Yehliu GeoPark and Other Coastal Geology

Yehliu GeoPark (野柳地質公園) is a popular stop on the Taiwan tourist circuit.  It’s an interesting set of geological formations found in a small park about 20 minutes north of Keelung, Taiwan.  Truth be told, the entire length of eastern Taiwan is an interesting set of geological formations, but here you can find them all in one small area with a coffee and souvenir shop.  If you’re only in Taiwan for a short time, or don’t have any transportation of your own, this it the place to go to be awed by Mother Nature’s artistic side.

Yehliu Taiwan

An overview of the most popular area of Yehliu GeoPark.

Many people who have never been to Taiwan would probably be surprised to learn a little about its geology.  I think many westerners merely have a vision of endless factories and crowded cities.  While this may be true of many parts of the western part of the island, most of Taiwan is actually rugged mountains and often unbelievable geological formations.  A day spent driving around Taiwan’s North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area or the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area will expose one to to sandy beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, crystal clear rivers and strange, other-worldly rock formations.

Visiting these areas is so easy, that they are my “go-to” weekend plan.  If I don’t have anything else panned, and want to spend a few hours on my motorcycle, these are the places I often go.  If you live in Taipei or are just visiting for a few days, hop on your scooter or rent a car for a day of beautiful natural scenery!  (Public transportation options are listed below)

Yehliu GeoPark 野柳地質公園

As I said before, this park is a very popular one on the Taiwan tourist circuit.  That means that it’s going to be packed with package tourists almost all the time.  Still, there’s enough room for everyone to get a picture in front of their favorite rock that resembles something else (The official website goes into excruciating detail on all of them). And if you really want to get away from the crowds, you can walk out to the end of the peninsula for some quiet isolation.

The rocks themselves were formed in a few different ways, but basically there is a harder rock on top and a softer one on the bottom.  Give the whole area a few thousand years of exposure to wind, rain and water, and you have an alien landscape filled with mushroom rocks, honeycomb rocks, pothole erosion and many other appropriately named oddities.  (The “candle shaped” rocks are the coolest!)

Yeliu Taiwan

This "honeycomb weathering" can be found all over Yehliu GeoPark.

Taiwan Coastal Geology 003

The "candle stick" rocks were probably my favorite. That really about as alien landscape as you're going to get!

Taiwan Coastal Geology 004

"Pothole erosion" is another form of erosion that can be found all over Taiwan. I've even seen this in some of the rivers in the mountains.

Yeliu GeoPark, Taiwan

Tourists line up to have their picture taken in front of "Queen's Head Rock", probably one of Taiwan's most famous sites.

Yeliu Taiwan

Tourists line up to have their picture taken in front of "Queen's Head Rock", probably one of Taiwan's most famous sites.

Yeliu Taiwan

Various kinds of fossils can easily be found in the sandstone all over the Yehliu GeoPark.

Yeliu, Taiwan

The "bean curd" rocks can be seen below the Gueitou Mountain, out on the end of the peninsula. The angled shape of the cliff is called "cuesta" and can be seen all over Taiwan.

Heping Island Park 和平島

If you have your own transportation, you might want to give Yeliu a miss, just because there are so many awesome site that are free and relatively tourist free.

Similar to Yehliu but less famous, is the awesome Heping Island Park.  Only 10 minutes from the Keelung train station, Heping Island has many of the same rock formations as Yehliu, and a much more relaxed atmosphere.  (Here’s a link to more photos and information on Heping Island that I wrote about in a former post on Keelung.)

Heping Island Geology

Visitors investigate the interesting rock formations along Keelung, Taiwan's Hoping Coastal Park.

The Rest of the East Coast

Those two areas cover about .001% of Taiwan’s east coast.  There are dozens of beautiful rock formations up and down the coast.  All you have to do is get to highways 9 and 11 and have a look around.  The northeast coast is probably the densest area of coolness, but Mother Nature’s beauty can be found all the way down to the extreme southern tip of Taiwan, the Kenting National Park.  Below are a few pics from my favorite places.  I’m not going to tell you where they are exactly, you need to find them yourself!

Taiwan Coastal Geology

The sea cliffs at Longdong are world famous among rock climbers.

Taiwan Coastal Geology

A tourist investigates the amazing geology of Taiwan's east coast.

A Beach in Taiwan

All the interesting seaside geology can make for some interesting snorkeling. Also, everywhere you go on the east coast seems to have fishermen. This one found a nice perch 30 meters out to sea!

Fulong, Taiwan

One awesome feature of the geology of the east coast is the occasional secluded sandy beach.

Taiwan Coastal Geology

Fishermen take advantage of the unusual seaside rock formations on the east coast of Taiwan.

Taiwan Coastal Geology

More interesting rocks and yes, another fisherman.

Kenting Taiwan

The southern east coast of Taiwan as seen from Kenting National Park.

Taiwan Coastal Geology

Sunrise at Shitiping Camp Ground, near Taitung, Taiwan.


You can find information about traveling to Yehliu GeoPark, Heping Island, Kenting, and Shitiping Camp Ground on Taiwan Adventures Online Travel Guide.

Yeliu GeoPark – (Copied from the Yeliu official website)

  • 1.Take the express bus (bound for Jinshan Youth Activity Center) of Kuo-Kuang Co. at its West Station A of Taipei city; alight at Yehliu
    stop. The bus comes every 20 minutes. (Weekdays: the first bus at 05:40am and the last bus at 11:00pm; Weekends: the first bus at
    06:30am and the last bus at 11:00pm.)
  • 2.Take the express bus (bound for Jinshan or Tamsui) at Keelung station (near Keelung Railway Station). The Bus comes every 10 minute.
    (the first bus at 05:40 am and the last bus at 10:40pm).
  • 3.Take the express bus (bound to Jinshan) at Tamshui station (near Tamshui MRT Station); alight at Yehliu stop. The bus comes every 30
    minutes (the first bus at 05:50am and the last bus at 10:20pm).

Heping Island Park – (Copied from the Heping Island website)

  • Keelung City Bus 101 → Heping Island → Follow Coastal Highway

If you’re driving a car or scooter to any of the sites mentioned above…  buy a map! (It’s easy!)


Categories: Motorcycling, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments

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74 thoughts on “Yehliu GeoPark and Other Coastal Geology

  1. wow, I’ve been there, and though I thought it was beautiful, the photos really highlight the best of it.


  2. Excellent pictures Neil! It’s a shame I haven’t visited any of these places.

  3. great shots!

  4. Wow, maybe I should visit Taiwan after all, it looks amazing!

  5. This makes me want to be there!!!

  6. Damn those are some crazy rock formations!

  7. Nice pictures of interesting places.

  8. Absolutely spectacular pictures — I’m so wanting to visit now!


  9. Just amazing. I’ve never been anywhere close to there or that looks anything like it. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  10. It is absolutely stunning. I’ve never seen rock formations like that. Beautiful photos!

  11. Cocktails of History and Prose

    Those are the coolest pictures! I’ve always loved geology. Honeycomb weathering…that was really awesome!

  12. thor27

    Some fascinating geological structures. Very unique. good blog. Come visit

  13. nice pic

  14. Lu

    Absolutely stunning photographs! It’s not often that geology and geological formations get the attention they deserve. Mother Nature rocks! The erosion provided by the action of the waves merely uncovers what’s under our feet, and admittedly makes it all the more interesting to look at! Great post!

  15. Such and amazing place and great photos.

  16. Wow – gorgeous is not a large enough word for this photography or subject.
    Have never traveled there, but would like to go to your web next and see more of your work. And continue sharing a part of yourself – isn’t that what makes photography so much fun – a captured memory of being in a beautiful place for a brief moment in our own history. Well, so much for a short comment. I’ve never trained as a photographer, but you can tell I love it too. To me, it is that colorful way of freezing our memories so we can visit them again.

  17. Golly, really amazing rocks and Ive never seen images of them before so I especially enjoyed your blog.

  18. Amazing Rock Formations, Thanks for sharing!

  19. very Interesting, loved the photos ;)

  20. beautiful landscape!

  21. These pictures are awesome great photography!

  22. nice pictures :) i want to go there

  23. Wow! Your photos are fantastic. Very beautiful. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    Matty :D

  24. Wow, this looks incredible! For some reason I never thought of Taiwan as a geological hotspot, but now I want to go and check it out! Thanks for sharing the pictures, it was really great to be along on the trip, at least vicariously. :)

  25. nice place

  26. Picture is god…

  27. Thanks for sharing, the pics look great! I was there last summer and it was really worth taking the train and bus all the way to get there!

  28. All I can say is WOW
    :) Thanks for sharing

  29. those rocks are insane! i never would have know. thank you for sharing!

  30. Pingback: Taiwan’s Natural Beauty « Chinese – English Translator

  31. OMG, that looks like such an amazing place to visit. I loved the honeycomb rocks.

  32. Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

  33. WOW!!! The GeoPark pics are amazing! Particularly the candle stick rocks and pothole erosion. Great job photographing them!

  34. nordicphotography

    Interesting how the nature forms :)

  35. Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing! I love photos and digital art.

  36. masha allah amazing

  37. I love your snaps. They’re all good and interesting! I love the balance of colors and the patterns you form on each image. Nice! Keep on sharing more of these! :)

  38. Wow, your photos of the geopark are great – they remind me of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
    Thanks for sharing.

  39. Joe Labriola

    Makes you wonder what amazing alien worlds are out there when places on our own Earth can appear alien…

  40. Great pics!

  41. Makes me what to come and see these places. Nice pictures. I look forward to seeing more so I can plan my journey on when I leave Thailand. Have a stunning day.

  42. bagiana72

    wish I could be here some time

  43. Amazing pictures of incredible natural wonders! They need a calendar all their own.

  44. khemerakh

    It’s amazing place I’ve ever seen before…!

  45. those pictures are just mind blowing. Great work!

  46. Im stunned at these photos, absolutely breath taking! Definatly a place I will have to go sometime in my life.

  47. Dom_Red

    Awesome :)

  48. Love your pictures! The place looks beautiful. Definitely on my to-visit list. Thanks for sharing! :)

  49. Hey Neil,

    I’m in Hsinchu and have been struggling with Taiwan burnout. It’s only been a year, but it’s become a bit of a challenge to enjoy my life here. Then, tonight, I happen upon your blog (because WordPress logged me out, so I had to go to the main site, saw you on FP, click, here I am).

    I needed to see these pictures, and I’ve got to get south and east. Thanks for reminding me that Taiwan is more than just work and pollution. I’m excited to go exploring.


    • Hi Mandy,
      I understand how living in Taiwan can bring you down, even those of us who have been here a while feel it sometimes. What keeps us all going are all the beautiful things that can be found here. There’s nearly endless wonderful things to see and do. The natural world here is my favorite, places like Yehliu really only scratch the surface. Get out and explore the mountains, beaches and waterfalls, and you might even want to stay for a few more years!

  50. Pingback: Yehliu GeoPark and Other Coastal Geology (via Neil Wade’s Photography Blog) | Ado Feck

  51. What amazing photographs. Truly beautiful shots of nature- awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing these!

  52. Excellent pictures!!!

  53. My partner has been invited to speak at bicycling tourism conference in Taiwan in a few wks. this month. He’s never to been to Asia and neither have I.

    It wouldn’t be surprising that he would be urging people there to find better ways of promoting what Taiwan offers beyond the urban the same time. :) Your resource is great.

  54. Mélanie

    Hi/Ni hao from Toulouse, France! Neil, congrats for your wonderful pix! I’ve been to Taiwan 3 times, I visited this park and Taroko, too. I love this island and do hope to return there some day… My son graduated from Chengchi University(international trade&relations) of Taipei, in CHINESE, he was the only European to have graduated from this famous University that year! He returns to Taiwan every summer, on vacation with his Taiwanese gf, ex-classmate. I’ll “surf” on your blog as often as possible. Greetings and best wishes, good luck in all your endeavours and have a pleasant weekend!

  55. I was left speechless seeing your pictures. My uncle lives there and never mention about these.. Wow!

  56. aisirir

    This is absolutely breathtaking! I love your photography! the rock formations are so unusual that I m wondering if they are man-made!! Luv ur blog and the pics! hv to get down to taiwan ! :) <3ed ur blog!

  57. Yehliu and Heping Island are best photographed at sunrise or sunset? Your suggestion please… Also, since Yehliu is a park and we intend to shoot either sunrise or sunset, will it still be open around that time?

    • They would both probably be best photographed in the morning. They are both on the east coast so the sunset would at least be partially blocked by the mountains to the west. Yeliu is officially open from 8:00 until 6:00, I’m not sure if you could get in a little early or stay a little later.

  58. thanks so much for your reply, sir. we’re planning on shooting the Nanya Rock Formation for sunrise. and then go to Betou Cape in the afternoon until sunset. you think this is okay? or we should do this the other way around?

    for our second day, i was thinking to shoot sunrise at Heping Island, but i read somewhere that it’s closed. i can’t find any other info about it being closed. there’s no date in the blog post so i’m not sure if it’s a recent info.

    • I can’t find any hours for Heping Island. There is a gate there, but the whole place isn’t as organized as Yeliu, so I assume you could go really early and just walk in. (Personally, I would feel guilty about that and pay on the way out though!)

      Starting at Nanya is probably a good idea. You can get there as early as you want, and it’s right on the side of the road so you don’t have to walk around dangerous rocks in the dark. The farther north you go, the better chance you have for a good sunset. Have a look at my new website with lots of travel information in Taiwan.

  59. wow! amazing photos! you were right, i was really thinking taiwan is an endless city lol! thanks for sharing. hope to be able to take my own pictures in this spot :)

  60. mike

    Went there last year and was completely amazed. They are some great pics. I went looking for geology jobs but, there are some many people there doing the same thing it hard to find work there. I would be a dream job in my field to be able to work there.

  61. Interesting information and great photos… Being to Yeliu but not other places…

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  65. Tanya

    Hello! Lovely pictures – my partner and I are planning our trip to Taiwan at the moment and we’re wondering whether we should do Yehliu – Nanya Rocks – Bitou Cape – Sandiaoling waterfall hike to Pipadong waterfall and Shifen waterfall. Is that possible within a day or is it a bit rushed? Is there a better way round to see these sights?

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