Bitou Cape (aka Bitoujiao/Bítóujiǎo) is a scenic area of coastline in Ruifang District of New Taipei, along the northeast coast, with popular hiking trails, interesting geological formations, a refurbished tourist military complex. and steep sea cliffs. It is a beautiful area along the coast that you should be sure to not miss.
The sandstone that forms Bitou Cape was formed as sediment under the ocean millions of years ago and were then uplifted thanks to the collision of the Eurasian and Philippine plates. The rocks are mainly sedimentary and are part of the same formation that forms the special rock formations on the northern coast around Keelung. Because of this, there are many interesting eroded rock formations around the cape.
The name Bitou (鼻頭) means the tip of the nose in Chinese.
Bitoujiao Lighthouse was completed in 1897, built by the Japanese. Later it was repaired in WWII, and is still used today.
The ROC army/navy military base at Bitou Cape has been sitting dormant for over 20 years, and was finally opened to the public as a rainbow "pink" military base to attract tourists on May 1st, 2020.
The area is a popular weekend destination for many residents of Northern Taiwan.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Keelung, take provincial highway 2 east along the north coast until you reach the Bitou Fishing Harbor. There is limited parking near the harbor, and further free parking on the other side of the tunnel but it is a bit of a walk.
By Bus: From Keelung TRA Station, take Keelung Bus 791 east about two hours to Bitou cape.
Please see below:
I have been to Bitoujiao once by car. Parking spcaes there are really hard to get on the weekend, unless you walk a long distance. We got lucky after multiple passes we found an empty spot near the bathrooms on the side of the road.
If you come to Bitou Cape you need to stop by Bitou Harbor and eat something.
It's not the cleanest harbor.
Old house near the harbor.
Local seafood noodle soup, with octopus/squid.
Normal Taiwanese pork noodles.
Braised pork rice.
Taiwanese fried greens.
One of the delicacies here is Gelidium Jelly (石花凍 Shíhuā dòng), which is made from a type of red algae called Geladium that grows near the seashore all along the north coast of Taiwan. It's basically jell-o, and a bowl of it costs about 30 NT. A tasty treat on a hot day.
After feeding ourselves, we were ready for the long hike.
We decided to start from the elementary school side because it looked less steep...
There is some nice playground equipment here if you have kids.
And public bathrooms next to the seashore.
And people selling more Gelidium Jelly on the trail.
All along the coast are interesting rock formations.
I originally planned to go straight through this fence, but because of rock falls it was closed off.
You can still sneak through the side of the fence, but because it was expressly forbidden, I did not walk in. Maybe if I had brought a helmet. But I brought my family along so I was not going to do any dangerous adventuring.
I had originally planned to fly a drone to get this shot of the cape above. It's like the most popular place to fly a drone on the north coast because this shot makes it look like a battleship. But because of the trail being closed and the fact there was a military base here I did not feel comfortable flying my drone.
I continued up the trail to get some good views.
View of part of the closed off trail that goes to the other side of the cape.
The trail goes right across the top of the cape here.
More of the cape trail.
Looking down at the military base, which has now been opened as a "pink base" tourist attraction. On the other side of the hill is the lighthouse, but the trail is closed off.
More of the trail.
Lot's of people taking selfies up here.
Get your selfie sticks ready for some incredible views of the ocean.
Another view of the trail from the other direction. This is where we stopped and went back to where we came from.
If you go further down the road, you can make it to Longdong (aka Dragon Caves -龍洞 Lóngdòng) which is a popular spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and rock climbing. There is also a large sea cave there (pictured above) from where the place gets its name. Here is our post from a few years ago visiting the cave: https://www.foreignersintaiwan.com/blog-370963385326684/long-dong
"On Wednesday we made the long trek to Long Dong 龍洞 where Matt was determined to do some awesome rock climbing. But alas it was raining the whole time, and the sea cliff was too slippery to climb. On a normal day though, the sea cliffs seemed like they would be a great place to climb, some of the cliffs were almost 70 meters high, and there were anchors in the rocks everywhere. We hiked around the beach until we decided we couldn’t go any further, the cliffs were too gnarly. So we went around to the other side of the beach to go to the dragons cave Long Dong. Scott stayed in the car, and I don’t blame him because the trek to the dragons cave was a treacherous one. There was a lot of boulder hopping on the way there, and it was raining, topped with the fact that there was also moss on lots of the rocks. It was fun, but at some points I had to get on all fours to not slip. There was also a small cliff jump which was fun, which I biffed on the way back, but I was fine. The cave was grand and majestic."
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Taiwan's northern coast!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.