bike

Arrange your five (5) days bike tour in Taiwan

We often received inquiries about how to plan a bicycle trip in Taiwan. Therefore, I plan to make suggestions/templates for those who are interested in visiting Taiwan by bike, but do not intend to hire a bike guide to accompany them for whatever reason they may have.

All trip planning starts from some basic questions as follows,

  • how many days are planned the trip
  • how many people are in the group
    • what is the level of cycling experience of each individual
    • where would you start the trip
    • when would you start this tour
    • how do you plan to have the bike
    • how do you transport your luggages
    • what types of accommodations would you need
    • what sort of scenes are more attractive to you, i.e. food, culture, nature, sea, mountain, and etc.
    • LAST but NEVER LEAST, what is your budget

In fact, there are many questions to be answered and everyone should have her/his own answers. Therefore, the following information sharing is based on my own assumptions and own experiences, so no critics are necessary. Take it if it suits you, and simply click away if it appears to be junk to you. ^_^

An example of five days trip by bicycle in Taiwan, and you want to experience the best and most of Taiwan. This trip starts from Hualien and goes along the rift valley part of eastern Taiwan and then cross the Coastal Mountain to east coast side of Taitung before entering the Southern cross island route to ShouKa and strolling down to the Southern Peninsula of  HengChun and Kenting. 

There are two types of maps attached that we have used most often in our own planning.

First one is the Bikemap, which can really show you the routes in details distance and also the elevations so you would not under estimate the daily ride by imaging that all the routes in this small island should be flat. 

Second one is the Google Map where you can find the suggested start and end points for each day and of course the place that might be interested to stop and take photos while resting and regain your energy.

Biking Taiwan five days trip plan - Hualien, Taitung, Pingtung


Plan your biking trip in Taiwan

Many people simply wish to complete the milestone of cycling around Taiwan, but I say you will miss a lot if you are not planning it right.

Plan it well if you have limited time for the trip! 

Don't plan at all if you have nothing but time! 

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After more than one year of assisting visitors to plan their bike tours in Taiwan, I have heard several complians that riding in the westcoast is extremly boring and gets nothing but polluted air and madness city views. 🙊🙉🙈

And I say, of course, there are more than 23 millions people living on this small 36,000km2 island and most of them do live in the westcoast, so what do you expect. 😅 

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But if you consult or read more information and have a little bit more time to detour around the places, you may find beautiful places to visit as this one.  Then your tour of Taiwan may not be so boring and tiring.

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Talk to people, and you will find your trip more joyable because this is how you experience and bring memories back home. A local grocery shop is the best place to start, and do not worry about language barrier. A big smile 😊 and body/sign language can solve them all. 👍

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Next time, I hope your biking expereince could be as fun as ours. Have a good time in cycling tours everywhere. 

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Seeking for advice on cycling route planning in Taiwan ~ http://www.bikingtaiwan.com/

Trying to make your own bike map for traveling in Taiwan ~  Biking Taiwan Bikemap Routes 

Cycling around Sun Moon Lake, CNN Travel named Best Bike Route in the world

Located in the heart of Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake has long been charming curious foreigners and local visitors alike. Its calm, turquoise water has also inspired many ancient Chinese poets and painters. The route around the largest lake in Taiwan is a three-hour ride, where visitors can enjoy lake scenery, experience Thao aboriginal culture and learn about the local ecology in the Nantou County. If you arrive in early spring, you can even catch the cherry blossoms near this mirror-like lake.
— CNN Travel, cycling routes that'll take your breath away

Cheery Blossoms in Sun Moon Lake, Spring only!!

Sun Moon Lake is the largest and most beautiful alpine lake in Taiwan. Its beauty is like a strand of bright pearls shimmering in the midst of Taiwan. The mist-laden water and the constant changes of thick and dispersing clouds and fog create a mood of a fantasy fairyland. Depending on the seasons and time of day, perhaps the scenes might remind you of a sketch, a colorful watercolor painting, or a Chinese landscape painting. Visitors are often enthralled by the refreshingly beautiful and elegant landscapes here.

Romantic sunset view of a biking couple in Sun Moon Lake

The beauty of Sun Moon Lake, from dawn to dusk and from season to season, exudes an aura of enchantment regardless of whether it is bathed in sunlight and blue sky or shrouded in mist. Consequently, tourists find themselves in the amazement of stunning landscape accompanied by the chirping sounds of birds and the delightful fragrance of flowers.

Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center is the perfect location to stay over for one night.

Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center is the perfect location to stay over for one night.

In the early morning, a thin veil of mist creating a sense of hazy dreaminess covers the surface of the lake. When the sun rises over the mountains, the obscuring mist lifts slowly to reveal the contour of the lake, reflecting images of surrounding mountains as birds chirp and glide gracefully. At dusk, the colors of the setting sun are like a sprinkling of golden dust, transforming it into a romantic paradise. As the night falls, the flickering lights of fishing boats, shining stars and dancing fireflies reflect their shimmer on the rippling lake as cool evening breezes waft in. Such an image has been described as a mischievous fairy illuminating the lake with her lantern.

Sunset view from Shuiwatou Trail, the famous frog pyramid location

Sunset view from Shuiwatou Trail, the famous frog pyramid location

Whoever comes to Sun Moon Lake can enjoy the view of the lake by cycling along on the bike trails or biking around the lake in a full circle. You can start from Shuishe, where the bus stops, and cycle on the lakeside paths to Xiangshan Visitors Center and Moon Lake bike path. Or you can rent a bicycle from Ita Thao and biking clockwise around the lake, and enjoy the half day bike tour.

Several bikeways are easily accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Several bikeways are easily accessible for everyone to enjoy.

You can enjoy riding a bicycle passing over Sun Moon Lake water. 

You can enjoy riding a bicycle passing over Sun Moon Lake water. 

Moon Lake bike path is the one less traveled and thus the most beautiful and quiet place.

Moon Lake bike path is the one less traveled and thus the most beautiful and quiet place.

Shuishe Xiangshan Bike Path connects Shuishe Pier and Xiangshan Visitor Center with a 3km long bike-only trails. Along this bikeway, you will pass by the famous 0.4km bikeway above the water where you will see Shuishe Dam, the Sun Moon Lake water outlet port, and Yongjietongxin Birdge in between. There is also Xiangshan Viewing Deck, built with steel, creating a suspension bridge feeling for visitors while walking on it. The hollowed-out design of this platform allows visitors to glance around Sun Moon Lake from above.

Shuishe Dam is the best place to view the water and mountains joining together, so many wedding photos are taken here.  

Shuishe Dam is the best place to view the water and mountains joining together, so many wedding photos are taken here.  

If you are interested in travel to Sun Moon Lake and needing an advice on planning the trip or even needing someone to take you directly there to enjoy all things said above.

Take Action Now

http://www.bikingtaiwan.com/

You can also have fun with Biking Taiwan TEAM!


Taichung - Home of Bubble & Pearl Milk Tea

Chun Shu Tang, as we believe, is the first tea shop that invented bubble tea and creation of pearl milk tea. Therefore, it is a must to visit the very first shop of Chun Shu Tang during our biking tour of Taichung City. 

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During the 90s, there were tea shops almost everywhere in Taiwan and people enjoyed hanging out in the tea shop with a cold drink to simply chill our with friends, playing cards, or dating for the young couples. 

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The most important innovation of this bubble tea is that it has transformed an ancient tea drinking habit from hot to cold beverage which indeed attracts more people to appreciate tea. And the hand shake process of the iced tea, forming a layer of bubbles, makes the tea flavor released more quickly and taste more enjoyable. The milk tea, and the pearl and later boba (bigger size pearl) give more options to your tea drinking experiences (now way too much!!)

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After gaining its market in Taiwan, business people just have to spread the good things across the world, and it does make a great success all over the world. Just look at this photo which shows you the countries that have already selling bubble tea, but still nothing compares to its origin.

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Come to join our cycling trip in Taichung, and let us buy you a fresh made bubble tea from the first tea shop who invented this wonderful drink!

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Find out more about iBike Taichung City Tour

Keep in touch with Biking Taiwan for more fun tour on two wheels in Taiwan!


Recommendation of another article about Bubble Tea Origin by Erin De Santiago -

The Origin of Bubble Tea in Taiwan

When you’re traveling in Taiwan, especially through Taipei, it might feel like there’s a bubble tea shop on nearly every corner. And, in many neighborhoods, that isn’t far from reality. Next to convenience stores on nearly every corner, bubble tea shops are everywhere. Taiwanese, and many of us who have moved to Taiwan, are obsessed with bubble tea, and not because it’s trendy around the world, but because Taiwan is credited with originating this refreshing drink.

If you head south of Taipei to the city of Taichung, you’ll find Chun Shu Tang, the shop where bubble tea is believed to have been invented. Liu Han-Chieh developed the idea of serving Chinese tea cold after a visit to Japan where he tasted cold coffee. His product manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, decided to pour her sweetened tapioca pudding balls into her Assam tea. That random, spur of the moment decision back in the late 1980’s, turned into a cultural phenomenon that spread around the globe.

So, what sets the seemingly endless stores of bubble tea apart in Taipei? Quality, of course. Everyone has their favorite vendor or chain, and you can absolutely taste a difference in the various teas. Some brands don’t cook the tapioca balls the right amount of time or the quality of the tea is not as good as other vendors.

Chun Shu Tang relies on its expertise and commitment to quality, which keeps their locations bustling. They continue to shake all their teas by hand versus blending. They use high-quality ingredients and rely on the fundamental aspects of the drink — the tea itself. In addition to hand blending, they use a refractometer to test the sweetness, allowing them to cater specifically to their customers’ needs. Visit one of their locations to learn more about Chinese tea or participate in a real tea ceremony — something I highly recommend on your Taiwan travels.

The variety of bubble teas available may be overwhelming if you’re never had one before. The most traditional is a regular Assam tea with tapioca bubbles. However, you can do fruit teas or green teas. Add tapioca balls, or fruit puree, jelly cubes, red beans, or a variety of other ingredients, which will vary by location and vendor. Moderating your sugar intake? Ask for full sugar, half sugar, or no sugar. Personally, I usually go for the standard bubble tea, but if I deviate, it’s usually for a passion fruit tea with puree and flavored jelly.

What’s your favorite variety of Taiwanese bubble tea? 

 

Bicycles made in Taiwan

Many people may not know Taiwan, but they have heard Giant or Merida if they are into the cycling events or tours. It is simply because of the quality/performace vesus price, both are good choices to make, but what is important is that both brands are made in Taiwan. Bring the biggest competitor in the same industry to each other, they have gradually seperate themselves into two different focus field.

Giant supplies a lot of road bikes which aim for the top speed and light weigh in major competitions. 

Merida supplies more models of mountain bikes which are oftenly seen in rough conditions or outdoor activities. 

There is a new trend of Taiwan bicycle manufacturers to design beautiful and nice urban city bikes for simply strolling around or daily commute to school or work.

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This may have been popular in Europe, but it is only recent years that Taiwanese adopt to this type of biking. Thanks to the well developed biking routes in the city, especially Taipei and New Taipei, stylish new bikes are available in many independent design shops. We reaally love it and that gives more choices other than Giant and Merida. Next time, if you travel to Taiwan, maybe it is interesting to arrange a tour only visiting bike shops and factories.

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for more information, always check  Biking Taiwan Website or Biking Taiwan FB Page