Yehliu Geopark was voted No. 1 of the nation’s top 10 natural landscapes in an online poll conducted by Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau in 2013. Yehliu is a cape stretching 5,577 feet (1,700 meters) into the ocean, and is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Northern Taiwan. Not only is it a popular place for locals, but also a must-see destination for foreign visitors, including tourists from Mainland China.
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The Geopark is located in a humid subtropical region, and is under the influence of northeast monsoons and wave erosion for almost six months of the year. With the persistent erosion and weathering, the limestone and calcium carbonate rocks take on unusual shapes, while the surfaces are full of amazing seawater-eroded holes and fossils.
Yehliu Geopark is home to a stunning array of curious rock formations, and many of these have been given imaginative names based on their appearances. The “Queen’s Head” is an iconic image that resembles the profile of an Egyptian queen. It’s also an unofficial emblem for the New Taipei City’s Wanli District, where the Geopark is located. One of the most unusual aspects of the formation is its slender neck. Experts said that erosion is thinning the neck and that the rock is likely to topple within the next decade.
Other notable formations include the “Princess Rock,” “Ice Cream Rock,” “Mushroom Rocks,” the “Gorilla Rock,” “Candle Rocks,” “Fairy Shoe,” “Beehive,” “Ginger Rocks,” and the “Elephant Rock.”
Additionally, there are many Miocene shallow sea organism fossils and trace fossils embedded in the rocks, which tell ancient tales of creatures from the past.
Yehliu Geopark also abounds in edible green seaweeds. Many local residents make a living by harvesting seaweed attached to rocks on the shore. It is not uncommon to see vendors drying seaweed along the sidewalks.
Nearby the Geopark is the “Gifts from Yehliu” market, which displays a rich variety of dried seaweeds, seafood, and souvenirs, with free samples for tasting.
Additionally, at the entrance of the Geopark is Yehliu Ocean World, where visitors can take in performances by dolphins, sea lions, high altitude divers, and walk through a 238-ft (100-meter) long transparent undersea tunnel.
Another feature in close proximity to the Geopark is the rich fishing grounds of the northern coast. As a result, there are many seafood restaurants outside the park, which offer an abundance of fresh seafood, including the well-known Wanli crabs.
If you are interested in an educational and interesting oceanside experience in northern Taiwan, Yehliu Geopark is your ideal choice.