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Taiwan: Yeliu geopark

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Yeliu geopark | Taiwan | Asia

[Visited: July 2013]

We walked through the port of Yeliu, where fishing boats were lying in the calm waters. One fisherman was sleeping in a hammock. When we reached a big parking lot, we had to queue to buy a ticket. After our hiking day in the quiet nature the day before, we were in for a completely different experience. Tour groups were everywhere, and when we reached the first viewing platform, we could see the people swarming over the geopark. We tried to find moments between the different tour groups, where we could still discover the queer landscape of Yeliu geopark without too many visitors around. The good thing about tour groups: they don't spend too much time at one particular spot, and in between one and the next, we had most spots to ourselves.

Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Some of the candle rocks to be found at Yeliu

The first area we explored, were the mushroom rocks, ginger rocks, and candle rocks at the beginning of the peninsula. Centuries and centuries of erosion, wind, and the constant movement of the sea have sculpted a landscape that looks like a fantasy world. Imaginative persons have given names to most of the remarkably shaped formations, and we could easily see why one was called Cute Princess, or Japanese Geisha, or Ice Cream Rock. We walked up to a small pavilion, where the groups did not reach, from where we had a good view over the area. From here, it was easier to appreciate how the different layers of rock had developed, and where the sea reached. Once back to sea level, we went back to the candle rocks. Soft shaped rocks with a small pool on top, in which a different type of rock lies. They somehow reminded me of man-made clay ovens in Africa.

Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Some of the many mushroom rock formations at Yeliu

A little further on, we skipped the coastal area, stepped over a cordon, and unexpectedly found ourselves on empty trails. Passing a bird breeding area, we followed the main trail right to Cape Yeliu, the highest point of the monocline cuesta. We were happy we had finally found a tranquil corner of the geopark; on our way back, we saw the bean curd rocks in the sea below, before descending back to the crowded part of the geopark. We passed the Dragon Head rock, the Gorilla, and queued up to have a few moments to capture the Queen's Head, the symbol of Yeliu, often likened to Queen Nefertiti. It is an example of a narrow-necked mushroom rock, which will erode further until its inevitable collapse when the poor queen will be beheaded by nature. Close by, we saw more candle rocks, and the ginger rock shaped like a sandal, and called Fairy's shoe. Then, there were the fossils, testimonies to the age of this uniquely shaped piece of nature.

Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Long stretch of bean curd rock at the cape of Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): The symbol of Yeliu, Queen's Head is the most famous narrow neck mushroom rock
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Cute Princess mushroom rock formation
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Rock formation dubbed Fairy's shoe at the coastline of Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Closer to the shore, you can find ginger rock formations
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Field of mushroom rock formations
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Bird territory at the eastern side of the narrow peninsula of Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Dragon-head like formation on the coastline of Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Formation dubbed Gorilla Rock at Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Pineapple bun formation found at Yeliu
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Stones have carved out these circular pools from the rocky bed
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Yeliu fossil on the ground
Picture of Yeliu geopark (Taiwan): Layered formation at Yeliu geopark

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