07 Dec North Coast Trip: Yehliu Geopark & Keelung P.1
Taiwan houses some of the most fascinating natural landscapes I have ever seen, and the Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) definitely takes the crown as one of my favorite destinations to visit in Northern Taiwan. It’s only about an hour bus ride from Taipei, and yet you will feel like you are on a whole different planet! The Yehliu Geopark stretches approximately 1,700 meters into the ocean and it is famed for its incredibly unusual rock formations from years of coastal erosion. It’s truly a photographer’s paradise!
I would recommend heading to the Yehliu Geopark early in the morning and really take your time exploring this vast landscape. It’s also a good idea to pack some snacks and drinks with you for the day. As the park closes off around 5 PM, you can then head to the Keelung city (基隆) nearby and spend the rest of your night exploring the vibes of this port city located in Northeastern Taiwan.
How to get to the Yehliu Geopark?
Take the MRT to Taipei Main Station and transfer to bus #1815 at the Taipei Bus Station (located at the Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A building), which heads to the Jinshan Youth Activity Center. The bus ride will take approximately an hour and it costs 96 NTD to travel to the Yehliu bus stop. For the complete #1815 bus route, click here.
The Yehliu bus stop is located right beside the New Taipei City Government Police Department. Upon arrival, you will need to walk for approximately 10 minutes along the Yehliu Fishing Harbour to get to the main entrance of the Yehliu Geopark.
Here’s the exact route I walked to get to the main entrance of the Yehliu Geopark.
The view at the Yehliu Fishing Harbour is also a delightful one. It’s an added bonus for your trip.
What to see at the Yehliu Geopark?
Okay, the park is HUGE, so where should you start? I started with mapping out all the major scenic spots throughout the park. I found it extremely helpful to save these locations in my Google maps app so I knew the approximate route to take (screenshot below). Some of the names are only searchable by Chinese on Google Maps. If you would like to map it out like I did, you can simply copy and paste these Chinese characters into your Google Maps – 燭台石, 仙女鞋, 海蝕平臺, 豆腐岩, 野柳燈塔.
1. Candle Shaped Rocks (燭台石)
In the first area of the Yehliu Park, you will come across the famous Candle Shaped Rocks. The “wicks” of these rocks are more durable against erosions than the surrounding sandstones, resulting in these fascinating candlestick-like rocks over time.
2. Ocean Erosion Potholes (海蝕壶穴) and Melting Erosion Panel (溶蝕盤)
In the surrounding areas, you will also be able to spot some Ocean Erosion Potholes and Melting Erosion Panel. They appear as shallow holes filled with seawater on top of a flat basin.
3. Mushroom rocks (蕈狀岩) & Ginger Rocks (姜石)
As you enter the second part of the Yehliu Geopark, you will witness large patches of these fascinating Mushroom Rocks and Ginger rocks. The top layers of these rocks are more durable against erosion than the lower rock layers, hence forming these distinct shapes over time.
4. Queen’s Head Rock (女王頭)
The star of the show would be this Queen’s Head rock. It’s a famous mushroom rock named after its resemblance to a crowned queen’s head. As you can see from the picture below, the “neck” of the Queen’s Head is getting thinner by the day. This phenomenal rock may collapse for good in the near future as the erosion worsens.
5. Honeycomb Rocks (蜂窩岩)
You will also come across large patches of Honeycomb Rocks, located right by the mushroom rocks. This is a phenomenon caused by weathering (exposure to air).
6. Sea Grooves (海蝕溝)
You will now enter an area with a lot of Sea Groove formations. They are made up of two perpendicular platforms with a groove in between, often requiring a bridge to pass through.
The grooves can be as narrow these ones, where you can simply hop over to the other side.
The grooves can also be as far apart as these ones, where you would have to cross a bridge in order to get to the other side.
8. Bean Curd Rocks (豆腐岩) & Yehliu Lighthouse (野柳燈塔)
As you walk further ahead, you will notice the elevation starts to rise. You are going to start a short hike here to reach our final destination, the Yehliu Lighthouse. On the way to the Yehliu Lighthouse, look out for the Bean Curd Rocks in the water below. They are rocks eroded in the forms of squares/rectangles, resembling bean curd cubes.
After a 10-15 minutes leisure hike, you will reach the Yehliu Lighthouse (野柳燈塔) which overlooks the park. You can rest up here for a bit here and soak up all the beauty.
The crowd starts to die down as the sun is about to set. The park begins to show its exquisite serenity.
You must be hungry by now, and it’s time to head to Keelung and spend the night exploring the city!
Read Part 2 here: North Coast Day Trip: Yehliu Geopark & Keelung Part 2