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Linmei Shipan Waterfall
Jiaoxi, Yilan

Linmei Shipan Waterfall isn’t an overly impressive waterfall by itself but the trail is full of mini waterfall and small cascades. The trail is well made and not very long so everyone should be able to enjoy it. Unfortunately it is a very popular trail and it will be especially crowded on weekends. The trail can be combined with Yuemeikang Waterfall and Wufengci Waterfall for an easy full day hike. It’s probably easiest to start at Wufengci because parking is better there.

Rating and length – easy – 1.5 hrs 3.6kms round trip (to parking)

How to get there – there is a shuttle bus from the Jiaoxi train station that also stops at Wufengci Waterfall. If you are driving then turn off of Hwy 9 onto county road 6 with a large brown sign directing you to Linmei Shipan. You will wind through the local community but all turns are marked by brown signs. Cross over county road 5 (unmarked) and continue on county road 6. Continue to follow the brown signs. One intersection is unmarked but the road to the right leads to the golf course and you want to continue to the left. At the next intersection take a sharp right turn and don’t go to either of the two universities. The trailhead is 400 meters ahead on the right and easy to go right past. Most likely there will cars parked on the side of the road with a couple of vendors.

The hike – The trail starts alongside the golf course for almost 1km before arriving at the official trailhead (with bathrooms). On weekends there might be a restriction on how many hikers can be on the trail at one time at this point. You will hike counterclockwise around the loop on a heavily traveled and well maintained trail. There is a side trail near the beginning of the loop to Wufengci and the Yuemeikang trail.

Wengyao Roast Chicken
Jiaoxi, Yilan

The history of jar-roasted chicken is lost in the mists of time, but it has certainly become quite popular around Taiwan, especially in areas that cater to the domestic tourist trade. Located just outside the hot springs town of Yilan County’s Jiaoxi Township, Wengyao Roast Chicken claims to have invented the dish.

The jar-roasted chicken is the centerpiece of almost every meal at Wengyao. As it is necessary to purchase a whole chicken, it is best to visit with a group of at least three or four. The chicken, is roasted in thick earthenware jars using longan wood, arrives at the table proudly unadorned. Squeamish eaters should be warned that head and feet are all in place. Accompanying the chicken are two pairs of gloves: a pair of thin plastic gloves and a pair of thick cotton workman’s gloves. Someone at the table is designated to put on the gloves, first the plastic ones to keep your hands clean, then the cotton ones to prevent burns and aid in getting a grip on the piping hot bird. Ripping the bird apart is a sight guaranteed to gladden the heart and quicken the gastric juices of confirmed carnivore

Shichao Agricultural Leisure Area
Jiaoxi, Yilan

Shichao Agricultural Leisure Area combines wetlands ecological education, winter bird watching and fine fish pond food. Not to be missed by nature lovers is bird watching at Shichao in winter time, and Shichao Waterbird Refuge near Wendi Drainage Channel is the best spot around. Birds spending the winter in Taiwan to avoid the cold of their northern homes include the egret, grey heron, black-headed gull, wood sandpiper, yellow wagtail and the protected black-faced spoonbill. Visitors can also try their hand at fish rubbing, weaving and other things at Dawen Tourist Aquafarm and also visit Yilan Soft-shelled Turtle Aquafarm and King Car Shrimp Aquafarm.

Wushi Harbor
Toucheng, Yilan

Wushi Harbor is a surfer paradise tucked away on the east coast of Taiwan, where surfing and sand surfing are both on the menu here, as is general beach activities. Rental shops are abundant, where you can get your surfboard and lessons as well; some ever offer pick-up and drop-off at Toucheng Train Station in Yilan. Usually, the beach grows crowded as the day wears on, especially on weekends, so we suggest you to stay at a nearby hostel the night before to catch some early-morning waves.

The harbor is the main port that connects the main island with Guishan Island (A.K.A. Turtle Island), and the area is also popular for whale-watching tours that start right from Wushi Harbor. Forget about the captive dolphin shows at ocean theme parks. Why not taking a ride on the boat and sailing on the Pacific Ocean? Let the wild and happy dolphins surprise you from every possible direction. Common bottlenose dolphin, spinner dolphins, pygmy killer whales and sperm whales can usually be spotted. This is a chance for you to get close to nature, as you've never seen it before.

On the cultural side, there is for sure a unique event you can’t miss here — Grappling with the Ghosts, a annual pole-climbing competition that takes place in the seventh lunar month at Wushi Harbor. Participants have to climb to a height of 12 meters above the ground on poles covered in oil to celebrate the end to the trepidatious holiday when the dead are said to be walking the earth — winning this contest is no simple feat though. The tourist center is standing right across from Lanyang Museum, and both architectures are unique and inspired by local landscape, making it a photographic hotspot. If you are craving for some fresh seafood, the fish market is a stone’s away and will stuff your tummy nice and full with the freshest catches and all kinds of dried seafood products. Whether you are an outdoor person, cultural type or big foodie, Wushi Harbor has it all.

Whale Watching

Meeting with dolphins and whales depends on luck. It is said that, on the date of the trip, boating companies would set sail to the sea at 3 a.m. in the morning to check which areas have more dolphins. This will ensure an 80-percent chance of seeing dolphins later in the day. However, with whales, all can be done is to pray before hopping on the boat, as it is hard to predict where whales will go.

Just put on a life vest and hit the road, when all necessary procedures are completed at the visitor center. On a sunny day, under the clear sky and amid soft breezes, it is easy to spot schools of dolphins during the 30-minute trip. Amid the glittering sea waves, smooth-skinned dolphins gracefully swim. The dolphins always receive loud applauses from boat-trip participants when they jump high and dive back in.

The boat slowly approaches the Gueishan Island as dolphins continue to show off themselves. The volcanic island, as its name Gueishan in Mandarin suggests—“Turtle Mountain,” looks like a giant turtle on the sea, although it only covers 2.85 square kilometers of land. The Gueishan Island was under special military control from 1977 to 2000, and therefore the scenery it offers is primitively beautiful. With a visitor center and visiting trails in service now, visitors may enjoy hiking on the island. The highest point of the island is 398 meters, and trips to the tip of Gueishan are available. Be prepared for a challenging trip, however, despite the indicated altitude is low.

Don’t worry about missing the beauty of nature if you choose a trip without mounting the island. The island, observed from on the sea, is breathtakingly beautiful with its verdant vegetation. The “oceanic sulfur spring” is another must-see, with yellow sulfur streams welling out from the bottom of the sea mingling with blue ocean water. Listed as one of the eight great natural sceneries of Gueishan, it is a unique geological wonder that cannot be found elsewhere.

Toucheng Old Street
Toucheng, Yilan

Unlike other old streets in Taiwan, Toucheng Old Street is still “living”. Local residents live in the old buildings and keep their simple lifestyles. It is common to see young kids riding bikes or skipping ropes on the street. With a door ajar, we can see old men sitting on chairs and watching TV. However, Toucheng lost its traffic importance in 2006 due to the opening of the Hsuehshan Tunnel, which cut down the journey time between Taipei city and Yilan county from two hours to just half an hour. The crisis deeply affected the economic activities in Toucheng, so some local people began to evaluate their living space and future development. With support from the Regional Cultural Asset and Environment Preservation and Development Program by the Council for Cultural Affairs, they formed the Toucheng Cultural Development Association and founded the Toucheng Culture Museum on the old street. The mission of the association focuses on the old street preservation and the precious local culture development.

Mr. Brown Castle Café
Toucheng, Yilan

Perched on the mountainside, Mr. Brown Castle Café in Yilan boasts a fairy-tale setting with far-reaching panoramic views across the valley to the distant Wushi Harbor, Waiao Beach and Turtle Island. Designed with inspiration of a classic European manor, this rustic, elegant restaurant overlooks the picturesque landscape and attracts a significant number of visitors especially on weekends.

Two castles can be found here: one is more traditional while the other has a modern touch. Visitors can enjoy a cup of nice coffee as well as some delicious desserts inside the café; outdoor seating is also available, which captures a perfect commanding view of the surrounding scenery. Many would choose to spend the whole afternoon appreciating the beauty and serenity on the rooftop.

Mr. Brown Castle Café sitting on top of the mountain seems to keep itself aloof from the rest of the world, and visitors get to indulge themselves in absolute peace and unparalleled magnificence.

Wufongci Waterfall
Jiaoxi, Yilan

Wufongci (Five-Peak Flag) Waterfall is a renowned scenic spot in Jiaosi Township. The waterfall got its name because of the five peaks that line the background of the waterfall which look like a flag from afar.There are three sections in this 100-meter long waterfall. The bottom section is about 20 meters long with several ponds formed along it. They provide the tourists great spots for water play. The middle one is about 30 meters long and formed by the water gushing out from the cliff wall. Waterfall Viewing Pavilion here is a perfect location to enjoy the spectacular scenery of its surrounding mountains and valleys. The top section is about 50 meters long and runs down from the steep and narrow gorges.Wufongci Scenic Resort is located near the bottom section of the waterfall. Areas for barbeque and water fun are available here and that has made the resort a hot place for tourists to have their family trips.Wufongci (Five-Peak Flag) Waterfall is a renowned scenic spot in Jiaosi Township. The waterfall got its name because of the five peaks that line the background of the waterfall which look like a flag from afar.

The Caoling Historic Trail
Toucheng, Yilan

The Caoling Historic Trail cuts across Sandiau Cape, starting at Yuanwang keng, just inland from Fulung, and ending at Dali on the coast. It is the only remaining section (rebuilt by the Tourism Bureau) of the old Qing dynasty trail that was constructed 130 years ago to provide the only land link down the Northeast Coast from Danshui to Yilan. The present trail is approximately 10 kilometers long and offers a pleasant hike of two to three hours.Two large boulders along the trail bear Qing dynasty inscriptions and are listed as third-class historic sites. One of the inscriptions has four Chinese characters meaningsource: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportasion and Communication.

Cangjiu Winery
Toucheng, Yilan

By taking full advantage of its natural surroundings of mountains and ocean, Cangjiu Winery located in Yilan creates a destination for lovers of wine and food. The winery itself is inspired by the concept of sustainable development, featuring driftwood as a key design element and equipped with an eco-friendly fertigation system to water the landscaping.

All the wines are produced and sold on site. The variety is diverse, but the exclusive kumquat wine and the classic red/white wine are favorites of many. Besides the aromatic wine tasting, here you can also stuff your tummies nice and food with light goodies made with their homemade wine vinegar. The chef chooses for you based on your budget, the available ingredients on site and the number of diners — that is, the menu-less dining. Mouthwatering dishes serving to the table may include tomato & red wine hotpot, sashimi combo or freshly grilled steak. If you’re not a fan of no-choice, afternoon tea menus and set menus are available as well.

Educational cellar and winery tours gives visitors a chance to even go behind the scenes of winemaking facilities. You may also try to make your own kumquat cakes, wine-fermented feijoas, and more. If you prefer to have a leisurely stroll around the winery, the lush green landscape will surely be a delight.

Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park
Jiaoxi, Yilan

Hot Spring is the resource in Jiaoxi, it is seldom to see that ground hot spring, and the temperature is about 50 degree C, including sodium, magnesium, potassium components in it, and the water is very clear and without sulfur smell. And the components could take good care of your skin.

There are visitor information center inside the park, for tourist who come to Yilan first time to ask information of locals. The design of Hot Spring Park are reserve the nature ecology and traditional lifestyle of Taiwan, and let everyone who comes here could enjoy the hot spring for whole year.