Coasting Around Northern Taiwan

There’s something about seeing the sea that gives me a holiday feeling. I think it takes me back to my childhood, when after a five-hour drive from Oxford to Cornwall, we would finally reach the top of a hill and glimpse the deep blue sea sparkling in the sun and we knew the holiday could begin. The northern coast of Taiwan has many different spots that you can visit, and every time I head there, when I see the ocean glinting at me, I still get that holiday feeling. 

Baishawan beach is one of my favorites, as it’s a pretty, sandy beach and has Dazzlers fish and chips restaurant at the coast offering you a taste of Britain while you’re there. Fulong is another interesting beach, especially between June and October, when the sand sculptures are on show. It’s also a great place for activities, as the river inlet makes it an ideal spot for windsurfing and paddle boarding and there are hundreds of bikes to rent, if you want to cycle along the coast. If you are something of a geologist, then there are a lot of interesting rock formations along the coastal road, with the most famous being Yehliu Geopark, but you should include others, such as Nanya rock. [photo of weird rock] Of course as an avid hiker, I can’t forget to mention hikes that offer sea views from famous trails, such as Teapot Mountain and the historic Caoling Trail, to the more relaxed strolls around Bitoujiao lighthouse or along the Nanzilin Trail.

North East coast 5
Coasting Around Northern Taiwan
Coasting Around Northern Taiwan COT Article image

This October it looks like I’ll get the holiday feeling twice, as The Center is offering two tours on the north coast. The first one is on Saturday, 14 October, so it’s the perfect tour for the whole family. It’s a boat trip from Keelung Port to Keelung Islet, which is about an hour’s boat ride from town.  Additionally, the boat passes along the Taiwan coast so you can see some of the rock formations from the sea, including Shen’ao, otherwise known as Elephant Trunk Rock. The boat then heads to the islet, where you disembark and spend a couple of hours exploring. The islet, as the name implies, is very small, and hilly. There’s a lovely walk to the summit to visit the lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views. The islet is covered in tropical vegetation with different flowers blooming at different times of year, with lizards, butterflies and spiders sharing the trail with you.

Taiwan North East Coast

The second tour is on Thursday, 19 October and it offers a chance to visit the famous hillside town known as Jiufen. The Center’s private bus will drive us out to the coast, so we get a chance to see the Yinyang Sea and the Golden Waterfall up close. Then we’ll head to the lookout, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the coast without working up a sweat. Finally, the bus stops at Jiufen. From here licensed tour guide Derek will give us a tour of the town, explaining its history. During the Qing dynasty there were just nine families living in the area. However, in the 1890s, gold was discovered in the vicinity and when the Japanese took control of Taiwan they started a gold mine, so the town grew rapidly to cater to the needs of the mine. The mine closed in the seventies and the town went into a decline until tourism came along and revived it. Now it is a favorite weekend haunt for many Taiwanese, who enjoy browsing the shops and eating specialty dishes such as taro balls, fish balls and peanut ice cream rolls.

If you would like to have that holiday feeling, then join us on one of these tours for some fun at the coast. With the options of boating and hiking or browsing and eating, I’m sure there’s one that would suit you.

Keelung Boat Adventure | Jiufen Tour

~Lucy Torres

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