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What to do and see in Yilan

See dolphins at Turtle Island:

Turtle island Turtle island (Guishan Island) is the only active volcano in Taiwan. When you see its shape you will understand the reason for its name, you will be able to see from the head to the tail. This island has been inhabited for centuries. But every time there were typhoons, its inhabitants were isolated for months, so in the 1970s the Taiwan government decided to relocate them on the main island, and declare the island as a protected territory. 

It is possible to do a excursion to the island and even climb to its highest peak (401 Peak), from where there are amazing views, but for this you must have a permit and there is a limit of 100 people a day. We do not recommend it with children because it can be too harsh (it takes the whole day).

But what is worth it is to take one of the boats that goes around the island, and then go out to look for the dolphins. Hundreds of jumping dolphins can be seen! And hopefully you can even see a whale in the distance. 

The return to the island is also very interesting, because on the head, you will see that the sea water turns turquoise and you will perceive a strong smell of sulfur. It is the effect caused by the mixing of the salty sea water with the springs waters that flow from the bottom of the ocean. Taiwanese call it Yuanyang.

How to get there: Wushih harbour is 1 hour drive from Taipei. If you want to go by public transport, it is best to take bus 1877 at the MRT station of Yuanshan or Nangang, which in 50 minutes takes you directly to the harbour (120 NTD, they leave every 30 minutes from 7.00-21.00). By train, you have to take an express train from Taipei or Songshan (whichever is closest to you) to Toucheng (1h15min, 190NTD) and from the station take a taxi to the port (10min, 80NTD). If you take a local train (2h, 115NTD), get off at Wayâ??Ao and from here take a taxi (10min, 80 NTD) or walk 30min along the beach (in summer it can be hard). 

How to buy tickets: when you arrive at the port, you will see that there are several operators that offer the tour. They are all very similar and have the same prices, so you can choose any one. But if you prefer to go with the tickets purchased, you can do it at KLOOK (the price is the same).

Cost: 900 NTD per adult (700 NTD children 3-11 years old, 300 NTD babies). This is the price of dolphin watching, which also includes the return to the island. If you also want to visit the island (without climbing the peak) it will cost you 1400 NTD per person (not worth it). If you want to climb the peak, you will need the whole day, and it is not combined with dolphin watching (1500 NTD pp). & Nbsp;

Hours: there are 4 departures a day (8am, 10am, 1pm and 4pm). In high season they sometimes put more boats. Our recommendation is that you consult an app like Windy and that you see what time it will be less windy and the sea will be calmer, since this way the boat will move less and there will be less possibility of seasickness. Usually they are the first and last hour, but better check it. & Nbsp;

Duration of the excursion: you will spend about 2-3 hours in the water. & nbsp;

Best time of year to visit Turtle Island: Dolphin sightings can be seen from April to October. However, the sea is rough in this area, and the boat trip can be quite dizzy. The time when the sea is calmer is in July and August (if there is no clear typhoon). In any case, we recommend that you inform yourself of the weather in advance, and choose a day that is not very windy and the sea is calm to minimize the risk of seasickness.

Mar azul en Turtle Island Delfines en Turtle Island

Lanyang Museum:

Lanyang Museum Before or after the excursion to Turtle Island (depending on the schedule you choose) you have to go to the Lanyang Museum. On the outside you will see that the architecture is spectacular (it seems that it is sinking into the sea), and inside it has an exhibition about the sea and the aborigines of the area, which children love. In addition, the views of Turtle Island from there are also very beautiful.

For children, apart from some craft workshops that are scattered around the museum, there is an area called "Archaeological Kid's Land". Here they do a guided activity where the children are little archaeologists. It is in Chinese, but the staff make efforts so that those who don't speak understand too. The children have a great time. You have to register at the entrance (where the tickets).

Hours: 09.00-17.00 (closed on Wednesdays)
Cost: 100 NTD (sometimes if you present a ticket for something you bought in town, such as food or a boat trip, they will discount the price of a ticket).
Duration of the visit: 2-3h.