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Near Taipei, you’ll have the chance to explore one of Taiwan’s most unusual landscapes. Yehliu Geopark, located in Taiwan’s Guanyinshuan National Scenic Area, is known as one of the country’s most dramatic geological areas. While in front of the park you’ll find Yeliu Ocean World–where you can take in a dolphin show–inside you’ll be able to hike through unworldly terrain. 

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After exploring the area, we can say this is one of the top must-visit places in Taiwan for anyone interested in photography, nature or just seeing the unusual. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a surreal Salvador Dali painting meets the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss. Unusual rock formations have been carved by wind and waves, and you’ll see mushroom rocks, sea-eroded troughs, candlestick rocks, honeycombed configurations and bean curd rocks with curvy pathways for exploring. Look for the Queen’s Head, a protrusion of sediment that looks just like the head of an Egyptian queen, and the Fairy Slipper, a smooth bump of earth that mimics that shape of a sandal.

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Although bizarre, the scenery is beautiful and also has a romantic ambiance with a walkway surrounded by water in both sides and views of nearby mountains. In the beginning of the trail there are also tranquil park areas with wooden benches and local flora displays. We especially loved all the anime-esque painted statues littering the grounds. The space has a very jungle-meets-park feel, with song birds and gardens as well as tropical plants.

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Bonus: Nearby there are various local markets where you can enjoy free samples of local foods like dried fruits and seafood.

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All photos © Jessica Festa. Get in touch with the author @JessonaJourney and check out her personal blog.