Shen’ao Elephant Trunk and Ruifang Coast

Note: The area on top of the trunk is now roped off with security sitting nearby. This was on weekends, not sure if there is security on weekdays. It is a very tall cliff – Climb at your own risk.

Ruifang is one of my favorite half-day trips. Excellent seafood, beautiful coast lines, several urban exploration sites such as the famous Thirteen Levels, and peaceful sleepy towns like Jiufen. It’s only a 40 minute drive from Taipei, and there’s plenty to do while you’re here.

Sitting on top of Elephant Trunk cliff in Taipei Coast
Climbed the Elephant Trunk back in October 2018.

Elephant Trunk is always first on the list, while this trunk may now be over-populated with tourists, the surrounding areas are still enjoyable to walk along. It’s only a 5 – 10 minute walk from the parking lot, but you get views that I’ve hiked hours for.

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The archway was formed by years of wind and sea, forming an incredible trunk similar to that of an elephants.

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These rocks are shaped by the wind and sea and has created an other-wordly effect. Even though it’s just down the cliff (a two minute walk) from Elephant trunk, you only see sporadic pairs of fishermen here. It’s quieter, the landscape is surreal, and you can find small tide-pools swimming with life.

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A fisherman catching a small fish by the cliffside 
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Exploring the rock formations
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One of the many tidepools in the area. We saw sea urchins, anenome’s, parrot fish, and lots of different colored seaweed.
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Interesting colored seaweed and rocks line the edge of the coast.
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A funny looking human-shaped rock formation.

What To Eat

I’ve grabbed lunch before and after the short hike, and you can decide to do so whenever. The restaurants are situated on the Shen’ao fishing port right by the hike entrance, and there are plenty to choose from.

The freshest seafood in Taipei

You must try the seafood when you’re in Ruifang. The price and freshness just cannot compare to the city. At this port, you’ll find a lot of squid in the restaurants. Most recently we stopped by a small stall in the area selling squid vermicelli noodles, squid calamari, and more seafood dishes we wanted to order but didn’t have enough stomachs with us!

I couldn’t find this stall on Google Maps, but this is the general area. It can be a little hidden, but the people are incredibly nice, the space clean, and the food drool-worthy.

See more on my Instagram post:

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Fresh seafood by the coast naturally has some incredible energy☀️ Black seaweed right off the fishing boats parked outside, cooked in a simple soup. Fresh squid in a vermicelli noodle soup. Calamari using the same squid and loads of fried garlic (So garlicky, chewy, and crunchy – definitely need to try this at the coast if you can), local vegetables, and a stir-fried noodle. The dishes were cooked without too much extra seasoning, letting the natural flavors of each seafood and vegetable to really shine. This meal along with the hosts compelling friendliness gave us an energy boost that took us from elephant trunk, to thirteen levels, up a mini hike, then back to Taipei. ——— 🐟 I can’t seem to find this stall on maps, but it is one of the stalls by the port next to Elephant Trunk mountain. While a lot of the stalls in the area sell similar dishes (all seafood, squid, soup), this one stood out because of the hosts energy and the simple and very natural cooking of the dishes. 🗺 Shenao Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City 💰70-200nt a dish 🤰#foodbabyseafood

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友信海鮮餐廳

This is one of the larger restaurants in the area, making it good for bigger groups/families/tours. They had a good selection of foods you would expect at a family-style restaurant. Delicious fried rice, squid cooked in multiple ways, and much more.

Leave a comment if you’ve been to the area!

Unfortunately, with the influx of people, we’re also seeing an increase in trash! If you visit, PLEASE pick up your bottles, plastic bags, cups, lunchboxes. I’ve even seen shoes being left behind. Leave the place as you found it.

Book your trip through Klook.

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