Yehliu Geopark Queens Head and Rock Formations
Trip Start Feb 29, 2012
15Trip End Mar 04, 2012
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The 1262 bus comes every 30 mins and there was a family from malaysia and india that both said they were going to the same place. People were tapping their card as they got on so I tried mine but it didnt work so I paid cash.
The bus left at 11.15 and took 80 mins to get to the park. As we drove out of the city and around the northern tip the sky became darker and the roads more shrouded in mist and light drizzle. This was going to be like Jeju Island in Korea with different weather pockets on different sides of the island.
I wasnt sure when to get off but as others were going to the same place I waited to see. Then english signs for the park came, the driver announced the stop, and the bus emptied.
It was now very heavy constant drizzle, whereas the other side of the island where I left from was completely dry with no rain forecast. Lucky I had my rain jacket and cap as I expected island weather to be unpredictable and subject to change
The walk to the park entrance went past many fresh seafood restaurants which load up from the trawlers docked out front. There was a nice temple and we had passed many elaborate oceanfront temples on the bus which I couldnt photograph, along with the roar of massive waves. Entrance fee was 50 TWD ($1.75) and it was constant heavy drizzle.
The Yehliu peninsula is a strip of land sticking out into the ocean on the north east side of Taiwain Island. As it faces the pacific it is subject to all the forces of nature which has eroded and shaped the landscape for thousands of years. This has left many unusual shaped object, most famous is the Queens Head. There are also warning to be careful of tidal waves.
There are many shaped objects marked in the guide map. Others you can make out subject to your own interpretation. Unfortunately with the rain I couldnt take the map out or it would get completely wet, soggy, and useless, so had to wander and spot things on my own.
I saw what looked like a giant frog, and a rabbit perched on a hill. There were interesting shaped rock formations as they were battered and weathered by the sea and waves. There was a coloured path to guide you slightly off colour from the stones with a non slip coating. But it was hard to really see, and easily to wander off onto slippery stones.
As I went further out into the peninsula there were people fishing. Then suddenly you come to an area with unusual shapes. One was a giant honeycombed sphere and other miniature volcanoes. There were also mushroom rocks and a cave.
The other side of the peninsula had more interesting shapes. First was what looked like a dragon head as well as some fossils in the ground. The main feature of the park was the Queens Head.
As I had sort of come backwards I didnt realize there was a long line on the platform to get to the queens head. They were korean as I could hear them doing hana-dul-set (1,2,3) to take each persons picture. Now that I looked the line wound really far back into the distance.
I managed to walk around and take shots from different angles. Then there were more other interesting shapes as I tried to finish and get out of the rain. I think I covered most of the park but later found a couple more on the map that I had missed.
The exit leads you back thru a covered market selling souvenir goods to keep me out the rain. I was now wondering about the bus as it ran every 30 mins and took over an hour, while I had arranged to meet a friend at 5pm. As I neared the end of the street leading back to the bus stop on the main road it suddenly pulled past.
I bolted across and luckily made it as there was a group waiting to board, some of the same people I came with. They were tapping their cards so I tried mine but it didnt work so paid cash again.
The return journey took from 2.30 to 3.45. As we drove round the northern tip of Taiwan Island to the east side the skies cleared again and the rain dried up. Back at the station bakery I got a coconut raisin cake for 28 TWD (.90 cents).
To get to the park you can either take the 1262 bus from Tamsui station as I had. Or take a train from Taipai Main Station to Keeling City, and a shorter bus ride to the park. The Keeling City option might be quicker but I didnt want to navigate a new city working out buses and train stations and I'm sure it would have cost more.
Anyway, the unusual and unique formations of the park are truly worthy of the blog title "Made in Taiwan"