The Laonong River (中文版: 荖濃溪) is a major river in Kaohsiung City, and the largest tributary to the Gaoping River. It's water source is at the top of Jade Mountain, the tallest mountain in Taiwan. In the winter this river can almost dry up completely, and it briefly swells to flood conditions during the typhoon season. However, for most of the fall , winter, and spring the water levels are moderate, and suitable for kayaking and rafting. This is also one of the few rivers in Taiwan that have commercial rafting services, which usually operate between Taoyuan Village and Baolai Village.
The river is raftable all the way from Meishan though, with the easiest section (Class II rapids) in the 8km stretch between Meishan and Fuxing Village.
The middle section, between Fuxing and Taoyuan Villages, which is about 9km, has much larger rapids and obstacles, due to ongoing landslides from Typhoon Marakot in 2008. This section has some Class III rapids and large Class II rapids, and is not recommended for beginners. This section will also pass by the entrance to Xiaonian River, very close to Yuanyang Waterfall.
The third section, 12km between Taoyuan and Baolai Villages is more moderate, although care and caution is still advised in this section.
On the map below you can see all the difference access points for the river, from Baolai to Meishan. The total rafting distance is about 30km.
Kaosiung City, Taoyuan District
GPS: 23.27266, 120.82305