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Xiaoyeliu Scenic Area 小野柳

950, Taiwan, Taitung County, Taitung City, 台東縣台東市
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Step onto another planet for a moment on the southeast coast of Taiwan Taidong City  Taiwan

Step onto another planet for a moment on the southeast coast of Taiwan

Xiaoyeliu (小野柳 Little Yeliu) is a small coastline park just outside Taiwan's main southeastern city, Taitung (台東 Taidong). It is easily reached by scooter, city bus, or the convenient East Coast Scenic Area shuttle bus that departs from locations throughout the city and also the train station.

The beach on this particular stretch of coast is remarkable, with several sections containing incredibly perplexing rock formations. On one beach you'll find 'tofu' rocks, named as such for a striking resemblence to the actual thing. Steps away on the next beach, 'mushroom' rocks appear, with their dark mottled tops and light sandy bottoms. There are several more geological oddities to explore in further sections of beach.

Walking out onto these strange rocks induces an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability, much like how I imagine stepping onto another planet might feel. Between the pounding Pacific waves, a relentless breeze, the bizarre and wholly unfamiliar landscape with no manmade objects in sight, and the occasional deafening flyby of Taiwanese fighter jets taking off from a nearby airbase, one is forced to surrender to this surreal experience -- and it is phenomenal.