Yehliu Geopark, Taiwan

During our quick trip to Taiwan, Mimi and I were faced with the decision of whether or not to visit Yehliu Geopark. The reviews online were mediocre and it would take a good portion of a day to travel to Wanli and back. Fortunately, we cast all doubts about staring at rocks aside and made the trek there. It ended up being one of our favorite excursions.

The hour and a half bus ride from Taipei is pretty boring aside from the twisty paths through the villages, but once you step into the rock formation portion of the park, it’s like arriving at some alien planet.

Most of our research mentioned the Queen’s head and other famous formations, but it was the topography as a whole that really impressed us.

The public bus drops you off in the town and not directly at the park entrance so we had some exploring to do.

The public bus drops you off in the town and not directly at the park entrance so we had some exploring to do.

The surrounding area gives no clues as to what you are about to see.

The surrounding area gives no clues as to what you are about to see.

The local school had the Queen's head depicted in tile on its walls.

The local school had the Queen’s head depicted in tile on its walls.

While wandering around, we took a wrong turn and ended up at this temple atop a small hill.

While wandering around, we took a wrong turn and ended up at this temple atop a small hill.

The intricate lions on the railings hinted at what might be inside.

The intricate lions on the railings hinted at what might be inside.

I thought the mixture of painted and rough natural textures on these beasts was pretty cool.

I thought the mixture of painted and rough natural textures on these beasts was pretty cool.

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Quite a unique set of deity's were on display.

Quite a unique set of deity’s were on display.

The carvings covering the ceiling were intense. I can only imagine how long this would take.

The carvings covering the ceiling were intense. I can only imagine how long this would take.

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Once we finally made it to the park and through the boring paved entry, we were greeted with this little cove that had been carved out by the water.

Once we finally made it to the park and through the boring paved entry, we were greeted with this little cove that had been carved out by the water.

Pretty neat.

Pretty neat.

But as the crowds suggested, the main attraction was up and over the bridges.

But as the crowds suggested, the main attraction was up and over the bridges.

Our first view of the cape and the mushroom rocks (hoodoo stones) covering it.

Our first view of the cape and the mushroom rocks (hoodoo stones) covering it.

Looking back over the small cove we just came from provided a pretty cool view of the adjacent coastline which had been transformed by surf breakers.

Looking back over the small cove we just came from provided a pretty cool view of the adjacent coastline which had been transformed by surf breakers.

Getting down to business, we sought out the maps pointing out the locations of  famous formations.

Getting down to business, we sought out the maps pointing out the locations of famous formations.

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But once inside, we lost track of what we were looking for and just enjoyed stumbling across interesting things...

But once inside, we lost track of what we were looking for and just enjoyed stumbling across interesting things…

Like the many sand dollars imbedded in the surface.

Like the many sand dollars imbedded in the surface.

And the early signs of cracks forming.

And the early signs of cracks forming.

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These pools of water had small boulders that broke off inside.

These pools of water had small boulders that broke off inside.

This formation looked like a broken heart. Perhaps part of what they called Romeo and Juliet.

This formation looked like a broken heart. Perhaps part of what they called Romeo and Juliet.

The ginger rocks all over the surface really felt alien.

The ginger rocks all over the surface really felt alien.

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Closer to the water were the really strange "Sea Candles."  Little plateau formations which had loose spheres of stone remaining on top.

Closer to the water were the really strange “Sea Candles.” Little plateau formations which had loose spheres of stone remaining on top.

Unfortunately this was as close as we could get before park officials would hunt us down.

Unfortunately this was as close as we could get before park officials would hunt us down.

One of our personal favorites was the Ice Cream rock.

One of our personal favorites was the Ice Cream rock.

This formation wasn't listed but I thought it looked like a leopard version of Han Solo in carbonite.

This formation wasn’t listed but I thought it looked like a leopard version of Han Solo in carbonite.

More ginger.

More ginger.

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Some of the formations were much larger than expected. It was great that you could walk freely through most of the areas as long as you didn't disturb the top of the formations.

Some of the formations were much larger than expected. It was great that you could walk freely through most of the areas as long as you didn’t disturb the top of the formations.

No official name for this one but I see a monster on the left.

No official name for this one but I see a monster on the left.

I half expected a Pterodactyl to fly overhead or a T-Rex to pop out.

I half expected a Pterodactyl to fly overhead or a T-Rex to pop out.

The Queens Head is the most famous formation and has a dedicated walkway and photography dude that will take a snap of you with any camera you hand him.

The Queens Head is the most famous formation and has a dedicated walkway and photography dude that will take a snap of you with any camera you hand him.

Mimi and I got hungry so we walked out of the park and around the east side of the cape. This was an interesting area devoid of tourists but filled with more geological formations.

Mimi and I got hungry so we walked out of the park and around the east side of the cape. This was an interesting area devoid of tourists but filled with more geological formations.

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We had free rein over this small area.

We had free rein over this small area.

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I still can't believe how perfectly straight these natural erosion formed cracks are.

I still can’t believe how perfectly straight these natural erosion formed cracks are.

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