Unveiling Yilan, Taiwan – A Perfect Weekend Getaway

Unveiling Yilan, Taiwan – A Perfect Weekend Getaway

Yilan(宜蘭), a peaceful place in northeastern Taiwan, used to be called “Gamaalan.” Now it’s a beautiful destination where nature and water meet.

There are no tall buildings here, just wide-open fields and fresh, pleasant air. Many visitors from Taipei choose to come to Yilan during holidays, driving through the Snow Mountain Tunnel to find peace and escape the noise of the city.

But Yilan isn’t just about nature, it also has a rich cultural side. The famous Lanyang Museum is here, and there’s the National Center for Traditional Arts, which helps people learn traditional art. Both places are full of culture and art for you to enjoy.

In Yilan, surprises are everywhere, waiting for you to explore. This article will introduce you to 16 amazing places to visit, so let’s discover this beautiful and enchanting place together!

*Cover image credit: @taiwan.4fun

Before You Go

You should consider purchasing the Klook PASS Yilan because it can help you save up to 40% on your expenses and allows you to customize your adventure by selecting 2 to 4 experience itineraries.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to explore Yilan while enjoying substantial savings!

I also strongly recommend getting a useful tool to make your travels go smoothly: a 4G SIM Card.
With a local 4G SIM Card, you can easily find your destination, check the latest public transport schedules, and share your vacation photos or videos with your family and friends anytime, anywhere.

Klook PASS Yilan Fun Pass$11.99 Book NOW
4G SIM Card$9.35 
$10.05 (7% off)
Book NOW
4G WiFi Router$1.29
$6.29 (80% off)
Book NOW

How to go to Yilan?

  1. Train
    Taking the train is the most convenient way to reach Yilan.
    There are 22 Taiwan Railway stations within Yilan County, making it easy to visit any town or tourist attraction.
  2. Bus
    There are several options for round-trip bus services between Taipei and Yilan.
    all operate routes between Taipei and Yilan, offering frequent schedules, so you don’t have to worry about long waits for the bus.
    • Guoguang Bus(國光客運)
    • Metropolitan Bus(大都會客運)
    • Capital Star(首都之星)
    • Gamalan Bus(葛瑪蘭客運) ➞ Book Now
  3. Private Car Rental
    If you want to explore Yilan with greater flexibility and freedom, you can opt for private car rental or day tour packages.
    You can visit Klook to choose private car rental services, allowing you to plan your itinerary according to your interests and schedule, making it more convenient!

Yilan Attractions

1. Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區)

Taipingshan, often referred to as the “Heavenly Mountain” offers a diverse range of natural landscapes.

You can explore the Jianqing Huaigu Trail(見晴懷古步道)for a glimpse of ancient history, admire the picturesque beauty of Emerald Peak Lake(翠峰湖),take a ride on the forest train to immerse yourself in the lush greenery, or unwind in the Jiu Zhi Ze hot springs(鳩之澤溫泉)to relax your body and mind.

I recommend planning at least a two-day trip to fully appreciate the beauty of Taipingshan, with a special highlight being the opportunity to witness the vibrant red maple leaves during the autumn season.

Whether you’re an adventurer or a seeker of tranquility, Taipingshan is an unforgettable destination that’s worth visiting.

  • Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-980-9806
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 04:00 – 20:00

The original ticket price is NT$200($6.25), but you can get 25% off just click the below button!

If you want to visit the attractions but don’t have transportation, you can consider the following solution:

Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area Day Tour

  • Marvel at the stunning views of Yilan Plain and stop by the 2,500-year-old red cypress
  • Visit the largest Mountain Lake in Taiwan
  • Hop on the famous Bong-Bong train taking you into Taipingshan’s dense forest

Photo Source: Klook

2. Mingchi National Forest Recreation Area (明池國家森林遊樂園)

The Mingchi is a high mountain artificial lake nestled amidst a surround of towering peaks, resembling a hidden sanctuary.

This lake sparkles like a natural gem and is a sight to behold. Additionally, the forest trails, landscaped gardens, and botanical areas within the park are beloved attractions that make visitors feel as if they’ve stepped into a fairyland.

The park’s tranquil atmosphere makes it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing visitors to truly connect with nature.

Whether you’re looking to hike, beat the summer heat, or simply find inner peace, Mingchi Forest Recreation Area is your perfect choice.

  • Mingchi National Forest Recreation Area (明池國家森林遊樂園)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-989-4106
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 08:00 – 16:30

The original ticket price is NT$130($4.05), but you can get 20% off just click the below button!

3. Water geothermal Square (清水地熱公園)

Water geothermal is nestled within the Qingshui Creek Valley and boasts abundant geothermal resources, with spring water temperatures reaching up to 95 degrees Celsius.

This classic attraction offers facilities like cooking pools and foot baths where visitors can unwind. You can even savor delicious “hot spring eggs” boiled using the geothermal water.

The square also provides services for renting bamboo baskets for cooking, offering visitors a comprehensive geothermal experience.

It’s an extremely enticing travel destination for those seeking relaxation and immersion in the wonders of geothermal activity.

  • Water geothermal Square (清水地熱公園)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-989-4500
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 09:00 – 17:00

4. Jiaoxi Hot Springs (礁溪溫泉)

Jiaoxi, once known as a dry and water-scarce region, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a renowned hot spring destination.

The local hot springs boast crystal-clear, odorless water with temperatures hovering around 58 degrees Celsius. These hot springs are affectionately known as Beauty Springs (美人湯) because of their sodium bicarbonate content, which helps soften the skin and provide moisture.

This unique feature makes Jiaoxi an excellent choice for families seeking relaxation and a soothing escape for the soul.

Here are some hot spring resorts I recommend for you to choose from:

Yunoyado Onsen Hot Spring Hotel

Japanese-style architecture blends Chinese-style window grilles, Japanese door lintels, sloping roofs, and other traditional hotel elements, creating a tranquil Zen-inspired atmosphere

Photo Source: Klook

MU Jiao Xi Hotel Hot Spring

Enjoy unlimited access to outdoor nude hot springs, a hot spring swimming pool, and a variety of hot spring pools for soaking, scenic views, and spa water jet massages

Photo Source: Klook

Hot Spring Onion

Taiwan’s pioneering art-themed hot spring baths blend Japanese ‘sento’ culture with Taiwanese art for a unique and unconventional bathing experience, breaking away from traditional norms

Photo Source: Klook

5. Tangweigou Hot Spring Park (湯圍溝溫泉公園)

Tangweigou Hot Spring Park, nestled in the heart of Jiaoxi Hot Springs, is a captivating paradise that leaves visitors wanting more.

The park boasts a variety of hot spring facilities, including hot spring wells, foot bath pavilions, and water play areas. However, the most intriguing attraction is its outdoor foot bath pools, inhabited by lively little fish.

As you soak your feet in the water, these small fish gently nibble at your toes and ankles, providing a delightful experience that not only relaxes your body but also exfoliates your skin.

If you have extra time to spare, take a leisurely stroll through the park and admire its beautiful Japanese-style landscaping.

Tangweigou Hot Spring Park is undeniably a must-visit destination, offering pleasant surprises and moments of relaxation that await your arrival.

  • Tangweigou Hot Spring Park (湯圍溝溫泉公園)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-987-4882
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 08:00 – 12:20 | 13:00 – 21:30

6. Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm (宜蘭張美阿嬤農場)

The Japanese-style garden farm in Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm, is a popular destination for family trips.

It features a 400-square-meter garden adorned with a variety of plants and Japanese-style architecture, creating an ambiance reminiscent of Japan.

The farm is home to adorable animals such as sika deer, llamas, and kangaroos, offering fun opportunities for family interactions.

You can dress in traditional kimono attire, hand-feed the sika deer, observe capybaras up close, and participate in farming experiences and DIY activities.

This farm provides a colorful array of experiences suitable for families of all ages to enjoy together.

  • Zhang Mei Ama’s Farm (宜蘭張美阿嬤農場)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 979-333-036
    • Hours:Mon – Fri 09:00 – 17:30 | Sat – Sun 08:30 – 17:30

7. Bambi Land (斑比山丘)

Bambi Land is often hailed as the “Taiwanese Nara.” Situated near Meihua Lake (梅花湖), this area is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Covering an area of about 200 square meters, the park is adorned with various trees, providing a natural habitat for sika deer.

The park is divided into a fenced area and a close-up interaction area, offering a diverse range of recreational experiences. Visitors can get up close and interact with the adorable sika deer, enjoying the thrill of intimate contact and interaction.

In Taiwan, you can easily have a close encounter with sika deer without traveling to Nara, and Bambi Land is the beautiful place where you can fulfill this dream.

  • Bambi Land (斑比山丘)
    • Get Location
    • Hours:Mon – Fri 10:00 – 17:00 | Sat – Sun 09:00 – 17:00

The original ticket price is NT$285($8.89), but you can get 5% off just click the below button!

8. Meihua Lake (梅花湖)

Meihua Lake is a picturesque destination with crystal-clear waters and a well-preserved natural environment.

I highly recommend renting tandem bicycles to ride around the lake. It’s a perfect activity for families to leisurely enjoy the lake’s scenic beauty, as every corner is filled with breathtaking views.

This is undoubtedly a place worth visiting to relax and appreciate the wonders of nature!

  • Meihua Lake (梅花湖)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 961-5576
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 24hrs

9. Dongshan River Water Park (冬山河親水公園)

Dongshan River Water Park is a classic venue for events like the Yilan International Children’s Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival Races, drawing numerous visitors every year. It’s especially popular during the summer, attracting a large of tourists.

This park offers various facilities, including an ecological conservation area, a water activity zone, and an outdoor theater.

Among them, the water recreation zone is the most popular, where you can enjoy water-based fun.

You can also ride bicycles along the riverside to admire the beautiful scenery of the Dongshan River.

This park is a vibrant and entertaining destination, definitely worth a visit!

  • Dongshan River Water Park (冬山河親水公園)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-950-2097
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 10:00 – 20:00

Have you ever tried a water bike in the Yilan Dongshan River?

Water Bike Experience in Yilan Dongshan River

  • Enjoy a tandem water bike experience with a professional coach and an ecological guide
  • Including Security Equipment
  • Insurance provided by the supplier

Photo Source: Klook

10. National Center for Traditional Arts (宜蘭傳藝中心)

National Center for Traditional Arts is a cultural and artistic hub in Taiwan, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Taiwan, including traditional crafts, theater, music, and skills. The campus occupies extensive grounds and preserves nostalgic architecture, signs, and streets from the past.

Here, you can enjoy a variety of folk performances and exhibitions, participate in art experiences and hands-on workshops, and deeply appreciate the charm of traditional crafts.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to don a qipao and take unique photos, as if transported back in time. National Center for Traditional Arts is not just a museum, it’s a lively cultural focal point full of vitality.

  • National Center for Traditional Arts (宜蘭傳藝中心)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-950-8859
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 09:00 – 18:00

The original ticket price is NT$130($4.05), but you can get 20% off just click the below button!

11. Fenniaolin Beach (粉鳥林海灘)

Fenniaolin Beach is located at the southern tip of Suao, It features beautiful pebble beaches and unique cliffs and rock formations, offering an excellent seascape for photography.

Visitors can also enjoy various fun activities such as canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), or beach biking, immersing themselves in the beauty of nature.

Whether you prefer leisure or adventure, Fenniaolin Beach is a place worth visiting.

  • Fenniaolin Beach (粉鳥林海灘)

Here are some activities you can do at Fenniaolin Beach:

Island Boat Tale – Fenniaolin SUP, Wuyanjiao Canoe

  • Canoe along the eastern rock wall, gazing at magnificent scenery
  • Explore sea caves to witness nature’s incredible craftsmanship
  • Relax on the serene, unspoiled beach for a refreshing experience

Photo Source: Klook

Nan’ao ATV Experience

  • Explore Fenniao Forest’s hidden bay on an ATV with professional coaching
  • Includeing ATV rental, riding, and safety gear
  • Insurance provided by the supplier

Photo Source: Klook

12. Lanyang Museum (蘭陽博物館)

Lanyang Museum’s building blends nicely with nature and is famous for its unique triangular design. The glass exterior reflects different colors depending on the weather, especially the blue sky and white clouds on clear days, making it a great place for taking photos.

Inside the museum, there are four levels, each focusing on different aspects of Taiwan’s culture, geography, history, and natural environment. It’s not just a beautiful place to visit but also a place to learn more about Yilan’s culture and nature.

  • Lanyang Museum (蘭陽博物館)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-977-9700
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 09:00 – 17:00 | Wed Closed

The original ticket price is NT$50($1.55), but you can get 10% off just click the below button!

13. Guishan Island (龜山島)

Guishan Island is the largest island in Yilan and is famous for its turtle-like shape. The island is renowned for its “Eight Views of Turtle Island,” which includes magnificent scenes like the Turtle Island Sunrise, the mystical Turtle Tail Rock, the imposing Turtle Rock Cliffs, and other stunning landscapes. Climbing to the summit, you can enjoy enchanting views of the sea.

Furthermore, the waters surrounding Turtle Island are home to a colorful coral reef underwater park and a great spot for dolphin and whale shark watching.

The underwater volcanic eruptions have created a unique “Milk Sea,” where sulfur intertwines in the seawater.

In addition to boat tours, you can also engage in various water activities such as SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) and snorkeling or join a half-day tour around Turtle Island for a leisurely island-hopping adventure.

This volcanic island is filled with breathtaking attractions that should not be missed!

What are the fun activities around Guishan Island?

Guishan Island Half-Day Tour & Whale-Watching

  • Explore the history of Yilan’s mysterious Turtle Island volcano
  • Enjoy an unforgettable boat journey to Turtle Island with dolphins and flying fish leaping alongside
  • Gain insights into these animals’ unique traits from our expert guide

Photo Source: Klook

Guishan Island Milk Lake SUP Experience

  • Fun in sea pools and trendy swimming rings
  • Try exciting SUP stand-up paddling in the stunning sea, fully equipped and safe
  • Explore the ocean’s beauty and Guishan Island’s geography and ecology with professional guides

Photo Source: Klook

14. Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市)

If you’re looking for genuine night market food in Yilan, Luodong Night Market is a great option! It’s well-known for its wide variety of delicious dishes. Even in the evening, the night market is lively and ready for you to visit!

  • Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市)

15. Luodong Forestry Culture Park (羅東林業文化園區)

Originally, it served as the Luodong Branch Office during the Japanese colonial era and played a crucial role in storing timber from the Taipingshan area.

The park preserves historical features from that time, including timber storage ponds, forest railways, and steam trains.

Today, the Luodong Forestry Culture Park has transformed into a delightful forest park, allowing you to explore the history of forestry while immersing yourself in the subtle aroma of cypress wood.

  • Luodong Forestry Culture Park (羅東林業文化園區)
    • Get Location
    • Tel:+886 3-954-4247
    • Hours:Mon – Sun 08:00 – 17:00

16. Suao Cold Spring (蘇澳冷泉)

Suao Cold Springs, also known as the “World’s Top Wonder Spring,” is famous for its clear, cool, and refreshing spring water.

When it reaches the surface, the water temperature is approximately 22 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal choice for a refreshing dip, especially during the hot summer months.

  • Suao Cold Spring (蘇澳冷泉)

Where can you find Suao Cold Spring?

Rongshanlin Suao Cold and Hot Spring Resort Hotel

  • Experience both cold and hot springs in a single visit
  • Offering a premium AVEDA bathing travel set
  • Celebrate your soak with complimentary Yilan local specialty snacks

Photo Source: Klook

Recommended Yilan Tour Packages

If you are short on time or unsure how to plan your itinerary, I recommend utilizing the KLOOK travel website.

They offer a variety of reasonably priced packaged tours for Yilan for your reference.

Here are a few recommended tour packages:

Private Yilan Popular Sightseeing Car Charter from Taipei 

  • Customize your full-day sightseeing route with a private car rental
  • Travel with a driver who speaks your choice of English, Korean, or Mandarin
  • Convenient hotel, airport, or location pick-up and drop-off included

Photo Source: Klook

Yilan Zhang Mei Ama Farm Day Tour from Taipei

  • Explore Yilan’s Zhang Mei Ama Farm, Taiwan’s Nara Park, and feed adorable spotted deer
  • Admire Lanyang Museum’s unique architecture
  • Learn about forestry history with a professional guide and convenient shuttle from Taipei Main Station

Photo Source: Klook

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. In this post, you’ve learned about the fun things to do in Yilan. Now, I’d love to hear which activity you prefer and where you would like to go first.

Lastly, if you have any questions about your trip to Yilan, please leave them in the comments below. I will be more than happy to help you out 🙂

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