Near Taipei, you’ll have the chance to explore one of Taiwan’s most unusual landscapes. Yehliu Geopark, located in Taiwan’s Guanyinshuan National Scenic Area, is known as being the country’s most dramatic geological areas. While in front of the park you’ll find Yeliu Ocean World — where you can take in an entertaining dolphin show — inside you’ll be able to hike through unworldly terrain.
After exploring the area for myself, I can say this is one of the top must-experience things to do in Taiwan for anyone interested in photography, nature or just seeing the unusual. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a surreal Salvador Dali painting meets the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss. Unusual rock formations have been carved by wind and waves, and you’ll see mushroom rocks, sea-eroded troughs, candlestick rocks, honeycombed configurations and bean curd rocks with curvy pathways for exploring. Look for the Queen’s Head, a protrusion of sediment that looks just like the head of an Egyptian queen, and the Fairy Slipper, a smooth bump of earth that mimics that shape of a sandal.
Although bizarre, the scenery is beautiful and also has a romantic ambiance with a walkway surrounded by water in both sides and views of nearby mountains and motus. In the beginning of the trail there are also tranquil park areas with wooden benches and local flora displays. I especially loved all the anime-esque painted statues littering the grounds. The space has a very jungle-meets-park feel, with song birds and gardens as well as tropical plants.
Spend some time in the Visitor Center, where there is a cafe, gift shop, information area, English video and a nature center with educational displays. An adult entry ticket to the geopark is 50 NTD (about $1.70 USD). Yehliu Geopark is open daily 7:30am to 5pm, and until 6pm May through September. On holidays it’s open until 6:30pm.
Bonus: Nearby there are various local markets where you can enjoy free samples of local foods like dried fruits and seafood.
Note: As you can probably tell by the photos it rained the day I visited Yehliu Geopark. That being said, it’s a beautiful place rain or shine.