Yilan is known for its rich cultural heritages and a large number of hiking trails, mountain peaks and numerous of natural retreats. Yilan seems unfamiliar to many visitors although Yilan is only about 70 km from Taipei, a district bordering the East Coast. From Taipei to Yilan, it takes about 1 hour to drive along Highway 5 (National Highway of Taiwan), through many tunnels, so the feeling of going to Yilan is very mysterious. Yilan is a deserted land, completely separated from urban prosperity but very favored by nature with: the long coastlines lead into the small rivers so the plain is filled with fertile silt, surrounded by the green hilltops. It’s also famous for its hot springs and many reserved majestic forests. Now, let’s check it out our Yilan blog (Yilan travel blog) — The fullest Yilan travel guide for a budget trip from Taipei to Yilan, Taiwan from how to get from Taipei to Yilan to best places to visit in Yilan, top things to do in Yilan below.
How to get to Yilan from Taipei
There are two main ways to get to Yilan from Taipei.
From Taipei main station (train station) or Songshan train station, you buy tickets to Yilan station, take 1 hour 30 minutes, Ticket price: 200-250TWD.
From Taipei Bus station
Kuo-Kuang bus: Ticket price 240TWD/trip, It takes about 50 minutes
Bus Kemalan to Yilan: Ticket: 129TWD/trip, It takes about 50 minutes.
From Taipei City Hall MRT Station near exit 3
Capital Star Bus (首都 客運), ticket 120TWD/trip, It takes about 50 minutes.
Yilan blog: Best places to visit and top things to do in Yilan, Taiwan
Guishan Island (Steep Island or Turtle Island)
Guishan Island (also known as Kueishan Island) is the tip of a high conical volcanic crater formed by several layers of magma, pumice and volcanic ash sprayed from the sea. Of course the volcano has stopped erupting for thousands of years but it is still considered to be the only “active” volcano in Taiwan because there are several points of gas eruptions (eruptions are controlled). The island is covered with a green vegetation, looking away make your eyes cool. The dark blue sea and magical, the white waves tapping on the rocks, are things that always appear when we close our eyes to remember the journey to Guishan Island.
This island located in the east of Gengfang fishing port, to getting here, no other way than to take a train or ferry. Previously the people living on the island were mainly fishermen, later the island was converted into a military base, eventually became the national marine ecological park because the natural landscape of the island is quite unique. The unique from its shape if seen from far, the island will look like a head of turtle floating on the sea surface, but a head can turn itself. It sounds like a shudder, that mean, looking from different directions you will see the “turtle head” turn in different directions.
Visit Guishan Island, the most popular attraction is watch the whale and dolphin of Pacific Ocean. The season that these fish come to the sea to “flapping” is from March to November every year so this time the locals as well as tourists traveling to Taiwan would love to come here to see the fish “fly” over the water surface. However, because the nature preservation regulations of the island are quite strict, so if you want to visit the island, you have to register at least one week before (usually register with the local ferry owner, they will on behalf of you register with the Government).
Ferry/Boat: Port Wu Shih in Toucheng near Guishan Island most. From here you take the ferry/boat to the island, departure time is usually 06:00, 09:00, 12:30 and 15:30 (depend on ship firms). Reaching to the island takes about 40 minutes, another 1 minute recommended for those who are seasickness is midday waves will be high and the boat will sway more. In addition, you need to book with the boat owner for a week before departure to get the permission for the island tour (with this permission, you can visit the highest peak of the island).
This place is known as a beautiful waterfront destination. Annong also has some smaller and well-known attractions, and there are many convenient and luxurious hotels in the Annong Creek area to meet the needs of travelers. The region has several destinations can be reach by boat, historical attractions as well as some wilderness natural areas.
Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area
One thing you do not know is that any natural landscape in Taiwan is in the national preserve. The Taipingshan forest is no exception. The former Taipingshan National Forest was a logging facility, so it displayed a lot of logging equipment and an also has old wooden ship, which became a “virtual landmark”. Many Taiwanese who prefer healthy lifestyles often come to the trekking around this forest to breathe fresh air and watch the sea cloud cover the valley below.
Saying TaipingShan is “virtual” also has its own reason, because each season it owns a different color. Every autumn the forest turn to red color of the maple leaves, the spring is pink because of the cherry flowers and plum blossom, the summer with green leaves, the winter is covered with snow, difficult to understand and difficult to guess.
In Taipingshan, in addition go to the forest to cut the wildflowers, you should visit Jiuzhize Hot Spring and Cuifeng Lake. Cuifeng is the largest mountain lake in Taiwan, as high as 1900m above sea level, there is a lake in the mountain, do you imagine there is poetry, lyrical?
This is a big question, since from Yilan to Taipingshan only by road.
Kuo Kuang Bus: You can depart at Yilan Bus Station at 08:30. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to Taipingshan. However, you have to walk a distance of about 20 minutes from Yilan Train Station to this place. And do not forget to have an internet-connected phone to navigate, not to be lost your way.
Bus information: Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport (http://www.kingbus.com.tw)
Tel: + 8863-9384171 (Yilan Bus Station)
The bus schedule: http: //www.kingbus.com.tw/ticketPriceResult.php?sid=15
Hot springs & Cold springs
Jiaosi Hot Springs (Jiaoxi Hot Springs): If Malaysia’s tourism slogan is “Truly Asia”, Jiaosi has the slogan “Truly hot springs town” (less related, haha). We would like to emphasize that it is true as mice like rice, fall into the land of hot springs. Many public swimming pools are smoke rising, so if you want to have your own private bath and luxury, you can easily find hot mineral water spots in the surrounding area. The water is warm, rich in minerals, a feeling of super pleasure, super comfortable.
How to get there?
Bus: If you are from Taipei, you go from Taipei Bus Station: Take the Kuo Kuang Bus (King Bus) to Yilan, get off at Jiaoxi Station.
Su’ao Cold Springs: This is a very special mineral water in Yilan, because the water is always cold, the temperature is about 22 degrees celsius, p.H 5.5 can both bath and drink. The most wonderful part is that the beginning moment of dipping into the water, the pain and fatigue melts away immediately, miraculously. Hot springs in Taiwan are many, but cold springs are Yilan’s specialty, so if you have the opportunity to visit here, you definitely have to try.
However, the public baths are quite crowded and do not convenient, so if you have the good conditions, you should consider booking your own bathtubs for pleasure.
Su’ao Cold Springs
Address: No. 6之4, Lengquan Road, Su’ao Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 270
Phone: +886 3 996 0645
Opening hours: 7AM – 9:30PM
How to get there: From Taipei: Train: Train from Taipei Main station to Su’ao train station.
Lanyang Museum — The pride of Yilan architecture
The museum is located near the port of Toucheng Wushih, once a prosperous harbor but now it has been flooded. It can be said that the Lanyang Museum is one of the masterpieces of Taiwanese architecture. This museum reflects a unique combination of culture and history. The interior depicts the history of the harbor and displays the ocean’s ecosystem (Because of the long coastline of Yilan bordering the Pacific Ocean), the outside of museum is also the exterior of the museum is where preserves the wetland ecosystem.
The museum has 4 floors, 3 floors display fixed and 4th floors are display by theme so often changed.
Address: Section 3, Qingyun Road, Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 261
Phone: +886 3 977 9700
Opening Hours. Monday – Tuesday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Wednesday: Closed Thursday – Sunday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
Tickets Price: Ticket price is 100TWD/person, group tickets is 80TWD/person / Student (ages 6-12 with ID) – NT$50 / Student (ages 6-12 with ID) – NT$50 / Discount or Student Group (20 or more) – NT$30.
How to get there:
From Taipei: Take the MRT to the Yuanshan MRT station (Red Line, Tamsui direction). At this MRT station there is an bus ticket counter for Bus No. 1877 to Yilan (120TWD/trip), stop at Wushigang Visitor Center, then a short walking to reach.
From Yilan: From Yilan bus station, take the KUO-KUANG Bus Toucheng-Nanfangao Line (from 06:00 ~ 21:00, 30-40 minutes/trip), stop at Toucheng Main Station, walking about 10 minutes to Lanyang Museum.
Wanshun Leisure Farm (Pumpkin Farm) — National Center for Traditional Arts (Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center) — Yilan Pastry Museum (Yilan Cake Museum)
Because these three points are not far apart so we collect them together for convenience for one visiting.
As mentioned above, because of the fertile silt so the agriculture in Yilan is quite developed, perhaps most developed is the cultivation of pumpkins (or whatever), they have a large pumpkin farm, the pumpkins are big and round and especially the full color that kids will definitely love immensely. The owner of the pumpkin farm is a 30-year-old farmer who turned his boring farm into a lovely relaxing place for visitors. The farm is full of dishes made from pumpkins, very tasty.
Wanshun Leisure Farm
Address: No.107-7, Sinnan Rd., Sinnan Village, Jhuangwei Township, Yilan County
This is a free sightseeing museum, you not only to learn more about Taiwan’s bakery art (they display everything from cakes, process, sample cakes …) but also to taste them. You can also see the workers make the cakes how professional and fun are. If you want to buy Taiwan specialty gifts, this cake museum is definitely not to be missed.
Yilan Cake Factory
Address: No. 369, Haishan West Road, Su’ao Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 270
Phone: +886 3 990 5999
Opening hours: 8:30AM–6PM
It is one the most important ancient and modern cultural centers of Taiwan. This large center is located in Wujie and focuses primarily on the promotion of Taiwanese art and culture. You can also buy souvenirs for sale at “Old Street” – a new one built later. The purpose of this Cultural Center is “noble”, that is to preserve and develop, teaching the essence of traditional Taiwanese art. So, for those who want to understand Taiwanese people and culture, there is nothing better than going straight to this place. The building itself has become one of the most important tourist attractions in Yilan.
National Center for Traditional Arts
Address: No. 201號, Section 2, Wubin Road, Wujie Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 26841
Opening hours: 9AM–6PM
Phone: +886 80 002 0011
Entrance fee: Adult for 150TWD
Luodong Night Market
Situated in the Chungshan Park area, Luodong Market is one of the largest markets in Yilan. It not only gives you a great shopping experience but also street vendors and cafes serving great Taiwanese snacks and beverages. The market is open from early morning until late at night. Attract countless locals and visitors coming here every day. The food here is a major highlight with Mutton Herbal Soup, Rice Noodle Soup and Iced Tapioca. It can be considered as a paradise for those who like to eat snacks. With the countless dishes, make sure you still want to eat more despite being full stomach.
Luodong Night Market
Address: Address: No. 6, Xingdong Road, Luodong Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 265
Jia Zilan Wine Museum
As call its name, the Jia Zi Lan Wine Museum is a small museum with a collection of wine and souvenirs. The museum is located in one of the oldest wineries in Taiwan and is definitely the place to visit for those who want a top-notch winery with guided and prepared wine production. There is also a small gift shop here.
Jia Zilan Wine Museum
Address: No.3, Old Town West Road, Yilan City
Phone: 03-935-5526 #453
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00 every day
As well as the name of the museum mainly display the statue of lions from small to big. Commonly known as He Dong Tang Lion Museum, admission is 180 NTD per person. Address: No.36 Section 4, Binhai Road, Tauchen Town, 261, Taiwan (Formerly Leo Ocean Resort)
Taiwan Theater Museum
Yilan District is characterized by its long history and traditional culture. And the Taiwanese Theater Museum can be considered as a cultural center of Yilan. Display and perform various forms of Chinese art including Puppetry.
Taiwan Theater Museum
Address: No. 101號, Section 2, Fuxing Road, Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260
Opening hours: 9AM–5PM, Close on Monday.
How to get there: Public Transportation: Take the TRA train to Yilan Station.
Mary Leu Fine Art Carving Gallery
Mery Leu is one of the most famous artists out of Taiwan. And this museum displays the works of her and her famous students. Admission fee is 100 TWD and free tea / coffee for visitors.
Mary Leu Fine Art Carving Gallery
Address: No. 1, Ln. 322, Xingnong Rd., Deyang Vil., Jiaoxi Township, Taiwan
Phone: +886 3 988 0558
Opening hours: 9AM – 6PM