bike trail

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


Cycling tour from Ruisui (瑞穗) to Chihshang (池上)

This could be the best part of cycling through east rift valley in Taiwan.

A lot of cyclists or bikers in Taiwan call route 193 the most beautiful route to bike in east coast since all the villages that it passes are not so well developed and have kept the origin of its natural beautifies. On this route, you may not find any amazing buildings or fancy parks made for tourists, but you can experience the peaceful and beautiful side of Taiwan.

After coming our from route 193, the ride continues to a bike-only cycling path that allow you stand on top of the Euroasia Plate and the Philippines Sea Plate at the same time. Enjoy your time strolling slowing and taking as many photos as you want to. A good spot for the great IG photos.

End this wonderful bike trip in Chihshang which is famous for its tasty bento (lunch box) and vast green rice fields where no electric poles are passing through.

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!


A Route Planning Example from Hualien to Taitung

Riding along route 193 is a special experience beacuse you will pass mostly small villages. Just make sure you have enough supply since it is not as conveient as the main roads. Chihshang has a well established bike paths that can give you the best view of this flat land full of rice fields. 

Biking Taiwan wishes you all the best in traveling in Taiwan.

Yangmingshan National Park

Taiwan island was created because of the massive collision of Eurasian continent plate and Philippines oceanic plate millions of years ago. Therefore, volcanic terrains are not hard to find in many places in Taiwan. And for most visitors, Taipei is a must visit city when planning the trip to Taiwan. If your time is really limited, but still want to see more than only city views, Yangmingshan is for sure a place that you might want to put into your itinerary since it is also known as the back garden of Taipei city.

Yangmingshan National Park as we know it today covers mountainous areas in the Taipei City districts of Shilin and Beitou, and in the New Taipei City districts of Tamsui, Sanzhi, Shimen, Jinshan and Wanli. The park's eastern boundary lies east of Mt. Huangtsui and Mt. Wuchih, and it extends westward as far as the western foothills of Mt. Hunglu and Mt. Miantian. To the north it includes Mt. Zhuzi and Tudigong Ridge, while its southern boundary stretches from the southern foothills of Mt. Shamao eastward to Pingdeng Village and Shuangxi. It covers a total area of 11,338 hectares with elevations of between 200 and 1120 meters above sea level. Yangmingshan also used to be known as Tsaoshan (Grass Mountain), a term which embraced the whole area of Mt. Datun, Mt. Qxing and Mt. Shamao with its grassy slopes.

What to see in Nature?

There are currently some 1,359 species of plants in the park, growing in water plant and land plant propagation environments.

Yangmingshan is home to a large number of birds of around 123 different species, and its accessibility has made it one of northern Taiwan's top bird- watching haunts. 

It is also home to no less than 53 species of reptiles, of which the Sauter's ground snake, red back pine root snake, common scaled water snake and flower snake are the most common. 

Animals such as the Formosan rock-monkey (macaque), Formosan boar, Formosan hare, red-bellied squirrel, Formosan gem-faced civet, Formosan blind mole, spinous country-rat and Taiwan bandicoot rat are often to be seen in the park's conservation zones.

What to see in Scenic Spots?

Yangmingshuwu - Formerly known as the Zhongxing Guesthouse, Yangmingshuwu was built during 1969 and 1970. It was originally used by former President Chiang Kai-shek for receiving foreign guests and as a summer home. Today, it is an important cultural and historical site in Yangmingshan National Park which features both natural and human history, making it an intellectually and emotionally resonant recreational site. Tourist information and guided tours are available.

Xiaoyoukeng - A post-volcanic geological landscape area and located on Mt. Qixing's northwestern foot, it is approximately 805 meters above sea level and is famed for the fumaroles, sulfur crystals, hot springs and spectacular 'landslide terrain' formed by post-volcanic activity. The hiking trail next to the Xiaoyoukeng parking lot offers access to Mt. Qixing, from which it takes about an hour to reach the summit. At 1,120 meters above sea level, it is Taipei City's highest peak. Taking the East Peak path when descending leads to Qixing Park, Menghuan Pond, and Lengshuikeng, offering a bird's-eye view of Mt. Shamao and downtown Taipei.

Erziping - This area is in the volcanic dip between Mt. Datun's main peak and Mt. Erzi, which boasts a lush forest and a variety of vegetation, made possible by its temperate weather, in between the sub-tropical and temperate zones. The trail here is even and flat surrounded by wide open spaces with three ponds in the middle. 

Datun Nature Park - Located at the northwest foot of Mt. Datun and about 800 meters above sea level, here is known for its warm-temperate climate, broad-leaved forest, and volcanic cone. The Datun Visitor Center hosts an exhibition hall dedicated to early human activity in the Yangmingshan area, in particular the local indigo industry, so you can understand more about the history of this wonderful place.

Lengshuikeng - The Lengshuikeng region, cold water pit in Chinese meaning, is a low-lying depression which was created when the lava from Mt. Qixing and Mt. Qigu formed a barrage. Water then accumulated, turning the area into a lake, which eventually leaked out and dried up to expose the lake bottom and form today's landscape.

Qingtiangang - This area is a lava terrace formed when the lava from Mt. Zhugao flowed north after its eruption, and because of its flat terrain, a ranch was established and the area was used as a pasture for grazing cattle during the Japanese ruling period. The big grassland is the place most people would visit and taking panorama photos. 

Longfenggu - This valley is about 1 km long and 80-200 meters wide and has many volcanic fumaroles and artificial geothermal hot springs, which are the source of the Beitou Hot Springs. White smoke fills the area with plumes of slowly rising from the valley to form a magnificent view.