Posted by: HART | 07/17/2013

Surfing: WuShiGang (烏石港) and WaiAo (外澳), how to get there?

We regularly head to Yilan to go surfing and body boarding. Our two favorite spots (there are better places but harder to access) are Wushigang (烏石港) and Wai Ao (外澳).
So, how to go there?

We usually avoid the train. Not only it is crowded, but also it takes over two, and sometime even three, hours to go to Jiaoxi (the main stop to reach the two beaches). The bus, by contrast, only take 45 minutes through the highway tunnel when the road is clear. Even in a bad day (Sunday evening between 5 and 9pm), it’s 1h30, still less than the train. The bus also runs 24/7 (meaning you can surf, have dinner, relax in a really nice hot spring till 11, and sleep on the way back home in the bus).

  1. Head to Technology building MRT. On the other side of the street, just a bit further north, there is a Kamalan Bus office (here).
  2. Take a bus to Jiaoxi. It costs less than 200 NT for a return ticket (group deals are available too), and leaves every 20 min.
  3. Once there, the easiest way is to take a cab to the beach. There is also the bus 131, leaving from nearby the bus station (here). Timetable and stops can be found here and here. Get down here, at the Lan Yan Museum station (蘭陽博物館站). Another alternative is to take the train to Wai Ao or Toucheng station, and then walk to the beach.
  4. If there are many of you and you’re going to rent several boards for the day, you can call the surf shop we usually use (039789233/0933104133). They will come to pick you up in Jiaoxi for free (you’ll need to speak Mandarin though).

Afterward, you can head back to Jiaoxi, dine in this pretty good Ramen restaurant which has its own foot hotspring in front of the door (menu here, location here), or have a steak at the local buffet (here), or buy some of the dried fruit cupcakes or strawberry foam cakes from Yi Shun Xuan (they will be very popular with your Taiwanese in-laws/co-workers).

You can also buy a 30 NT head cap in this shop, and head to the biggest and nicest public hot spring in the city, Art Spa Hotel. It has the most machines and pools of all the hot springs I have seen in Taiwan and is usually not that crowded at night in the weekends (at the end of a surf day after dinner). It’s 275 NT per person, 220 NT for students. If you don’t like the mandatory head cap, want more privacy, and a place opened late into the night (Art Spa closes at 11pm) you can head to the Breeze Hot Spring resort. Ask for the private hot springs in the “indoor garden”, it’s 250 NT per person for two hours (you can stay longer late at night).

If you need to be back in Taipei before a specific time, be careful that there is sometime quite a bit of delay at the Kamalan bus station, since each person get put on a list and it’s first come, first served. You could have to wait anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes.

Update: According to Erin, one of our member, there is now a bus going directly to Wushi.

Just in case anyone doesn’t know already, Kuokuang 國光客運 is now running a bus route directly from Taipei to Wushi. Bus 1877 departs from Yuanshan MRT Station 圓山捷運站(Danshui/Tamsui Line 淡水線) and also stops at Nangang Station before heading toward Yilan. Return tickets 來回票 are $220. Looks like on weekdays the buses run every hour beginning at 7:05 and on weekends and holidays they run every 20-30 minutes starting at 6:05.
Links for the weekday and weekend times for Yuanshan MRT 圓山捷運站 to Wushi 烏石港: 
(weekdays) http://www.kingbus.com.tw/down2.php?li_code=4U020439
(weekends & holidays) http://www.kingbus.com.tw/down2.php?li_code=4U020441
And Wushi to Yuanshan: 
(weekdays) http://www.kingbus.com.tw/down2.php?li_code=4U020440
(weekends) http://www.kingbus.com.tw/down2.php?li_code=4U020442

Update 2: Another member pointed that going to 南港展覽館 and taking the bus there (same company) would be faster since it is already on the route.

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Responses

  1. I really enjoyed my time in Taipei, and had a fantastic day at Wai Ao. I wish I would have come across your blog while I was still living there! 🙂


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