The northeast corner of Taiwan is a pseudo last frontier of sorts for plucky travellers on the hunt for a tasty side dish to accompany meaty usual suspects like Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Alishan and Yushan. Yilan County is not big by Taiwan standards but, at over 2,143 km² doubles Hong Kong. About one quarter of the county population of 460,000 lives in the capital, Yilan City. ... Read more »
The diminutive, compact city is a fine gateway to Yilan’s charms. With mountains on three sides and the East China Sea on the other, the county is a snug fit in a most photogenic and magnetic sandwich. Of the inherent splendours, the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area is a spectacular standout. The de facto national park cuts a handsome swath from New Taipei to Yilan County, with implicit highlights like Fulong Beach, Honeymoon Bay and whale watcher hub Guishan Island.
Yilan is no one trick pony, however. Prestige scenery aside, the county also teems with hot (and cold) springs resorts, superb night markets and museums. All in all then, a short and worthwhile commute from Taipei 101 and the busy capital of Taiwan.
Yilan,s Top 10
10. Yilan Zhaoying Temple is a vital religious site devoted to the Goddess of the Sea.
5. Qilan Forest Recreation Area See the cottage refuge of the late President Chang Kai-shek and take a memorable hike.
9. Caoling Historic Trail is one of the best coastal treks in Taiwan.
4. Su-ao Cold Springs, with naturally carbonated water of less than 22°C, is a rarity and a must-try experience.
8. Beiguan Tidal Park offers wonderful views of the sea and lofty, dramatic waves.
3. Wu Sha Residence is a heritage landmark and former home of a major historical figure.
7. Jiaoxi Hot Springs is the place to be for a curative soak in thermal waters.
2. Fushan Botanical Garden is one of the best in the country and spans some 410 hectares.
6. Taiwan Theater Museum is a foremost cultural institution.
1. Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area is a fertile and ecologically delicate national treasure.
- Wu Hsa’s Ancient House - This was the residence of the founder of Yilan.
- Yilan Train Station - The original building was destroyed by a typhoon in 1962.
- Sanqing Temple - The most famous Taoist temple in Taiwan, there are about 50 deities worshipped here.
- Former Rice Inspection Bureau Yilan Branch Office - East-meets-West architecture, with British brick walls and a Japanese roof.
- Former Official Residence of the Magistrate of Yilan - You can take a glimpse at the official residence and the lifestyle of the magistrates.
Yilan Art & Culture
- Centre for Traditional Arts - It houses traditional arts and performing artists.
- Lanyang Museum - The building itself is a work of art that showcases the ethnic diversity and culture of Yilan.
- Nantien Temple - The temple was dedicated to the goddess of the sea, Matsu. It also houses the statue of Matsu, which is made entirely of gold.
- Taiwan Dragon Boat Festival - A major festival celebrated in most of Taiwan.
- International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival - Featuring the children’s summer games, expositions and stage performances.
- Luodong Night Market - You can get baubles and trinkets, the trendiest clothes and local delicacies like the “ox tongue cookie”.
- Luna Plaza Shopping Mall - International boutiques and restaurants alongside local ones, plus you can find many designer goods here.
- Baimi Clog Village - Get modern and traditional clogs in different colours and designs.
- Agrioz - A factory and a museum offering kumquat products and souvenirs.
- Chian Li Guang Herbal Garden - The entrance fee is consumable. You can get herbal drinks and meals in this lovely Yilan attraction.
Gay & Lesbian Yilan
- Jin Hua Hotel - This gay-friendly hotel in Yilan has a bar and lounge.
- Jiaosi - An open-air bar with a hot spring flowing right through it. It's the perfect place to sip a beer while soaking your feet in the warm water of the hot spring.
- Shasha - It’s where the foreign crowd usually flocks.
- Number Five Pub - A famous bar, popular with the party lovers.
- Blue Bar - It’s small bar where you can get cheap booze, and it’s clean, too.
- Cueifong Lake - It’s the biggest alpine lake in Taiwan.
- Jiaosi Hot Spring - Rejuvenate in the flatland hot springs that are rich in minerals.
- Fushan Botanical Park - Relax and take a walk in these lush woodlands near Yilan.
- Dongshan River Water Park - The park highlights the spectacular Dongshan River and offers a variety of activities.
- Cilan Forest Recreation Area - You can have a taste of Monkey Head Mushroom, or just enjoy the picturesque scene.
- Surf at Honey Moon Bay, the most popular surfing site in northern Taiwan.
- Luodong Sport Park- The numerous sporting facilities here include a swimming pool, a track and field stadium and basketball courts.
- Try croquet at the Luodong Sports Park.
- Biking at the Shuangyuan Line lets you enjoy the fresh air of Yilan.
- Join the dragon boat festival. Watch dragon boat races at Dongshan River Water Park.
The capital city of Yilan County, Taiwan, Yilan is located on the north side of Lanyang River. Here, the outdoors mixes with bustling city activities to create a holiday adventure that can be whatever one desires. In and around the city are numerous attractions, cultural sites and unique activities to discover while vacationing on the east coast of Taiwan.
- Jia Zi Lan Wine Museum
- Taiwanese Opera Museum
- Meihua Lake
- Enjoy the Dongshan River Water Park
- Shop the Luodong Night Market
- Stroll through the Museum of Yilan Government History
Yilan’s climate, like most areas in Taiwan, is largely affected by the monsoon season (June through October). Average annual precipitation measures about 22 inches (559 mm) and occurs during the summer and fall months. With four individual seasons, Yilan has very hot, humid summers, comfortable springs and autumns, and short, mild winters.
Erlong River Dragon Boat Race is a model old school long boat competition that coincides with the annual Duanwu/Double Fifth/Dragon Boat Festival.
Luodong Night Market and Yilan Night Market provide foodies and gourmands alike with ample snacks and delicacies on which to gorge and graze.
When To Go
Much like Taipei and the rest of Taiwan, Yilan has a humid subtropical climate with high humidity from one month to the next. The coast mitigates some of this but not, regrettably, typhoons from the South China Sea. The majority of annual precipitation floods Yilam from May to October.
Heavy rain is a good reason to avoid Taiwan in summer in general but not the only one. With temperatures in the 76°F (24°C) to 94°F (34°C) range, it is very hot as well.
Your best bet is to visit Yilan and Taiwan in the winter or a month like March or November. When the torrid weather wanes, Yilan is much more amenable.
Getting There & Around
Most travellers take flights into the airport in Taipei, and from there travel the Taipei/Yilan Freeway (No. 5) south to reach Yilan. The trip by car takes about 40 minutes. Buses are also available to make this journey from the airport.
Taxis and buses from the Taipei train station take tourists to and around Yilan. Most buses are express, so there are no stops on the way. As in most Taiwanese cities, visitors who want to get around in Yilan either walk or rent scooters.« Hide