Day 05 – Su’Ao to Xincheng – Shout to the top


Start: 11:00 / 81 km / 1331 hm

This was the section everyone warned me about, but I also heard it has a great view on nature. First proofed to be slightly wrong…

With too less sleep and quite a lot of height gaining, this was a sporty challenge. On the Formosa 900 (the classic cycle route around the Island) many taiwanese tend to skip this section and go by train instead.

Roads are supposed to be narrow and betel nut chewing truck drivers to be quite disrespecting.

Actually I found them being more sensitive than on the coastal routes the days before. Honking to warn you, waiting for space and changing the lane for overtaking. Only the ultra long tunnels were a little bit frightening, up to 4 km long, with endless trucks and coaches behind you.

But especially here they were patient. None overtook you, just keeping the slow pace behind you. Completely different to japanese tunnels!

Still frightened in the beginning, I gave them ‘thumbs up’ as appreciation – which was then answered by honking and waving.

Only ending up two times in a road block within the tunnels, along approximately 100 trucks with their engines on wasn’t that great. Had to wait up to 20 minutes there with the air getting thin. Slipped in front of the queue like the motorbikes did, but this leaves you leading the pack when starting. But as said, they’re patient.

The descend after the initial climbs were rewarding with the cliffs being super nice. There is a rare sight of heavy industry along this, so I was passing through a huge concrete factory. Thought it would be raining at some point, but this was just water mixed with grinded stones flowing from the factory and flooding the street.

Poor fellow Austrian cyclists I met before, as they didn’t had any fenders on their rented bikes. My bike was a mess after this (had to clean it inbetween at a gas station), but if yourself gets covered with this you won’t have fun.


Glad to arrive, rewarded my tired self with some japanese beer and went to bed early.

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