Following the North Coast from East to West
The north coast of Taiwan is a place of rugged yet easily reached natural wonders – a condensed version of the splendors of the east coast, if you will. With its abundant geological formations, evidence of the island’s fiery volcanic past, and bike trails delivering you to one interesting spot after another, it’s a great area for a day – trip out of Taipei, and easy to get to. Here are some destinations worth checking out via rail, bus, and bike on your journey.
Not long from Keelung Railway Station by bus, and not much longer by bike, Yehliu Geopark sits on a spit of land jutting out into the East China Sea that resembles the badlands regions of North American. The highlights of the site area are the large “mushroom rocks,” so named for their resemblance to certain varieties of edible fungi. The most popular rock with tourists, by far, is the Queen’s Head Rock, a regal formation created in part by the corroding effects of seawater and wind. The geopark is also a favorite with fossil fans, with many beautifully preserved, timeless specimens etched into the landscape.
Jinshan Visitor Center
It takes less than ten minutes by bus to travel from Yeliu to the Jinshan Visitor Center, from where you can explore the diversity of the Jinshan area coast. Check out Shitoushan Park, close to the center, on a cape surrounded by the sea on three sides, offering an excellent vantage point to take in the sea and tranquil harbors along the coastline. To the northeast of the park, 450 meters off the eastern shore of the cape, are the Twin Candlesticks, stone towers rising out out the sea to a height of about 60 meters. An impressive view of the Datun Mountain Range, a line of extinct volcanoes, is also on offer from the cape.
Not far from the power station is Shimen (“stone gate”) Arch. It was created by seawater erosion and is a product of a million years of geological activity dating back to Datun Mountain Range volcanic eruptions that deposited a thick layer of lava and ash along the coastline. Driving or biking along the coastal highway, you can’t miss the arch, since it is right beside the road and rises 10 maters above sea level.
Fugui Cape Park
From Laomei, marked trails rise up the hilsite to Fugui Cape Park, on another gentle seaside slope formed by volcanic eruption. This is Taiwan’s northernmost point – is the black – and – white Fugui Cape Light House, standing guard over the coast below. From there visitors can look out over the water and the stone trenches lining Laomei Beach, perhaps watching some anglers braving the crashing waves to stoically enjoy their favorite pastime. The cape is also noted for its windkanters, rocks ejected during volcanic eruptions and deposited along the coast. These rocks have been blasted smooth winds, leaving them with sharp angles on their windward side.
Getting There & Getting Around
1.There are three public – transport options for reaching the north coast from Taipei:
2.Take MRT Tamsui – Xinyi Line (Red Line/ Line 2) to its northern terminus, Tamsui Station, and from there either catch a bus heading for Sanzhi/ Jinshan/ Keelung or rent a bike.
3.Take a commuter train from Taipei Railway Station to Keelung and from there take a bus headed to Jinshan/ Sanzi/ Tamsui or rent a bike.
*Taiwan Railway Administration: www.railway.gov.tw/en
4.Take a bus via Yangmingshan to Jinshan and switch to a bus in either direction along the coast.
5.Other info: Taiwan Tourist Shuttle