In between Taipei and Hualien, sits Yilan County (宜蘭縣 / yi lan xian). Though I didn’t have much time to explore the area, it felt unique in terms of how many attractions there were geared towards tourists. Planning itineraries, I found museums dedicated to LEGO-type bricks, pearl milk tea, and spring onions, and bees. There’s also factories with tours for whiskey and crayons. Some of these buildings are huge and gaudy, most notably the Lucky Art Crayon Factory (蜡藝蠟筆城堡 / la yi la bi cheung bao) which is distinguishable by its huge crayon structures.
I had a chance to check out one of these attractions on the way back up to Taipei.
We stopped by the Yilan Cake Factory (宜蘭餅發明館 / yi lan bing fa ming guan) known for their thin ox-tongue biscuit.
The outside, in typical tourist-attraction fashion, had a bunch of characters that you can take photos with:
Inside, there is a museum to the immediate left of the entrance and shop to the right. We strolled through the museum which detailed some of the history of cake and how Yilan Cake Factory came to be.
Here’s mould that used to be used to create cakes.
Upstairs, you can take a peek at the factory.
Here, they’re making their famous ox-tongue biscuits—apparently the thinnest in the world at 1 mm thick. It’s amazing how, even though so much of the process, there are little things here and there that are still done manually.
After you finish the self-guided tour upstairs, you’re dumped into the shop area. The shop has a bunch of their biscuits, cookies, and cakes for sale. Minus the savory items that would have otherwise been sweet normally, I enjoyed many of their baked goods including the ox-tongue (which isn’t actually made from ox—it just looks like it).
If you’re in the area and looking to pick up some unique gifts, check out the Yilan Cake Factory.