A must-do activity on northern coast of Taiwan--hiking along the Mystery Coast in Jinshan

For anyone who would like to have a little fun in the outdoor, a visit to Jinshan’s Mystery Coast and Guangwu Tunnel is on the top of must-do activiti (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--If you visit Jinshan, a town in New Taipei city located on the coast of northern Taiwan, don’t just visit its old street and patronize the popular “duck meat” restaurant because such a trip would be too boring for anyone who would like to have a little fun in the outdoors. A visit to Jinshan’s Mystery Coast and Guangwu Tunnel is on the top of must-do activities if you are near the northern coast of Taiwan.

Thanks to the Hollywood movie Silence directed by Martin Scorsese, which shot a scene on the Mystery Coast, this wonderful natural landscape on Taiwan’s northern coast is now better known by Taiwanese people as well as foreigners.

Jinshan Visitor Center

When taking the pilgrimage to the Mystery Coast, taking a bus to Jinshan is convenient. Take Buses 1815, 1068 and 953 for visitors from Taipei, Taiwan Tourist Bus "Crown Northern Coast Line" for visitors from Tamsui, the Crown Northern Coast Line and Bus 790 for visitors from Keelung, and other buses that are not mentioned here.

When in Jinshan, go to the visitors’ center on Gonyuan Road near the entrance of the Shitoushan Park, a park situated on the town’s seaside range that separates the town from the sea. After entering the park, just follow the main trail to the crest line of the range, where the Twin Candlesticks, the landmark of Jinshan, is visible. Visitors like to take photos with the famous landmark as the backdrop.

The Twin Candlesticks

The Twin Candlesticks, which is so named because they look like their namesake, is 450 meters off the coast of the Jinshan Cape. The rock pillar, which is about 60 meters in height, was formed by the raised reef that experienced the effect of long-time sea erosion.

Then follow the steps down to the shoreline, where the Mystery Coast starts. The coast is a natural shoreline along which people can walk to the Shuwei Fishing Harbor at Fengyu Village on the other side of the seashore range. The coastline, formed by a stretch of rock base on the foot of the range, is full of sea-eroded terrains. Green sea moss gathering on the wave-swept rock troughs on the coastline from late March to May is a wonderful sight to behold.

The sea cave near the Shuwei Fishing Harbor, which visitors have to walk through, is just spectacular.

The shoreline will take visitors to the fishing port. Continue walking through the fishing village and come to the Welling Temple. Walk along the alley on the right side of the temple for about 50 meters, and find the entrance of the Guangwu Tunnel, a network of tunnels used for military purposes in the past. Visitors must bring flashlight or smartphones with flashlight function as the inside of the tunnels is pitch dark and sometimes there are streams of water flowing in the tunnels. Some tunnels inside the system are marked off as restricted areas, and visitors should not enter.   

Shuwei Fishing Harbor

Welling Temple

Walking through the tunnel, which might be a frightening experience for some cowardly visitors, takes about a few minutes, and the exit of the tunnel is near the Jihshan visitor center. Take the left when coming to the Gonyuan Road and go back where you come from.  The loop normally takes visitors about 1.5 - 2 hours to complete, including stops for taking photos.  

The entrance of the Guangwu Tunnel