Taiwan’s natural wonders beckon

Azlan Othman in Taipei

Besides characteristic architecture like the 101 Taipei tower, Taiwan offers the stunning diversity of its landscape – from lush and rugged mountain forests to hot springs on one side and unique rock formations at coastal areas on the other, creating a one-of-a-kind sight.

One would also be in awe of the naturally formed volcano as well as the abandoned railway station and picturesque sea view.

At Yangmingshan National Park, visitors can see the unique views of a sulphur cauldron at a volcanic zone. The breathtaking scenery coupled with cool weather allows visitors to enjoy the spectacles of nature free from distractions and noise.

With 20 or more volcanoes, the park covers huge mountainous areas in Taipei, with a total area of 11,338 hectares.

A popular hiking destination in Taiwan, Yangmingshan sits on a geological fault line just north of Taipei City and is one of the best places on the island to admire Taiwan’s beauty.

Beitou is the most convenient area for visitors to enjoy authentic thermal hot springs
Picturesque view from Yehliu Geopark

Right in the heart of Taipei lies a natural hot spring, and as you approach the pool of water you can feel the steam rising from the surface. The steam does have a sulphuric smell of eggs, but the scent is not as strong as other natural hot springs I’ve encountered. Beitou is the most convenient area for travelers visiting Taipei to enjoy authentic thermal hot springs.

Another unique feature to discover in Taiwan is Lungteng Bridge in Miaoli, which is one of the old railways that connected citizens to other cities in the early 1900s. This bridge was left broken and deserted after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 1999, and was soon substituted by a new bridge built on its western side.

Built only with bricks, Yuteng literally means a ‘fish-poisoning shrub’ which acts as a crescent blade to protect villagers against a legendary carp monster that lives at the lake and brings hazardous events to the place. The magnificent remains of the bridge stand erect in Sanyi Town and are now the highest iron bridge in Taiwan.

If you are fond of natural attractions, head to the rocks at Yehliu Geopark which are acclaimed as one of the world’s renowned natural wonders. The coast in Yehliu underwent multiple geological processes, including wave erosion, rock weathering, and crustal movement, to form such a peculiar yet rare landscape.

The Geopark is separated into three areas. The first area is the important congregation area of mushroom rocks and ginger rocks; the second is prestigious of dragonite and diamond, including the 24-filial piety hill; and the third zone consists of a sea-erosion landscape, ranging from wave-cut platforms, torrent waves, to rocks in grotesque shapes.

The famous Queen’s Head is an erosion pillar that resembles a woman wearing a crown crusted with jewels and diamonds, while the rose-like stones contain the traces left by fairies.

Bruneian journalists certainly admired the stunning scenery Taiwan has to offer, which ranges from city viewpoints to an opening in or near a volcano – through which hot sulphurous gases emerge, hiking up grassy trails and relaxing in hot springs.