Places: Yuli (Hualien County)

Yuli is the next town heading south down Highway 9 from Ruisui (see my post about Ruisui here).  To be completely honest, there’s not much to do in Yuli township itself, however Yuli makes a fantastic base to explore the East Rift Valley.  Again, your own transportation is vital for travelling through this area. Here’s a list of some of the places you can go that are quite close to Yuli township:

  • Sixty Stone Mountain
    (I plan to go later this year, so there’ll be a post then 🙂 )
  • Walami Trail
    (You have the option of doing the trail in one, or two – staying in a cabin overnight – days)
  • Antong Hot Springs

I only spent 2 days in Yuli, and unfortunately it rained in the afternoon on both days.  That said, on the one full day I had there, I again hired a bike, and spent another day riding through the great countryside & up into the Eastern Mountains.  Again I hired the bike from the Giant bike shop in town.  The prices were the same as in Ruisui.

There is a bike path from right next to Yuli station, towards the Antong old train station.  The path continued further, though I’m not sure how much further it went.  The path is very flat, smooth, and actually runs along the old railway line between Yuli & Antong.  At the old Antong station, I turned off the track, and headed up along County Rd 30.  You can take this route over the mountains, and go down to the East Coast, however, my plan was simply to see how far I could get before the weather closed in or it got too late.  The path over the mountains is a challenge for a casual cyclist, so pack plenty of refreshments, and take plenty of stops on the way up.  There’s also a 2.6km tunnel that you pass through at the top.  On the way back down the mountain to Yuli, a stop at Antong Hot Springs is a must, to relieve your tired bones (or in my case, to simply get out of the rain!)

Some fellow cyclists riding off towards the Eastern Mountains.

Some fellow cyclists riding off towards the Eastern Mountains.

Where to Stay

There’s only one place I could possibly recommend to stay in Yuli.  Wisdom Garden Homestay.  This family run homestay (you’ll find it in the Lonely Planet too) is just outside of Yuli township itself, but is a beautiful, peaceful place to relax & refresh after a day of exploring.  The Hsu family, who run the homestay, will treat you to some of the best Taiwanese hospitality you will experience, and will fill you with the most delicious breakfasts you will have in your time in Taiwan.  The homestay is family friendly, and your kids will love running around in the lovely front garden & playing with the family dog, while you put your feet up & enjoy the scenery with a cup of tea.  Of a morning you can also watch Mrs Hsu create some amazing Chinese paintings in the main area of the house.  It’s really interesting to see the way she wields the brush and creates an artwork from an empty canvas.

Prices vary depending on the time of year you visit, but you can contact the family, and find more information about Wisdom Garden at this link.

And for a tip for something to eat in Yuli Township, here’s a good post about Yuli Noodles (makes me want to go back just to eat this!).

There's no place I'd rather be - the tranquil front garden at Wisdom Garden Homestay

There’s no place I’d rather be – the tranquil front garden at Wisdom Garden Homestay

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