Letting Our Imagination Run Wild – Taiwan Trip #12

March 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 3 Comments
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Most places of interest in Taiwan are very accessible via public transport. Itchyfingers took a Kuo Kuang Hao bus bound for Jinshan from the Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT station at NT80 (S$3.80) per person to the Yehliu Geopark 野柳地质公园. There happened to be a class excursion going there so we shared the bus with a full load of teenage students, which was good, cos we won’t be lost at where to alight then…hahah 8)

ticket
Huge plastic tickets that had to be returned when you alight. A bit redundant
since payment was made to the driver before boarding. Normally no change
would be given but this driver passed the change to a student behind us
to give it back to us 

alight
The journey took about 1.5 hour before the bus finally stopped in front of a
shop selling seafood. You should see this when you alight.

The main attraction of Yehliu Geopark is the many limestone rock formations along the coastline caused by the erosion of wind and sea. The most famous of these rock formations must be the Queen’s Head (女王頭), and apparently the locals were very proud of it cos the symbol was seen at many places…

sign8
At first glance we thought the logo was the Formosan Black Bear. On second
look we realised it was the Queen’s Head hidden in between two jumping fish 

sch
A primary school 

We gotta walk some distance before reaching the park. Along the way, there was a chinese temple and many seafood restaurants. Staff from the restaurants would pass business cards asking people to patronise later for lunch after our visit. 

ship
Ships at the fishing port. We saw many foreign workers here

Not before long, we reached the visitors’ centre and paid for the entrance fee of NT50 (S$2.40).

ticket2
The Queen’s Head again…

sign31
Sign showing how the rock formation evolved. Too bad there was no English
translation. But I guess the pictures were clear enough…

sign41
Interesting how the force of nature could result in such beautiful creation

Once inside the park, I thought I was in Australia visiting the Twelve Apostles by the Great Ocean Road….

boardwalk
Boardwalks along the coast reminded me of my visit to Twelve Apostles…

I thought the whole area would need to be viewed from the boardwalk until we walked further and saw people everywhere…and oh my….so beautiful! 

yehliu
There were people walking around and there weren’t any signs saying it was
not allowed to go near the stones…so I guess the boardwalks were there to
keep visitors safe during high tides

line2
And then we saw these bright red ugly lines painted on the area…

line
Marking the out-of-bound areas to warn visitors against going too near to the sea
or maybe the ground were less stable…? But it was such an eye sore, destroying
the natural beauty of the place! 😦

As usual, you see lotsa people ignoring the sign and crossed over the lines to have better views or take better pictures.

After walking in the wind at Taroko National Park the previous days, I was kinda prepared to battle the strong sea breeze at Yehliu but surprisingly the weather was warmer today, the weather report turned out to be quite accurate afterall. 

Yehliu is a cape on the north coast of Taiwan, between Taipei and Keelung. It is full of of seawater-erosed holes as well as numerous rocks in the shape of mushrooms, candlewicks, ginger and chess board pieces.

The rocks come in all shapes and sizes. You really need to have a bit of imagination to fully appreciate these natural rock formations…

shroom
A good example of a mushroom-shaped rock in the middle. Initally we though
this is the Queen’s Head. :p These formation were named for their mushroom-
like shapes with relatively thin stems topped by larger rocks. The cap of
mushroom is rich in calcium carbonate (CaC03), and this has relatively greater
weathering resistancy than the material that forms the neck. Through time,
the neck becomes narrower and narrower because of erosion 

camel
Does this look like a camel’s head with a hump? :p

whale
A whale’s tail…Splash!

head
An alien’s head?

face1
A face…

face2
A big-bearded man buried in the ground exposing only the head…

lion
Can you see a handsome roaring lion with long mane?
😀

seal
I thought this looked like a seal….these should be the ginger rocks…

We walked further nearer the sea and saw these supposedly candlewick-like rocks – the Sea Candles (燭台石). But Itchyfingers thought they looked more like bells…

bell1
or nipples…hahahahahah…. 😀

We were quite anxious to look for the Queen’s Head and was excited to spot it at a distance. Didn’t look big from where we saw it.

witch
Can you see a witch’s face with mouth opened in this bee-wax stone?

puddles
These shallow tray rocks were the result from the water left by tides on the 
wave-cut platform. A chemical reaction between the salt in the water and
minerals in the rock eroded the structures. Repeated wet and dry cycles
gradually enlarged the hollows into a landscape that resembled shallow trays 

sea
Such a beautiful day by the sea!

hero
A reminder of how merciless nature can be…A statue of a hero who sacrificed
himself while saving lives….

Once we passed this statue, we finally saw the Queen’s Head! Oh my goodness! She is SMALLER than we imagined!

queen
I think she is just slightly more than 2 meters in height…Surprisingly for
such precious and famous icon of Yehliu, there weren’t any fence around her…
only the occasional announcement via loudspeakers advising visitors not
to touch the Queen so as to better preserve it for many more future generations.
Instead, the park had specially designated spot for visitors to take the best view
of the Queen’s Head  (showing here). I thought it was a best compromise and
a respect for nature! 

Such strange but amazing mushroom rock! It was said that this rock was called the Queen’s Head because it resembles the head of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt. It is possible that all the mushroom rocks, including the Queen’s Head, will disappear one day as their necks collapse, since they continue to experience erosion and weathering.. 😦 

fist
I saw a clenching fist here…or did you see a dog’s skeleton? 😀

We walked up a small hill and saw this row of rocks in the sea…

chess
The sign in chinese called these the Toufu (Beancurd) Rocks but in English
they were called the Chessboard Rocks. These were formed in sandstones
where two parallel sets of joint crossed at an angle of about 90 degrees with a
dip slope of 15-20 degrees. The Beancurd Rocks can be separated into small
blocks and will be eroded through time by weathering processes and waves 

dog
Another dog?

ele
An elephant with long trunk or a mystical bird with huge beak?

meat
Oh my! Why wasn’t this piece as famous as the Queen’s Head? We thought
this looked like one of the treasures in the National Palace Museum – the
Meat-shaped Stone! Tisu Boy was getting hungry….hahahah… 8)

A visit to Yehliu Geopark is certainly recommended by Itchyfingers for a great getaway from the usual shopping in the city. The fresh air and the many odd-shaped rock formation will definitely run your imagination wild! 

Also see related posts:
> Walking in the Wind – Taiwan Trip #11
A Walk Along the Cliff – Taiwan Trip #10
Away From the Concrete Jungle – Taiwan Trip #9
Shit Happens – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #8
Gorilla in the Mist – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #7
It’s a Cat! No! It’s a Bear! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #6
Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5
Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1 

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3 Comments »

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  1. Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

  2. Took the same bus with you but I don’t have the red tix. Mine was from Taipei Bus Intercity NT102 haha!

    I got a suntan there. But I haven’t been to Taroko Park so I cannot compare (Sigh wanna go there someday).

    Did u imagine the Fairy Shoes? Coz I couldn’t haha.. searched high and low though =(
    See url:

    And did u remember seeing this stone which has 3 animals stacked one on top of the other. I can’t remember the 3rd animal… (sorry not much imagination)

    • hmmmm…the sun was up but temperature still low, that’s why still need to wear our thick clothings…but towards later morning finally can shed some layers and have more colors on photos…hahahah…taroko….not enuff time to explore more…not enuff leg power…hahah….cold mah…try walking with not enuff clothings….:o din know abt fairy shoe until i come back do research….:( din even notice the back of ticket has a map showing the difft stones positions…so missed that…and missed the stone with 3 animals…how does it look like?


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