Ailiao North River（中文版： 隘寮北溪） is the main river which flows through Pingtung, Wutai Township. It's a major tributary for the Gaoping River. There are many waterfalls along its banks, such as Flying Dragon and Shen Shan Waterfalls, and further upstream is Hayouxi Hot Spring and Wutou Canyon. There is mobile signal for almost the entire riverbed.
The river can be kayaked in two main sections. From Dawu to Guchuan, which is a more difficult route, and also from Guchuan to Sandimen, which is more suitable for beginners.
Upper Section: Dawu Village to Guchuan Bridge
This section is 8.5km, but there is also vehicle access half way through, on road to Shenshan Waterfall. The here are larger than in the lower second, and there are many tight turns and small class iii rapids. It’s also a very beautiful second, with steep valley walls on both sides. Near the end of the journey, at the inlet for the Yila Waterfall tributary, there is a low man made bridge. It’s not possible to pass this section on boat, and floaters must disembark and carry their craft around the makeshift bridge.
Lower Section: Guchuan Bridge to Sandimen
This section is 12.5km, although there is also road access just after Zhelai Suspension Bridge, at 7.5km. For most of the journey, it feels very remote and man made buildings are not visible from the riverbed. This section is more suitable for beginners than the upper section. The riverbed here is smoother, with wider turns and smaller rocks. It makes it more easy to navigate, with less obstacles and smaller waves, although there is one rocky section after the confluence of Ailiao South Fork, which can be walked around if needed.
Although it is possible to continue another 2km, all the way to Shuimen, there is an industrial water intake point which needs to be avoided. Afterwards the river may not have enough water to carry your craft all the way to the Shuimen Bridge. You can check the water levels by the bridge on your way in to see the conditions.
Ailiao North River has water all year round. In the winter, it may also be possible to catch a ride up to the confluence of Hayou River, and then float back down to Dawu.
For general information about boating and safety, please read this article.