For a great day out of the city and to avoid the tourist crowd going to the Shifen waterfall, I recommend jumping off the Old Pinxi railway line in Sandiaoling. Take a local train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang, depart and buy a ticket for the Pingxi line. You can get on and off as many times you want for nt$59.
We were the only passengers to disembark the very crowded weekend train in Sandiaoling and were welcomed by lush surrounding scenery. There is a well laid out map and easy walk along the rail line along the river.
The meal was simple and perfect. First course: wild bamboo shoots in a light sauce. Second course: 鮮豬肉, home cured and slow roasted pork. This was excellent! We dipped it in a sweet garlic sauce and added cilantro as the garnish. Yum! With full bellies we were ready for our dense jungle hike to the first gorgeous, albeit far away waterfall.