Yehliu Geopark: the cape where the rocks took shape

Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan

Yehliu Geopark in North Taiwan

New Taipei City, Taiwan – The Yehliu Geopark in the Wanli District of New Taipei City is one of Taiwan’s main natural attractions. Yehliu is a cape that stretches about 1.7 kilometers into the sea.

Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan
Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan

Sitting on a cape means the Yehliu Geopark is subject to erosion and weathering. Such natural processes and harsh conditions created the unique rock formations that attracted tourists from around the world to this little part of north Taiwan.

Nature-carved rock formations in the shape of real objects

The famous Yehliu Geopark houses a number of unique geological formations in the shape of real objects. These rocks are bestowed names loyal to their form.

These Mushroom Rocks are huge and surreal
These Mushroom Rocks are huge and surreal

Of the park’s three areas, the first is nearest to the entrance. Located here are the famous Mushroom Rock and Ginger Rock, called as such because of their similarities to the said food items.

The graceful Queen's Head by Jennifer from Flickr
The graceful Queen’s Head by Jennifer from Flickr

Yehliu Geopark’s most popular attraction, the Queen’s Head, lives in the second area nearer the coast. Shaped like a woman, it has stood for decades as one of Taiwan’s most beloved natural wonders, which got its name from its supposed similarity to England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

The lonely Fairy's shoe from Worlds to Trek
The lonely Fairy’s shoe from Worlds to Trek
The observation deck overlooking the cape and the sea
The observation deck overlooking the cape and the sea

However, according to Taiwan News in an article published in 2017, her neck may soon become too thin to support the head. In ten years, the gradual effects of erosion and weathering may break it. Efforts to save the rock have been in place to preserve its graceful form.

Other rock formations include Fairy’s Shoe, Elephant Rock, Mazu Cave, and See Groove.

The legacy of Lin Tianzhen

The heroic deeds of Lin Tianzhen will never be forgotten (photo from Randy Ang, IPTC Photo Metadata)
The heroic deeds of Lin Tianzhen will never be forgotten (photo from Randy Ang, IPTC Photo Metadata)
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In Yehliu Geopark, a statue of Lin Tianzhen was built in honor of his courage and bravery. In March 1967, he tried to save a student from drowning in the sea. Unfortunately, both perished. Mr. Lin was a fisherman.

The picturesque and windy cape

The third area is mainly on the Yehliu cape itself. Its land is squeezed by steep cliffs on one side, and the other with torrential waves. Nature carved the rocks here under harsher conditions, thus a sharper attribute underlines the formations here, such as the Marine Bird Rock and 24-Filial-Piety Hill.

The observation deck overlooking the rock formations
The observation deck overlooking the rock formations

Suitable for geological study and field research, the third area also houses major ecology reserve in addition to the rock formations.

Nearby destinations

Visitors can check out Yehliu Ocean World where marine life exhibits are shown. Attractions include acrobatic dolphin, seal, and whale shows, and under the sea diving through the hundred-meter long transparent tunnel. Yehliu is both an educational and scenic destination.

A trip to Yehliu Geopark is also most often a joint trip to Jiufen Village and Shifen Old Street. Sometimes, a trip to the nearby Keelung City is also included. A number of trip providers offer these destination tours that run for at least four hours.

Basking in the light of nature's attention in Yehliu Geopark
Basking in the light of nature’s attention in Yehliu Geopark

How to go there

  • From Kuo-Kuang Bus Terminal near Taipei Main Station, take bus No. 1815 bound for Jinshan Youth Activity Center.
  • Alight at Yehliu stop. This bus comes every twenty minutes. Otherwise, there are group tours going to Yehliu Geopark at Klook and KKday.

A visit to Yehliu Geopark is definitely one for the books. It’s a unique find where nature itself went out of her way to sculpt images on otherwise shapeless rock formations and gave us a time limit to enjoy them. The rocks here, most especially the Queen’s Head, are in a sensitive state of transformation, and it won’t be long before nature takes them away. While we still do, a visit to Yehliu Geopark is in order.

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