Try the most popular things to do after dinner in Yilan to experience the atmosphere of Yilan by night. Sanqing Palace, a famous Taoist temple in Luodong, is a great place to visit at night. Head to the secret lookout point on Toad Mountain to enjoy the magnificent views of Guishan Island, or look for mysterious creatures at night in Luodong Forestry Culture Garden, where the air is filled with the scent of cypress. Try karaoke to release your inner pop star, and don't miss the cafe with the million dollar night view, where famous artists have come to visit. Also worth a visit is Nanfang'ao Bridge, where you can see the fishing boats entering and leaving the fishing port and experience the atmosphere of the fishing village. Take a stroll in Yilan Riverside Park to enjoy the impressive views of the green mountains and rivers. Treat yourself to a foot bath and spa massage in Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park to relax and re-energise. If you're a fan of Jimmy's comics, don't forget to visit Diudiudang Forest, where you can take photos of the amazing flying train and recapture your childhood innocence.

    1

    Night View at Luodong Sanqing Temple

    Sanqing Taoist Temple is located on the shores of Meihua Lake in Dongshan Township, Yilan County. It is mainly dedicated to three deities ‒ Yuan Shi Tian Zun, Ling Bao Tian Zun and Dao De Tian Zun, collectively known as the "Sanqing Daoist Ancestors", hence the name Sanqing Temple. With the lake to the front and the mountains behind, Sanqing Temple is blessed with a unique geographical setting. The building itself is also grand and imposing in the style of a traditional Chinese palace. The spacious square in front of the temple overlooks Meihua Lake and the entire Lanyang Plain, making it an excellent place to admire the night views. Telescopes on the square bring the calm waters of Meihua Lake and the lights of the Lanyang Plain under the starry sky even closer into view. The magnificent night views will cleanse your soul. Too late to leave? Sanqing Taoist Temple offers affordable accommodations for those who want to experience more of the Taoist culture and would like to spend a bit more time here.

    Location: No. 123, Sanqing Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 269

    Open: Open 24 hours

    Map

    photo by Hao-wei Paul Hsu (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Night Visit to Luodong Forestry Culture Garden

    Located near downtown Luodong, Yilan, Luodong Forestry Culture Garden was one of the three largest lumber production sites in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule. Most of the facilities used to store and transportation wood at that time remain in the park, except that the wood storage pond used to store cypress is now home to migratory birds, aquatic plants and fish. Take a romantic stroll along the wooden walkway around the lake and admire the beautiful plants and animals along the way. The former forest railroad is a perfect spot for taking photos. The old-fashioned steam locomotive and the lumber slide used to transportation lumber down from the mountains add to the garden's unique appeal. Two train carriages have been converted into cafes, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee surrounded by the lush, scented forest. In 2019, the "Night Visit to Luodong Forestry Culture Garden" activity was launched. If you're interested, sign up to find out more about the charming creatures that come out at night.

    Location: No. 118, Zhongzheng N. Rd., Luodong Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 265

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 5 pm

    Map

    photo by lienyuan lee (CC BY 3.0) modified

    3

    Karaoke Night

    Along with its stunning natural beauty, Yilan is known for its traditional karaoke bars, where you can have fun and show off your singing skills. Locals find it a great way to relax. Traditional karaoke bars are a lot less expensive than the KTV bars that are currently very popular with young people. You get similar stage effects and lighting, as well as a wide selection of snacks and beverages. With a large stage, comfortable seats, attractive lighting and a great atmosphere, a karaoke bar can even host a small concert. It's a perfect choice for a fun night out with friends or the whole family. How much do Yilan locals love karaoke? Most of the 200-odd communities have karaoke machines. There are even a number of restaurants with karaoke facilities, catering to visitors who love to eat in an lively atmosphere.

    Location: All neighborhoods of Yilan

    Open: Varies depending on the provider

    4

    Million Dollar Night View with a Cup of Coffee

    When night falls, Yilan calms down and develops an air of tranquility. Want to relax with a cup of coffee and a million dollar night view right in front of you? Here are some top tips that are only known to Yilan locals. Kong Pizza Cafe in Jiaoxi is a new scenic restaurant in Yilan. It offers a million dollar night view that attracts even famous artists with their children. Here, you can enjoy a cup of coffee and delicious wood-fired pizza while admiring the views over Lanyang Plain under the night sky. Booking is essential. If you'd prefer not to have to make a reservation, Gama Cafe in Yuanshan is another good choice for enjoying a night view of downtown Yilan with a cup of coffee in hand. If you'd like to have a few beverages, head to the high-altitude bar at Cuncyue Hot Spring Resort in Luodong, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the entire Yilan night-time landscape while sipping a cocktail.

    Location: All neighborhoods of Yilan

    Open: Varies depending on the provider

    photo by WANG-HSIN PEI (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Crossing Nanfang'ao Bridge

    Nanfang'ao Bridge is located near Nanfang'ao Fishing Port and connects Nanfang'ao Fishing Port with Su'ao Port. It's also nicknamed "Humpback Bridge" by residents because of its resemblance to a humpback whale. The bridge was later rebuilt into the present single-arch boat-shaped suspension bridge because it was too low and narrow for boats to get in and out smoothly. As a symbol of the fishing port, the bridge's deck and pillars are decorated with fish, shrimp and crabs. There's also an observation deck on the bridge for visitors to enjoy the view of Nanfang'ao. The bridge looks splendid at night when lit up. There are few experiences more relaxing than watching the fishing boats leaving and entering the port, the calm sea and the moored fishing boats as the gentle sea breeze caresses your face. On Chinese Valentine's Day each year, the bridge is decorated with magnificent lights to act as the magpie bridge for lovers out on a romantic date.

    Location: Jiangxia Rd., Su’ao Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 270 (diagonally opposite to Jinan Temple)

    Open: Open 24 hours

    Map

    photo by 舟集 Toadboat (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Strolling in Yilan Riverside Park

    Yilan Riverside Park is located on the banks of Yilan River, surrounded by green hills and clear water. It's a sight you can enjoy whenever you want without spending a penny. It was even selected as one of the "Eighteen Great Scenic Spots of Lanyang" for its amazing "West Causeway Night View". The area has been turned into a riverside park for sports and leisure. In addition to a wide range of sports and recreational facilities, the park also has a huge grassy area, attracting parents who come here for a walk with their kids. You can also fish or boat on the river. Many major events, including the dragon boat race during the Dragon Boat Festival and the Yilan City Water Lantern Festival, are staged here. The park is also very popular with couples ‒ you'll see them strolling hand in hand on the gravel trail that runs along the grassy riverbank at sunset, whispering sweet words to one another. Many people also come here for a bike ride or a picnic, taking a break from their busy city life to enjoy some rare downtime.

    Location: Huanhe E. Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County, Taiwan 260

    Open: Open 24 hours

    photo by 玄史生 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Relaxing Spa Treatment

    There's a lot more to Yilan than its natural beauty. Professional massage therapists are on hand to help stressed-out city dwellers relax their shoulders, neck and tense muscles through massage. On Jiankang Road, you'll find massage therapists who work with celebrities and offer a personalized service. They'll start by discussing your specific requirements while making tea and chatting with you. Using the highest-quality essential oils and professional massage techniques, they'll have you feeling relaxed in no time. Jiaoxi has a hot stone spa that has been featured in magazines. Put on a sarong and let the Southeast Asian-style decor transportation you to Bali as you enjoy a hot stone massage. Or choose a skincare treatment or detoxifying massage to cleanse your body and mind. Why not take a break from your busy life to indulge yourself with a spa treatment?

    Location: All neighborhoods of Yilan

    Open: Varies depending on the provider

    8

    Visit to Diudiudang Forest Sky Train

    Located in front of Yilan Railroad Station, Diudiudang Forest is actually a forest of steel trees. The nine steel trees echo Yilan's old name "Jiuqiong City". As you approach Yilan's Jimmy-themed station, the first thing that catches your eye is the giant giraffe peeking down at visitors from above the entrance. Opposite the station is Diudiudang Forest, a group of tall steel trees designed by renowned Yilan architect Huang Sheng-Yuan. Overhead runs the train from The Starry Starry Night, created by author and illustrator Jimmy Liao. In the book, the little boy in the train peeks out with his mouth wide open in amazement, while the girl looks on in anticipation. A drawing in a picture book comes alive in the real world! Definitely a must-see for Jimmy fans. Even if you're not a Jimmy fan, this colorful fairytale world is ideal for kids ‒ and for adults who have held on to their sense of childlike wonder.

    Location: No. 236, Sec. 1, Yixing Rd., Yilan City, Yilan County Taiwan 260 (opposite Yilan Railroad Station)

    Open: Open all year round

    Map

    photo by lienyuan lee (CC BY 3.0) modified

    9

    Foot Bath in Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park

    Located around 1,640 feet (500 meters) north of Jiaoxi Railroad Station, Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park was formerly Yuanshan Park. This small park has been around since the era of Japanese rule. The public bathhouse left by the Japanese has been redesigned as a Japanese-style hot spring pool where you can enjoy a free foot bath. The hot spring is a weakly alkaline sodium bicarbonate spring with a temperature of around 50 °C, making it a very popular "beauty bath" with young women. Follow the trail next to the bamboo forest, and you'll reach a forest bathhouse with red lanterns and a fantastic view. For just a small entrance fee you can enjoy unlimited forest bathing. There are gender-separated baths for nude bathing. There's also an open-air performance stage, an outdoor café, singers from time to time, occasional group performances and various themed events every autumn and winter, making it a great place for relaxation with friends and family.

    Location: No. 60, Ln. 70, Gongyuan Rd., Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 262

    Open: Open 24 hours Foot bath opening hours: from 8 am to 10 pm (cleaning from 8 am to 10 am every Tuesday and Friday)

    Map

    photo by Yusuke Kawasaki (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    Sea View at Toad Mountain Lookout Point

    Toad Mountain lookout point is located next to Lanyang Museum and gets its name from its resemblance to a toad. It's fair to say that the lookout point is a secret spot hidden in the mountain, as it's built on private land and is accessible only by unpaved road. It's not a place you can get to easily unless you're very determined to see the beautiful scenery. Although the lookout point isn't very high up, you can still enjoy unobstructed views of magical Guishan Island, the vast Lanyang Plain and the stunning bay. You can also see the site of ancient Wushi Harbor and the striking Lanyang Museum building in the distance. It's also a great place to get involved in local festivities such as the Mazu Pilgrimage. The night view of Lanyang Plain is even more impressive. Bring your own viewing equipment, lighting, food and coffee for a relaxing and wonderful evening.

    Location: No. 181-95, Sec. 1, Binhai Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 261

    Open: Open 24 hours

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