The Must-see Attraction for Foreign Visitors- the Yehliu Geopark
Pedestal rock area/ wave-cut platform- 2 main characteristics of the Geopark
In the first area, you will see lots of pedestal rocks, ginger shaped rocks and candle shaped rocks. When looking around, pedestal rocks are everywhere. With time passing by, the hard concretion inside the sandstone is exposed, and with the effect of wind, sun, rain, wave as well as the erosion of the northeast monsoon, the pedestal rocks of different shapes, such as the pedestal rocks with no necks, bulk necks, narrow necks and broken necks, are thus formed. The landscape with lots of pedestal rocks is very uneven, so pay attention while you are walking on it. Do not be too focused on taking photos or enjoying the view and fall.
The second area on the other side of the Geopark has the wave-cut landscape. You will find sea caves, coastal notches, wave-cut platform and cuesta. On one side of the wave-cut platform is the cliff and on the other side is the rapid wave. You will find lots of interesting rocks eroded by the seawater here, including the Twenty-four Filial Exemplars Rocks.
Landscape Wonder- The Pedestal Rocks
When first walking into the Geopark, you will see a huge area of the pedestal rocks. When seeing afar, it's like the cute mushrooms park. And the pedestal rocks are the landscape that attracts most people in the Yehliu Geopark. The process for the formulation of the pedestal rock is first the rock formation exposed from the sea surface, and the seawater will erode the rock continuously. After some time, the hard concretion inside the sandstone is exposed, and with the effect of wind, sun, rain, wave as well as the erosion of the northeast monsoon, the pedestal rocks of different shapes, such as the pedestal rocks with no necks, bulk necks, narrow necks and broken necks, are thus formed. The different shapes of the rocks represent the different formation processes. The landscape with lots of pedestal rocks is very uneven, so pay attention while you are walking on it. Do not be too focused on taking photos or enjoying the view and fall.
The Star of the Geopark - "Queen's Head"
The next coming up is the star of the Yehliu Geopark, "Queen's Head". The Queen's Head is a kind of pedestal rock. When the crustal structure was rising, the differential erosion of the seawater made the Queen's Head what it is like today. If we divide its height by the average crust rising speed in northern Taiwan, we will learn the Queen's Head is about 4,000 years old. The Queen's Head is a kind of pedestal rock. However, the joint on its upper concretion broke during 1962-1963. When viewing from a certain angle, it looks similar to the head portrait of Elizabeth II and thus acquires the name. With the natural weathering effect over the decades, the neck of the Queen's Head is getting even narrower. To prevent erosion by human activities for that tourists might touch it, the Queen's Head is now under protection. If you would like to take a photo with the Queen's Head, you can walk on the wooden plank trail to line up. Besides, you can view the Queen's Head from afar and take photos with it on the trail.
The "Cute Princess Rock" and "Candle Shaped Rock" are the popular landscape at the Geopark. The formation process of the "Cute Princess Rock" is similar to that of the Queen's Head. The eroded rock looks like a princess with a ponytail and is said to be the potential replacement of the Queen's Head. Doesn't the rock look like a little girl with her hair in a bun? Though the Cute Princess Rock is probably not as element and sophisticated as the Queen's Head, it gives people a feeling of passion and sweetness.
How was the "Candle Shaped Rock" named? I guess you already know! The landscape looks just like candles. There are 3 main processes for the formation of the Candle Shaped Rock. First the candle fire is exposed, and the area around it is eroded to form a groove. Finally, the candlestick is cut and the Candle Shaped Rock is thus formed. The candle fire is actually a round concretion in the rock formation. When seawater erodes sandstone, the round concretion which is harder is exposed on the ground. And when waves dash against the concretion, seawater flow around the concretion to erode the sandstone around it. A groove is formed as a result. Since the formation outside the concretion is harder, seawater will flow according to the shape of the formation and cut the rock into a cone shape that looks like a candlestick. And a rock that looks like the shape of candle is formed by mother nature.
Amazing Rocks- Cuesta
Now let's look at the beautiful scene of the Cuesta in the second area. Walking along on the road to the Cuesta, you will see the most beautiful sea and mountain scene in the Geopark. You can view the Cuesta on one side and the sea cliff as well as wave-cut platform on the other side.
The Cuesta features a sharp cliff on one side and a smooth slope on the other side. It is formed because the main stratum is pushed by uneven force and speed, which results in uneven rise of the stratum. When the stratum is pushed, the lump on the ground will cause the stratum to break. And after the seawater erosion, a landscape that looks like a "natural slide" is gradually formed.
Guess how famous is the Yehliu Geopark? CNN once reported that the scene at the "Yehliu Geopark" is like the landscape in the outer space and that it has the environment that looks just like the one Mars has. You will definitely find lots of gorgeous and special rocks, including the "Queen's Head", "Ice Cream Rocks", "Beehive Rocks", "Ginger Shaped Rocks" and other wave-cut landscape. You will definitely be amazed by the diverse geologic structure and landscapes here. What's more, you can see how great and powerful nature is. Whether it's from the perspective of geographic environment or location and transportation, the Geopark is definitely worth visiting!
Transportation Information of the Yehliu Geopark
*Tamsui Bus No.862 (Take the bus heading to Keelung in front of MRT Tamsui Station and get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 30 minutes.
*KUO-KUANG eBus No. 1815 (Take the bus heading to Chinshan Youth Activity Center at the KUO-KUANG eBus Station at Taipei Main Station. The Bus drives along Zhongxiao E. Road and makes a brief stop at the Taipei City Hall Bus Station. Please get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 20 minutes.
*Keelung Bus No.790 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan next to Keelung Train Station and get off at Yehliu.) The bus sets out every 15 minutes.
*Keelung Bus No.1068 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan at National Taiwan University and get off at Yehliu Geopark.)
*Keelung Bus No.953 (Take the bus heading to Jinshan at the bus station next to Banqiao Train Station and get off at Yehliu Geopark.)
Nearby Places to Go
New Taipei City’s Happy Waterfront Line: Offering a number of activities that satisfy your needs at once!
The colorful urban life is often accompanied by tension that is hard to relax. Don't want to travel far or be in crowded places. Let's traverse the riverbank and pass through the water gate to access New Taipei City's Happy Waterfront Line, where you can relish the fresh air and scenic riverside environment! Developed along the Tamsui River, Dahan River, Xindian River, and Keelung River, New Taipei City's Happy Waterfront Line boasts well-designed cycling routes, numerous recreational parks, sports facilities, and scenic bridges. This article offers a variety of riverside activities for you, including options for family fun, discovering secret spots, romantic dates, taking selfies, as well as leisurely strolling in scenic spots. Join us in exploring the riverside to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit!”Family fun: The Bear Monkey Forest of New Taipei City Metropolitan Park, Sunshine Sports Park in Xindian, and Bitan Scenic Area.Featuring a vast expanse of over 400 hectares, the New Taipei City Metropolitan Park is a seldom-seen green corridor within the city. In recent years, both the MRT Zhonghe-Xinlu Line and the MRT Taoyuan Airport Line have established a station here (Sanchong Station), greatly enhancing the region's accessibility. The largest inclusive park in the country, “Bear Monkey Forest”, is also located within the metropolitan park. With slides inspired by the images of over 31 species endemic to Taiwan, more than a hundred recreational facilities, and an inclusive playground that seamlessly integrates with the natural terrain and ecology, Bear Monkey Forest is undoubtedly the ideal place for family fun. The “Sea World Water Park” was opened in the summer of 2022. Featuring seven aquatic facilities shaped like Taiwan's unique aquatic creatures, it has enriched the diversity of the metropolitan park!Sunshine Sports Park is Situated on the left bank of the Xindian River and spans approximately 20 hectares. Designed on the theme of “Sunshine Oasis”, the park has seamlessly integrated inclusive play equipment into the existing natural hills and pebble beaches. The park is designed with six major zones: the Adventure Zone, Tree Neighbor Play Zone, Sandbox Experience Zone, Green Shade Forest Zone, Green Picnic Zone, and Butterfly-Shaped Waterway Zone.It also features a roller-skating track, a 400-meter running track, a beach volleyball court, and a soccer field, making it one of the top sports leisure parks in Xindian.The 2023 Ankeng Light Rail, launched in February 2023, also set up the K07 Sunshine Sports Park Station here. By transferring from Shisizhang Station on the MRT Circular Line to the Ankeng Light Rail, it only takes a two-station ride to easily arrive at Sunshine Sports Park, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful riverside scenery upon arrival.👉Recommended Itinerary：Following the launch of Ankeng Light Rail: A new travel tip that connects Ankeng and XindianBitan, nestled amidst picturesque mountains and a serene lake, stands as a celebrated gem of northern Taiwan, steeped in both history and natural splendor. A must-do when visiting Bitan is to embark on a tranquil boat ride across the lake. Collaborate with your family members as you paddle together on a pedal boat, fostering stronger bonds while soaking in the enchanting riverside vistas and the captivating allure of Bitan's Little Red Cliff from up close. While holding your children's hands, walk across the long-standing Bitan Suspension Bridge to enjoy a high vantage point overlooking the scenic view of the emerald lake waters and Hemeishan. Afterward, head to the East Coast Food Square to savor delicious dishes while enjoying the gentle breeze.When the spring transits to summer each year, the Bitan’s water dance and Hemeishan’s fireflies make their appearance simultaneously. The magnificent water dance takes place in the center of Bitan, painting the night sky of Xindian with its vibrant display. The forest of Hemeishan, on the other hand, is full of fireflies flying around as it is the most active time for fireflies, brimming with vitality and energy.Discovering secret spots: Xizhi Wudu Cycling Route and Yingge Central River Sunset Trail Amidst the changing lights and shadows, the arched space of the old brick tunnel felt like a time machine, transporting you back to when it was built during the Japanese era. After undergoing restoration and revival, the TRA's Old Wudu Tunnel, now equipped with lighting fixtures and a cycling route, has emerged as the most captivating stretch along the Keelung River cycling routes, once again showcasing its rich historical charm.👉Related Articles：The Xingfu Waterfront – Exploring New Taipei by cyclingThe calm and waveless river reflects the silhouette of Yuanshan (Yuan Mountain), creating a picturesque rural scene. Located at the boundary between New Taipei and Taoyuan, the Yingge Central River Sunset Trail is part of the Dahan River Cycling Route. Nestled amidst the mountain and lake views crafted by Yuanshan and Yuanshan Weir, it is a hidden gem away from the urban hustle and bustle. Let's ascend to the observation platform perched on a small hill, and savor the splendid scenery of mountains and waters in solitude.Romantic dates and taking selfies: Bali Left Bank and Tamsui Golden AnchorWhile strolling along the from the Bali ferry terminal to the Bali Left Bank Strolling Square, you will discover several beautiful photo spots. Bali Left Bank is a great place for loved ones to visit! The “Bali Landmark” that exudes exotic charm, the heart-shaped “Mirror of Happiness” sculpture, and the dreamy “European-Style Domed Pavilion” - let's capture the romantic and picturesque moments with your mobile phone! Select an outdoor café to enjoy a leisurely afternoon coffee break and savor the stunning sunset over the Tamsui River.Tamsui Golden Anchor is located on the outer edge of Tamsui Old Street. It features a shaded promenade along the Tamsui River, waterfront areas, fishing spaces, a waterside stage, coffee seating, and a tidal observation bay. Strolling along the Tamsui River while gazing into the distance at Guanyinshan (Guanyin Mountain) on the opposite bank and the wide estuary of the Tamsui River brings a sense of tranquility to one's heart and mind. Along the Golden Anchor, you can leisurely explore renowned historic relics of Tamsui, such as Tamsui Customs Wharf and Fort San Domingo. These historic landmarks bear a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences in Tamsui.Leisurely strolling in scenic spots: Xindian’s Sunshine Bridge, Xinzhuang’s Crescent Bridge, Xizhi’s Starlight Bridge, Sanchong’s Sunlight Bridge, and Yingge’s Longyao (Dragon Kiln) Bridge. Although the Tamsui River and its tributaries have brought abundant resources to New Taipei City , they have also divided the Taipei Basin. To enhance the convenience of land transportation, New Taipei City has constructed dozens of bridges along the riverbanks. Among them, there are five beautifully designed scenic bridges specifically built for pedestrians and cyclists, collectively known as the “Sun, Moon, Stars, and Dragon”, forming the most beautiful architectural landscape along New Taipei City's Happy Waterfront Line. Each of these scenic bridges is designed with a beautiful projection mapping light show that captivates people's attention during the day and at night!Launched at the end of 2011, the Sunshine Bridge that connects Sunshine Sports Park with Zhongyang New Village is the first people-oriented river-crossing scenic bridge in New Taipei City. Not only is it specially designed for pedestrians and bicycles, but also it features a night projection mapping show, making it the “big brother” among the five scenic bridges. The Sunshine Bridge is a single-rib steel arch suspension bridge that supports the bridge deck with steel cables resembling violin strings and five arches. This elegant bridge of simplicity has already become a significant landmark in the Xindian area.The surface of the Dahan River reflects the double-arch bridge, creating a stunning riverside night scene with the distant crescent moon. The Crescent Bridge spans the Dahan River, connecting Banqiao 435 Art Zone with Xinzhuang Old Street. The total length of the Crescent Bridge and its approach is 1,133 m, making it the longest twin span steel arch bridge in Taiwan and the longest and most magnificent among the five scenic bridges. The Crescent Bridge has four scenic resting platforms with different features, along with the immensely popular skywalk. As you walk on the 60-meter transparent pathway, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Dahan River below and the opportunity for a thrilling visual experience!Featuring an erect giant microphone pointing towards the sky, this 270-meter Starlight Bridge in Xizhi has adopted a unique design with a “single-span cable-stay bridge” structure. Spanning the Keelung River, the bridge is situated next to the Wudu Railway Station and its white pillars and a bridge structure are adorned with point light sources, creating a sparkling and eye-catching starry night.The Sunlight Bridge, located in the New Taipei City Metropolitan Park, connects the two banks of the Erchong Floodway. Its two-tier, double-curved bridge tower structure creates an observation platform; and the winding bridge deck that resembles a galaxy symbolizes the path of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl's reunion. The Sunlight Bridge is surrounded by various facilities such as a scenic stream, a water play area, a light dining and relaxation plaza, green beautification, and nighttime constellation light sculptures. These amenities enable residents to enjoy different urban landscapes, including the New Taipei City Metropolitan Park, Xinbei Bridge, and the MRT Taoyuan Airport Line, from a distance.“Wind riding on clouds, dragons spewing pearls, light forming shadows, and land connecting together.” The Longyao Bridge spanning across the Yingge River is like an auspicious dragon soars above the river. The bridge, adorned with wood sculptures, represents local history, humanities, and culture. It also leads the way to the New Taipei City Art Museum, Sanying Heart Space Arts, and Yingge Ceramics Museum, allowing visitors to experience the artistic atmosphere of the Yingge village.
Tamsui-Kavalan Trails: Hand-made trails, documentaries, and books
The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails were an important mountain trail network that spanned across the Taipei Basin and Lanyang Plain during the Qing Dynasty. They played a crucial role in transportation between these two points before the TRA launched the Yilan Line. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails should not be regarded simply as a “route” connecting Tamsui Subprefecture and Kavalan Subprefecture. Instead, over the past 200 years or so, the northern section of Xueshan (Xue Mountain) has held invaluable historical memories, including indigenous hunting paths, the footprints of Han people, trading posts, and military patrols. Countless ancestors traversed these dozens of intricate and meandering mountain paths. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails also bore witness to the development of Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan, and can be regarded as Taiwan's pilgrimage route. Today, it has been designated as a “National-Level Green Trail”.2015 and 2016 – “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails”After the advent of railways and national freeways, the entire world underwent a significant transportation revolution. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, which had lost their original transportation function, gradually faded from public view. Nevertheless, for over a century, they have quietly existed within the mountainous region between Taipei and Yilan. Since 2015 and 2016, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has collaborated with Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan across multiple counties and cities in the joint effort of the “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails” project. By reviewing literature, maps, interviews, and other sources of information, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has obtained the initial route background and, in conjunction with historical, cultural, landscape, recreational system, safety, and other considerations, designed the systematic Tamsui-Kavalan trail routes we have today. It has also adopted the twin-bristle fern as the identifying symbol, establishing the brand of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.Combining public and private resources, the government and civilians collaborated to progressively restore these ancient trails using the handcrafted trail method. The concept of handcrafted trails relies not on heavy machinery and construction contractors, but employs simple tools and locally sourced materials instead. Through the participation of volunteers, a collective effort has been made to restore the trails, ensuring their harmonious integration into the existing landscape while preserving the essence of the original cultural pathways. After years of dedicated work, the centuries-old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with their rich and enduring history, have been rejuvenated.2018 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy”To promote the ecology and culture of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government collaborated with the internationally acclaimed Director Xiao Qing-yang. They traversed the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, resulting in the creation of the "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy". Director Xiao Qing-yang, through his work spanning from "The Tao of Kung Fu" and "The Tao of Ancestors" to "The Tao of Health" within these centuries-old trails, orchestrated live performances by traditional opera musicians and captured the sounds of nature, including insect chirping, bird calls, and the flowing river water. This endeavor beautifully illustrates the multifaceted vitality of these historical trails.The “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” was honored with the first prize in the Sports and Leisure category at the 14th ART & TUR – International Tourism Film Festival in 2021. In 2023, the original soundtrack album “Beginningless Beginning” produced for “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” achieved a remarkable feat by winning the Best Recording Package award at the 65th Grammy Awards, propelling Tamsui-Kavalan Trails onto the international stage2019 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section”The first travel guidebook for the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, titled "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", was brought to life through the combined efforts of the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association, historians, and mountaineering experts who possess an intimate knowledge of these trails. After meticulous planning and 18 months of dedicated compilation, the guidebook was officially launched. The book provides insights into the cultural history, town stories, flora and fauna ecology, along with recommended routes along the northern section. Its high-quality layout garnered immediate acclaim upon release, and to date, it has undergone five printings. Many travelers set out on the northern section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails with this book in hand to experience these historic trails step by step, and craft their own unique stories along the way.2020 – The website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan TrailsA website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails was developed relying on the smart technology. This innovative UI/UX interactive trail map simplifies the intricate network of trails within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. From users' perspective, this website integrates and interfaces information related to pre-trip preparations, itinerary planning, GPX data, transportation, weather, and rest stops. Easily capture all types of hiking information, and comprehensively explore the abundant history, culture, humanities and ecology of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.2022 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama”Following the publication of the acclaimed "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government once again collaborated with several experts of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails to introduce the book "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama". This book portrays the travel experiences along the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, along with visits to the stories of 22 local artisans and businesses within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It includes a practical hiking guide for the entire route and exquisite photographs. The book also features an exquisite fold-out map, hand-painted by an artist who has received the Golden Tripod Award after personally walked through all sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It also includes the stories behind the planning and branding of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with the hope of embarking on the next century together.The Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government has successfully promoted the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails for many years. Today, these trails are internationally and domestically renowned long-distance trail. In addition to marketing and promotion through the internet, videos, and books, the Department has also collaborated with numerous non-governmental organizations to organize activities such as handcrafted trail workshops, mountaineering seminars, and National Greenway guide training. Let this centuries-old historical trail continue to thrive through people's interactions and visits.