Sprawling along the rocky coastline north-east of New Taipei City, Wanli is a largely rural district in Taiwan’s far north. It’s renowned for its unique hoodoo outcrops dating from the Miocene, as well as its oceanarium and the now-abandoned Wanli UFO Village.
Things to do in Wanli District
Nature lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Yehliu Geological Park, which protects some of the most bizarre rock formations in Taiwan. Marvel at the aptly-named “Mushroom Rocks” and the “Fairy Shoe” before witnessing the fragile “Queen’s Head” that took over 4,000 years to form.
Travelling with kids? Spend a day at Yehliu Ocean World, which is adjacent to Yehliu Geological Park, for a chance to learn about the marine life that inhabits Taiwan’s surrounding waters. In addition to getting up close to tiny seahorses, giant groupers and endangered hawksbill turtles, you can also watch the Yehliu Ocean World’s team of high divers and synchronised swimmers in action.
One of the most unique attractions in the district is the Wanli UFO Village, an abandoned holiday resort clustered with several mid-century Futuro houses. These prefabricated structures were originally conceived as ski chalets and designed to be airlifted onto any terrain. Photograph the UFO-inspired exteriors before stepping inside these 50-square-metre homes to explore the compactly-designed living spaces.
Getting around Wanli District
Wanli District is around 1.5 hours’ drive from New Taipei City and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Regular buses connect from the capital to the Yehliu Geological Park, as do shuttles from the Keelung railway station. Having your own vehicle will give you greater freedom to explore the district.