Framed by mountains on Taiwan’s north-east coast, Yilan County overlooks the idyllic waters of the Philippine Sea. It’s home to one of the longest highway tunnels in Asia and river-fed agricultural plains that make it a breadbasket for the country. Yilan County’s natural wonders include therapeutic springs and ancient cypress trees, as well as an offshore island shaped like a sea turtle.
Things to do in Yilan County
Whether you want to discover the region’s rich cultural heritage or spot migrating whales along the coast, Yilan County offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Taiwan’s cities.
Explore Yilan County’s museums. Interested in the region’s cultural heritage? Pay a visit to the Yilan County Historical Museum where artefacts dating from the Japanese colonial era are on display. Also worth visiting is the National Centre for Traditional Arts, which celebrates the region’s creative traditions. After your visit, you can pick up locally-made souvenirs along the atmospheric Old Street.
Wildlife watch around Gueishan Island. Yilan County is renowned as a whale and dolphin watching destination, with the waters around Gueishan Island one of the best places to see these marine mammals in action. Take note of the turtle-shaped geology of this volcanic island, which is also one of the best places for early risers to watch the sunrise over the Philippine Sea.
Feast at the Luodong Night Market. Once the sun goes down, visit the Luodong Night Market to browse street food stalls selling authentic Taiwanese snacks and dishes. Those with adventurous taste buds can try Chinese-style mutton herbal soup, smoked duck meat and ox-tongue-shaped pastries, then wash it down with iced tapioca drinks.
Getting around Yilan County
Both the Yilan and North-Link railway lines travel through Yilan County and connect north to Taipei. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is 1.5 hours’ drive from the region. Buses are the main means of getting around Yilan County while taxis are also readily available.