Yilan County , also spelled Ilan County, (宜蘭縣; Yílán Xiàn) is located on the east coast of Taiwan.
Yilan is a county located next to the Taipei metropolitan area. It is famous for its beautiful scenery and Children's Folkore Festival held during the summer.
Yilan County officially has only one city - Yilan - although Luodong is where most businesses are located.
- Yilan - the main city, with two big department stores, YouAi and Luna Plaza, National Yilan University, a big sports park, a decent cultural center, a small but tasty nightmarket, and some general great eats.
- Jiaoxi - is known island-wide for its plentiful hot spring resorts. It's also home to some great hiking trails and waterfalls.
- Toucheng - is a popular surfing destination. Offers spectacular sunrise views and is the disembarkation point for whale watching.
- Yuanshan - has a nice little park that is heavily lanterned during the lantern festival.
- Datong Township
- Dongao - has one of the most beautiful coastal views in Yilan.
- Nanao - has Yilan's largest aboriginal population and has a few good hiking trails.
- Luodong - Yilan's business center - prospered as a logging town during the Japanese Colonial Era. Also has an impressive nightmarket and beautiful park.
- Suao - a harbour town famed for its seafood and cold springs.
- Wujie - home to the National Center for Traditional Arts and the DongShan River Waterpark.
Agricultural leisure areas
- Dian Song Pi Agricultural Leisure Area located in Sanshing township of Yilan county, between the Central and Shushang mountains that surround the Lanyang Plain. Because of its geographic location, the climate is fresh and the air is unpolluted . Additionally, this area has a wide range of temperatures, which fosters biodiversity. Tourists can observe hundreds of plants when walking in the area. Moreover, there are abundant natural resources such as fertile soil and abundant water, so the farmers in this area grow various unique agricultural products such as Sanshing green onions and pears. Residents have also developed rafting activities on the En-Nong river.
- Yulan Agricultural Leisure Area - a famed tea producing region. Has great views of Lanyang Creek and is the entry point to Songluo Lake. A great place to appreciate cherry blossoms.
There are 3 operators that offer frequent and efficient services from Taipei to Jiaosi, Yilan, and Luodong. Some buses are express/direct buses and don't stop at all stops so be sure to confirm your destination before boarding. They also start at different stations.
- Capital Star -- Routes start from Taipei City Hall Bus Station at MRT Taipei City Hall Station. Follow the signs and take exit 2. Ticket counters are to the left. There are no reservations, so it's good to arrive early as there is often a small line. You can purchase your ticket on site or use an IC card. Fares are NT$92 to Jiaosi, and $128 to Yilan or Luodong as of April 2017. Schedules are online 
- Kamalan -- Routes start from Taipei Bus Station at MRT Taipei Main Station. It's quite a maze so do your best to follow the signs. Routes also start from Banqiao bus station (served by MRT and rail) and stop at MRT Technology Building Station. You can make reservations and buy tickets ahead of time. Fares as of April 2017: to Jiaosi (NT$110 from Taipei, $135 from Banqiao), to Yilan ($132 from Taipei, $155 from Banqiao), and to Luodong ($141 from Taipei, $165 from Banqiao) Schedule is online 
- Kuo-Kuang -- Routes start from MRT Yuanshan Station. Take exit 2. There are also stops at MRT Nangang and Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center stations.
The quickest way from Taipei is on the Taipei-Yilan Freeway No.5 (北宜高速公路) south. It takes around 40 minutes on a good day.
Taxis outside the West Exit #4 of Taipei Main Station will take you to Yilan or Luodong for NT$ 300, but you can ask for a discount to NT$ 250. These taxis wait for 4 passengers before leaving (which is why the fare is so reasonable).
The rail route is longer than the freeway, but avoids congestion. Take the Yilan Line (宜蘭線) and North-link Line (北迴線) Tzu-chiang train (自強號) to Toucheng, Yilan or Luodong Stations. For other destinations change to a local train (區間車).
As buses here are irregular and taxis are expensive, the best way to get around is by scooter. There are scooter rental shops near the train stations. Just remember to get a good map and that a driver's licence is required. Taking the train is also a great way to go across Yilan county (between cities).
Yilan government has tried to improve its local transportation system to support the frequent tourism. Here are various forms transportation to get to each popular tourist site is provided (traditional Chinese). The Capital Bus also serves the routes to many spots in Yilan County from Luodong . Buses from Taipei to Yilan cost around 125-135 NT.
- Wufengchi Waterfalls - Yilan County's most famous waterfalls.
- Annong Creek - white water rafting. Yilan's answer to Xiouguran river in Hualien County.
- Fushan Botanical Garden - protected forest area. Permit required. Long waiting lists - especially for weekend visits.
- Honeymoon Bay - Surfing Mecca.
- Meihua Lake - a wonderful place to stroll and relax. Many B&B's nearby.
- Taipingshan Forestry Recreation Area - a historic logging area and one of Taiwan's most scenic spots
- Turtle Island - protected volcanic island. Great for whale watching. Permit required.
- National Center for Traditional Arts, Wujie - a very large centre that preserves and promotes Taiwanese arts and culture. Features a recreated "old street" selling traditional crafts. Entry NT$ 150.
- Lanyang Museum, a newly-established museum aimed at presenting Yilan’s overall geographical environment, cultural and humanistic trails. Entry NT$ 100 .
- Bei Guan Leisure Farm,Toucheng - famous for its crab museum - with unique exibit of crabs that live in boiling volcanic springs.
- He Dong Tang Lion Museum, Toucheng - a quaint little museum featuring numerous stone lion statues. Entry: NT$ 180.
- Mary Leu Fine Art Carving Gallery, Sanshing - workshop and gallery for renowned artist Mary Leu. Entry: NT$ 100 - including coffee/tea.
- Jia Zi Lan Wine Museum, Yilan - a historical distillery that also includes a small museum and gift shop. Entry: Free.
- Museum of Yilan Government History, Yilan - a group of relics from the Japanese Colonial Era. Entry: NT$30 for the County Prefects House. Others are free.
- Taiwanese Opera Museum Yilan - located in Yilan's Cultural Center, features exhibits on Traditional Chinese Opera and Puppets. With an id (passport or Taiwanese ID or ARC card) you can try on traditional opera clothing on the third floor.
- Caoling Historic Trail - the only remaining hikable section of the ancient Tamalan Trail. Starts in Yuanwangken in Gongliao and finishes in Dali. Length: 8.5 Km.
- Linmei Shipan Trail - extremely popular hiking trail in Jiaoxi. Some beautiful waterfalls. Length: 1.7 Km.
- Marian Hiking Trail - breathtaking trail that starts behind the church at Wufengchi waterfalls in Jiaoxi. The trail is divided into two sections: The first, "winds its way gently through secondary growth forests for 3.7 Km - terminating 400 metres above sea level at the Tong Tien Bridge." The second section is decidedly more difficult. Although only 1.63 Km in length, the rough trail climbs steeply through dense, damp forests. In the last 300 metres, the forest gives way to windswept slopes covered in arrow bamboo and tall grasses. The final lookout - when not shrouded in mist - offers stunning views of the Lanyang plain and Turtle Island. The nearby St. Mary's Villa offers toilets and shelter.
- Sinliao Waterfall Trail - stunning trail of moderate difficulty. Length: 2.3 Km - approximately 2 hours. Daily limit of 300 people. Photo ID required.
- Dongshan Water Park (冬山河親水公園) -- an awesome water park which is a great place to visit during the sweltering summer days. It has various water activities (a giant slide, an octopus with a water-bed like surface underneath to slip and slide on, and an elevated surface with 'jumping' water jets) all complimented by techno music.
- Luodong Nightmarket -- Many unique clothing stores nestled off the streets, along with lots of "famous" snack foods -- try the Lamb Soup, Baoxin Fenyuan (look for the douhua shop with the hearts on it), runbing (stir fried veggies with dried meat and shaved peanuts wrapped to look like a burrito in a thin, crepe-like wrapping), and ice cream with shaved peanut brittle and cilantro, wrapped in the same wrap as the runbing.
Arts & Crafts
- National Center for Traditional Arts, Wujie – a great place to pick up that truly Taiwanese gift such as hand puppets, masks, glass and wood sculptures, paintings, clogs etc.
- Baimi Clog Village, Suao – famed for producing modern and traditional clogs.
- Green Onions - most famous produce in Sanshing.
- NiuSeBing - cow tongue biscuits. So named due to their uncanny resemblance to cow tongues.
- Gaozha - a tofu-like snack made from chicken lard, pork and starch flour.
- Yashang - dry, salty smoked duck - sold in most gift shops.
- Mashed Taro - famous traditional snack.
- Dangan - dried pigs liver
- Preserved Kumquats - popular snack with a few flavours.
- Po-ba - A type of meat sold in Yilan that was complemented for its taste in "Taiwanese cuisine".
- Hamigua, Wujie - sweet and juicy honey dew melons.
- BaoXinFenYuan - created in Yilan County - a tapioca like dessert food with red bean centers, served on ice or dou-hua, with various other toppings (such as red beans and boiled peanuts)
- Yang Rou Tang - sheep soup
- Wild Smoke 21-8 Shuang Bi Rd., Yuan Shan. Tel: 03-922-8966. Good food and great views of Shuanglianpi - a lake near Fushan Botanical Garden. Caters to groups.
- Tea - Yulan tea and Susin tea popular.
- Alcohol - Yilan's famous alcohols include Hongluh Chiew and Kumquat Liqueur.