Yehliu Geopark, home to the iconic Queen’s Head rock formation, looks more like a landscape from Mars than the northern coast of Taiwan. With its otherworldly natural structures, all of which have alluring names such as the Fairy Shoe and Sea Candles, the park makes for an enriching day trip from Taipei.
Yehliu Geopark is most commonly visited as part of a tour of Taiwan’s northern coast from Taipei. The tours, which allow travelers to avoid the stress of arranging transfers and admission tickets, usually make stops at the lantern village of Jiufen, a mining town that inspired the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away, and Shifen Waterfall, one of the highest falls in Taiwan. If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, take a private tour of the park to benefit from the insider knowledge of a geologist guide.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear sturdy walking shoes—some of the park’s terrain is uneven.
- This is a must-see for lovers of nature and outdoors enthusiasts.
- Head to the Queen’s Head formation, located at the far end of the park, first; that way, you’ll avoid the crowds at the most touristy area.
How to Get There
To reach the visitor center at the entrance of the park, take the Kua-Kuang Co. bus at the West Station A in Taipei, which departs every 20 minutes; the journey takes around two hours.
When to Get There
The natural beauty of the park attracts large crowds, particularly around lunchtime, when most organized tours stop there. Try to arrive either first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon, when most visitors have already left.
The Best Rock Formations in Yehliu Geopark
If you’re visiting the geopark alone, ensure you don’t miss out on remarkable rock formations such as the Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Ice Cream Rock, Princess Head, and Elephant Rock. Fans of Salvador Dali are sure to draw comparisons with the rocks and some of the artist’s surreal desert scenes.