Situated in Longtan Township until the Fuxing and Daxi Townships of Taoyuan, the Shimen Reservoir is one of the country’s major reservoirs with the water mainly coming from the northern part of Mount Tapachien and Dahan River. It functions as a water supplier, electricity generator, farmland irrigator, flood controller and a tourist destination, making it an integral part of the water supply and regulation system of northern Taiwan.
The name literally means ‘Stonegate Reservoir’. The construction plan of Shimen Reservoir was made in 1938 during the Japanese occupation. However, it was not immediately implemented due to the start of the Second World War. It was only in 1964 that the reservoir was completed and was the largest in Taiwan during that time. It supplies 1.4 million tonnes of water to industries and residences as well as 1.8 million tonnes of water for agriculture in New Taipei City and Taoyuan County per day.
Measuring 133 meters in height, the reservoir has 680,000 cubic meter for water conservation capacity along with its six gates, Shimen Dam, a power generator plant and a round walkway. The Shimen Reservoir Administration has been responsible for controlling the reservoir, managing the water supply level, performing hydrological observation, maintaining and checking alarm systems and hydrological facilities, accommodating visitors and tourists and taking care of the planted tree seedlings in the surrounding woodlands.
The reservoir created a significant contribution to the progress of agricultural industry in North Taiwan. Looking from afar, the reservoir is lengthy and winding in shape with the striking mountains rising from the waters, luring multitudes of sightseers all throughout the year. The main highlights of this scenic area are the dam and road enclosing the reservoir. This road is also famous as a biking trail where tourists can enjoy the immense greenery as well as the soft breeze from the pond. When the Shimen dam releases massive waters, it creates a spectacular view when observed from the top. In addition, an observation deck called ‘Song Tai’ placed at the top of the dam gives a rewarding view of the entire Shimen Reservoir. The walkway passes a number of pavilions and parks, providing a resting area for visitors who are enjoying the scenery. Pinglin Park has the best vantage point to witness the discharge of water from the dam. Throngs of fish are living in the waters, and so, delicious fish are the most popular local produce in the area.
As this a popular tourist destination in Longtan, several restaurants opened close to the reservoir, serving exquisite fish caught from the waters. A popular way to savor the reservoir fish is to prepare the fish in varied flavors. The most famous local fish cuisine is Huoyusan-ji.
The lot of maple trees around the reservoir is another beautiful place. The trees are best viewed during maple season (from November to January). When this season begins, you may find both overhead and ground foliage wrapped with red and gold colored maple leaves creating picturesque sceneries.
To access Shimen Reservoir, catch the Taoyuan Bus with Zhongli-Shimen Reservoir Route, from Zhongli. Buses in Zhongli depart every two to three hours.