Sunday, 14 October 2012

Yehliu Rocks

A few weeks ago we made an unsuccessful attempt to visit the well-known tourist attraction Yehliu Geopark. This park isn't on some remote, inaccessible peninsula hundreds of miles from civilisation, though. It's just that our travel plans went, as isn't infrequently the case, awry.

Yehliu is a small promontory that sticks out of the northern coast of Taiwan. The site is famous for its hoodoo rocks, which have formed interesting shapes, open to wide-ranging interpretations. Like many attractions around Taipei, it's easy to get to by public transport (catch the 1815 bus from Taipei Main Station or City Hall Station) and cheap to enter.

We made a much more successful attempt to go again on the recent 10/10 national holiday. This time, we actually got there. Days off school are rare, so we didn't want to waste the opportunity for a day out. Last year, we went to see the fireworks at Dadaocheng Wharf, which was a brilliant experience. But now that we live further away I decided that it would just take too long to get home if we were to go there again.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Yehliu. As it was a national holiday, the site was predictably quite full, but this didn't restrict us or spoil the day. Here's one of the main areas, and as, you can see, it wasn't too crowded:

It's a fascinating place. The rocks are strange, almost unearthly, to look at, and the sea provides an appropriately rough, natural backdrop.

Small boy takes photos

Beetle's eye view

The site is also famous for its fossils. This is, apparently, an Echinus, or sea urchin fossil.
Most visitors stayed on the rocky and beach areas of the site, enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. (Something has gone wrong, it isn't raining - yet.) We decided to explore the green, hilly cape at the far end of the site.

Once we got onto the hill itself, it was very quiet. We didn't attempt to climb the cliffs, because this sign had warned us what would happen if we did.
There was about a mile or more of paths around the hill. We saw only a few other people, mostly bird watchers. The site is a sanctuary for sea and coastal birds. I managed to get a lucky shot of this one:

The taking of this photo caused a small rift in our family harmony, that my son relates here.

The view from the hilltop was amazing.

We all fell asleep on the bus on the way home. That sea air is just too invigorating at times.

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