Teach English in Yilan
Yilan is a gorgeous area located on the east coast of Taiwan. We only have a few positions that open up there each year, but this is because teachers tend to enjoy the quality of life in Yilan. You can enjoy an extremely low cost of living, plus you’ll receive all the benefits of living near the water. Yilan isn’t for everyone though. If you’re the type of person that thrives on big city life, Yilan isn’t the place for you. However, if you enjoy a slower pace of life and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreational activities, Yilan might be perfect for you. Let’s learn a little more about this fascinating city and county in Taiwan.
Yilan County Guide
Yilan county is located in the North Eastern side of Taiwan and boasts some very scenic coasts and beautiful landscapes. It has a population of approximately 458,378 people and covers an area of 2,143.6251 km2. It’s largest city is Yilan City and has 11 townships (3 urban, 8 rural). Yilan is very well known across the island for being the surfing paradise of Taiwan. Here you can enjoy the beach life as well as hiking the mountainous areas that surround the beach that faces the Pacific ocean. Yilan is an out door persons paradise! It has hot springs, mountain hikes, lakes, riverside water parks, white water rafting and much more.
History Of Yilan
Yilan’s history is rich in aboriginal tribe foundations followed by rule of the Han Chinese, Spanish Formosa, Dutch Formosa, Qing Dynasty, Japanese rule and finally the Republic of China.
You can still see remnants of the indigenous tribes of the Kavalan and Atayal people today, despite the filtering of its presence by the many invasions that followed their settlement. The Kavalan people began their settlements along side the rivers whereas the Atayal settled in mountainous areas. The majority of the Atayal people can now be found as residents of the Datong Township and the Nan-ao Tonship.
The Spanish invasion of the 17th Century was allegedly spurred on under the claims that their ship crews had been slain by the Taiwanese, leading to a destruction of harbors in the area.
The Spanish were soon driven out by the Dutch who established strong trade through Han Chinese merchants.
During the Qing Dynasty Yilan county was in upheaval. There was pillaging from pirates and unrest amongst ethnic immigrants. The Qing government had to make a number of changes to prevent Yilan becoming a hot bed for criminals and outlaws, troops were dispatched which eventually quelled the disturbances.
Taiwan was then handed over to Japan by the Qing Government following the Treaty of Shimonoseki and then handed over to the Republic of China in 1945. Yilan county is now established as a county of Taiwan Province
Living in Yilan
Yilan is just an hour by train from Taipei City. You will have fantastic access to the mountains and great outdoors, as well as a number of beautiful beaches. Yilan has an active surf culture, and it is the perfect choice for lovers of the great outdoors.
Yilan offers a low cost of living and an opportunity to save money. Rent is generally quite cheap. You can expect to pay between $150USD to $250USD per month, plus utilities.
Climate in Yilan
Yilan’s climate can be quite diverse as it is located at a northern sub-tropical climate. During the summer months you can expect beautifully hot weather in which to enjoy the nearby beaches and mountain ranges. The hottest month is usually in July with an average temperature of 28 degrees.
Things can get wet and windy during the winter months; the coldest month is usually January with an average of 15.7 degrees.
Getting Around in Yilan
Train – There is a train that runs to Yilan direct from Taipei which takes around an hour to an hour and 20 minutes.
Taxi – Taxis are available around Yilan county. It would be best to get a taxi number you can call as they aren’t as readily available as the more built up cities.
Bus – There is a bus service that runs through Yilan county.
Scooter – This is the best way to get around Yilan county. A scooter gives you all of the freedom you need and you can pick them up pretty cheap. Make sure you bring your driver’s license.
Bicycle – Like the scooter this allows you the freedom of not being bound to a bus timetable or having to wait for a cab. You can pick up a bicycle for a low price.
What to do in Yilan
The most famous of waterfalls in Yilan, the Wufengchi falls find their name rooted in the 5 peaks which stand behind the falls. The falls consist of three layers measuring approximately 100 meters up which the water cascades down creating mist and fog year round.
At the entrance you can find a barbeque area and play area where kids (or adults) can paddle in the shallow pools. Going up there is a pavilion for you to get the best views of the falls.
Annong creek is a must visit for those looking for a bit of adventure. The creek is best known for its white-water rafting. Whether it’s you or a group of friends you are guaranteed a thrill of a day. Because this is popular with tourists, you will find many nice hotels and home stays in the area, so why not stay over and really enjoy what the creek has to offer.
This is a small volcanic island that sits just of the shore of Yilan, named so for it’s shape. It the best way to see the island is to take a whale and dolphin boat tour around the island. The tour takes around 2-3 hours and only costs $1000ntd. Here you get the chance to see the whales and dolphins but the tour guide will also tell you about the island (in Chinese, so go with a local).
There is a chance to get off on the island and explore, this is an active volcano, so there will be limits as to where you can go.
Marian Hiking Trail
There are a number of hiking trails in Yilan but this is perhaps the most famous of them. The peak hits about 1000 meters above sea level and the journey up is breathtaking. You can expect dense rainforests and a variety of micro-climates all rich in vegetation. This will take you roughly 2 hours to go up and down, it is approximately 1.6 km.
The trail was originally, and to some degree still is, a catholic pilgrimage. The destination at the top is a huge cross. This is a hike that is mainly uphill all the way and you will be tired when you finished. It is best to do this hike in the summer; it will be warm when you begin but quite cold at the peak, so pack clothes for higher climates.
DongShan Water Park – this water park runs along the DongShan River which stretches for a round 24 km. There are a number of recreational activities to enjoy at the riverside park from sports to leisure. There is actual water park itself provides all of the slides and pool attractions that makes for a fun day out, a great way to cool off from the heat.
The riverside activities are open most of the year, whereas the water park opens for just a few months. This is a great place to go to for Dragon Boat Festival.
This is probably what Yilan is most know for, it is a surfers paradise. You only need to stroll the beach to find locals to hire boards from. The best beach for surfing is Honeymoon Bay.