Despite the fact that we had to cross out some of our other destinations in our itinerary during that day given that it’s still hours away before we reach our next stop; along with the desert-like heat in the afternoon, I can still say with the memories of weeks ago that “Yehliu Geopark really rocks!” I can attest to that. Not just figuratively, but literally that it’s indeed… full of rocks. Thus, the title of this post. I want to acknowledge though that this cool and witty title wasn’t originally mine though.
Back in the day when we’re planning the itinerary for our Taiwan trip, I’m just thinking of exploring the essential places to visit in Taipei given that some blogs that I read are saying that in the month of September, it’s still raining. Well, it’s partially true actually. It’s just that we’re quite “blessed” that it only started raining in Taiwan when we’re already leaving the place (haha!). But after reading a few blogs and checking the weather many times (it says that there’s no rain… yay!), we ended up including a few places outside of Taipei and alloted a whole day to visit them.
Yehliu Geopark is one of those places.
WHY VISIT YEHLIU?
Yehliu Geopark (or Yeliu / Yeliou) is one of the most-visited parks in Taiwan. It is a conservation center located at northernmost of Taiwan in Wanli District in New Taipei City and is home to geological formations (in lay-man’s term… rocks) of various and unique shapes. I’m no geologist, but as someone who studied a few geology back in my graduate school (I’m taking up Geotechnical Engineering.. LOL!) and as someone worked with some Geology graduates years ago, lemme tell you that these rocks were formed naturally. It may be through erosion due to time or weathering (continuous influence of air and water).
GOING TO YEHLIU GEOPARK
Some travel agencies in Taiwan offer transport services going to Yehliu Geopark. But as for my wife and I, who did it DIY, we rode bus no. 1815 going to Yehliu from Taipei Main Station and paid around NTD 96.00 each person given that our Taipei pass can’t cover some inter-city transportation. It was a 2-hour ride from Taipei going to Yehliu Bus Stop.
A walk from Yehliu bus stop to the park entrance would take up to 30 minutes. Well, it’s no issue for us since we’re kinda used to walking that long.
I also heard that the wharf nearby is one of places where the hit Asianovela “Meteor Garden” was shot. I just honestly don’t have an idea which scene and where’s the actual place. So, if you’re a fan, I’m letting your curiosity bring you here and thus, we kept going (LOL!).
Few more steps from the wharf and we arrived at the park entrance.
The park is open everyday from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM and we paid around NTD 80.00 (around PHP 136.00) for the entrance fee.
For more accurate information about the park, visit the official website of Yehliu Geopark by clicking here. A visitor’s center is also available nearby.
WHAT TO SEE?
There’s at least 30 different rock formations inside Yehliu Geopark. Honestly, we’re not able to visit everyone of them; and some we’re not able to take pictures of. Tourists are flocking the park even on noontime so it’s honestly a little frustrating to take photobomb-free pictures. On some rocks, one set of tourists are coming after the other so it can’t be helped. “If only I’m skilled enough to photoshop them away.” I thought. It also became a huge bummer that my DSLR camera’s battery went down during our second day, left my charger back home, and I have to rely on my phone to take pictures on the rest of our trip (LOL!).
Some of my photos are frustratingly blurry. But anyway, here’s some of those rock formations that can be found within the park:
1. Candle Rock
2. Mushroom Rock
3. Queen’s Head II
This is a replica of the real Queen’s head rock which is also located somewhere within the park. The iconic Queen’s head is a mushroom rock that resembles the head of a queen (you don’t say? haha!) became the symbol of Yehliu Geopark. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have a selfie with the real thing as it’s hard to find the right timing given that groups of fellow tourists are taking selfies one after the other.
Still, it would be necessary to have a selfie with the Queen’s head when visiting Yehliu given that in few years time, the head may be completely detached from the body due to long-term effects of weathering.
4. Cute Princess II
5. Cute Princess
6. Ginger Rock
7. Statue of Mr. Lin Tien-Chen
Mr. Lin Tien-Chen is a fisherman who tried to save the life of a drowning student who visited Yehliu back in 1964. Unfortunately, they both lost their lives but his deeds were always remembered.
8. Speed Trial Station
Speed Trial Station is a device used to measure speed of a ship through radio waves before the rise of GPS.
9. Sea-eroded Pot Hole
Potholes are cavities or depression on rocks produced by erosion or weathering. Due to erosion or weathering, the holes were expected to grow larger in few years time.
10. Lion’s Head Rock
11. Queen’s Head, Pineapple Bun, Gorilla Rock, Arch Rock, and Dragon’s Head Rock
Go figure where they are (LOL!).
Well, I just discovered recently that we only explored 2/3 of the whole park. Another huge bummer right? We’re trying to figure out if there are other parts of the park needed to explore. Until we saw the sign about the bird watching area. But along with it, there’s a sign that the road is closed. The open door seemed to be inviting us to come. Yet, we didn’t gave in especially we’re in an unfamiliar place. Although it would pay much to break a few rules eh?
On another note, it’s another reason for us to pay Taiwan another visit someday.
Oh! We also saw a Recreation Area located within the middle third of the park. If you want some food, refreshments or just a shade; then this is the place.
We ordered a mango smoothie for NTD 100.00 each to reward ourselves after walking that long. Not bad after all. Although my “kuripot (miserly in English)” self tells me it’s expensive (LOL!).
Off to our next destination, wifey and I just took a picture at a nearby cliff then decided to head for the exit gate. Of course, along the way, we kept on taking more photos (LOL!)
Unexpectedly, we discovered a mini-market near the entrance to the park.
Stalls sells various items from souvenirs, delicacies, to foods. So, if you’re hungry or need something to take home to, then you can look around. My wife and I decided to look around to buy some ref magnets and pineapple cakes to takeaway then off we go to our next adventure during our Taiwan trip.
WAIT! THERE’S MORE
Now, I’m hoping I was able to convince you to add Yehliu Geopark in your itinerary. So let me tell you a few things based on our experience:
- Go as early as 7:30. I feel that there’s a need for me to tell you “to sleep early to wake up early.” Yehliu Geopark is much more remote compared to other places in New Taipei that you can visit. My wife and I learned a lesson of crossing out some of our itineraries due to time constraints. We arrived late, so we left late.
- Check the weather. Rocks are slippery during rain. So I don’t want you to end up going home on a wheelchair by not telling you this. Besides, weather is another thing to consider every time you’re planning a trip.
- Stay within the red line. For every one’s safety, red lines are drawn to inform us of until where can we set foot. The Marshalls by the way, are strict when it comes to the matter. So despite of me saying that “it pays to break a few rules,” I can also say that “it pays to strictly follow the rules.”
- Handle the rocks with care. I’m no geologist but I know that even our touch gives a long-term effects on the rocks. Know that the Marshalls are also strict regarding the matter.
- Be a responsible traveler. I honestly got disappointed when I saw tons of garbage swimming around the water. I don’t want to play the self-righteous card since I used to be carelessly throwing my rubbish any where. But a small change can go a long way. There’s a lot of garbage bins around the park. Throw it on those. Can’t find one? Keep it for a while. I also want to send a message to my fellow travelers so I’m going to set aside my OCD in aesthetics for this.
Thank you for reading and enjoy the journey. Remember one of the rules you need to remember whenever you travel: “Leave nothing but footprints.” I would appreciate if you’ll share this post and leave some love at the comment section. You may tell me how many rock formations you’re able to visit. Cheers and have a nice day!
– Dex B.