Thursday, July 1, 2010

A series of scenic eye candy III

I'm not sure if you're aware, but this is the last of "a series of scenic eye candy" posts that make up the first day in Taiwan. Yes, you read me right, parts I to III are scenes shot on the first day in Taiwan. 5.5 more days to go, just bear with me ok?

The last scenic destination of this first day is a must-go if you're anywhere near Taipei. It's the Yehliu Geological Park, about an hour away by bus from Taipei. I'm very much an ocean-loving person and the sight of the cool blue waters, clear skies and geological marvels of mother nature puts me in the most wonderful mood.

Mother Nature sure had grand ideas when she made this place. She wanted a Queen to rule her rocky land and she even gifted the queen with fairy slipper (s) (Just one, actually). Yet she made lots of potholes to give this place character and had powerful waves gradually shape this land into something geologically different every million years or so.

 Water logged "Potholes"

"Mushroom" rocks

Good job, Mother Nature, fashioning this pretty fairy slipper. Any chance of making the other side?

The Queen's Head

Another angle of the Queen's Head

Francis explained that ever since the Taiwan's president opened Taiwan to Chinese tourists in 2008, the visitor numbers from China had skyrocketed. With this onslaught of tourists, although economically, Taiwan had benefited a great deal, geologically, the Yehliu rocks had undergone a faster transformation than it ever would under Mother Nature's gentler 'hands'. A case in point, the Queen's Head rock had to be cordoned off as it was discovered that the graceful neck of the Queen had become slimmer with each passing year. 

While we were strolling in the park, we witnessed some over-eager Chinese tourists stepping on some of the rock formations to take pictures, and had to be warned by a park warden with a whistle. Yes, the park wardens were a new fixture in the park since the opening of Taiwan. You'd think there were infinitely more wondrous and beautiful scenic spots in China than Yehliu, but apparently the Mainlanders seem to harbour some curiosity about Taiwan.

We did not get the opportunity to take pictures with the Queen due to the snaking queue. Oh well. Doesn't matter. At least we managed to catch a glimpse of her before she loses her head due to her shrinking neck. I found out that there were a number of other formations like the "sea candles", "bee hive", "ginger" rocks in the park, but we did not see/notice. I can only say, huge throngs of humans jostling about can be a distraction. Sigh.

This park reminds me of Port Campbell National Park in Australia, overlooking the 12 apostles. It may not be as majestic or as famous, but there's a quiet beauty and charm here. Just slightly marred by the throngs of humans getting all touchy and feely with her, but nevertheless still very beautiful.

No wonder this couple chose to have their wedding photos taken here.

The weather was pretty hot, and the poor bride almost fell backward while balancing herself on the tree branch.

Here's my parting shot. Have a good weekend!

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