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Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Taiwan is a cyclist's paradise, and here's the place to share your experiences, questions, and pictures!

Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby csisfun » 26 Mar 2011, 14:07

Alright. More thrawling through the forums and I see an old post by Feiren (is it Fat man or Useless man, I wonder)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=%E6%9B%B4%E7%94%9F%E5%8C%97%E8%B7%AF%2F%E5%8F%B09%E7%B7%9A&daddr=23.73079,121.55688+to:24.2304259,121.2734789+to:24.82837,121.38588+to:24.95404,121.49415+to:%E5%9F%BA%E9%9A%86%E8%B7%AF%E4%BA%8C%E6%AE%B5&hl=en&geocode=FcaMWwEdwj84Bw%3BFWYaagEdkM8-Bykf5knqRKloNDGtiO8zxx8MuQ%3BFRm6cQEdhnw6BylvcI56PY1oNDHQ5jo8pCPSsA%3BFdLZegEdmDM8Bykri4LV7RBoNDEipXxT-GXJxQ%3BFbjEfAEdhto9BylZ9X0mqgNoNDH_xFWSVAHVvg%3BFaLUfQEdvrs-Bw&mra=mrv&via=1,2,3,4&sll=23.927582,121.668091&sspn=0.232225,0.528374&ie=UTF8&ll=23.704266,121.746368&spn=0.465248,1.056747&z=11

According to Feiren,
"Well, you can, but it's complete madness.

If he's is good shape the OP should consider riding out to Yilan on the Northern Cross (7乙) from Sanxia through Fusing (7) and then turning right on the Lishan branch (7甲) of the Central Cross at Cilan. At Lishan, turn onto 8 and follow it all the way down to Taroko. You have now bypassed Suao-Hualian highway and ridden through some of the most beautiful parts of Taiwan. Reward yourself with a fresh from the orchard snow pear in Lishan--expensive but well worth it. You'll have earned it.

From Taroko, take H9 to Hualian. When you come out of Hualian, go dwon to the coast where 11 begins. But don't take 11 just yet...the first 25km are boring and often very hot. Instead, at the Highway 11 junction, take 193 down the east side of the Rift Valley. The best way to get over to the coast is a little road that will take you over to Shuilian just before the climb up to Baci. This tertiary road can be tough to find (no English signs), so if you can't find it, cross over to 11 at Guangfu on 11甲. From there it's a straight shot down to Taidong.

It should take two days to get to Lishan. One long day from Lishan down to the Shitiping fishing harbor at around 63km on 11 about 10km south of Fongbin. One more day to get down to Taidong for a total of 4. You could break things up by spending an extra night in Hualian.

Another alternative would be to catch a bus in Luodong for the ride across the Suao-Hualien highway. They will fit in the bottom compartment if you take the front wheel off. You could also take 106 out to the coast from Taipei and then head down to Yilan on 2甲 if you do not want to do the Northern Cross. But that would be a mistake because the second half from Baling to Cilan is incredibly beautiful.

Happy riding!"


Based on his route, I have come out with the route on Google maps. I just don't get it when he mentions "take 193 down the east side of the Rift Valley. The best way to get over to the coast is a little road that will take you over to Shuilian just before the climb up to Baci."

Any help?

Excited... since this plan is firming up well, I think Imma buy my tickets! But to Taipei or Kaohsiung? Advice desired! :notworthy:
Touring Western Taiwan: http://goo.gl/oNIO8
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Re: Kaohsiung to Taipei via Provincial 1?

Postby ludahai » 26 Mar 2011, 17:36

Muzha Man wrote:You can ship your bike anywhere by train. There are also some trains you can ride with your bike in special carriages. Feiren will know more as he does this more often that I do. It's an evolving system.

As for riding Hualian to Suao, it's a gorgeous route that is dangerous, narrow, filled with speeding gravel trucks, and tunnels with no shoulder at all to ride on. People do ride it, but I don't recommend it if this is your first ride in Taiwan. I don't recommend it in any case. Give it five years when all the highway improvements are in and there is a dedicated bike shoulder.


And some of the tunnels are marked forbidden to bicycles, though I suppose those, like many other signs, are routinely ignored...
I plan to do the round the island ride, but will likely wait until the Su-Hua improvements are complete.

It's up to you but I don't even like driving a car on this road.


While a beautiful road, definately not one for the faint of heart...

If you want to experience the best of Taiwan on a bike consider staying on the east coast which has a population density like that of East Timor or Costa Rica (the west by contrast is as dense as Bangladesh or one long Hong Kong). Easy to fill your ten days and you'll really get to know a special part of the world very well, as opposed to just riding through on the way to somewhere else.


There are some nice rides in western Taiwan in among the mountains, but not really in a straight north-south line. At least not any that I can see... there are some nice stretches of Highway three but some pretty horrid stretches too... I do like highway three through Miaoli county but in Taichung City and Nantou County, it is best avoided...
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby Mucha Man » 26 Mar 2011, 21:19

csisfun wrote:Alright. More thrawling through the forums and I see an old post by Feiren (is it Fat man or Useless man, I wonder)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=%E6%9B%B4%E7%94%9F%E5%8C%97%E8%B7%AF%2F%E5%8F%B09%E7%B7%9A&daddr=23.73079,121.55688+to:24.2304259,121.2734789+to:24.82837,121.38588+to:24.95404,121.49415+to:%E5%9F%BA%E9%9A%86%E8%B7%AF%E4%BA%8C%E6%AE%B5&hl=en&geocode=FcaMWwEdwj84Bw%3BFWYaagEdkM8-Bykf5knqRKloNDGtiO8zxx8MuQ%3BFRm6cQEdhnw6BylvcI56PY1oNDHQ5jo8pCPSsA%3BFdLZegEdmDM8Bykri4LV7RBoNDEipXxT-GXJxQ%3BFbjEfAEdhto9BylZ9X0mqgNoNDH_xFWSVAHVvg%3BFaLUfQEdvrs-Bw&mra=mrv&via=1,2,3,4&sll=23.927582,121.668091&sspn=0.232225,0.528374&ie=UTF8&ll=23.704266,121.746368&spn=0.465248,1.056747&z=11

According to Feiren,
"Well, you can, but it's complete madness.

If he's is good shape the OP should consider riding out to Yilan on the Northern Cross (7乙) from Sanxia through Fusing (7) and then turning right on the Lishan branch (7甲) of the Central Cross at Cilan. At Lishan, turn onto 8 and follow it all the way down to Taroko. You have now bypassed Suao-Hualian highway and ridden through some of the most beautiful parts of Taiwan. Reward yourself with a fresh from the orchard snow pear in Lishan--expensive but well worth it. You'll have earned it.

From Taroko, take H9 to Hualian. When you come out of Hualian, go dwon to the coast where 11 begins. But don't take 11 just yet...the first 25km are boring and often very hot. Instead, at the Highway 11 junction, take 193 down the east side of the Rift Valley. The best way to get over to the coast is a little road that will take you over to Shuilian just before the climb up to Baci. This tertiary road can be tough to find (no English signs), so if you can't find it, cross over to 11 at Guangfu on 11甲. From there it's a straight shot down to Taidong.

It should take two days to get to Lishan. One long day from Lishan down to the Shitiping fishing harbor at around 63km on 11 about 10km south of Fongbin. One more day to get down to Taidong for a total of 4. You could break things up by spending an extra night in Hualian.

Another alternative would be to catch a bus in Luodong for the ride across the Suao-Hualien highway. They will fit in the bottom compartment if you take the front wheel off. You could also take 106 out to the coast from Taipei and then head down to Yilan on 2甲 if you do not want to do the Northern Cross. But that would be a mistake because the second half from Baling to Cilan is incredibly beautiful.

Happy riding!"


Based on his route, I have come out with the route on Google maps. I just don't get it when he mentions "take 193 down the east side of the Rift Valley. The best way to get over to the coast is a little road that will take you over to Shuilian just before the climb up to Baci."

Any help?

Excited... since this plan is firming up well, I think Imma buy my tickets! But to Taipei or Kaohsiung? Advice desired! :notworthy:


If you have the time and can handle hills, start in Taipei and ride up to Lishan. Yep. Stunning stunning country and the ride down into Taroko Gorge is like going through a walk-in Chinese painting.

By 193 Feiren means County Rd 193 which runs almost parallel to Hwy 9. Many riders prefer the 193 to the 9 as it is quieter and has little traffic. But then you miss out on easy access to some of the great stuff off the 9.

If you plan to take Hwy 11 down the coast just ignore this bit of advise. Oh, and when you come out of Taroko you can ride as far as Sanjhan and then head directly to the coast as the 193 here will take you down to Hualian on the quieter back roads. There's even a bit of dedicated bike lane through some coastal scrubland and then from Qinxingtan Beach to Hualian it's all bike path. Also in Hualian the new bike paths along the river take you back into town. There should be an off-ramp at Guolian 3rd-Rd which is just 3 blocks to the train station. Better than contending with traffic.

One thing to consider is that there is a new bike lane connecting Hualian and Liyu Lake, good to remember if you plan to start by riding down Hwy 9, or when you are coming back up. Liyu Lake is a pretty area and nearby Hwy 14, known as the Mugua River Corridor, is a stunning gorge and popular with local cyclists on weekends as there is almost no traffic. Well worth the side trip on the way up or down the coast.

Also if you ride the rift valley look for mapped routes through the backcountry roads west of Hwy 9. When I was there last January the route was almost clear from Liyu Lake to Guangfu and between Yuli and Fuli. The goal is to have it all mapped and marked out.

Btw, pick up a copy of the new Lonely Planet chapter on the east coast. I've put in lots of details for biking the route, including places to stay.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby Feiren » 26 Mar 2011, 22:04

I agree. Start in Taipei. Ride out to the coast on the back roads.

Here's the route from193 to Shuilian.

There is a lot of good stuff off Highway 9--the Mugua Gorge he mentions is especially good. But the rift valley is narrow, so you can cross back and forth when you want.

On the east coast you can put your bike on any local train with unreserved seating. This can be useful when traveling between Suao and Xincheng--the dangerous section of the 9.

Taiwanese people attach great significance to riding around Taiwan. It is not the best way to ride in Taiwan, mainly because the west coast plains suck. There is lots of good riding in places like Nantou, Jiayi, and Pingdong of course. The Hengchun peninsula is especially magical--see this account. You can also check Rank's cycling posts for more routes and my maps.

The best riding is in the mountains. With the southern cross closed indefinitely, here is my favorite ride at the moment:Taroko to Shuili. This is a three day ride.
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby ludahai » 27 Mar 2011, 08:00

Feiren wrote:The best riding is in the mountains. With the southern cross closed indefinitely, here is my favorite ride at the moment:Taroko to Shuili. This is a three day ride.


But Taiwan Route 9 further south is still open, right? I saw a lot of cyclists riding across there last October while I was en route to Taidong for a race...
I have a dream, a dream where a democratic China lives side by side with Taiwan, Tibet, and Turkestan, all free and democratic.
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby Mucha Man » 27 Mar 2011, 10:11

ludahai wrote:
Feiren wrote:The best riding is in the mountains. With the southern cross closed indefinitely, here is my favorite ride at the moment:Taroko to Shuili. This is a three day ride.


But Taiwan Route 9 further south is still open, right? I saw a lot of cyclists riding across there last October while I was en route to Taidong for a race...


Still open, but a busy road with screaming trucks. It will be widened however in the coming years and we'll likely see a bike lane (not that the trucks will care).
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby tommy525 » 27 Mar 2011, 12:38

Remember the EAST is sublime, the West is grime !

The EASt fills your heart with glee, the West your lungs with soot.

Actually the western part near the mountains are nice, if you take the advice of the sages that have spoken !

But travelling on the likes of HIghway 1 is purgatory on a bike. Takes ten hours by BUS and thats a once in a life time , never to be repeated experience.
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby Vorkosigan » 27 Mar 2011, 14:43

Great posts, guys.
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby csisfun » 01 Apr 2011, 17:20

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source= ... 410767&z=8

What about this route, any comments? Feel like starting for Kaohsiung but also do a max of 500km.
Touring Western Taiwan: http://goo.gl/oNIO8
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Re: Touring Taiwan (formerly KS to Taipei via Provin. 1)

Postby navillus » 01 Apr 2011, 18:41

Looks like it is going to be a great ride. I'd love to find the time to do something like that sometime. Where are you going to sleep? I'm sure you know from looking at google Earth that some parts of that route get pretty high up in the mouintains, and there are some stretches where hotels will be few and far between.
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