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HomeSpiritual Travel41 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Yilan on Taiwan's Northeast Coast

41 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Yilan on Taiwan’s Northeast Coast


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Yilan County is the fifth largest of Taiwan’s 13 counties and residential to about half one million folks. It’s situated within the northeast of Taiwan. A lot of the issues to do in Yilan are situated on the rice-paddy-covered Yilan (Lanyang) Plain, the place the principle cities of Jiaoxi, Yilan Metropolis, and Luodong are situated. South of the plains, many of the county is mountainous and inaccessible.

Yilan (宜蘭, typically spelled Ilan or I-lan) is usually ignored by guests to Taiwan, who are likely to experience the prepare proper by means of it when touring from Taipei to Taroko Gorge in Hualien County. However for locals, particularly the 7 million individuals who stay Taipei and New Taipei Metropolis, Yilan is a favourite weekend getaway, with numerous potentialities for in a single day or day journeys from Taipei.

Yilan’s points of interest vary from scorching (& chilly) springs, seashores and high-mountain resorts to nighttime markets, museums, and quirky treats. Yilan is particularly appropriate for folks visiting Taiwan with youngsters, with a whole lot of small-scale family-oriented museums & leisure amenities. There are too many kid-friendly issues to do in Yilan to record on this article, so I’ve simply caught to a few of our favorites. In the meantime, off-the-beaten-path vacationers will discover a number of the most rewarding issues to do in Taiwan in Yilan.

The suggestions I present on this article come from a few years and quite a few journeys to Yilan with my family and friends. Yilan is the sort of place we by no means get bored with, both returning regularly to our favourite spots (like Jiaoxi scorching spring and Wai Ao seaside) or driving round and discovering new locations.

When you’ve already achieved the massive websites in Taiwan like Solar Moon Lake and Alishan, it’s time for you make some room in your Taiwan itinerary for Yilan!

Mingchi National Forest Recreation Area, one of the best things to do in Yilan County Taiwan
My youngsters at Mingchi Nationwide Forest Recreation Space (#39)

Yilan Highlights

– Inexperienced onion truffles & ox-tongue cookies (in all places)
Jiaoxi Sizzling Springs (#1)
– Wai Ao Seaside (#12)
– Kavalan Whiskey Distillery (#15)
– Luodong Evening Market (#20)
– Nanfangao Seafood Harbor (#31)
– Taipingshan Nationwide Forest Recreation Space (#40)

Ideas for Visiting Yilan

– Search right here for the finest lodge offers in Yilan
– Use Klook to seek out discounted journey offers. Join with my referral hyperlink first to get TWD100 off.
Lease a scooter in Yilan right here.
– When you’re basing your self in Taipei, discover the finest locations to remain in Taipei right here.
– Discover our the very best instances to go to Yilan in my information to when to go to Taiwan.
– Study each else it’s essential to know for planning a Taiwan journey on this article.
– For the east coast street journey, see my information for touring from Yilan to Hualien, my proposed Hualien itinerary, and the best way to get from Hualien to Taitung and Kenting.

Attending to Yilan

Since Yilan is an entire county, there isn’t one single approach to get to Yilan. It’s going to depend upon the place precisely you need to go to in Yilan, and even then, you’ll have completely different choices for getting there. When you’re fortunate sufficient to have your individual wheels, that is actually going to assist for exploring Yilan, as most of Yilan’s high points of interest are sort of unfold out across the county. It’s also possible to hire a scooter in Luodong, one of many major cities of Yilan.

There are three main cities in Yilan that present entry to many of the Yilan issues to do this I’ll cowl on this article. They’re Jiaoxi, Yilan Metropolis, and Luodong. I may even present particular person transportation particulars for many of the locations to go to in Yilan listed on this article.

Attending to Yilan from Taipei Metropolis by automobile was a lot slower on the tremendous winding Provincial Freeway 9, which fits up and over the mountains. Now, due to the Xueshan Tunnel, one of many longest tunnels in Asia, the drive from Taipei to Yilan solely takes about 1 hour (double that on an extended weekend, although).

When the street lastly exits the unending collection of tunnels and emerges onto the Yilan (Lanyang) Plain, the primary city you’ll stumble upon is Jiaoxi. Yilan Metropolis, the Yilan County capital, lies south of it, and Luodong is additional south on the opposite aspect of the Lanyang River.

Getting from Taipei to Jiaoxi

Trains to Jiaoxi from Taipei Important Station or Songshan Station take about 1.5-2 hours and price TWD100-200.

The bus from Taipei to Jiaoxi is definitely quicker (and also you’re assured a seat, not like the prepare). Common buses depart from Taipei Bus Station (simply north of Taipei Important Practice Station) or Taipei Metropolis Corridor MRT bus station (go up the escalators from the MRT and also you’ll discover the ticket counters contained in the constructing, on the principle flooring).

The buses take about 1 hour (longer at peak visitors instances) and price round TWD150.

Getting from Taipei to Yilan Metropolis

There are frequent trains from Taipei Important Station or Songshan Station to Yilan Metropolis, taking 1.5 to 2.5 hours (TWD140-218). Taroko/Puyuma Specific trains solely take an hour, however these trains are nearly at all times bought out and don’t permit standing tickets.

Buses additionally depart each quarter-hour or so from Taipei Bus Station and Taipei Metropolis Corridor MRT bus station, taking about 1 hour and quarter-hour (slower at peak visitors instances) and costing round TWD150.

Getting from Taipei to Luodong

The identical trains from Taipei to Jiaoxi & Yilan Metropolis proceed on to Luodong, taking a complete of 1h45min to 2.5 hours. Taroko Specific trains can get you there as quick as 1h15min however, as talked about above, are very arduous to get seats on.

Buses from Taipei Bus Station or Metropolis Corridor MRT bus station to Luodong take 1.5 hours and price round TWD150.

It’s also possible to hire a scooter in Luodong, which can actually assist for exploring the beneath sights in Yilan.

Native tip: typically when Hualien to Taipei trains are actually crowded and individuals are bored with standing, they hop off at Luodong and get a snug seat on a bus for the rest of their journey to Taipei (or the identical factor in reverse when heading from Taipei to Hualien/Taroko Gorge.

Issues to Do in Yilan: Jiaoxi

Jiaoxi (礁溪, typically spelled Jiaosi) is my private favourite city in all of Yilan County and one in all my favourite day journeys from Taipei. We’ve stayed in a single day right here a half dozen instances to benefit from the wonderful scorching spring amenities, meals, craft beer, and waterfall hikes round city.

Take pleasure in a number of the finest scorching spring spas in Taiwan

Chuan Tang Hot Spring Spa Jiaoxi, one of the best hot springs in Yilan
My spouse and children at Chuan Tang Sizzling Spring Spa in Jiaoxi

For guests to Taiwan in winter, Jiaoxi is among the finest scorching spring resort cities in Taiwan, with dozens of scorching spring spas and inns to select from. You could find extra particulars in regards to the village in my full information to Jiaoxi Sizzling Spring.

Virtually each lodge in Jiaoxi has its personal spa (and sometimes a scorching spring tub in your individual room), plus a number of the finest lodge spas are open to non-guests. General, spas in Jiaoxi are higher value-for-money than these in Taipei at Beitou Thermal Valley.

The one draw back is that just about not one of the scorching springs in Jiaoxi have pure views, though the countryside round Jiaoxi is kind of lovely in case you stroll or drive only a few minutes out of city (assume tons and many rice paddies).

Two spas in Jiaoxi stand out above the remainder: Chuan Tang Spring Spa Lodge (川湯春天溫泉飯店) has the very best number of scented and brightly coloured scorching springs on the town, plus a younger youngsters’s part, scented steam rooms, and extra. It’s just a few minutes’ stroll from Jiaoxi Practice Station.

Even nearer to the prepare station, Artwork Spa Lodge (中冠礁溪大飯店) has the very best youngsters’ part, together with a very tall scorching water slide (older youngsters solely), plus a small number of coloured/scented tubs, tons of therapeutic massage jets, and extra.

You don’t have to truly keep in these inns to take pleasure in their spas; there are a great deal of higher and cheaper choices on the town; discover the finest locations to remain right here.

For extra nice scorching springs in Taiwan, go to Tai’An in Miaoli County on the west coast or Wulai Sizzling Spring in New Taipei Metropolis.

Let fish nibble your toes in Tangweigou Sizzling Spring Park

Fish nibbling on people's skin in a foot soaking hot spring tub in Tangweigou hot spring park, one of the quirkiest things to do in Yilan
How ticklish are your toes?

Tangweigou Sizzling Spring Park (湯圍溝溫泉公園) is an extended, slender walkway/park within the Jiaoxi Metropolis Heart stretching between Jiaoxi Road (礁溪路五段) and Deyang Street (德陽路).

A scorching water stream runs by means of it and there are quite a few spots for soaking your toes and letting fish nibble the lifeless pores and skin off them. It doesn’t damage, but it surely’s extremely ticklish! You’ll have to pay a small charge for the bizarre expertise, and you’ll even take pleasure in a draght craft beer when you do it (see #4).

Eat the spiciest ice cream you’ll ever strive

Spicy ice cream at "Chili Hunter" ice cream shop in Jiaoxi, Yilan
The signal doesn’t lie.

On the southern (Jiaoxi Road) entrance to Tangweigou Park, Chili Hunter is a specialty ice cream store serving the spiciest ice cream I’ve ever tried. Not all of the flavors are spicy; go for stage 0 for non-spicy. However if you’re courageous sufficient to strive the strawberry ice cream (stage 7, the best) like we did, I can solely say that the sensation is just like burning your tongue. Positively I’d suggest one of many ranges in between.

When you want one thing to neutralize your mouth, go for one of many scrumptious inexperienced onion truffles served from stalls in the back of the park.

Drink inexperienced algae craft beer

Drinking green algae craft beer in Jiaoxi, one of the best places to visit in Yilan
Cheers to inexperienced beers!

Yet one more awesomely uncommon factor to do in Tangweigou Sizzling Spring Park is to pattern beer crafted by the native Yilan brewery Barley Farm Handbook Beer (麥田現釀啤酒). Their beers embrace wheat (小麥), barley (大麥), rye (黑麥), and spirulina (inexperienced algae) (螺旋藻).

Are they good? Properly, you’ll must attempt to discover out! There are a number of stalls within the park serving the beer on faucet, however our go-to patio for post-hiking beers is a small café in the back of the park on Deyang street, behind Maison de Chine Lodge.

Soak your toes whereas feasting on Japanese scorching spring delicacies

Soaking my feet in hot spring water while I eat Japanese hot spring food in Jiaoxi, one of the best places to eat in Yilan
A eating expertise to not be missed! (Like my images? See what digital camera I at all times journey with right here!)

If letting fish nibble the pores and skin off your toes doesn’t sound too interesting, then perhaps you’d somewhat soak your toes in scorching springs when you take pleasure in scrumptious Japanese meals?

You’ll be able to strive Leshan Sizzling Spring Ramen (樂山溫泉拉麵) proper by the prepare station, however the restaurant is notoriously busy. For a greater likelihood at a spot, their second location, strive Rakuzan Ramen (樂山溫泉拉麵二店) close to the Jiaoxi bus terminal.

Each of them concentrate on scorching spring ramen, scorching spring eggs, and an assortment of different scrumptious Japanese meals.

Marvel at Wufengqi Waterfall

Man standing with arms open in front of Wufengqi Waterfall in Jiaoxi, Yilan
My good friend Dan REALLY loved Wufengqi Waterfall.

Probably the most well-known scenic attraction related to Jiaoxi is Wufenqi Waterfall (五峰旗瀑布), three kilometers west of city. There you’ll discover a straightforward mountaineering path results in a collection of breathtaking waterfalls.

Attending to Wufengqi Waterfall: You’ll be able to stroll there in about 45 minutes from city, however we regularly hop in a taxi from Yilan prepare station and get the driving force’s quantity for the return pick-up. They’re normally just a few distributors promoting snacks and native specialties on the entrance to the waterfall path.

Hike to Yuemeikeng Waterfall

Yuemeikeng Waterfall in Jiaoxi, Yilan
Yuemeikeng Waterfall

Beginning very near Wufengqi however considerably much less recognized is the beginning of the path to Yuemeikeng Falls (月眉坑瀑布). The path is best for intermediate hikers as you’ll have to cross a small stream or two and climb over just a few boulders, however the reward is a beautiful, 3-tiered curtain waterfall you can even swim underneath when the water stage is excessive sufficient.

The return hike takes round two hours. To seek out the path from the doorway to Wufengqi, comply with the trail downhill by means of the forest to Dezikou River, then cross the Dezikou River Test Dam (得子口溪攔沙壩). Look ahead to macaques; we noticed an entire troupe of them on this hike!

Issues to do in Yilan Metropolis

When Taiwanese folks say they’re “going to Yilan this weekend”, they’re most frequently referring to someplace in Yilan County, not essentially Yilan Metropolis. Nonetheless, the namesake capital of Yilan is among the gateways to Yilan County, and has sufficient cool issues to do for vacationers to think about spending a day and even in a single day there.

Go on a strolling tour of Yilan Metropolis

Jimi Square (Jimmy Park) at Yilan City train station
Jimi Sq. at Yilan Practice Station (picture from Glad Station Fb web page)

Beginning proper in entrance of the Yilan prepare station, Jimi Sq. (Jimmy Park or 幾米公園) is a cute park with many painted partitions and statues themed on Jimmy Liao, a Taiwanese artist from Yilan, and the film Flip Left, Flip Proper (向左走·向右走), which he wrote.

Down the road, Glad Station (Happiness Switch Station or 幸福轉運站) has the identical thought, however utilized to a bus station. There may be additionally a particularly cute youngsters’s playground with indoor and outside amenities, together with a bus transformed into an elephant that youngsters (or selfie-snappers) can climb up into.

Traditional Taiwanese wine pots in Yilan City
Conventional Taiwanese wines in Yilan

From there, stroll quarter-hour to Yilan Distillery Chia Chi Lan Wine Museum (甲子蘭酒文物館), the place you’ll be able to find out about (and naturally style or purchase) conventional Taiwanese liquors. For a little bit of recent air, head to the Yilan Riverside Park (宜蘭河濱公園), and don’t miss the distinctive Jin-Mei Pedestrian Bridge (慶和橋津梅棧道).

One other standard factor do in Yilan is to strive some conventional Taiwanese ice cream. Simply kind “Yilan ice cream” into GoogleMaps and you’ll find a great deal of retailers. I can personally suggest Qilin Ice Cream (seek for “奇淋冰品”), some of the standard amongst locals (due to my Taiwanese good friend for taking me there!)

Get native on the Yilan Evening Market

Oyster omelets at Dongmen Night Market (Yilan Night Market) in Yilan City
Oyster omelets at Dongmen Evening Market

By Taiwanese requirements, Yilan Metropolis’s major evening market, referred to as Dongmen Evening Market (東門夜市), is fairly tiny and doesn’t have a lot choice. On the plus aspect, it is rather native, and costs are low cost, low cost, low cost. When you occur to be spending the evening in Yilan, this offers you one thing to do within the night.

For a bigger and extra standard evening market in Yilan, try Luodong Evening Market (#20 beneath).

Play with LEGO at Brick Ark Museum

Brick Ark Museum, a LEGO museum in Yilan City, one of the best places to visit in Yilan with kids
Brick Ark Museum, Yilan Metropolis (picture from Brick Ark Museum web site)

On the southern finish of Yilan Metropolis, Brick Ark Museum (積木博物館) is a devoted LEGO museum. The place else will you get an opportunity to see an enormous hand holding pearl milk tea (made from LEGO bricks)? The museum additionally has DIY workshops and you’ll take residence what you construct, so it’s a enjoyable place to go to if you’re touring to Yilan with youngsters.

It’s a bit of far to stroll there, however you’ll be able to hop on bus 772-1 or 772-2 from bus station in the back of Yilan prepare station and get off at Yilan County Authorities cease (縣政府站).

Different Issues to do in Northern Yilan County

Moreover the Jiaoxi and Yilan Metropolis facilities, there are many different issues to do unfold out round them. This part covers in all places in Yilan County north of the Lanyang River, moreover Yilan Metropolis and Jiaoxi Township.

Hike the Caoling Historic Path

Caoling Historic Trail, New Taipei City to Yilan Taiwan
Buffaloes overlooking the ocean on the Taoyuan Valley portion of the Caoling Historic Path

As soon as described by Lonely Planet as probably the most worthwhile hike in all of Taiwan, the Caoling Historic Path follows a route that after was the one connection between New Taipei Metropolis and Yilan County.

Starting close to Fulong Seaside in New Taipei Metropolis, the path climaxes at a piece of excessive mountain grasslands (look ahead to buffalos!) and bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean above Dali (大里) in Yilan. A harder (however much more scenic) continuation follows the Taoyuan valley alongside the bluffs, ending close to Daxi (Dasi or 大溪).

The most well-liked time to stroll the path is in autumn, when the silvergrass blooms and paints the hillsides alongside the hike a silvery grey.

Hit the surf at Wai Ao Seaside

Wai Ao surfing beach in Yilan, Taiwan
Wai Ao, the very best browsing seaside in northern Taiwan

The most well-liked seaside in Yilan County, and one of many finest seashores inside straightforward attain of Taipei, is Wai Ao (外澳).

Wai Ao is the very best place to strive browsing in northern Taiwan, particularly for newcomers. You’ll be able to rent surfboards proper on the or from one of many a number of surf retailers behind the southern (browsing) finish of the seaside. You’ll be able to even guide a browsing lesson earlier than you arrive.

Attending to Wai Ao: You’ll must journey about two hours on the sluggish prepare from Taipei to get right here, however whenever you see that lengthy stretch of sand and unimaginable view of Turtle Island (Guishan Dao or 龜山島), you’ll understand it’s utterly price it.

For the very best browsing seaside in southern Taiwan, see my information to Dulan, Taitung.

Go to Turtle Island (Guishan Island)

Looking down at the tip of Turtle Island (Guishan Island) in Yilan, Taiwan
Trying down on the head of the turtle

Guishan Island is one in all Yilan’s most recognizable landmarks. Additionally referred to as Turtle Island, however actually “turtle mountain island” (龜山島), the island is understood for its turtle-like form and is situated 10.5 km off the coast of Toucheng in Yilan. The island is shaped by the one lively volcano in Taiwan (though Yangmingshan could also be lively as effectively), and it’s Yilan’s largest and solely inhabited island.

Quite a lot of boat excursions run from Wushi Harbor (烏石港), which is simply south of Wai Ao seaside, to Turtle Island (March to November solely). I like to recommend this Turtle Island tour, which incorporates dolphin watching, a ship experience across the island, and also you get to cease on the island and climb to the highest of 410 Peak, the island’s major peak.

Study extra about Yilan at Lanyang Museum

View of the outside of Lanyang Museum, Yilan County, Taiwan
Lanyang Museum on the coast of northern Yilan County

Between Wai Ao and the city of Toucheng, Lanyang Museum (蘭陽博物館) is correct on the coastal freeway and price a go to. The museum delves into native Yilan topography and historical past.

The museum’s exterior can also be fairly a sight, designed to imitate the cuestas (hills or ridges which can be mild on one aspect and abrupt on the opposite) which can be frequent within the space.

Take a stroll down Toucheng Previous Road

Traditional Taiwanese ice cream in Toucheng, Yilan
Conventional Taiwanese taro ice cream at A-Zong in Toucheng

Of the various “previous streets” in Taiwan, Toucheng Previous Road (頭城老街) is among the least energetic, however I nonetheless embrace it right here for anybody which may be passing by means of and need to take a fast look.

In contrast to the others, you received’t discover a great deal of meals stalls or folks, however as a substitute a quaint neighborhood of previous residential buildings the place you may get an actual really feel for old-time, small-town Taiwan. It’s just about empty through the week however does get a bit of busier on weekends.

We normally make a fast cease at A-Zong Taro Ice Cream (阿宗芋冰城) on the principle street close to the Previous Road for some scrumptious old school Taiwanese ice cream.

Pattern a number of the world’s finest whiskey at Kavalan Distillery

Kavalan Whisky Distillery, one of the most famous Yilan attractions
Visiting one of many world’s finest whiskey producers

The multi-award profitable Kavalan Whisky Distillery is among the most well-known sights in Yilan. Come right here to hitch a free distillery tour (Mandarin solely), which incorporates one pattern on the finish.

See right here for an English tour, which even contains mixing and taking residence your individual bottle of whiskey. It’s also possible to go to the distillery on this day tour from Taipei.

Attending to Kavalan Distillery: The distillery is situated in Yuanshan Township, immediately west of Yilan Metropolis. To get there, you’ll be able to take bus #752 (solely 7 per day) from Yilan Practice Station (about half-hour) or hop in a cab.

Get your craft beer repair at Jim & Dad’s Brewery

Beer on table at Jim & Dad's brewery in Yilan, one of the best craft beers in Taiwan
One of the best craft beer in Yilan at Jim & Dad’s

When you favor beer to whiskey like I do, then don’t fear, Yilan has nonetheless received you coated! Solely quarter-hour on foot from Kavalan, you’ll discover Jim & Dad’s Brew Firm (吉姆老爹啤酒工場), one other native establishment.

The brewery provides distinctive touches to their brews with native Yilan substances (for instance kumquat IPA or smoked plum marzen), and their good-looking taproom is well worth the journey. We visited with my spouse’s household, solely to seek out out that one of many house owners was my father-in-law’s previous good friend!

Make your individual sweet & chocolate at Sophisca

Sophisca Candy and chocolate store in Yilan County, Taiwan
Are you able to resist? (picture from Sophisca web site)

One of many many Yilan points of interest interesting to households is Sophisca (菓風糖果工房), a sweet and chocolate store with some hands-on, sweet making actions for youths. It’s not a purpose to journey all the way in which from Taipei, however a enjoyable little cease in case you occur to be Yilan with youngsters. They’ve even received vegan choices and chocolate lipstick!

The sweet retailer is situated a bit of methods southwest of Yilan Metropolis in Yuanshan District; in case you don’t have a automobile, it will not be well worth the journey.

Admire the number of plants in Artemis Backyard

Artemis garden, a greenhouse in Yilan County, Taiwan
My son and I at Artemis Backyard

On a weekend journey I made to Yilan with my spouse and her Taiwanese mates, one in all our greatest finds was Artemis Backyard (香草菲菲/芳香植物博物館), a gorgeous greenhouse in a quiet nook or Yuanshan township, simply earlier than the Yilan plains give approach to the mountains.

The big, shiny greenhouse is stuffed with all method of native flora, good if you’re in search of one thing particular to take again to your condo in Taipei (I received a carnivorous flower!) There are staircases main as much as ramps coated in hanging vegetation; it’s fairly a gorgeous place to go to, and there’s a small café inside.

Bus #752 (the identical one which goes to Kavalan Distillery) additionally continues on to right here. It’s fairly a journey from Yilan Station although (about 45 minutes) and there are just a few buses per day. Get off at Artemis Backyard/Taiyangpi (太陽埤) cease.

Be surrounded by pumpkins at a Pumpkin Leisure Farm

Pumpkin Farm in Yilan, Taiwan
Tunnel of pumpkins

Of the various “leisure farms” I’ve been to in Taiwan (I coated leisure farms for an entire yr whereas writing for Journey in Taiwan journal), this is among the smaller however extra attention-grabbing ones I’ve been to. I discovered it once I went on a weekend journey to Yilan with a cram faculty I used to be working for on the time.

Pumpkin Farm Yilan (旺山休閒農場-主題南瓜園) is off-the-beaten-track (you’ll want a automobile to get there) on a small street east of Yilan Metropolis. It’s precisely what it seems like; a pumpkin farm aimed toward home vacationers. Don’t count on an entire lot to do, however do count on to take an entire bunch of enjoyable pumpkin pics.

Moreover admiring the somewhat picturesque rows and tunnels of pumpkins, youngsters can do just a few DIY actions, and eat (or drink!) a wide range of pumpkin-based treats, like roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pizza, pumpkin soup, and extra. I needed to strive the pumpkin espresso, and it was really fairly good!

Pumpkin coffee at a Pumpkin leisure farm in Yilan, Taiwan
Pumpkin espresso: higher than you would possibly count on!

Issues to Do in Yilan: Luodong

Luodong township is the second largest city heart in Yilan County. There isn’t an entire lot to do there, however it’s a transportation hub for accessing most of the Yilan sights round it, and a very good place to spend the evening in case you’re touring with a gaggle.

Some folks additionally wish to take an specific bus from Taipei to Luodong after which hop on the prepare to Hualien from there as a quicker (or much less crowded) approach to attain Taroko Gorge from Taipei (or coming again).

Feast on snacks at the very best evening market in Yilan

Luodong Night Market, the best Yilan night market
Luodong Evening Market

Luodong Evening Market (羅東夜市) is the most important and finest evening market in Yilan County, eclipsing the a lot smaller Dongmen Evening Market (#9) in Yilan Metropolis. Right here you’ll be able to count on the everyday crowds and number of snacks that you’d discover at any of the good evening markets in Taipei or elsewhere in Taiwan.

Attending to Luodong Evening Market: the evening market is situated 750 meters (10 minutes’ stroll) west of Luodong prepare station.

Keep in a Luodong Minsu

A typical minsu (guesthouse) in Luodong, Yilan. The are the best places to stay in Yilan for families or groups
A minsu that we stayed at in Luodong.

There are actually a whole lot of minsu (民宿 or native guesthouses) in and round Luodong, catering primarily to native households and teams. When you’re touring with a big household or group of mates, it is a excellent spot to hire a gorgeous home in a quiet space surrounded by rice paddies, however you’ll in all probability want your individual wheels to get to most of them.

You could find many of those home leases right here or Reserving or right here on Agoda.

Go for a stroll at Luodong Forestry Tradition Park

Luodong Forestry Culture park, one of the best things to do in Luodong, Yilan
Luodong Forest Park, proper in Luodong township heart

Luodong Forestry Tradition Park (羅東林業文化園區) is a stunning park which reveals, statues, locomotives, and extra dedicated to the world’s former logging trade. It’s constructed round a big pond the place logs have been as soon as floated in off the river to retailer.

Attending to Luodong Forestry Tradition Park: It’s free to go to and situated 10 minutes’ stroll north of Luodong Practice Station.

Hang around with cats in a cat cafe

As Yilan is a leisure-focused vacation spot, there are dozens, maybe even a whole lot of cafes throughout the county, together with a number of cat cafes. The most effective cat espresso retailers in Yilan is Cats’ Day (猫的生活提案) in Luodong. The cafe options fairly normal meals and drinks, however the actual draw is all of the kitties to pet. There’s a second flooring with elevator entry.

The cafe is a couple of minutes stroll west of Luodong Practice Station, close to Luodong Evening Market (#20). You could find different cat espresso retailers in Yilan by merely looking out “cat cafes” on GoogleMaps.

Different Issues to do in Southern Yilan County

South of the Lanyang River, the plains surrounding Luodong are dotted with points of interest. Extra so than north of the river, you’ll want your individual transportation to get round right here, though a number of the sights do have rare bus providers or sluggish trains from Taipei.

Heading south alongside the coast previous Su’Ao Chilly Spring (#30) towards Hualien County and Taroko Gorge, the coastal surroundings turns into more and more dramatic. Most of Yilan County is definitely made up of mountains, which guests can most simply entry at Mingchi Nationwide Forest Recreation Space (#39) and Taipingshan (#40).

I’ll cowl the sights on this a part of Yilan in roughly a clockwise instructions, beginning to the north of Luodong, and ending within the mountains to the west.

Go to museums devoted to pencils and crayons

Lucky Art Crayon Factory in Yilan County, northeastern Taiwan
Fortunate Artwork Crayon Manufacturing facility

When you’ve received youngsters (or perhaps simply favor quirky museums?), Yilan’s received each a pencil and a crayon manufacturing facility/museum. Rabbit Pencil Faculty (玉兔鉛筆學校) is simply north of Luodong and was the primary firm to supply ballpoint pens in Taiwan.

Fortunate Artwork Crayon Manufacturing facility (蜡藝蠟筆城堡) is additional south, heading towards Su’Ao Chilly Springs (see #30 beneath) and near Xinma Practice Station.

Each amenities cater to highschool teams and can enchantment primarily to guests with youngsters, with quite a few shows and actions on provide.

Spend an entire afternoon on the Yilan Nationwide Heart for Conventional Arts

National Center for Traditional Arts in Yilan
Nationwide Heart for Conventional Arts

One of many largest points of interest in Yilan is the Nationwide Heart for Conventional Arts (國立傳統藝術中心) in Wujie Township, east of Luodong. The massive, practically 20-year-old, government-run facility is dedicated to preserving and selling conventional arts in Taiwan.

Right here you’ll be able to find out about conventional arts equivalent to Taiwanese opera, woodworking, and jewellery making. It’s also possible to purchase Taiwanese crafts and pattern native meals. There are numerous workshops and hands-on actions, and lots of sections have lovely settings worthy of backdrops for images.

The right way to get to Nationwide Heart for Conventional Arts Yilan: Take bus #241 from Luodong Station, departing at 10:00, 12:00, or 14:00.

Cool off at Dongshan River Water Park

Dongshan River Park (Dongshan Waterpark) in Yilan County
Getting moist at Dongshan River Park

When you’re visiting Taiwan in summer season with youngsters who love water, positively drop by Dongshan River Park (冬山河親水公園), a big outside youngsters’s pool and spray park (a rarity in Taiwan), linked to the riverside biking trails.

As a dad or mum (and an individual who’s at all times too scorching right here), I want there have been extra parks like this EVERYWHERE, particularly in Taipei. See right here to find out about different waterparks in Taiwan.

Dongshan River can also be the place Yilan’s races normally happen through the Dragon Boat Pageant, one of many most essential conventional festivals in Taiwan.

Attending to Dongshan River Park: take bus #241 from Luodong Station, which solely departs 3 times per day. It’s the identical bus that goes to the Nationwide Heart for Conventional Arts (#25).

Cycle alongside Dongshan Mr. Brown Avenue

The Dongshan Mr. Brown Avenue, one of the best places to go cycling in Yilan
My spouse and daughter biking in Yilan

The most effective approach to expertise the Lanyang (Yilan) Plains is to hop on a motorbike, and Dongshan Mr. Brown Avenue is among the finest locations to do that. The bikeway is called after the Mr. Brown Boulevard in Chishang, Taitung, which has related surroundings (learn extra in my information to the East Coast of Taiwan from Hualien to Taitung).

Take the common prepare to Dongshan Station (one cease south of Yilan), rent a motorbike, and off you go! The 21-kilometer-return straightforward experience takes in lovely rice paddies, and the Wushierjia Wetlands. Cross Lizejian Bridge to succeed in Dongshan River Park (#26 above). The surroundings is unimaginable, so do think about getting a good biking digital camera in your bike!

Uncover the historical past of pearl milk tea

Picture of bubble tea (pearl milk tea) in Yilan Taiwan
Study extra about Taiwan’s most well-known drink.

When you’re an enormous bubble tea fan, and also you’ve already made a pilgrimage to the homeland of bubble tea in Taichung, the next move is to take a look at this cute little museum dedicated to the candy chewy drink.

The Kili Bay Pearl Milk Tea Cultural Heart (奇麗灣珍奶文化館) is dedicated to this historical past and tradition of Taiwan’s most well-known drink. You’ll be able to even make your individual bubble tea in a DIY exercise.

The middle is a bit of out of the way in which, situated close to the coast in Su’Ao township. Kuokuang bus 1812 from Taipei to Nanfangao (see #31 beneath) passes close by; get off at Longde Industrial Park (龍德工業區) cease. Be warned that it’s a very sluggish bus experience. You could possibly think about visiting right here by bicycle from Dongshan Mr. Brown Avenue (see #27 above).

Go tenting at Wu Lao Keng Scenic Space

Wulaokeng, one of the best places to go camping in Yilan
My son at a campsite at Wulaokeng

For a enjoyable household tenting expertise, Wu Lao Stream (Wulaokeng or 武荖坑) has an expansive grounds together with campground, barbecue areas, playgrounds, and a stunning stream you can swim in.

You’ll be able to pay a small charge to enter for the day; we as soon as dropped in en path to Nanfangao (#31) simply to go for a swim within the stream.

Beat the warmth at Su’ao Chilly Springs

Su'ao Cold Spring, Yilan
Suao Chilly Spring (picture from Taiwan tourism web page)

Su’ao (蘇澳) is Taiwan’s most well-known chilly spring village. Right here on the east coast of Taiwan, proper on the level the place the Yilan plains meet the rugged coastal mountains of Hualien, carbonic acid mineral water bubbles out of the bottom.

The springs actually are chilly, so that you’ll need to save this for a scorching summer season day. There are just a few amenities on the town the place you’ll be able to benefit from the water, some for a charge, and a few without spending a dime. Most of them are fairly run down, although. See this text for more information and particulars about visiting Su’ao chilly spring.

The prepare from Taipei to Su’ao takes about three hours, or about half-hour from Luodong to Su’ao. Bus 1879 from Yuanshan MRT in Taipei is quicker, getting there in about 2 hours.

For a extra pure (however tougher to succeed in) chilly spring expertise, see #33 beneath.

Eat tremendous recent seafood at Nanfangao Harbor

Seafood Market at Nanfangao harbor, Yilan Taiwan
Seafood market and eating places at Nanfangao

Of the various harbors in Taiwan the place recent seafood may be bought and eaten proper on the pier, Nanfangao (南方澳, typically written Nanfang’ao) is among the finest. You might bear in mind Nanfangao from the information, when on October 1, 2019, a bridge throughout the harbor all of the sudden crashed, killing six folks.

Like most harbors in Taiwan, you’ll discover a number of seafood eating places round it, catering to households and teams. However for probably the most native expertise, head to the Nanfangao Fish Market (南方澳觀光漁市場), the place the distributors show the catches of the day. The takeaway trays of tremendous low cost & recent sashimi are irresistible!

Select no matter you’d like on one aspect of the market, then carry it over to the opposite aspect the place one of many easy eateries will cook dinner it up for you on the spot, alongside along with your selection of veggies, noodles, rice, beer, and so forth. This can be a true Taiwan eating expertise!

Attending to Nanfangao Harbor: Kuokuang Bus 1879 (identical as #30) travels from Yuanshan MRT in Taipei to Nanfangao in about 2 hours.

Try the view at Nanfangao Lookout

Nanfang Ao Harbor from above, a popular Yilan attraction
Nanfang Ao Harbor from the Suao-Hualien freeway

When you’ve received your individual automobile (or some additional vitality to climb the steps behind Zhen An Temple or 鎮安宮), head to Nanfangao Lookout (南方澳觀景臺), a lookout level with a panoramic view of the complete Nanfangao harbor.

That is additionally a well-liked cease for anybody driving down the coast from Yilan to Hualien.

Get off the overwhelmed observe at Dongyue Chilly Springs

Dongyoue Cold Spring, an off-the-beaten-track place to visit in Yilan
Dongyue Chilly Spring on a scorching summer season day

Going south previous Su-Ao, the Suhua freeway (Su’Ao to Hualien freeway) turns into a winding, slow-moving, and extremely scenic drive. After going means up after which means right down to fairly Dong’ao Bay, a bit of detour off the freeway across the aboriginal city of Dongao will carry one to distant Dongyue Chilly Springs (東岳湧泉, additionally referred to as Dongao Chilly Spring or 東澳冷泉).

This can be a extra pure and utterly non-touristy model of Su’ao chilly spring, and folks from the instant space are the principle ones who frequent it. It will get fairly busy in summer season, and don’t be shocked if pleasant locals give you a beer. The prepare line passes by on an overpass virtually proper above the chilly water swimming pools.

With out your individual automobile, you could possibly stroll right here from Dongao prepare station, which is a 2.5 to 3-hour experience from Taipei.

When you journey additional south from right here, you’ll be able to go to distant Nan’ao Seaside falls (南澳滴水坑瀑布) and Aohua Waterfall (澳花瀑布) earlier than reaching Hualien County.

Issues to Do within the Mountains of Yilan

Now we bounce over to the world mendacity to the west of Yilan, at Meihua Lake (#34) and Sanxing (#35), earlier than heading up into the mountains of southwest Yilan County.

When you’re inquisitive about exploring this attractive area, then we’d suggest Locasu Mattress & Breakfast (洛卡斯). These beautiful cabins are in an ideal location for exploring the entire following points of interest, with a reasonably setting close to the river. Keep right here in case you love a quiet avoid the town (and you’ve got your individual wheels).

Locasu bed and breakfast cabins in Yilan
Stunning view from the cabins at Locasu B&B

Admire lovely Meihua Lake

Statue at Yilan Meihua Lake, also known as Plum Blossom Lake
Fairly Meihua Lake

Meihua Lake (Plum Blossom Lake or 梅花湖) is a tiny, fairly lake southwest of Luodong. You’ll be able to take a nice stroll across the lake, rent a motorbike, or calm down in one in all a number of cafés. It’s a well-liked spot for native households and youths to chill.

Attending to Meihua Lake: take bus #281 from Luodong bus/prepare station to Meihua lake cease, which departs 5 instances per day.

Eat inexperienced onion truffles in Sanxing village

Green onion cake from Sanxing, Yilan
Wonderful inexperienced onion cake from Sanxing

All of Yilan county is legendary for inexperienced onion truffles (蔥抓餅, also called inexperienced onion pancakes or scallion pancakes), and the tiny village of Sanxing (三星, or Sanshing) has probably the most well-known of all of them. These are one of many top-10 road meals in Taiwan! You’ll be able to even see the title Sanxing on varied inexperienced onion truffles distributors in Taipei evening markets.

What makes them so good? Properly, for starters, inexperienced onions develop throughout Yilan, so the onions used are recent & native. Second, they have a tendency to fry them in a TON of oil, so that they greasily scrumptious.

The Sanshing Inexperienced Onion Tradition Palace (三星青蔥文化館) is a small museum dedicated to inexperienced onion truffles. Teams with bookings can decide inexperienced onions and learn to make the pancakes.

Green onion cake stall in Sanxing, Yilan
Lining up for inexperienced onion truffles in Sanxing

When you simply need to eat scrumptious inexperienced onion truffles, although, I like to recommend heading to Sanxing Street Part 7 (三星路七段), the place two extraordinarily standard street-side inexperienced onion cake stalls throughout the road from every compete for enterprise: Apo Inexperienced Onion Desserts (阿婆蔥油餅) and Luo Household Inexperienced Onion Cake (羅家蔥捲餅).

While you order, you’ll must reply two essential questions: egg or no egg, and spicy or not spicy. Say sure to each.

Field of green onions in Yilan
Inexperienced onions, which develop throughout Yilan

Soak in distant scorching springs

Paigu Hot Spring in Yilan
Distant Paigu (Ribs) Sizzling Spring

On the base of the mountains a brief drive west of Sanxing, there are a handful of untamed and developed scorching springs alongside Provincial Freeway 7, also called the Northern Cross Island Freeway.

The primary is a distant wild scorching spring referred to as Fan Fan Sizzling Spring (梵梵溫泉), which has two sections on the Fan Fan Stream: 梵梵溫泉A區 and梵梵溫泉B區 . A second one is Ribs River Sizzling Spring (paigu wenquan or 排骨溫泉), which is situated close to the place the freeway 7 veers away from the Lanyang river and up into the mountains towards Mingchi Nationwide Scenic Space (see #39).

For a developed scorching spring facility, head to Jiuzhize (Renze) Sizzling Springs (鳩之澤溫泉) on the backside of the drive as much as Taipingshan (#40).

Paigu, one of the best hot springs in Yilan
All to ourselves!

Cook dinner eggs in scorching spring water

Me cooking hot spring eggs at Jiuzhize hot spring near Taipingshan, Yilan
That’s me, cooking scorching spring eggs at Jiuzhize scorching spring

Moreover soaking in scorching springs in Taiwan, you can too cook dinner eggs in them! As a result of temperature of the water, the eggs cook dinner slower than regular arduous boiled eggs, attaining a gooey texture on the within that’s extraordinarily scrumptious!

Water Geothermal Sq. (清水地熱廣場), which requires a drive into the hills from Sanxing, is a scorching spring park the place you’ll be able to cook dinner eggs, corn, and even prawns within the scorching water. There are additionally foot soaking swimming pools.

One other spot to do that is at Jiuzhize (Renze) Sizzling Springs (鳩之澤溫泉) firstly of the lengthy winding street up Taipingshan (see #40). It has each an egg cooking station exterior (picture above), and a developed scorching spring spa (see #36).

Eat (& drink) tea at a tea-themed restaurant

Tea-based foods at one of the best restaurants in Yilan
Tea-flavored gua bao

Have you ever ever heard of tea delicacies? This can be a particular type of eating that has developed in Taiwan (and perhaps another tea producing areas on the planet?) wherein tea, tea oil, and tea leaves are used to organize all of the dishes in a meal.

You discover this sort of meals in a number of locations in Taiwan, however one which we discovered simply by looking out round our lodge within the space was 田媽媽玉露-茶葉大餐 in a tiny village throughout the river from Sanxing.

We have been the one company after we dropped in on a random weeknight. We feasted on deep fried tealeaves, Taiwanese guabao with tea sauce, meats, tofu, and noodles cooked in tea oil, and naturally a number of tea to scrub it down. That is actually a novel type of meals, and I’d extremely suggest it!

To seek out extra locations like this, see my article on tea in Taiwan.

Stroll round gorgeous Mingchi Lake

Minchi Lake in Yilan
Stunning Mingchi Lake

Mingchi Nationwide Forest Recreation Space (明池國家森林遊樂區) is a reputation that every one Taiwanese folks know. The principle focus of the park is picturesque Mingchi Lake.

The attractive alpine lake is situated close to the best level of the (very winding) Northern Cross-Island Freeway. The lake is usually shrowded in mist, and it’s a straightforward 30-minute stroll round it. Our youngsters’ favourite half have been the geese, swans, and turtles.

There may be one massive facility close to the car parking zone, Mingchi Villa (明池山莊), providing rooms and cabins, and standard amongst native households and tour teams.

Mingchi Villa, one of the best places to stay in Yilan
Mingchi Villa, the principle lodging at Mingchi Forest Recreation Space

Discover Taipingshan Nationwide Forest Recreation Space

Hiking in Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area
Mountaineering Path at Taipingshan

When you beloved Alishan Nationwide Scenic Space, then additionally, you will take pleasure in visiting 1950m Taiping Mountain (Taipingshan or 太平山). This less-visited peak affords recent air and a community of trails by means of excessive mountain forests of cypress, pine, maple, and cedar, which have been as soon as logged by the Japanese.

Me and my wife in a cafe at Taipingshan, Yilan
My spouse and I at Taipingshan when our son was a child

One of many highlights of visiting Taipingshan is driving the Bong Bong Practice (蹦蹦車). Just like the Alishan Forest Railway, it was as soon as used to haul wooden. One other similarity is that it was closed to the general public on account of hurricane harm. After being closed from 2012 to 2018, the Bong Bong Practice is up and operating once more!

To enter the scenic space, you’ll have to pay TWD150 (weekends 200), and a experience on the Bong Bong Practice prices TWD180.

Riding the Bong Bong train at taipingshan mountain in Yilan
The “Bong Bong Practice” at Taipingshan

Attending to Taipingshan: Just one bus, Kuoguang bus #1750, departs per day from Yilan (7:40 a.m.) and Luodong (8:00), arriving at Taipingshan at 10:30. The bus returns from Taipingshan at 14:30. To make life simpler, you can too take this Taipingshan day tour from Taipei or this one.

When you’ve received a automobile and need to discover additional, drive 17 kilometers (35 minutes) previous the principle Taipingshan Scenic Space to Cuifeng Lake (Cueifong Lake or 翠峰湖), a beautiful alpine lake with varied mountaineering trails and lookout factors.

Properly, I hope you’ve discovered sufficient concepts right here to plan a lifetime of enjoyable journeys to Yilan, Taiwan! Let me know if there’s something I ought to advert to the record, as we alre at all times in search of new locations to discover! !

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