Yilan is a beautiful city situated in Northeastern Taiwan and is surrounded by both the sea and mountains. From Taipei bus station, catch the Kamalan bus, which runs regularly and directly to Yilan. The bus ride is around 1 hour and it transports you from a dynamic cityscape to the quaint townships in Yilan. Yilan consists of Yilan City itself as well as other townships, such as Toucheng, Luodong, and Jiaoxi. Travelling around Yilan to these townships is extremely easy via the local train lines.
Snap some adorable pictures at Jimi Square in Yilan
Located next to Yilan station is Jimi Square by the famous Taiwanese illustrator, Jimmy Liao, where there are several cute life-size sculptures. These colorful and pretty sculptures offer visitors great photography opportunities next to them.
The concept is traveling, and you can pose near the giant luggage and the ‘traveler’ sculptures around the park. The park is not big and you would probably spend less than 30 minutes there.
Across the road, there is one more figurine of a girl and a boy waiting by the bus shop, which is super adorable. Along the street, you can also opt to purchase a postcard with images of these figurines from the machine. You can mail it out locally or internationally with the mailbox beside it at no additional cost. A pen is conveniently located by the machine too, so send your love from Yilan!
Chill at Mr Brown Castle Cafe in Toucheng
Mr Brown Castle Cafe can be found around Taiwan but this outlet is specially located in a castle uphill of Toucheng. Toucheng can be easily accessed by the train from Yilan but since the cafe is located uphill, you need to drive or take a taxi from the train station. The taxi will charge a flat rate of 300 TWD (9.30 USD) from the station to the cafe, which takes around 15 minutes. Once you are done, get the taxi booking number from the cafe staff and reserve your taxi to come and pick you up from the cafe. Unfortunately the cafe staff is unable to contact the booking line for all customers. The return fare is also 300 TWD (9.30 USD).
The cafe is open until 7 pm daily and the second level seating closes at 5 pm. You can sit on its first level if you arrive late. The cafe serves a good range of coffees, cakes and main dishes, such as pasta. The main attraction of this cafe is the castle, where you can head to its open space on the 3rd floor for a good view of the surroundings.
If you are in Toucheng, you may also want to check out the Lanyang Museum. Do note that they are closed on Tuesdays.
Soak in the hot springs of Jiaoxi
Jiaoxi township is well-known for its hot springs. If you intend to stay a night in Jiaoxi, there are many hotels offering in-room hot spring tubs or public hot spring tubs in the hotel. Alternatively, head to Tang-wei-gou Park and enjoy the public hot spring, which is open for free for your tired feet. You will see many people soaking their feet in the hot springs around the park. Bring a towel with you, or you can buy one from the shop.
Try out the local snacks at Luodong Night Market
At Yilan station, there is Dongmen Night Market, but if you are looking for a larger market, head towards Luodong Station for Luodong Night Market. The night market is an 8-minute walk from the station, so ask around if you cannot find the market. Yilan is famous for its scallion pancakes so you will see many stores selling that. Besides that, there are also many delicious snacks to try out. One interesting stall is that selling the stinky fries. Most visitors to Taiwan would be familiar with the stinky tofu (fermented beancurd), which you will either love or hate. The stinky fries smell the same, but they are to die for with the cheesy sauce. A favorite top sauce is the Thai spicy sauce, so take your pick!
Witness the Wufengchi Waterfall 五峰旗瀑布
For a wonderfully natural experience while exploring the finest that Yilan offers, get your feet wet with regard to this adventure of an wild encounter in Taiwan! The Wufengchi Waterfall, one of the foremost sites in all of Taiwan, effectively delivers on its promise of world-class sights and sounds alike, together with the unique benefits that come with witnessing a location of which most will only dream.
You’ll find the Wufengchi Waterfall as one of the hidden gems of Jiaoxi Township, well within the borders of Yilan in Taiwan. The waterfall itself is three-tiered, and easily redefines the capacity for amazement, for all those who visit. No matter if you’re a visitor or a local, you’ll find solace in the rhythmic, therapeutic process by which the waters cascade over the falls with mesmerizing repetition. This location is also the ideal spot for the picture of a lifetime: you in front of a waterfall backdrop!
Take note of the fact that at periods during the year, rain characterizes much of the season. Even so, the waterfall is obviously still available for visit, even if the trek to the falls itself takes slightly longer, given slippery terrain. You’ll likely need to take a variety of public transportation to reach the trail head for the falls themselves, but one you reach it, it’s only an easy walk to the Wufengchi Waterfall itself.You’ll notice a large river at the onset of your trek into the natural wildlife, almost as soon as you arrive on site at the Wufengchi Scenic Area. Take you time and explore the Wufengchi Waterfall, and enjoy one of Yilan’s finest natural sights.
Address: 五峰旗瀑布 262, Taiwan, Yilan County, Jiaoxi Township
Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at the Fushan Botanical Garden
Slow down life to a pace entirely comfortable for you, at the Fushan Botanical Garden! From the peaceful spaces of the botanical gardens itself, to the sensational variety of lush wildlife that you’ll find on site, the capacity of the Fushan Botanical Garden to both amaze and to deeply satisfy will meet your every need.
Take note of the fact that you will need a permit to reach the actual grounds of the botanical garden themselves. However, this pass is easy to obtain, and it permits you access to all of the natural exploration you’re looking to make your own while you’re in the region. It is recommended by locals that you spend at least a few hours sauntering around the grounds of the Fushan Botanical Garden, given the fact that you’re going to want to take your time, to fully enjoy the splendor that the Fushan Botanical Garden offers. On the premises of the garden itself, you’ll find a wide variety of plants and especially of trees; the portfolio of distinctive variety of trees lets your senses feast on a myriad of sights. There also exist a variety of small deer on site, animals not afraid to introduce themselves to visitors, but otherwise both harmless and largely friendly.
Fresh air and an overall serene environment typify the Fushan Botanical Garden, a location aided by the frequent rains that the site enjoys. For the nature lover in all of us, the Fushan Botanical Garden is the effortless introduction to a style of indigenous hospitality only afforded to those who indulge in an attraction that proves equal parts thrilling and peaceful! Trails are well preserved, entrance is affordable, and the experience itself is one well worth the investment.
Fushan Botanical Garden
Address: 264, Taiwan, Yilan County, Yuanshan Township, 湖西村雙埤路福山1號
Website: Fushan Botanical Garden
Learn all you can at the National Center for Traditional Arts
For those looking to immerse themselves in the exploration of the rich history that characterizes the region of Yilan, there’s always the National Center for Traditional Arts! You will find at the National Center for Traditional Arts, all of the opportunities to discover the intricate history of the peoples, the culture, the heritage, and the lands that paved the way for the way things are in Taiwan today. Suffice to say, if there’s history to be found anywhere in Yilan, it will be accurately and dynamically documented and ready for your discovery at the National Center for Traditional Arts.
On the premises, art exhibits and displays are regularly changed, providing frequent visitors to the center with new experiences, virtually each and every time they visit. Furthermore, various live events are also held at the National Center for Traditional Arts, so that locals and visitors alike can learn from the experts, as to the details of the sensational history of the region itself. The National Center for Traditional Arts also has a wide variety of items available for purchase, from handmade gifts to those commemorative items that will always bring to mind the lifelong memories you developed when you visited the center.
Additionally, the National Center for Traditional Arts hosts a large variety of side shows and displays, demonstrations of culture and the ideal excuse to immerse yourself in authentic Taiwanese culture. Entire families will find themselves easily entertained, by the exhibits, the culture that surrounds the site itself, and the one-of-a-kind encounters you’ll only have at the National Center for Traditional Arts. From traditional items to indigenous produce materials to exhibits demonstrating and celebrating the culture that has characterized that past heritage of the area, the National Center for Traditional Arts is your one-stop shop when it comes to discovering the genuine local culture in Yilan.
National Center for Traditional Arts
Address: 26841, Taiwan, Yilan County, Wujie Township, 五濱路二段201號
Website: National Center for Traditional Arts
Check out the Lanyang Museum
Given the fact that the region of Yilan is frequently doused with rain, the museum is the ideal rainy day escape! Take the day and get to know the area you inhibit, because there’s so much to explore and so much to enjoy at the Lanyang Museum!
With a constantly shifting array of exhibits and expertly-founded displays, the Lanyang Museum offers a wonderfully novel experience to both first-time visitors and to the seasoned local; each visit is another authentic introduction into a world of regional culture. The Lanyang Museum is characterized by select displays which typify the location, as well as a wonderfully diverse portfolio of rotating displays, to give the space a new feel from week to week. Special displays are also frequently shown at the museum site, depending on local research, available artifacts and items, and seasonal celebrations.
Close to Wushigang Harbor, the museum itself displays picturesque architecture, in a look intentionally similar to the rock formations that characterize the local region. From a distance, the museum bears strong semblance to one of the large, black rocks that make the area a landscape entirely unique unto itself. Rest assured that your entrance fee is entirely worth the investment, given the rich culture diverse heritage, and introduction to local life that awaits you, right behind inviting doors. Interestingly, your visit to the Lanyang Museum begins at the top floor, where you make your way down to the bottom, at your own pace. From the museum’s Ocean Level to its Time Gallery, there’s enough beneath the roof of the Lanyang Museum to captivate the entire family!
Address: Lanyang Museum, 青雲路三段 Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 261
Website: Lanyang Museum
Right on the coast, this eatery lets you sample something different in Yilan. From the shore to your mouth, this delicious restaurants stays true to its mission of serving locals and visitors alike with top-tier foods at affordable prices. If you are craving for familiar food on your trip, this is the place to be. From the moment that you walk through the friendly, well-loved doors of the Drifters Pizza Pub, you’ll discover what regulars come here for. You will be treated as family from the moment you take a seat in a well-lit restaurant atmosphere, you’ll be treated to a wide, extensive variety of iconic pizza.
Affordable and excellently rated by the wide majority of those who frequent the site itself, there’s even live music on the site every Saturday, making the vibe at Drifters Pizza Pub absolutely unbeatable!
Drifters Pizza Pub
Address: 231 Bin Hai Road | Waiao Beach, Yilan County 261, Taiwan
A day or overnight trip
For time-starved visitors, Yilan can be explored within a day and you can head back to Taipei in the evening after the night market. For those who have more time, book a room in Jiaoxi and relax in their hot springs. Yilan has many more natural attractions so you could even stay up to a week if you are interested to explore each of them!