crystal clear reflection of the mountains, trees, and clouds on the water adds to the picturesque panorama. Words are not enough to completely describe the beauty in and around the reservoir; it is necessary for you to visit it so you can see it for yourself.
If you are traveling to Chiayi, never miss a chance to go to the reservoir. Allow nature to captivate you and refresh your mind and body. The surrounding areas of the Cengwen Reservoir are great for bird watching. Some people go to the place to watch numerous fireflies flapping their wings on the air. The best months to go to the reservoir and watch fireflies are April and May.
The beauty and attractions of the reservoir have drawn people near and far. At present, it is considered to be one of the major recreational areas in Chiayi and even in southern Taiwan. Yet, it still holds so much promise, and with further development, it can become an important tourism hotspot in the country.
If you want to visit Cengwen Resoirvoir, you can either take the train or drive to the site. If you opt for public transport, take the regular train (not the high-speed railway) and go to Taichung Station. Once there, take a Xingnan bus and go down at Cengwen bus stop. Be sure to check all the train and bus details in advance before your actual trip so you can be advised if some changes have occurred.
If you prefer to drive to Cengwen Reservoir, take the National Highway number 3. Head toward the Zongpu Interchange exit and drive all the way to Provincial Highway 18. From there, proceed to Provincial Highway 3 until you reach the reservoir. This reservoir is found in Dapu Township, which lies south of Chiayi City. Dapu Township is part of Chiayi County.