- Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area
- National Center for Traditional Arts
- Luodong Night Market
- Lanyang Museum
- Wufengqi Scenic Area
- Dongshan River Water Park
- Su'ao Cold Spring
- Jiaoxi Hot Spring
- Luodong Forestry Culture Garden
- The Jimmy Square
Great Natural Landscape in Yilan
The extraordinary Mother Nature has created countless beautiful scenery. Magnificent landscapes always fascinate people. By coming to Yilan and having a close encounter with Mother Nature, you will see its grandeur, feel its serenity, and forget your mundane worries. The stunning spiritual feast is something you should not miss out on!
Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area
The whole Taiping area covers the Nanhu Mountain Range, Sanxing Mountain Range, and Dabajian Mountain Range. The mountains are famous for the Taiwan Cypresses and Taiwan Yellow Cypresses. In the past, the Taiping area was named one of the three biggest forest areas together with Alishan and Baxianshan. The average annual temperature is 13 degrees Celsius. The Taiping Mountains are always surrounded by clouds and mist while the forest contains many kinds of trees. As the seasons change, the views also vary. Thus, the place is lauded as a heaven on earth.
Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area is huge and includes attractions such as Renze, Lantai, Bailing, Cuifeng Lake, and Taipingshan Waterfall. Also, the recreational facilities such as the Jiuzize Hot Spring, forest trail, the geothermal area for boiling eggs can also be found. Meanwhile, the recreation area has preserved the original trees and relics of the ropeway, mountain tracks, and forest train left from the previous production, whereby tourists coming here can reminisce about the past.
You can jump in the bumper car when coming to Taiping Mountain and take a deep breath of the phytoncide to bask in the forest and immerse yourself in the green mountains and lakes surrounded by wispy fog. Or you can enjoy the clouds and sunrise of Taiping Mountain with peace in the morning and watch the changeable ecological environment and climate.
During autumn and winter, the maple leaves will paint the mountain red, which attracts hordes of tourists to travel here and take pictures. Taiwan Cherries, Plum Blossoms, and Taipingshan White Cherry Blossoms also change as the seasons progress, allowing Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area to put on a different dress for every season and await tourists to visit.
National Center for Traditional Arts
The Center for Traditional Arts in Dongshan River Scenic Area has added several pieces of installation art, such as Misty Forest and Tunnel of Leaping Fish. The place is an attraction suitable for the whole family to enjoy the cultural tour together.
Walking into the park at the Center for Traditional Arts makes you feel like falling into a time tunnel. The streets decorated with red walls and black tiles are blended with the architectural styles of the old streets everywhere in Taiwan. All sorts of special stores, such as workshops and early Taiwanese variety stores, stand along the streets. Here, you may see things that trigger the fun memories of your childhood, such as dough figurine sculptures, sugar onion, traditional toys, glove puppetry, etc.
When you feel tired after shopping, you can bring your children to the parent and child area to play and, or have some Taiwanese specialty food to replenish the lost energy. Or you can go to the performance hall and take a seat to enjoy the troupe’s performance; you will be able to completely bask in the performance as you listen to the sonorous and delicate singing as this slowly vanishing art is a part of our cultural heritage.
In addition, you can try many interesting activities, such as hand dyeing fabric, handmade woodcraft, and making oil-paper umbrellas. The center not only allows visitors to eat and play at the same time, but hopes to blend art into life through understanding the beauty of traditional art with the help of these handmade activities, splendid performances, and traditional architecture.
Luodong Night Market
Once you step into Luodong Night Market, you will see the bustling crowds. The area of the night market encompasses Minsheng Rd., Minquan Rd., Gongyuan Rd., and Xingdong Rd. Apart from street food, there are also affordable clothing and shoe stores in Luodong Night Market, making it the perfect place for both shopping and eating in Luodong.
Since most street food is sold on Gongyuan Rd., they are commonly known as Gongyuan street foods. There are people waiting in line for food everywhere you see. If you want to enjoy the delicacies in Luodong Night Market without the hassles of the crowds, we advise you to visit the market on weekdays, when you will be able to wander around in the market with ease. If you can only visit the market on the weekends, we advise you to arrive after 16:00 or after 22:00, to avoid the horrific weekend crowds.
Due to the overwhelming crowds, a multi-story car park can be found next to the Luodong Night Market’s entrance. Other parking lots are spread across the neighborhood of the market. Parts of the roads in the city are one-way roads, so do take note of the navigation on the road signs when driving to the market to avoid wrong-way driving. You can shop at Luodong Night Market, and also enjoy fine snacks such as Angelica Lamb Soup (Dang-gui-yan-rou-tang), Sanxing Spring Onion Buns (San-xing-cong-bao), Deep-fried Meat Cake (Gao-zha), Meat Fritters (Bu-rou), Deep Fried Pork Rolls (Long-feng-tui), Crispy Egg Cakes (Cui-pi-ji-dan-gao), etc. The street food options are so many that it is often difficult for people to choose which ones they want. Because of these delicacies, Luodong Night Market has become a famous tourist attraction, bringing crowds to the neighborhood.
Lanyang Museum is housed in a building that exists in harmony with the earth. The main structure of the building is situated at the northwest side of the ruins in Wushigang Harbor; its aim is to conserve the wetland’s natural resources. Due to its unique exterior design, the museum has become a famous landmark in Yilan.
The main building incorporates the shape of the cuestas commonly seen along the Beiguan Coast. To also present the seasonal colors of the Yilan Plain, the exterior walls were built with quality stones combined and arranged; the inspiration was the melody of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The walls mimic cuestas’ stone patterns as the color changes with the seasons and the light and shadow alter.
Walking on the aisle of Lanyang Museum, you will see the museum emblem overhead. The emblem’s design is derived from the Kavalan Aboriginal Tribe’s traditional wood-carved human figures, which represent “harmony between humans and nature” and the “association between humans and history”.
Wufengqi Scenic Area
As one of the top eight sceneries of Lanyang, Wufengqi features five eye-catching peaks, which look like five Chinese opera flags, hence its name (literally means “five peak flags”).
Standing on the stone steps leading to the waterfall, the breeze carries the smell of great nature and the songs of the forest. The Wufengqi Waterfall is 100 m tall and comprises three main drops. Each drop is an exquisite landscape on its own.
At the bottom of the falls, which is veiled by the trees and bushes, the water flows gracefully, like a gorgeous secluded wonderland, forming a cooling mist that cools people down, as well as great fun for travelers.
In a relaxing pace, the sound of water gets clearer as you climb up the steps. The floating vapor winds around the Wufeng Pavilion, creating a classic, fantastical scenery, astonishing, like walking into a poem.
After conquering the stairs that seemed to be never-ending, the splendid waterfall will win your heart in an instant. Looking at the running waterfall, all the sweets and bitters of life are washed away and taken over by the waterfall.
Dongshan River Water Park
“Get Close to Water, Embrace Green” was the theme when planning the Dongshan River Water Park. In order to sufficiently make use of the advantages of Dongshan River’s water area, the Park was built in an open space, becoming a place for tourism, leisure and play.
Dongshan River Water Park is situated in Wujie Township, Yilan County. The Park has the Ecological Conservation Area, Water Activities Area, Leisure Activities Area, Water Bus, and Outdoor Theater. The Park is the best equipped outdoor water park in Yilan. Among all, the Water Activities Area and Dongshan River Trip are the most attractive. Visitors can even take the boat from the water park to travel to the Center for Traditional Arts.
Dongshan River Water Park often holds big-scale events known to the whole world. Every year during the Dragon Boat Festival, fun and magnificent dragon boat racing will be held, together with the International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival, where people of all ages can be fully entertained. Of all the events, the International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival is the most representative one that attracts hordes of visitors to join and enjoy some coolness during the scorching hot summer days.
Apart from playing with water, the bike lane next to Dongshan River also provides a pretty nice recreation option. The bike lane along the way is smooth and you can even see the red Lizejian Bridge, whose two sides are shaded by trees, or admire the charming scenery alongside Dongshan River.
Su'ao Cold Spring
Su’ao Cold Spring is the only calcium bicarbonate spring in Taiwan. The spring temperature is about 22°C. As the insects, fish and shrimp that accidentally enter the spring will be unable to survive due to its rich CO2 content, the spring was once regarded as poisonous. It was not until the Japanese Colonial Period when the Japanese soldier Takenaka Shinkage discovered the spring to be crystal clear and sweet after tasting it, that people realized the benefits of this spring.
On the hot summer day, scooping the spring water up and watching the water splashing through the air will eliminate your summer heat instantly; or lie in the cold spring like an elegant fish and let it cool your body and mind. The charm of Su’ao Cold Spring is truly irresistible.
The old-school marble soda and the sweet yokan are famous local products, and were made with Su’ao Cold Spring water in the early days. Now, the marble soda has entered history, while the yokan has become the number one gift of Su’ao and the pride of Su’ao. When you come to Su’ao, don’t forget to try the sweet yokan; it will fill your heart with happiness.
Jiaoxi Hot Spring
After the volcano erupted ten thousand years ago, the leftover magma stayed underground. On the rainy Lanyang Plain, rain penetrates the rock formation and is heated instantly, gifting Jiaoxi with a natural hot spring.
Inside the hot spring pool wreathed in dense vapor, the day’s fatigue will dissipate and the mood brightened. On a cold winter’s day, why not take a hot spring trip to drive away the cold and re-embrace the warmth.
Starting from 2003, Yilan has been holding the hot spring festival in the winter every year, featuring a series of hot spring and fine-cuisine events to warm up the hearts of the visitors while presenting the beauty of Jiaoxi Hot Spring.
Luodong Forestry Culture Garden
There were three forest areas in Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period: Baxianshan Forest Area, Alishan Forest Area, and Taipingshan Forest Area. The Taiwan Cypresses and Taiwan Yellow Cypresses cut from Taipingshan Forest Area were all delivered to the Luodong Agency and timber pond for storage. The Luodong Agency then became the current Luodong Forestry Culture Garden after its organization.
Luodong Forestry Culture Garden sits in the vicinity of the city of Luodong and is easy to access. The garden has a timber pond, forest railway, bamboo forest station, steam locomotive, green forest, and trails. You can see from the equipment and buildings how prosperous and vibrant the forestry was at the time. At the same time, it also makes people emotional about the amount of precious Taiwan cypresses that have disappeared in Taiping Mountain.
As the forestry was upgraded, the former glorious timber pond is now occupied by the Taiwan cypresses cut at the time. Now, the timber pond no longer stores timber but has become a haven for waterfowls and fish.
Taking a walk in the garden feels like entering a secret garden. The garden has dense trees. From time to time, you will hear the birds sing, while smelling phytoncide and the mild Taiwan Cypress scent in the air. The comfortable environment makes you want to stop to appreciate the serenity of your heart.
The Jimmy Square
Have you ever imagined how the pictures in picture books would look if they became real? The Jimmy Square situated around the Yilan Station has finally fulfilled the dreams of Jimmy’s fans.
The Jimmy Square used to be an old railway staff dormitory; it was later transformed into the transit center of long-haul buses. As Yilan happens to be the hometown of the famous illustrator, with the theme of “in memory of the transient scenery”, he created the first square in Taiwan featuring his own illustrations, in Yilan. The square still maintains the original historic buildings and old trees.
Here, you will see the male and female main characters from Turn Left, Turn Right (A Chance of Sunshine) departing hastily in opposite directions. Or you can see the little boy and girl from The Starry Starry Night waiting together for the bus that will never come. Or you can see the suitcase that holds the traveler’s memories from Sound of Colors. All the pieces of the installation art displayed at the Jimmy Square create limitless room for imagination and touch people’s hearts.
The Happy Station that takes only five minutes to arrive at, no longer leaves the impression of hastiness. Visitors who travel here can now slow down and stop for a while to appreciate the beautiful scenery in the surroundings and imprint Yilan, the place that makes you smile, in their mind.