2023 Taiwan – Overview

The map


This is the overview of all the routes we rode with our bicycles.

Approx. 1300km. – connected through a couple of local train rides.


Taipei


Flight, arrival and the first days in Taipei before starting the cycle route.

So exploring the city: old japanes quarters, the 101 tower, meeting old friends and going to “KTV” (big karaoke centres). Bicycle assembly, the first night markets and quite a lot of record shopping.

 


Cycling


 

The northeast: Taipei – Hualien

Taipei – Jiufen – Yilan City and county

Leaving Taipei along the bicycle path on Keelung river to Jiufen and to the Pacific with a bit of easy going around Yilan county. Quite some headwinds, high heat and a climb into the old gold rush mining city, which could have been an inspiration for “Spirited Away”. Lovely descent with abandoned buildings, strangely colored waterfalls and some nice ride on the Dongshan River bicycle trail.

Su’Ao – Xincheng – Taroko – Hualien

Departure from Yilan and taking several mountain passes from the heat to rain – and less traffic (on beautiful cliffs) to more. Some technical issues due to some sweat in my smartphone (which is used for routing) and an astonishing ride into a little bit of the Taroko gorge down to a rest day in Hualien.

 


The southeast: Hualien – Kenting

Hualien – Ruisui – Chishang – Yuli – Chenggong

Through the inner valley on the 193, getting more tropical now. The cloudy valley, through endless rice fields in the sun – down to touristic spot Mr. Browns avenue. Then took a train back to Yuli and went over the rainy and misty mountain path to Chenggong back to the Pacific.

Taitung – Dawu – Kenting

Pacific on the left, visiting Sanxiantai and on along the coastal highway, with some demanding bridges – but also monkeys and a beautiful view on the mountains. Reaching the most southern point and having a rest day in crowdy Kenting.

 


The southwest: Kenting – Tainan

Kenting – Kaohsiung

No more mountains to climb, endless fishfarms in the sundown and a day trip to the Buddha park, with its main attraction being closed that day (with an happy end). Finally reaching and exploring Kaohsiung, it’s record stores, the architecture of the “Music Centre” and the redesigned piers. Eating Ramen and also fixing my bicycle.

Tainan

A visit to the Tiger and Dragon Pagode, the ride to the town of Tainan – which has really suprised us, so lively, so much cultural stuff to do, allthough being rather a smallish town, compared to the big cities on the westcoast. More record shops for me and Bettina meanwhile exploring the city and its history.

 


In the middle: Tainan – Douliu – Taichung

Tainan – Douliu – Zhushan – Sun Moon Lake

Taking a longer local train ride to Douliu, riding to Zhushan with a lot of monkeys. And a climb up in the heat to Sun Moon Lake.

Around Sun Moon Lake – Taichung

Sort of a rest day, with a tour around the lake and then going back down to Taichung, through beautiful valleys…but also into the big and noisy city. Evening with an old japanese factory building in the “Cultural Heritage Park” and a street side night market.


The north: Keelung – Tamsui – Taipei

Taichung – Keelung – Tamsui

A longer train ride up back to Keelung, its night market and a old market with loads of funky small businesses. Followed by a beautiful ride along the Pacific and the most northern point of Taiwan, further to Tamsui (with a wrong going room booking in between).

Tamsiu – Taipei

Exploring the touristic bicycle infrastructure around Tamsui and its same named river – having a break before riding into downtown Taipei. Spending some time at Chunghwa Telecom, coming back to the central and a lot of stray dogs and an ride around Sanchong district.

 


Back in Taipei


Spending the remaining days in Taipei, meeting friends, loads of shopping and generally saying “goodbye”.

Thanks Taiwan, this was such an inspiring trip.

 

 

 

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