A trip to Yehliu Geo Park

Went to Yehliu, Taiwan on October 25, 2010

I have visited Yehliu Geo Park, a scenic area on the east coast of Taiwan. It was formed after volcanic eruption many years ago. The stones of various shapes are located there. The most surprising thing is how this place affects your perception of scale. For example a small stone can have lots of details so that you want to zoom in more and more. Some huge stones can only make sense if seen from far away. In this case they look like gigantic animals or vegetables.

As usual, I arrived to Taipei on a high-speed train. Then I walked to the bus station conveniently located near the train station. Actually, there is a huge underground shopping mall. Obviously, the price of land is pretty high in Taipei, this is why every construction here has a number of underground floors. You can spend hour walking under the ground. Another interesting thing is that regional buses in Taipei have numbers in addition to their final destination. When I was in Finland the long-distance buses were only marked by their final destination, for example this bus is going to Jyvaskyla. For a foreigner it is a lot easier if buses had numbers and so this is how it is done here. My colleagues told me that bus 1815 goes to Yehliu, so I was able to find it easily. It takes 1 hour to go there by bus.

Yehliu is a city on a seashore. Lots of fishmen are located there and the smell of fish penetrates this town. There are lots of restaurants that have aquariums in front of them. You can order any fish or crab and they will cook it for you. The process is represented in the following gallery:

Yehliu includes a number of tourist attractions. There is Ocean World, a place where dolphins and sea lions perform, as well as human swimmers and jumpers. On that day I did not have time to go there but I visited it during my next visit to Yehliu. The Geo park itself is quite big and there are a number of activities that you can enjoy. You can look at various stones as well as do some hiking on the hills. They are not very big but some nice views are available at their top. Finally, there is a huge market where you can buy some delicious sea food as well as souvenirs:

I spent most of my time walking in the geo park. Here is a brief tour:

Mushroom rocks As the name suggests, they have shape of a mushroom. The mushroom rocks can be divided into three types according to the difference appearances as manifested on the head and neck of the rock: тАЬThin-neck rockтАЭ,тАЭ thick-neck rockтАЭ and тАЬneckless rockтАЭ.

The mushroom rocks may turn into various kinds of shapes in a progressive manner as they are chronically eroded by wind, sun and rain. They may involve into neckless rock, thick rock, thin rock and even the broken-end rock eventually. The top of the thin rock may fall apart if the neck of the rock contains incomplete sands and thud accelerating the formation of broken-end rock.

Ginger rock. Since the rock layer contains irregular concretions within, the harder concretions may raise above the ground while the softer ones may descend downward as erosion imposes upon the rock. The surface of the hard concretion may become rough and uneven as it is exposed to the atmosphere and having direct contact with the wind and the sea. The interlacing patterns as shown on the surface of ginger rock are the result of crust extrusion occurred underground. These patterns as shown are called тАЬjointsтАЭ in Geology. They get the name тАЬGinger RockтАЭ because of their rough surface and the beige tint as appeared.

Candle rock. A round shape concretion containing lime is formed on the central top of the rock and being surrounding by circular grooves, just like a candle tray. The formation process of candle shaped rock can be divided into three phases:

The formation of candle light: The candle light refers to the ball-shape concretion contained within the rock layer; it is small in size. As the said concretion is harder than its adjacent sandstone and is more durable for sea erosion, it eventually raises above the ground when its surrounding sandstone being worn away by seawater. The formation of groove: As the seawater flows around the concretions, a circle of groove is formed since the sandstone that surrounds the concretion is being worn away by seawater. The formation of candle tray: The seawater flows along the circle of rock that surrounds outside the concretions, a rock formed in a shape of candle tray is developed as a result of sea erosion occurred chronically.

Ice-cream rock.

Honeycomb rock. Honeycomb Weathering Owing to the differential erosion caused by weathering, the surface of rock turns into the shape of honeycomb or window lattice. The flat, level rocks are spreading across the land and covered with holes of different sizes. They are just like tiny windows on the ground.

Giant sealion. You can only see these figures if you climb a hill next to the geo park. Watch the scale тАУ the people appear so small in the background.

The landmark of Yehliu Geo park тАУ a stone called QueenтАЩs head.