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As a copywriter, I often end up writing about places I’ve visited or am about to visit. When I got an assignment researching and writing about Taiwan, I was excited because it was only a few weeks until my upcoming trip. It ended up doubling up as my pre-trip research and I got hooked on the idea of visiting Yehliu Geopark from Taipei.
This weird and wonderful place looked totally different to anywhere I’d seen before. It doesn’t even resemble the Taiwanese countryside surrounding it. Yehliu Geopark juts off the northeast coast of Taiwan on a small peninsula and only takes an hour to reach from the capital.
Whether you visit Yehliu Geopark from Taipei by bus or group tour, this guide will help you plan the perfect trip.
The craggy orange rocks of Yehliu Geopark look like something from a different planet. Towering rock formations have been battered into bizarre shapes by the elements, many of them resembling people’s profiles or random items. These add a quirky human interest to this site of historical and natural significance.
A visit to Yehliu Geopark doesn’t need to take a full day so I’d definitely recommend factoring it into your plans while in Taipei.
Note – don’t expect an unexplored wonderland when visiting Yehliu Geopark from Taipei. It’s a wonderland for sure but it’s also very popular with tourists, both international and domestic.
Getting to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei
There are a few ways to visit Yehliu Geopark from Taipei. The option I took was a return half-day tour with Trip Guru. I’d recommend this for the convenience especially if you’re short of time. We departed at 8.30am and arrived back just after midday, having seen Yehliu Geopark and Zhongzheng Park.
You can also get to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei by bus. From Taipei City Hall Station, board the 1815 bus. This will take an hour and 15 minutes and arrive a 10-minute walk from the Geopark, costing 83 TWD each way.
History of Yehliu Geopark
So, how did this crazy place come about?
It dates back to the early days of Taiwan when the island was pushed out of the ocean by powerful volcanos. The volcanic rock left behind was adaptable and easily shaped by the crashing ocean. The bizarre shapes have come about due to weathering.
The waves constantly shape them and have done for thousands of years. As soon as one structure breaks down and disappears, a new one will take its place.
Some of the rocks have the texture of honeycomb, like this section below. The whole park really is a wonderland and I could have spent all day admiring the formations. There were lots I wanted to touch but this is prohibited so please don’t!
Things to do at Yehliu Geopark
Once you enter Yehliu Geopark, you can wander the rock formations at your will, stopping to take photos or following the coastal track around the craggy head of the island. But there are a few specific sights you should keep an eye out for when visiting Yehliu Geopark from Taipei. These include:
The Queen’s Head
Can you see a royal resemblance in this unusual natural statue? People once said it was the spitting image of Queen Elizabeth I, however she’s been slowly weathering for the last few decades. Her neck is getting thinner with each year and it’s expected that it will break sometime soon.
Rather than decreasing the statue’s popularity, it’s actually increased it – tourists from all around the world want to get a snap before she vanishes for good!
Cute Princess Rock
This predecessor to the Queen’s Head is smaller and still forming. You can go right up to it, unlike the Queen’s Head which is protected with a boardwalk around it.
This one is pretty self-explanatory: the formation looks just like a shoe! Though I personally think it should be called giant’s shoe rather than fairy’s shoe because it’s massive and surely fairies are really small?
There’s no secret spot to find these, just keep your eyes on the ground. While lots of people were looking up at the rock formations, I spent time looking down and photographing the fossils which were truly amazing. So detailed!
A day trip to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei
If you’re driving or taking a day tour to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei, there are a few stops to break up the journey. Why not make a day of it and add on:
I really enjoyed stopping at this Buddhist-Taoist temple site which brightened up the otherwise rainy day. Here you’ll find a 25-metre Goddess of Mercy statue flanked by grizzly gold companions. There’s also a giant bell which you should ring 3 times for luck. I did this so I’m hoping for a win on the Taiwanese claw machines soon!
The sprawling city of Keelung has a population of 400,000 and is known for its colourful harbour and enormous food market. This is called Miaokou Night Market and gets going after 5pm. Just the thing after a busy day of sightseeing!
If visiting Yehliu Geopark from Taipei by bus, you might not have time for the extra stops.
Booking a tour to Yehliu Geopark
If you like the sound of the day tour I took, book with Trip Guru using this link. You’ll depart at 8.30am and come back around 12.30pm, travelling in a minivan with a tour guide who can share facts about the area with you.
Thanks for reading my Yehlui Geopark guide!
Check out my other Taiwan posts:
- The ultimate 2 week Taiwan itinerary
- 17 Taiwan tips for travellers
- How expensive is Taiwan? Complete budget guide
- A complete Taipei itinerary
- The 20 best foods to try in Taiwan
- Things to do in Jiufen and Shifen
- Hiking Taroko National Park from Hualien
- Visiting the Rainbow Village Taichung + the story behind it
- Things to do in Kaohsiung
- 10 facts about Taiwan to know before visiting
See you next time for more adventures,
Note: While I travelled as a guest of Trip Guru, all opinions are my own.
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