The North coast of Taiwan is really stunning.
Here you find beautiful rock formations, beaches and big waves.
If you like taking seascapes this is the place to be.
But the north coast of Taiwan also have mountains, waterfalls and of course the big city of Taipei.
The only problem there can be is the weather, i've been 3 times to the north of taiwan, and only 1 time we got good weather for photography. It can happen it rains for 3 days on a row.
If you want to photography the complete north coast of Taiwan you better stay on different places, drive from west to east over the coastal way takes to long time, so better stay on 2 or 3 different places and go from there to the locations.
I did'nt been yet to the most east part of the North Coast so i hope in future i can bring here a update for this article.
I wil guide the locations from west to east, starting with Laomei green reef.
Laomei green reef.
Laomei reef is located in the Shimen District.
Here you find rocks with beautiful leading lines to the ocean and the sunrise.
In begin of year the stones are covered with vibrant green algae, from may the temperature gets to warm and the algae wil disapear. But also without the algae the rocks are stil very beautiful. ( See photo's with and without )
The most important thing to know is the tide. On high tide the stones are completely under water. From our experience the best time to go is around 30 min to 1 hour after high tide. The waves are still coming over the rocks and with a little bit longer exposure you can create beautiful waveaction over the rocks.
So here you wil need to do some planning to have a good tide on the time around sunrise. Online you can find find tidal information.
Best lens to take is a wide angle, and dont forget to bring some neutral density filters to slow down the shutterspeed.
We stayed in the nice coastal place Jinshan, good place for eating seafood!!
From Jinshan to the Laomei green reef is 20 to 25 min drive.
2. Twin candle sticks.
Twin candle sticks are 2 beautiful rocks a little bit out of the coast
They are located very close to Jinshan city. From the city it's a 10 minutes drive to the entrance and parking place of Jinshan Shitoushan Park. From the parking to the rocks it's a 15 min nice walk.
The end of the walking path leads to a small pagode on top of the cliffs looking over the ocean, from here you already got a great view over the ocean and candlesticks.
But better is to go down to sealevel. There are 2 options:
1: There is a walking path from the pagode down what gives you beautiful rocks in the foreground.
2: You go down to the small beach where you also can find very nice foreground elements. The way down to the beach is not a foodpath, you need to go down holding a rope, not difficult but little bit heavy go back up.
Best time is to go at sunrise if you want some nice colors in the sky.
3. Taipei City
When you are in the North of Taiwan big chance you wil visit 1 or 2 days Taipei City.
Taipei is really a big city, but it's very organised and traveling in the city is very easy with subway.
We go Taipei from Jinshan city with bus because driving in Taipei we don't like to do. Taking the bus is very cheap and from Jinshan it takes around 1 hour.
There are many things to do in Taipei: Big shopping malls, beautiful temples, nightmarkets, and of course the great 101 builing.
A must thing to do is go to the top of 101 building to look the great views over the city.
A beautiful place to look the sunset and blue hour over the city skyline including 101 building is Elephant mountain.
You need to take the subway to Xiangshan station and from there walk to the stairway of Elephant Mountain. From there it's a 20 min to 30 min walk to the top.
3. Badouzi coast park
Badouzi coast park is also a really stunning place to photograph. Here you wil find beautiful rocks in the foreground with the waves rolling over it, and in the background you get some mountains. Not many place's you wil find seascapes with mountains in the background.
This park is located little bit east from Keelung city, this was also the place we stay to sleep. Keelung is a nice city with a lot of hotels around the harbour.
From Keelung city to Badouzi park is around 25 min drive.
Here also the best time to go is around sunrise.
4. Golden Waterfall
The Golden Waterfall is quite special. In early times this area had a lot of gold mines. From the mines there were coming a lot of different minerals and metals stick on the rocks. This gives a beautiful golden glow on the rocks, very unique.
The waterfall is easy accesible from Keelung, around 30 min drive, and from the carpark you already see the waterfall.
You can take photo's from the complete waterfall, but i like here to take some more detail shots with more mm's, a 70-200 for example.
5. Nanya Rock Formations
Here you wil find rocks eroded rocks with beautiful textures and paterns what gives a great foreground.
This place is also on the east side from Keelung, with car it's around 30 min drive from Keelung.
Here best time to photograph is also at sunrise.
6. Shifen and Wanggu waterfalls
These 2 waterfalls are very close to each other.
The Shifen waterfall is i think the most visited waterfall in Taiwan, they also call him the Little Niagara of Taiwan. It's not a very high waterfall, but the wide and the amount of water makes him beautiful. Arriving the Shifen waterfall you find a lot of parking place's. there a signs how to walk to the waterfalls, depending where you park it's maximum 30 min walk.
Wanngu waterfall is a very small waterfall, but the location inside the forest makes you feel you are in paradise. The other good thing is that not many people visit this waterfall, so big chance you wil be there alone.
At Wanggu waterfall there is no parkingplace, but at the begin of the trail ( see map ) there are places you can leave your car. From here you walk in 10 to 15 minutes to the waterfall.
From Keelung to the waterfalls is around 30-40 min drive.
This were the locations we been to for photography, but the north coast have a lot more to offer, just drive around the coastal way and you will see a lot of opportunitys to photograph.
A beautiful place also to go look is Yehliu Geopark, here you find also beautiful eroded rocks, and one looks like a head calling queens head. Only this park you need to pay entrance and is not open during the sunrise or sunset.
Another nice place to look is Jiufen Old street, it's a little bit touristic, but a nice place to look and eat.