Hi everyone. My (Chinese) name is Xiaofei. I'm an American student and explorer in Taiwan. I write a growing online guide to waterfalls and wild hot springs in Taiwan. I have located over 3000, and made over 100 custom google maps to help people reach them too.

Yesterday I had my first "accident" in 3 years of exploring. Now I have to wait a week before going waterfalling again. It will be a tough wait :) so I've decided to do an AMA. Ask me anything!

My Taiwan Waterfalls and Hotsprings Guide: http://followxiaofei.com/

What 3000 Waterfalls looks like: http://imgur.com/Fg9xkFH

My busted face (warning: bloody): http://imgur.com/xlcRSUN

How it happened: https://goo.gl/photos/LDhkGuLy1xayBwUb8

EDIT: Proof of AMA: http://followxiaofei.com/page/proof-of-ama

Comments: 177 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

MonthOLDpickle90 karma

Yet you still came to Japanese class, who takes you anyways?

aleiss91 karma

Oh jeez. Naturally the only other American in class also uses Reddit. I drove myself to school.

Edit: My face is swollen and the helmet is too tight. It hurts a little on the speed bumps.

MonthOLDpickle37 karma

I meant to the waterfalls lol

aleiss47 karma

Oh. No one takes me. I go myself. Most of the time when I go out it's based on an assumption that a waterfall is there, as I may not have proof. (inconclusive sat images, photo of one somewhere but not 100% on the location, etc). I drive as close to where I think it is as I can, and hike up the river the rest of the way. Usually I find something. Somethings there is nothing there.

Sorthum5 karma

Organize a trip. I'd bet a number of people would love to tag along on something like this!

aleiss12 karma

After my experience at Sunset waterfall, where I took a group of my friends on what I thought would be a short trip, but ended up as 22km of driving on a broken road followed by 2000 (or so) stairs down to the river, I no longer take people to places that I have never been before. I'll still go out with a few friends, but only to places that I know really exist and are easy to get to.

http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/pingtung-waterfalls-chunri-sunset-waterfall

isitbrokenorsomethin1 karma

What kind of vehicle do you use? F150? Ranger? Range Rover?

aleiss2 karma

I ride this 175cc motorscooter, as seen here loaded up with camping gear and camera equipment for a long road-trip around the island.

It's a beast. One of the most satisfying purchases I've ever made. A scooter will take you anywhere in Taiwan.

F150s, Rangers, and Range Rovers aren't the dominant 4-wheel drive vehicles in Taiwan though. Here the rulers of the mud are souped up Mitsubishi Delicas.

isitbrokenorsomethin1 karma

Dude I love it! I use to ride a 150cc moped on the trails with my buddys! The those Mitsus are awesome too!

aleiss2 karma

Nice. My scooter has just enough power to make it over the highest road (3275 meters) in Taiwan loaded with gear and a passenger, without giving up too much speed. (A lot of scooters don't even make it over at all.)

Motorcycles are great for waterfalls, 4-wheel drives are great for hot springs.

jennydancing2 karma

I wish you were in my class i want to see some

aleiss3 karma

I wish I was in your class too. Our Japanese class is less than interesting.

DanDierdorf1 karma

You should share that the proper response to "Ohio" in the morning, can only be "Nebraska!". Perhaps "Oklahoma!" on Tuesdays. My Japanese coworkers never did quite figure that one out.

aleiss3 karma

I'll try "Oklahoma Sensei Gosaimas" next week, see how the professor takes it.

IntellegentIdiot39 karma

Why didn't you stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to? Did TLC teach us nothing?!

aleiss9 karma

I'm told I have a natural obsession but I just can't see it. Stitches come out in a week. That day I'll go and take a glimpse in the mirror, hopefully I'll recognize my own face

import_ursus1 karma

Thank you for your service, and writing about it

aleiss1 karma

You're welcome. I'm glad you like it.

wpnw24 karma

I'm one of the founders of the World Waterfall Database, and this is very cool to see. We've tried to stay on top of the "major" websites that document waterfalls around the world, but I don't think we'd seen yours before, so this was a pleasant surprise to stumble across today. You've got some really nice pictures in there, very good for documentation. Couple questions for you:

1) What is your criteria for cataloging a waterfall? Do you have a baseline for height or stream volume / consistency, or is it more based off of mapping locations out? Do you include waterfalls that only flow when it's raining? I'm quite curious about this primarily because 3,000 waterfalls seems like an awfully high number for an island the size of Taiwan.

2) Would you at all be interested / willing to share your data with us so that we might fill the rather substantial black hole(s) in our information about the waterfalls of Taiwan? I unfortunately don't have infrastructure in place right now to allow that to be done easily, but I'm hoping to launch some crowdsourcing tools later this year so that industrious individuals such as yourself who would be willing to contribute may do so without us having to go through a very tedious process.

That shiner on your head is pretty gnarly too. May it be the first of many battlescars. I picked another one up on my shin last week in Oregon.

aleiss10 karma

Hi. I like the work you're doing. My site is only a few months old, which is probably why you've never seen it before.

1) Unfortunately, I don't have a good system for this. I even wrote a Quora question about it a few months ago, but got no response. I don't know what makes a waterfall, there doesn't seem to be any official guidelines for naming an measuring by the US surveying bodies or any other organization. It's unclear to me when a waterfall becomes a 2nd tier or a separate waterfall.

For waterfalls that are already named, I just go with the local name and translate or transliterate it into English, depending on what the name is (if it hasn't been done before).

Waterfall tiers that are only a meter or so apart, that are obviously part of the same waterfall. But what if they are 10 meters, or 1000 meters? That's where it becomes unclear. Several named waterfalls here (with park-service managed trails) have higher tiers that are only 10-20 meters back which have different names. Conversely, several waterfalls also have higher tiers which are 20 minute hikes from the lower tiers, yet have the same name, and this might go on for 5-6 waterfalls.

For obscure waterfalls on my website, I tend to group tiers in the same river that can be hiked to in the same day into the same waterfall. If it's significantly far away, has a completely different entrance point, or they are both significantly large in their own right, to the point where you would visit them on different trips, I may separate them. I understand this is rather arbitrary, but I don't have a better method. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

The tropic of cancer runs through the middle of Taiwan which makes the weather in the north and south very different. In the north it rains rather consistently, and the waterfalls will almost never dry up. In the south, streams with small basins can dry up in the winter (Like this one: http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/pingtung-waterfalls-laiyi-eagle-gods-waterfall) but after the first Taiphoon (usually around June), even the smallest stream will fly steadily until January. This year though, it was such an usually rainy winter that no where dried up.

I won't include a waterfall that flows ONLY if it's raining, but if it flows for 8 months then dries up for 4, that counts to me.

I want to point out that there are thousands more waterfalls which are not counted or listed because that's just the nature of Taiwan. If you drive around in the mountains in August, everywhere you look there will be water running down the mountain. It would be very presumptuous to say that I've found 10% of the waterfalls, or maybe even 1%. I'm not sure what the total of the island is, but I'm it's probably over 50,000. I guess that may be why I went with waterfalls. There are just so many of them!

My height requirements vary a little. Generally it's 5 meters or up, but it's got to be interesting. At this Ocean God's pools there are several waterfalls around 3-4 meters, and a 6-7 meter side-stream waterfall and a few 20-30 meter smaller side waterfalls (low flow, aren't the main river), but the main attraction are the pools, so it's categorized as a waterfall on my website, but we don't talk about it as a waterfall. (The name in English and Chinese doesn't include "waterfall"). However, if someone asks me what's up the river passed the pools, I'll say it's a few small waterfalls. https://youtu.be/LB6K1nx9qpc

wpnw4 karma

1) Unfortunately, I don't have a good system for this. I even wrote a Quora question about it a few months ago, but got no response. I don't know what makes a waterfall, there doesn't seem to be any official guidelines for naming an measuring by the US surveying bodies or any other organization. It's unclear to me when a waterfall becomes a 2nd tier or a separate waterfall.

Yeah, this is something we ran into a long time ago. There's never been any sort of accepted definition or standards as to what exactly qualifies and what doesn't. The USGS usually only names waterfalls after they've been locally named for a while, and in the past they were typically only mapped when they were encountered during surveys for other purposes (timber harvesting, road construction, etc). We're in the process of writing out a lengthy set of guidelines that we use and will make publicly available soon - it may not be official in any sort of capacity, but we are pretty knowledgeable on the subject, so hopefully we can create something that can be seen as legitimate at least based on experience, and can be adopted more broadly.

Waterfall tiers that are only a meter or so apart, that are obviously part of the same waterfall. But what if they are 10 meters, or 1000 meters? That's where it becomes unclear. Several named waterfalls here (with park-service managed trails) have higher tiers that are only 10-20 meters back which have different names. Conversely, several waterfalls also have higher tiers which are 20 minute hikes from the lower tiers, yet have the same name, and this might go on for 5-6 waterfalls.

For what it's worth, our criteria is: if there is more than 500 linear feet between two tiers, they should be considered separate waterfall, except when it's clear that both falls are formed as a result of the same cliff system. We have made exceptions to this rule on a case by case basis however, and one such exception would be in situations where two different drops are much closer together, but have a history of each being named independently.

For obscure waterfalls on my website, I tend to group tiers in the same river that can be hiked to in the same day into the same waterfall. If it's significantly far away, has a completely different entrance point, or they are both significantly large in their own right, to the point where you would visit them on different trips, I may separate them. I understand this is rather arbitrary, but I don't have a better method. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

Your decision here is understandable from the perspective of organizing your data for your website. I had originally thought about doing something similar a long time ago. As I eluded to earlier, we've given a lot of thought into how to qualify an individual waterfall, and our position on this type of scenario would be to consider each waterfall a separate entity in terms of documenting and cataloging it - again, so long as they are 500 feet or more apart, and are not formed by the same cliff system. I know that doesn't exactly sound crystal clear, I'm trying to figure out a good way to illustrate it for when we publish our guidelines.

I won't include a waterfall that flows ONLY if it's raining, but if it flows for 8 months then dries up for 4, that counts to me.

Agreed - there are world famous waterfalls which only flow for half of the year (or less in a few cases), so your logic here is entirely sound from where I stand.

I want to point out that there are thousands more waterfalls which are not counted or listed because that's just the nature of Taiwan. If you drive around in the mountains in August, everywhere you look there will be water running down the mountain. It would be very presumptuous to say that I've found 10% of the waterfalls, or maybe even 1%. I'm not sure what the total of the island is, but I'm it's probably over 50,000. I guess that may be why I went with waterfalls. There are just so many of them!

That sounds like a problem I'm familiar with, and one which we're running into when compiling data for New Zealand presently (it rains a lot, plus the steep mountains = lots and lots and lots of really short lived waterfalls). Its a good problem to have, in my not so unbiased opinion.

My height requirements vary a little. Generally it's 5 meters or up, but it's got to be interesting. At this Ocean God's pools there are several waterfalls around 3-4 meters, and a 6-7 meter side-stream waterfall and a few 20-30 meter smaller side waterfalls (low flow, aren't the main river), but the main attraction are the pools, so it's categorized as a waterfall on my website, but we don't talk about it as a waterfall. (The name in English and Chinese doesn't include "waterfall"). However, if someone asks me what's up the river passed the pools, I'll say it's a few small waterfalls. https://youtu.be/LB6K1nx9qpc

That's actually pretty in line with our requirements: 15 feet (4.5m) if it flows all year, 50 feet (15m) if it flows for up to 6 months, and 200 feet (60m) if it flows for less than 3 months (anything that doesn't flow consistently for 3 months is excluded unless historically named).

aleiss3 karma

so hopefully we can create something that can be seen as legitimate at least based on experience, and can be adopted more broadly.

I'll be interested to see it.

if there is more than 500 linear feet between two tiers, they should be considered separate waterfall

It's good to have a number. 500 feet sounds fair to me (I think using meters is better). I will likely still call them RiverName Waterfall 1, RiverName Waterfall 2, etc.

What about measuring the height of a waterfall? That's also unclear to me. The water level of the pool changes all the time, and not all waterfalls are a classic drop. Did you come up with rules for measuring height as well? Sometimes where a waterfall starts and ends is pretty ambiguous. The rivers in Taiwan are so steep in places, I think it would be easy to classify entire 5km sections as one waterfall in many places, even if there are no major drops.

Even with rules, it doesn't seem to get any easier. The place I hit my head is a 15-20 meter tall waterslide going down at an average 30 degree angle (white water). Is it a waterfall? I'm not calling it one, but I could see how the argument could be made. What if it continued like that for 100 more meters?

aleiss3 karma

Here's another good one. What happens when 2 waterfalls empty into the same pool? Like in this one. http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/pingtung-waterfalls-laiyi-yuanyang-waterfall

What if it's not the same pool, but into the same river, 20 meters apart? The waterfall in the link is named as one waterfall, I called it a "Double Waterfall". By the 500-foot rule, the right side's total height is between 400 and 700 meters (or rather, the elevation change from the top of the upper tiers, to the bottom of the lower tier is 400-700 meters, depend on where exactly you choose to cut it off, based on elevation data from google earth.

wpnw1 karma

This is a scenario that we'll leave up to colloquialisms more often than not. I know of several side-by-side waterfalls that are named both collectively and individually, so it's mostly something we'll default to the discretion of any established names for. In the case of unnamed waterfalls, if each stream has its own name, we may end up giving each waterfall its own name and entry in our database, but not all of the time - usually evaluated on a case by case basis as we see it appropriate. Your example here I would definitely consider one waterfall.

aleiss1 karma

I think that no matter what, you're going to have to end up with a human judgment element. Some waterfalls are big but very uninteresting, while some are small but very unique.

In Chinese there is something called a 瀑布群 which I translate to Waterfall Group. I'm not sure if it's used in English or not.

I use it here when there are lots of waterfalls that aren't really the same waterfall, but they are closely associated anyway. Sometimes they also have separate names, other times they're just numbered or named big, small, etc. It often happens near the source of a river, where water is coming in from 4-5 different elevated places, but none of them are their own rivers, like the first photo in the album I sent, or the one near the bottom where there are 10 big waterfalls in a row. There distinct enough to call separate waterfalls, but you wouldn't talk about one without mentioning the others.

wpnw1 karma

What about measuring the height of a waterfall? That's also unclear to me. The water level of the pool changes all the time, and not all waterfalls are a classic drop. Did you come up with rules for measuring height as well? Sometimes where a waterfall starts and ends is pretty ambiguous. The rivers in Taiwan are so steep in places, I think it would be easy to classify entire 5km sections as one waterfall in many places, even if there are no major drops.

Where the top and bottom aren't clear is definitely where gray area comes into play. Generally that's something we play more by ear and feeling than anything else, but the primary factor there is along the lines of "is there a distinct change in the overall pitch of the stream at any point?" There have been few cases where using that train of thought doesn't net pretty solid results for us thus far - the area where this comes into question most so far has been in the high Sierra Nevada in California. This is a good example - what we refer to as Olmsted Cascade in Yosemite National Park in California (not officially named). It's a very gradual natural waterslide that initially is fairly steep, but then gets much more shallow as it extends downstream, but it doesn't stop sliding for quite some distance (it's about one-quarter of a mile long from top to bottom, and it has a total vertical drop of about 300 feet), but there are distinct top and bottom points as identified by the shift in the pitch of the creek at the top, and the pool at the bottom.

Your example of a 5km long section of river is definitely something to take into account. It would be highly implausible to class that whole thing as one waterfall, as it would be extremely unlikely that a river would be unbroken in any sort of visual way for that length. The key to take into account again is where are the distinct changes in the pitch of the river? If it has a fairly uniform grade through that whole 5km stretch, then it may not be viable to classify most (or all) of it as a waterfall because it's so uniform. We've encountered streams in areas of the world where they lose thousands and thousands of feet in elevation in a very short distance, but because there is no way to easily say "that point is the top and that point is the bottom" because it's so uniform, we err on the side of saying it shouldn't be classified as a waterfall. This however is still something we're ironing the kinks out of, so it's not a 100% golden rule by any means. Worst case scenario, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you can probably make a sound judgment as to what it is.

Even with rules, it doesn't seem to get any easier. The place I hit my head is a 15-20 meter tall waterslide going down at an average 30 degree angle (white water). Is it a waterfall? I'm not calling it one, but I could see how the argument could be made. What if it continued like that for 100 more meters?

Yep, that would be considered a waterfall by our standards as long as you can identify a distinct top and bottom. And if it continued for 100 meters, well see my previous example. Here's some video I found that shows an overview of the area; you'll notice it does get less steep after that initial ~100 foot drop, but it doesn't really "stop", it just keeps sliding and sliding and sliding until it hits the pool way further downstream, which is why it's considered all one drop in our book.

aleiss1 karma

Oh my goodness that place looks so cool! I want to slide down it.

Interesting though, I think they are doing the same thing I am. I wont call the one by me a waterfall (the name wont be "something falls", but I'm still classifying it as one.

wpnw1 karma

A name is only a name really, but yeah I understand the desire to not be so formal in certain situations like that. But in comparison, there are quite a few waterfalls in the eastern United States that have more unique names, i.e. not "something falls", which are still very much legitimate waterfalls (The Cascades in Virgina, or Crystal Cascade in New Hampshire are good examples). It's more just creative liberty or romanticism maybe than anything else I think.

aleiss1 karma

That's true. Sometimes places in Taiwan get names from ancient legends or very romantic names like (loosely translating) "The Canyon of Lost Souls, Fountain of Spirits, or Earth (tier 1) and Heaven (tier 2)"

This is one of the strangest waterfalls I've seen (roughly translated~Fountain of the Female Dragon's (Chinese Phoenix) Spirit). http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/yunlin-waterfalls-gukeng-lingquan-tengjiao

It basically resembles a hollowed out tree trunk, with a spring about 20-30 feet up in the darkness somewhere. It seems to keep a pretty steady flow, even if the nextdoor river is flooded or dry.

aleiss5 karma

2) I'm happy to share my maps. You're welcome to use the data from this map. I update it frequently and each point on the map corresponds to another more detailed map. After being opened, the maps can be used with apps on smartphones to show the location of the adventurer, even when they lose cell signal, which always happens in canyons.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kK_pmoT7QZRcTe3-8D-lNVlUzxU&usp=sharing

If you need more data or want to collaborate further, please PM me on Facebook, as I may not see the messages on Reddit.

https://www.facebook.com/followxiaofei

wpnw2 karma

Awesome. This will definitely be helpful, really appreciate it.

aleiss3 karma

No problem. I hope to add another 50 points this summer. You can check my facebook for updates, or if you DL the KML file it will sync automatically.

inseptiv15 karma

Which waterfall is the most beautiful one you've seen, and why is it the most beautiful? Do you have a picture of it you can share?

aleiss20 karma

I don't like to pick favorites, but Shalawan is far up on the list for most beautiful. It's beautiful because it's deep in a very green valley at about 550m elevation. The valley is about 1500 meters deep where the waterfall is, and extends back a few kilometers to the top of Beidawushan, which is 3092 meters tall, the southernmost over-3000m mountain in Taiwan.

Shalawan is part of the Deer Creek Waterfall Group. It's 40 meters tall, and has a pool about equally wide. On the left side there is another waterfall, which drops over 600 meters in 4-5 tiers.

Water is also runs off the mountain in dozens of other smaller waterfalls during the summer months. The sheer scale of the place is hard to photograph. A common reactions is "Is this from Lord of the Rings?"

Here is a video of me jumping from about 1/4 the way up. https://www.facebook.com/followxiaofei/videos/1099043690130160/

Waterfall Guide link with more photos and videos (sorry for low quality, this one was of the earlier pages): http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/pingtung-waterfalls-majia-shalawan-waterfall

As a bonus, I would like to add this waterfall, since it is fresh in my mind, as I visited there this month. The water is really that blue. http://followxiaofei.com/taiwan/pingtung-waterfalls-wutai-flying-dragon-waterfall

mattarous8 karma

How do you find the time to do all this waterfall hunting?

aleiss12 karma

I first look for waterfalls from satellite images. Over time my map grew to several thousand points, so now I can just check my location on my phone, and see if I have any points marked nearby.

Most waterfalls I visit on weekends or road trips. On a long weekend I will pack a tent and supplies on my scooter, and plan a route around the island, camping at places I've seen on satellite images, google street view, or just happen to see as I'm driving along.

During winter break (I'm a student), I went on an 11-day scooter road trip, and only stayed in a hotel 2 nights. Sleeping in the mountains makes it easier to get more out of the day, and visit more places.

I'm looking forward to summer vacation. It's going to be a waterfall-blast.

pujuma-3 karma

dude when you go deep in the wild you have with you at least one experienced trail person right ? and please don't do things unless local guides tell you it's safe to do.

gartacus15 karma

Fellow hiker here, so I do understand the importance of what you're suggesting... But this guy seems to be pretty experienced himself. I agree it's always a good idea to have another capable hiker there, but I'm not too concerned over this guys safety protocol.

pujuma4 karma

all I'm saying is "shit happens".

It looks to me OP does a lot of the 1st-time, off-trail, exploratory type of hiking, tracking up and down slippery gorges (Taiwan is quite wet/humid), he does both land and water.

This TW news clip is about a uni student who got stuck in rock crevice and drowned.

Mushroomflank5 karma

Danger is the price we pay for adventure.

aleiss9 karma

Thank you. I'd rather die of dehydration up the in mountains somewhere than of heart disease on my couch.

aleiss3 karma

I injure myself the most when I'm in safe environments with lots of people. That's when I let my guard down and get to do fun things like back-flips off boulders and riding inflatable pool toys over waterfalls.

The recent gash on my head isn't from a slip or fall, it's from a well-calculated decision which was executed poorly.

aleiss2 karma

Hi. I am an experienced trail person, and I am the local guide. I generally don't go alone to places that won't see any other traffic. I like hiking on mountain trails alone, but river tracing alone isn't as fun. Something as trivial as losing my glasses/contacts or having a sprained ankle becomes a big deal if you're alone in the river. That's why my gf and I usually hike up the rivers together.

Truth_Walker7 karma

What's something most Americans don't know but should know before visiting Taiwan?

aleiss8 karma

I didn't know how awesome it is. Really.

It's an Island, and there are beaches, but it's a mountain country, not a beach country. (270 peaks over 3000 meters... only a few dozen sandy beaches)

It's a place you can go without a plan. Just show up and you'll find something fun to do.

EasyChief1 karma

I'm going to Taiwan in late July! Any quick tips I should know for that time of year?

aleiss1 karma

You're in for a treat because the weather will be perfect (read: hot) unless there's a typhoon, which is kind of fun and interesting in itself (rain holiday), provided it's not too serious. Remember temperature is a function of elevation. If you can't stand the heat, go up the mountain and jump in a waterfall.

Join the facebook hiking groups for the area you'll be in to find people to river trace with and rideshares.

EasyChief1 karma

Cool is 5 days enough for just Taipei or should I expect to go to other cities? Or should I avoid Taipei altogether?

aleiss1 karma

I just added this waterfall trail in New Taipei City. If you are in Taipei, this one is easy to get to using public transportation

There are other waterfalls in the same area. Check my master-map to see where they all are in relation to each other.

aleiss1 karma

That all depends on you. I prefer Kaohsiung over Taipei for many reasons, but Taipei is still cool and there are some things there that aren't available anywhere else, like the National Museum (which I still have not gone to yet.)

If you want to go out in nature though, I'd get on facebook and join some hiking groups.

Five days is pretty short, it may be enough for an City, but it's not enough for Taiwan. I recommend more time if you can spare it. Either way, expect to come back one day.

EasyChief1 karma

Unfortunately those are the days my bosses chose! But right now I'm teaching in Korea but if things go well I would definitely consider doing a year there!

aleiss1 karma

Have you ever considered getting a new boss?

I think my teaching days are over, I'm sure I'll go there for vacation soon. Probably only for something like 5 days too... oh well.

EasyChief1 karma

After I finish this contract, definitely. It's not that bad though and it's pretty much the Korean hagwon standard. I'm starting to wonder how the Taiwan teaching conditions are though since China was where I originally wanted to go.

aleiss1 karma

The conditions are good.

robsterthelobster5 karma

That Taiwan is not Thailand. :)

So there's a ton of resources for tourism, and a lot of places are very obvious and well-advertised. But if you plan on travelling the island (and you should somewhat try), people with foreign passports can buy (high-speed) train passes for multiple days. These passes are often the same price as one round trip from Taipei (north) to Kaohsiung (south), but can be used multiple times in a week. They can only be bought through tourism agencies and require a passport. Very worth if you plan on travelling via train (especially HSR). Personally, i enjoyed the eastern side of Taiwan the most, as it's very scenic. If you look at OP's map, all his points are basically in the middle and the east, since the western side is very developed.

Bonus: avoid tourist groups timings when you go look at stuff if you can. Early mornings are the best. These groups are very large, and they are non-stop.

aleiss3 karma

It's good information. Also, bring an international drivers license (you can get one from AAA) so that you can rent a scooter. Taiwan is best seen on scooter (and bicycle and on foot)

hitension6 karma

Sup fellow Taiwan resident /secret Taiwan handshake.

How is it possible that you have recorded 3000 waterfalls over 3 years? Doesn't that mean you visited 2-3 waterfalls PER DAY?

aleiss4 karma

Hi /secret Taiwan handshake

I've located over 3000 by reading blogs, driving around and seeing them from the road, and scouring the last 5 years or so of satellite imagery. I recorded the GPS and marked them on a map to visit later.

I've only visited between 150-200. I count visited as getting to the base and getting wet (or if it's really cold, having a clear ability to jump in, but choosing not to). If I can only see it from a trail, I don't count that as visited, even if it's close by (but down a cliff or something so I can't get to it).

pujuma2 karma

How are the bagels there ?

aleiss2 karma

There are bagels, but they are not "real" bagels. I think they come from Costco. I still get tuna+cheese+2 eggs on a bagel in the mornings though. Even in paradise there's room for improvement.

KuroyukiRyuu2 karma

If you're not exploring waterfalls in Taiwan, what else do you do? What major city do you base yourself off?

If you've visited nearby cities in Taiwan, what was your favorite?

aleiss2 karma

Hi. When I'm not exploring waterfalls I'm going on scooter trips. I like driving on the mountain roads, especially during Sakura season.

I used to live in Kaohsiung. That is where I used to base-myself from, and I really enjoy it there. When I was there I'd also hike up the local mountain, go to beaches, and play table games with my friends.

A lot of my non-outdoors time now is spent in school or working on my blog. It takes me a long time to make the maps.

karis_reavis2 karma

Are you ok?

aleiss2 karma

Yes, but I'm going to have a scar.

woodgloo2 karma

What brought you to Taiwan in the first place and why waterfalls? These are really nice photos. I think you've also been to more waterfalls/hot springs that I have despite being a native Taiwanese person.

aleiss9 karma

Thanks. I think that is the native curse though. I'm from North Carolina, home to many beautiful places, of which I've been to very few. I've also been to more countries than I have US states. There's just less of a drive to tour where we're from, even though it's pretty amazing.

I like swimming, and I like hiking. Waterfalls just happened to fill both. It was also something that I could do without spending any money, since my first two years in Taiwan I didn't have a stable income. I don't like cigarette smoke, so I rarely went to bars, and getting sun and fresh air really made my life a lot nicer, compared to going out to bars until late and then sleeping in on the weekends.

I also lived in Kaohsiung which is hot and polluted, so the cool water and fresh air really makes summer nice.

I didn't start out as specifically waterfalls, I just went out a lot (I've done a few 白岳 too) and often went waterfalls. Since I was also asking my friends to come to waterfalls with me (they rarely came, because they prefer to drink until late and then sleep in on the weekends), and my facebook page started to fill up with waterfalls, I started to become known as a waterfall guy.

Last summer I decided to make a guide, and I put it online at the end of February, and the Chinese pages went up in April.

Natural hot springs don't require any explaining I guess though. Everyone can see the appeal there.

I'll answer how I got here in another comment.

imthecar2 karma

Hello fellow North Carolinian! I am living in Taipei and your site is great!

aleiss1 karma

Thanks fellow Carolinian. I'll be adding more falls around Taipei soon.

aleiss1 karma

Thanks fellow Carolinian. I'll be adding more falls around Taipei soon.

GiraffeCalf692 karma

How many Baiyue?

aleiss2 karma

Between 8 and 12, I have not been keeping good track of them. It's someone I do in the winter, when it's too cold to go swimming.

atlien02551 karma

Have you ever been to Yellowstone, and if so do you have a favorite waterfall?? We have so many here!! Looks like I'll have to make my way over to Taiwan sometime soon...

aleiss2 karma

I've never been to Yellowstone but it looks amazing. How does it work in US National Parks, if you see a beautiful waterfall with a nice pool can you just go swim in it, or is swimming not allowed?

atlien02551 karma

Most things are allowed, although they do restrict access in certainly parts due to high amounts of bear activity. In Yellowstone in particular, we have a great deal of incredibly hot and dangerous thermal features, so obviously access is restricted to those as well.

aleiss1 karma

I think that the rivers in Yellowstone are much more stable than in Taiwan. In Taiwan, there are several riverbeds that a more than a mile wide. Most of the year the stream is 10-20 feed wide and only as deep as your ankles. However, every Taiphoon season, that entire mile wide riverbed fills up for a few hours, before shrinking back down again. Anything that was in the river at the time, isn't afterward.

aleiss1 karma

Wow cool. There are indigenous bears there too, but unfortunately their population is too small to worry about bear activity. It's unfortunate to be a large animal, with need for a large uninterrupted habitat, on a small island.

Scaaaary_Ghost1 karma

Depends on the park - at Yellowstone in particular, going off trail in thermal areas is forbidden, both because it's super damaging to the environment and very dangerous to the hiker - people have died falling through thin ground into boiling hot pools.

Most other parks are more laid-back if you're away from the super high traffic areas. In Yosemite, there are 'we won't recover your body if you're dumb enough to go here' areas, but very little is actually forbidden.

aleiss2 karma

Nice. In Taiwan most of the wilderness is just borderlands. Some of waterfalls I go to are in National Parks, and many are in a lesser designation called National Scenic Area. For the most part though, it's just dense jungle, managed by the city or county.

drunkerbrawler0 karma

Grew up in WNC and just moved back; what's your favorite waterfall in this part of NC?

aleiss1 karma

I'm embarrassed to say that the last waterfall I went to in NC was camping with my dad when I was around 8 years old, and I can't remember where it was. Possibly in Hanging Rock State Park.

aleiss6 karma

My "How I got to Taiwan" story starts in 2010, in Nepal. I went there to study for a bachelors degree at Kathmandu University. Shortly after arrival it became clear that the university operated more like a mafia organization than a academic institution, so I decided to leave.

So there I was. In Nepal, no opportunity for work there, and my 4-year plan just ended after less than a year. I needed a new plan.

So I went to Israel (where I have family, and a citizenship) to look for work. I can legally work there, but I don't speak Hebrew, so I was unable to get a job. I started to look for work overseas.

With limited options, I eventually ended up going to Hangzhou, China to teach English. After one month, it became clear that I did not want to live there due to the pollution. I could cancel the contract within the first 3 months with no penalties, but I had no plan for what to do next.

I lived cheaply and saved most of my salary, to use to get started on my next plan. I didn't come up with anything, but out of the blue, a friend I knew from Nepal (a European backpacker who had slept on my couch for a month while he was there), called me and invited me to come sleep on his couch in Taiwan! He had recently moved there, and invited me to visit.

I worked one more month, then took a train to Xiamen, a boat to Jinmen, and then a plane to Kaohsiung. I ended up studying Chinese so that I could stay in the country legally, and lived in Kaohsiung for 3 years, before moving to Taoyuan last year, to attend Kainan University, where I will likely stay for 2-3 more years.

214b2 karma

I love Taiwan!! Congratulations and thank you for documenting its wonders.

Questions:

  1. Can you legally work in Taiwan? How do you support yourself there?

  2. Are you going to get a college degree in Taiwan? Are your classes (apart from language-learning classes) in English or Chinese?

  3. How do you ensure that you're not on someones private property? Have you had any unpleasant encounters?

aleiss1 karma

Thanks. I love Taiwan too.

1) Yes. I have a work permit which I get trough having a student Alien Residency Card. I'm not working now though, I'm living on past savings and help from my family. My "job" is getting good grades in school, and waterfalls unfortunately have to come second. This summer I plan to earn a little money doing some marketing work, and plan to continue doing so next year, but if that doesn't work out, I will do some English-related work like teaching or editing.

2) I am studying for a BBA at Kainan University. It's in English. Last year I was studying Industrial Engineering and Management at Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, but the courses there were in Chinese (which means the textbook and exams are also in Chinese). My language skills were not good enough for that, so I transferred to Kainan. They have an international business program which is all in English.

3) For the most part, the mountains are pure wilderness. However, I still trespass sometimes No one seems to care. It's unclear what's private and what's not sometimes. If you own land on both sides of a river do you own the river too? I'm not sure.

However, very few waterfalls are on private property. The most I ever have to do is walk on the service road on someones farm.

There is an interesting case in Yilan where someone build a road and a restaurant by a waterfall. They charge an entrance fee to go and see it. From what I understand though, they only own the road to it, they don't actually own the stream or the waterfall, so if you hike up the river you're not trespassing. I didn't go there though, because a gated waterfall isn't interesting. I wouldn't have as much fun there.

roi_lorenz2 karma

is it possible to get a job teaching english in taiwan?

aleiss5 karma

Yes. That is what most Westerners do here. The salary is very good compared to the cost of living. I highly recommend Taiwan if you're looking for places to teach English. I don't have good information on jobs though. You can try tealit.com, or facebook groups about jobs. I recommend Kaohsiung or Pingtung though, if you like doing the kind of activities that are on my site. Waterfalls are everywhere, but the south is the most consistently hot and not rainy.

roi_lorenz1 karma

can i message you further? i am israeli living in usa and very interested in this path

aleiss1 karma

Sure, message me on facebook please, it's easier for me to respond there. https://www.facebook.com/followxiaofei

RubberDong1 karma

Hallo, I am interested in smashing my head.

However, I am new to this.

What type of rock is good for a beginner like me? Also I live in Europe if that helps.

aleiss1 karma

Sorry, my guide to "accidentally injuring oneself the right way" isn't finished yet. I already researched the entry about smashing one's head open though. Turns out European rocks just aren't hard enough. I think it has something to do with being made out of cheese. Would you like me to send you a rock from Taiwan?

casadeparadise1 karma

Do you work with Richard Saunders at all? We usually follow his books when we are looking for a new adventure around the island. My friend John and I will definitley trek to one of your waterfalls over the next few weeks. River tracing has been my favorite activity. Any specific river trace you recommend?

aleiss2 karma

I've heard a lot about Richard Saunders, but I've never had the opportunity to meet them. There are actually quite a lot of impressive adventurers in Taiwan. They've been in Taiwan a lot longer than I have, and really gotten to know the island well.

The only one I know is Kirk from http://taiwanswaterfalls.com/ , which is a great site and has a lot of waterfalls that are not on mine yet. He's good at finding and reviving waterfalls that were visited at one point, but have since been forgotten.

I'll be happy to recommend one. What region are you in and how much exercise do you want to do?

casadeparadise1 karma

I live in Danshui but have traveled as far as Kaoshung chasing exciting hikes. With friends all over the island, nothing is out of reach for a weekend trip. We all have camping gear and usually do 2 day 1 night trips. My favorite one was out past Yilan when we hiked the central mountain range down to the shore. Camped in a beach cave. Sketchier the better with our crew. Thanks!

aleiss2 karma

If you haven't done Shalawan (link to map) then I highly recommend you do that. It's a full 2 day experience and a great place to camp. There's great swimming, a good river trace up to a slot canyon, a 100+meter waterfall across the river, and a hike to an abandoned village if you want too. Keep in mind that it can get too high after heavy rain though.

Another great option is camping on tsengwen resevoir in Chiayi, and doing the waterfalls around there like green dragon and caoshan, both of which are way more fun and amazing than my photos let on. I will be going back there in 2 weeks, and will post the updates by July (hopefully, it will be finals week after that though), with 3-4 added waterfalls near there as well. That's my favorite stretch of river in Taiwan (so far). It's an endless amount of fun, and the weather is usually stable.

As always though, it's best not to plan river trips more than a week in advance because the weather and recent accumulated rain plays such an important role. I'd go where the sunshine is, and find something amazing to do there.

buttonforest1 karma

Have you explored and cave waterfalls? If so, did you see any unique species(I really love troglofauna)?

aleiss1 karma

I have not, and I don't even know of very many. The mountains here move around a lot though. I'll bet there are pockets that have been sealed off for thousands or millions of years, but have not been discovered yet. Typhoon season is coming, maybe you can rush to the scene of the next landslide :) See what was uncovered.

There are many caves along the sea which the water has carved out of the years. It's possible that they harbor tiny ecosystems, but I've never met any cave-biologist here, so unfortunately I haven't had a discussion on this topic yet.

tmpick1 karma

What number is Taiwan?

aleiss1 karma

Number for what?

aleiss2 karma

Haha. Totally missed my cue.

Jtsmg961 karma

Have you gotten used to how bad the drivers are yet?

aleiss2 karma

Oh yes. I've become one with the road and can usually recognize when someone is about to do something really reckless before they do it. There are a few aspects that I have not gotten used to though.

I still turn right on red, even though here it's not allowed (now I'm being a bad American driver!)

I still have awkward exchanges with jaywalking pedestrians. I slow down and motion for them to finishing crossing the road, but they usually just stand in the middle waiting for me to pass anyway.

I've never driven a car here though, only scooters (50-60,000km), but I do have a car licence.

Jtsmg961 karma

My wife's friend opens up restaurants in Tapei and she wants us to open some with her because she tells us here is a shortage of good restaurants. We went there and less than 100 yards of driving and me furiously stepping on the imaginary brake has led to the realization that no amount of money can bring me to risk my life on that asphalt gridiron. 24 hour news and it's 15%-20% politics and the rest are road fatalities that are just stoooopid people who can't turn their heads the necessary 15 degrees to check their mirrors. But beautiful waterfalls.

aleiss1 karma

Local Politics, Traffic accidents, Gossip, and Youtube videos. Almost none of it is what I'd call news, but somehow it's still way better what's on news channels in America.

accidental_tourist1 karma

Your top 3 waterfalls? The ones to visit if ever?

aleiss2 karma

If you want a unique waterfall experience, you can't go wrong with with Double Dragon - Scary Bridge , Longfeng Waterfall - fossils in the riverbed and Yuanyang Waterfall - double waterfall into a canyon

If you just want to take some beautiful photos to show your friends: Then Xiaowulai Waterfall, Shifen Waterfall, and Ali Waterfall

if you to swim and jump and play then, Ocean God's Pools, Green Dragon Waterfall, and Lover's Gorge Waterfall

accidental_tourist2 karma

Thanks for the reply. i've never been to Taiwan so hopefully the ones you linked aren't too hard to reach!

aleiss1 karma

You're welcome. Some are, some aren't. Just check the maps to find out.

satchelpack1 karma

I'm learning to be a web developer, and I was wondering what are you using to make your website? Thanks.

aleiss1 karma

Hi. I hired my friend (In Nepal) to do the programming for me. I just make the content, and choose the features.

ExtraShard1 karma

What motivates you to explore and map all these waterfalls?

aleiss1 karma

Hi. The motivation to explore comes from fun, fresh air, exercise, and the thrill of discovery.

Once I got to around 70 waterfalls or so, it started to become difficult to keep them all straight in my head. A general map became a good way for me to separate what I'd visited and hadn't, and also see where things were in relationship to each other, so that I could explore more efficiently.

When I was thinking about how to make the guide, the custom maps for each waterfall came naturally. When out looking for named waterfalls, I'd look for information online. Lots of people were visiting waterfalls and posting directions, but most of them didn't include the only that that really mattered... GPS coordinates.

While frustratedly trying to figure out photo-directions, it came to me that the best way to do it would be to how a map with your location on it, so the custom google waterfall map was born. One added bonus is that it's easy for me to update it.

Unfortunately, many website users are not using the maps to their full potential yet. Hopefully soon I can get a downloadable link for them, so that they can be saved on photos, and people don't have to worry about staying connected when they go out into the wilderness.

I added facebook comments to the site in part to answer questions, but mostly to get people to post pictures of their waterfall trip. That way I could stay up to date with the water levels (which can change quite dramatically from week to week) and other events like landslides or road closures. Now, when trying to decide where to go that day, I (and people like me), will have more information to base our decisions off of. My own guide has already proved useful to me for many trips. I'm excited to see how it plays out this the summer.

webarama1 karma

Have you ever heard of this guy? He has documented over 300 near Melbourne, Australia.

aleiss2 karma

I have not, but I think we'd make great friends. Page favorited in case I'm ever in Melbourne again. Thanks.

webarama1 karma

No worries. I sold a house for him, and he had some amazing photos on the walls. He has published three books with his waterfall photography.

aleiss6 karma

It's an interesting idea. I have some friends asking me to put together a book. That's a project for another day though. Right now I'm having too much fun exploring.

DEEP_HURTING1 karma

You say you use satellite images to find waterfalls - are we experiencing a renaissance of waterfall discovery from that new tech? I live near Ki-a-Kuts Falls in Oregon which was only discovered by some hikers in 1993, this makes we wonder if there are a lot more falls in the Coast Range waiting to be discovered by the intrepid.

Are all your finds really substantial waterfalls, too? This makes me think of the distinction between trees and shrubs - tree > 13 ft. Some falls seem more like trickles.

I also thought waterfalls were transient phenomena, so perhaps some of these will be gone soon.

aleiss1 karma

Here are some examples of what I'm looking at when I'm using google earth. /u/wpnw I think you might like this too.

http://imgur.com/a/32S0o

wpnw1 karma

I've probably lost years of my life pouring over Google Earth looking for this sort of thing. :)

aleiss1 karma

lol, all of Taiwan is like that. Steep mountains in a tropical climate. You can even find them with google street view. Just plop down on a mountain road and start clicking around. I use that the verify places sometimes, or look for entry points/trails.

By the way. If you are using google maps for your database, you can download KML files and then import them as a new layer. It's not automated, but at least it's not entering points manually.

aleiss1 karma

They may well be gone soon. Especially in Taiphoon and landslide prone Taiwan. I always check the location of the waterfall from the most recent photos, to see if there was a landslide. Even if I can't see the falls in the newest photo (due to the mountains shadow) I will be able to see a major landslide. There was a major Taiphoon here in 2009, and an earthquake in 1999 that destroyed many, many waterfalls. Pre-2009 images from south Taiwan aren't very helpful for this reason.

It's hard to tell the height of waterfalls in the images (looking straight down at a standing pencil tells you nothing of it's length) but I think I do pretty well anyway. There are too many 13-foot waterfalls to count, so I will only mark those if there is a pool in front of them (I like waterfalls with pools). I think most of the waterfalls on my unvisited map are 30-50 feet, although some may be as tall as 600 feet. I can show you some examples later if you'd like to know more.

import_ursus1 karma

Is there any way to get satellite topography maps? I'm impressed with your effort in searching through visual-spectrum photography. What service do you use for up to date photos?

aleiss2 karma

Google Earth Pro - View Historical Imagery. In some cases, the images are only a week old!. This winter was a goldmine, since it was very rainy, and good clear sat images were taken of the south in February. I had a field day sorting through it.

Some places you don't even need the images. It's clear that the water starts at 1000m above sea level, and ends up at 200m, less than 1-2 kilometers later. Hiking up that river is a sure way to find a waterfall, even if you don't have any hard evidence.

Those hikes are the best since you really have no idea what you might find.

There are some limits to the sat images. If the river is too narrow, you can't see what's happening due to foliage. There are still huge beautiful waterfalls there though, it's just hidden. Another weakness is slot canyons. Unless the sun is at it's zenith, the mountain hides it in shadow.

It's sometimes possible to identify waterfalls based on shadows though, if it cuts the river cross-ways, then the cliff is in the river itself.

jnemomic1 karma

Would you mind expanding your guide to include places to stay and eat?

aleiss1 karma

I will expand it to include places to stay. But to me that means wild camping. Basically, I will eventually add places on the map where you can pitch a tent (flat ground, water source nearby), but they will not be organized campgrounds or hotels.

For individual waterfall and hot-springs maps I already do this. Look for the green tent icon on the page and map.

tegu53091 karma

If you could get the powers of one superhero, what superhero's powers would you want?

aleiss4 karma

At first I thought Superman, because he doesn't bust his head open when he dives into submerged rocks, but then I realized Superman can't dive at all. Superman would have to invert himself in the air and then fly downwards into the water. That doesn't sound fun at all.

I choose Beast, from X-Men. His superpowers would be the most fun for me. I could get into a riverbed and then really go wild. Bound up the river at breakneck speeds, without any of the actual neck breaking. Additionally, if his mutation is what's increasing his intellect, that added smartness could really improve my blog.

tegu53092 karma

A much more concise response than I expected.

aleiss4 karma

It's 2am here, so I am going to bed, but if I have time, I will try to expand upon it during my afternoon class. The underlying concept here though is superhuman agility and sure footing. I don't know much about superheroes, but if there is a guy called Super Goatmandude, I'd like have Supergoat-like reflexes like he does.

DrStupiid1 karma

How does this comment not create responses? Supergoat like? That's wild. I always thought I was weird for wishing that my superpower was stacking things, but this takes it to a whole new level.

aleiss1 karma

I think it all makes sense. You probably send some portion of your day doing tedious stacking, or get bothered when things are not stacked properly.

If you're like me, then you don't actually have an arch-nemesis. I don't need superpowers to fight crime, I need superpowers to marginally improve my daily life. Make frustrating tasks easier.

There are many places deep in the mountains that I can't get to safely, or I won't be able to get there quickly enough to be back at school on Monday. Super Goat-like powers would really help me out there. It would take river tracing to the next level, as opposed to nullifying it like flight would.

I've even considered getting a pet goat, because my friends who hike with dogs have to carry them over some places. I feel like a goat would fare better on slippery rocks. (I'm not about to do it, because I live in an urban townhouse, but if any goat experts would like to chip in here, I'd be grateful for more information about hiking or river tracing with goats.)

Absent of Super Goat-Powers, Beast comes pretty close. Superhuman strength, speed, and agility. That's sounds very useful. It would take my diving to a whole new level. On top of that, he heals fast and doesn't have to worry about having Halloween costumes. He can put out his claws, put on a little mask, and go as Wolverine.

TruckasaurusLex1 karma

What are you studying in Taiwan, did you choose Taiwan because of the waterfalls, and are you planning on staying there when you're done your studies?

Also, I'm hopefully going to be moving to Taiwan in a couple months. I'm sure I'll meet people through work, but currently I don't know anyone there, so if you're interested, I'd love to meet up with you and maybe check out a waterfall or two. It's a beautiful country that I can't wait to start exploring.

aleiss1 karma

Somewhere in this thread I wrote a more detailed question about qhy I came to Taiwan. The gist of it was dumb luck.

I didn't choose Taiwan because pf waterfalls, but it might be a reason to stay here. After gruaduating I will look to do a master's program.

Welcome to Taiwan. Send me a message when you arrive, we might be neighbors.

The_WA_Remembers0 karma

Did u dye?

aleiss1 karma

I dyed when I was 21. But have not dyed since. https://goo.gl/photos/3pNb2aSciV9hChJr6

hatmonkey3d0 karma

How do you make money out of this? Or is it just a hobby?

aleiss1 karma

It's just a hobby. There are no ads or plans for ads on my website.

Judgement5250 karma

Do you ever find any cool stuff? I've heard that waterfalls can have things like gold collect at the bottom.

aleiss1 karma

I've never found or looked for gold, but my friend did find a nugget in hot spring in Toroko. Some girls (who were prospectors) found it but were unable to dislodge it. My friend worked on it for a long time and eventually got it out. It sold for around 350$

scr0dumb0 karma

Do you think you had it coming?

aleiss2 karma

Yes. I fully expected to hurt myself, but I thought I'd bang my ass on a rock, not my head.

ForDepth0 karma

Any spots near Tainan? Didn't see it listed in the categories.

aleiss1 karma

Yes, there are. I've visted 2 waterfalls in Tainan and plan to visit another (really great one!) this summer. I have not added them to the map yet, but I will soon. The waterfalls that I have listed in Chiayi though are very fun, and not that far from Tainan.

jam13240 karma

Your heads busted open but how is the river rock? Is he doing ok?

aleiss3 karma

He will be missed http://imgur.com/X7FvCpb

mo0k0 karma

Any snake encounters? I'm always scared to go swimming in random lakes now after encountering a few.

aleiss1 karma

I've only seen 4 wild snakes in Taiwan ever, only 1 on the trail, and only 1 in the water. I'm sure they're out there though.

divermick0 karma

What kind of rock are they in? Limestone? Granite? Any caves you've found?

aleiss1 karma

Some small caves, but generally not. I don't know much about rocks sorry.

iDropIn0 karma

How many fingers am I holding up?

Also, any waterfalls by good surf in Taiwan?

aleiss1 karma

Yes. Waterfalls are everywhere in Taiwan, so anywhere you want to sure, there are some waterfalls near there.

pi_over_3-1 karma

Can you explain what you mean by "discover?"

Are they literally uncharted?

aleiss1 karma

Yes. As far as I know. Hundreds are charted, and even have trails and blogs about them. Thousands more are completely unvisited though, yes can be seen from satellite images if the conditions are right.

always_down_voted-1 karma

[deleted]

aleiss2 karma

I answered this question in more detail above, but I don't have a checklist of factors.

AngrySociety-1 karma

Are you a good Oprah singer now?

aleiss1 karma

Sorry, I don't get the reference.