You’re looking for a change from big city life in Taipei? Go visit Yilan County for a 2 day trip, relax in beautiful nature and enjoy relaxing hot springs!
Everybody needs a change once in a while. Though Taipei is a perfect place to stay, a change of scenery can do wonders. Especially if it is a place known for it’s scenic natural landscape like Yilan. The County is located next to the Greater Taipei area at the east coast of the island. By bus it takes from 50 up to 90 minutes, depending on the traffic, before you arrive at the bus station of Luodong. By foot, from there you can walk to the center of the city in about 10 minutes, or choose another bus or taxi to your first destination.
Lanyang Museum of Yilan
The signature museum of the area combines nature and modern architecture to create a great place of learning and fun in one. The building is surrounded by the natural wetlands, which are beautiful for photo taking, including the occasional duck entering the photo shoot. The closet other tourist spot is Wushigang Harbor (烏石港). The museum teaches its visitors about the history, rich culture and nature of Yilan with an diverse selection of varying displays. The normal admission fee is 100 NTD, with discount options for groups and students.
Mr. Brown Castle Cafe
After depleting your brain energy at the museum, it’s time for some coffee! And nice view and a cozy atmosphere you will have at Mr. Brown’s castle Cafe. There are actually two such buildings, so if the first one is overrun by bus tour tourists, the other one a bit further down is also nice to chill at. The thing is, the castles are located on the steep hillside of Toucheng, if you didn’t already get around by car, investing in a taxi ride is definitely an option (ca. 15 minutes, around 300 NTD). Please note the opening hours of the cafe are until 7 pm, second floor closes at 5pm, and they are closed on Tuesdays!
Wufengqi Scenic Area
The must – see for nature lovers! Other than rich forest and the smell of earth, the main feature of Jiaoxi Township is the Wufenqi Waterfall. It is 100 meters high and has three drops you can visit, each a vivid experience on its own. Please note that Yilan is a rainy county, and the stone steps in the forest can be slippery. So advance with care, wear suitable shoes and get yourself a raincoat, then nothing will impede your rain forest experience.
Especially beautiful are the traditional style Chinese pagodas on the way and the red painted stairs, which contrast beautifully to the lush green all around. If you are lucky, you can also see the monkeys there (since they are wild animals, please don’t try to touch or feed them). You can reach the trail using the public bus.
The Jiaoxi Township in Yilan is well known for it’s hot springs, making you forget the stress of big city life. There are many hotels which offer access to the towns hot springs or even have their own bathing area, where you can soak and relax yourself however long you want. The public hotspring is located in Tang wei gou Park, where you can soak your feet after the hike in Wufenqi.
To warm yourself up there is also another method – provided by the nearby Chili Hunter Wenchuang shop – where you can every spicy delicacy you want. Our recommendation is spicy ice cream and the spicy chocolate, available in different spicy levels from one to seven. Be warned, level seven really is something special!
By the way, our lunch recommendation for you: Eat at 福哥石窯雞, known for their irresistible roasted chicken dish and many other delicacies!