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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Great Taiwan Bike Routes and Maps

This is a new feature I am introducing on this blog.

I would like to provide a few routes and maps to help riders begin to explore Taiwan by bike. I understand these aren't the only routes. This does not set out to be a comprehensive catalogue of EVERY route ridden. I hope to simply provide a few breadcrumbs to get riders started.


I have traveled all of these roads at some time or another and blogged on many of them. You can feel free to use this as a reference. Take as long as you want from wherever you wish to start. Mix, match, link them together. Have fun. These are suggestions.


I am using Bikemaps for the reason that it provides terrain graphs and the right hand corner has a variety of mapping filters.


There will be a permanent link located on the sidebar for your convenience.


This is just the first iteration of this rout mapping page and I expect to periodically add new routes as I find the time or ride new roads that wow me.


I hope you will find this tool useful


TiC




Route 3,435,248 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is the ultimate round island trip for expert riders and travelers. You need to be in excellent physical shape as this route hugs the central mountain range and traverses some of Taiwan's most spectacular backdrops. There is also a little island hopping that should not be missed.


Posts: N/A




Route 2,635,376 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This route is a good mix of climbing and flats. There are fewer steep grades to avoid fatigue and to make a little more distance each day, while still including some great mountain roads. This route includes a boat ride to Orchid Island and another to the Peng-hu Island group to get a better picture of everything Taiwan has to offer.


Posts: N/A





Route 3,448,558 - powered by www.bikemap.net
Description: For the novice who still wants to see Taiwan by bike. This route is an excellent way to get the most out of a trip to Taiwan. This route is pretty flat with a few manageable climbs. Lots of beautiful scenery and pleasant roads. And you can still see Sun Moon Lake.

Posts: N/A

__________________________________

Taiwan North:




Description: The Northern Cross Island Highway is an excellent way to escape Taipei and get a taste of  Taiwan's Central Mountain Range. The route is accessible from Sanxia, at the end of the Blue Line of the Taipei MRT system, and quickly leads to some spectacular vistas. The climbing is not entirely difficult and it is probably the easiest of the three cross-island highways. The route ends in IIlan where you could ride back or take an hour bus ride to Taipei City.

Northern Coast: 


Route 3,449,026 - powered by www.bikemap.net
Description: Taipei to Iilan is a great ride for a beginning cyclist or for someone looking for a weekend escape from Taipei. The road is pretty easy. There are plenty of opportunities to stop at local attractions, including: Danshui and the Dutch Fort, Jiu-fen and Jinguashi mining towns, Keelung, Peace Island and surrounding old fortifications. Also, there is a bike trail at Fulong that takes a short cut through the mountain. At Jiaoxi you can find hot and cold springs to rest weary legs.

Posts: Taipei to Iilan
          Caoling Bikeway
          Hills Around Jinguashi
          Jinguashi POW camp


Northern Hills:



Route 3,450,463 - powered by www.bikemap.net
Description: This is hidden gem for climbers. Plenty of steep ramps and ridge-line roadways before meeting up with the Highway 7. The Route 122 is a lesser used road, so there is less holiday traffic.

Posts: N/A


Description: The Highway 9 between Taipei and Iilan used to be one of the main routes connecting the two areas before the Xue Shan tunnel was completed. This has drastically reduced traffic on the road and made for a much more enjoyable route. The Highway 9 still boasts some beautiful views from high mountain roads, but it is short enough to easily bite off in a day. If you don't have time to do the Northern Cross Island Highway, this is a simple alternative.

Posts: N/A


Wulai: 


Route 3,448,521 - powered by www.bikemap.net
Description: The road to Wulai is a very convenient exit from crowded Taipei. Although, it may become crowded Wulai on weekends. Country roads galore.

Posts: The Road to Wulai (Courtesy of OzSoapbox)
________________________________

Taiwan Central:



Description: Despite the hour or so spent on the ugly part of the Highway 3, this is an amazing route. You can either go up to Lugu and circle back through Zhushan, or you could make the climb all the way up to Sanlinxi, where some of the best tea is grown. The climb to Sanlinxi can be tiring after riding in from Taichung, but it isn't too bad. The Route 131 is the better road to climb into Lugu. It is pretty easy to deal with and less traffic. Some very pretty spots along the way. Route 55 on the way out is a splendid little road full of happy surprises.

           Hills of Lugu
           Sanlinxi



Description: This route could be ridden in one or two days (or more) depending upon the rider. It takes a little used alternative route up to Fencihu, near the top of Alishan. The route consists of two major climbs and a couple of good bumps on the 159A on the way to Chiayi. The roads at the higher elevations cut through some amazing tea farms and stunning scenery. This is really a great route for adventure. The road up to Alishan has a few daunting sections, so this rout is not recommended for novice riders.

           1 Day Trip over Alishan




Description: This route seamlessly joins some of the best roads of central Taiwan into a spectacular tour de force of tough climbing, roaring descents, and Taiwan's blazing green tropical landscape. You can mix and match these roads as you wish, but this route comes to mind when I think about why I love riding in Taiwan.

          Nantou Hill Tour



Description: Sima Xian Shan is a lesser known and little ridden hell of a climb between the Da An River and the township of Dahuu in the hills of Miaoli County. The Da An side before the climb is a joyous gradual ascent through farms and villages along the Da An River. Of course, the imposing cliffs of Sima Xian Shan rise right out of the riverbed. The route passes a calm reservoir and dam near Elephant Nose Village, before the vaulting incline to Da Gou Village. The rest of the climb is a fight to the top, but it is well worth it. About 500m up the road you can investigate a Japanese gun platform from the early campaigns against the Atayal. The views are nice and the descent is incredible. It licks the side of a deep valley all the way to Dahu. Lots of fun and excitement.

           Sima Xian Shan (150km)


Bagua Shan:



Route 3,447,023 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Bagua Shan on the Route 139 is one of the closest routes to Taichung City that offers a little bit for everyone. This is a local favorite for its diverse terrain, from climbs and rollers, to easy stretches of flat road. The hardest part is climbing to the top. The rest is a treelined tour of rural pineapple an tea farms. There are several escape routes if you are short on time or energy. The descent to Songboling is a treat. The 137 at the base of the hill is a nice way back through Changhua. The 14丁 on the other side of the hill is equally nice.

Posts: Route 139
          Rollers of Bagua Shan
          Route 137
          Route 14丁


Mingde Reservoir/Miaoli:



Route 3,448,495 - powered by www.bikemap.net
Description: 
From Taichung the route to the Mingde Reservoir is mostly a trip up the Highway 3. The Highway 3 from about Dongshih is a beautiful, well paved highway of dips and rises. Just past Shih-tan, the Miaoli Route 126 goes along the banks of the Mingde Reservoir out to the Highway 13 in Miaoli City. The Route 126 is a pleasant ramble with lakeside wetlands, a rarity in Taiwan. The worst climbing is on the Highway 13 out of Miaoli City. Once you are at the top you can bomb back to Taichung on the Highway 13, or take a little detour on the Route 119 for a little more flavor. The Route 119 ambles past traditional farmhouses and rural scenery before joining the Highway. This is one of the few parts of Highway 1 I don't dislike.

          Mingde Reservoir (Short)
          Mingde Culture


Shitan:



Route 3,449,040 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This route follows the Highway 3 up to Shihtan with a deviation out to the Tai-an hot springs. The Highway 3 through Miaoli is a beautifully wide and vacant road through rolling hills. The climb up the Route 26-2 looks much worse than it is. There is a tunnel through the mountain that makes it all possible. The descent is a thrilling plunge along deep ravines. The roads are smooth and well maintained. The Highway 6 to 128 is the ugliest part, but the Route 128 soon becomes a gorgeous rural descent into the Dajia area. Nice ride.

Posts: Route 26-2



Miaoli Hills: 



Route 3,451,217 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: I would only recommend this route to resident cyclists who are looking for something different to mix it up a little. This route longitudinally bisects the hills that run the length of Miaoli County along the Highway 3. If you have ever wondered what was up there, wonder no more. The route from the Route 23/24 to the Highway 6 is fine. The CPC Rd. is an incredibly frustrating tangle of crumbling roadway, farms and a few unhappy hounds. I would recommend a sturdier bike for this route. I repeat, this should only be done by the crazy ones.


Posts: Route 23

           Gas Giants


Liyu Reservoir:



Route 3,449,053 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The focus of this route is the climb over the Route 130. The Route 130 is just off the Highway 3 past the Liyu Reservoir in Miaoli County. The climb can be stiff at times, but the vistas are rewarding and there are refreshments at the top. From the descent there are a number of roads to Miaoli, Sanyi or several historic attractions. The Highway 13 is simply an easy viaduct to return from cycling glory.

Posts: Route 130
          More 130
          Route 130 Backwards
          Sanyi
          Sheng Shing Station






Description: This is an amazing route that cuts through the fruit farms and ridges between Jhuolan and Sanyi areas. The roads are smooth and well maintained. Traffic is almost nonexistent for the majority of the ride. Only descending the Route 56 to the Route 49 is a bit choppy. The latter portion of this route edges into a protected environmental reserve. There are short climbs and thrilling dips. It is cycling paradise. 

           Small Roads of Sanyi


Taichung-Chiayi-Taichung:



Route 3,449,821 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: There are several ways to get to Chiayi from Taichung. Chiayi is not really all that far... really... in the grand scheme of things. Many people would take the Highway 1 as it seems the easiest route. The Highway 1 is ugly, crowded, full of trucks and garbage on the road. I highly recommend the Highway 3. Too many nice things to see on the way down. The detour through Douliu is also worthwhile, but the peaceful shade of the Highway 3 easily makes up for the rolling hills. On the way back I try to steer a course to the Highway 19 and then off the Hsiluo. Mostly nice, but the flat farmland of Yunlin is going to smell like pig shit any day of the week.

           Highway 3 to Chiayi
           Chiayi 228 Memorial


Guguan:




Route 3,449,102 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Guguan is a simple "there and back" route that goes up the Highway 8, the remnants of the old Central Cross Island Highway that was closed following the 921 earthquake in 1999. It was briefly reopened and then closed for the better part of a decade. Guguan is currently the furthest point, known for its hot springs and tourist kitsch. The route is a gradual climb to Guguan... so much so... that it can be a bit demoralizing in perpetuating the belief that you are just slow. If you are slow... it makes you feel slower. The scenery is nice and it makes for a great morning ride. The ride back home goes quickly and gives the illusion that you are actually fast.

Posts: Gu-guan


Huisun Forest: 




Route 3,448,560 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Huisun Leisure Forest is the strangest thing just off the Highway 21 near Puli. After a few serious climbs the road ambles out into the mountains. It is a lovely road and then in starts to edge skyward. Just as it appears to be headed into the wilds of mountainous Taiwan, the road ends in an idyllic forest setting with hammocks strung between pines, cabins, babbling streams, lawns, gift shops and every type of bug and bird watcher in Taiwan.



Wujie: 



Route 3,448,506 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Nothing worthwhile is ever free. The price of admission to Wujie is a sustained climb up an unforgiving ramp at the very base of the mountain. The heart breaks as the ramp ends in a series of steep switchbacks. Then, just as you feel things couldn't get any worse, you look up and see several more kilometers of roadway lacing up the front of the mountain. It appears you have only begin the climb. Luckily, there is a tunnel just up ahead and it empties out into one of the most picturesque valleys this writer/rider has ever laid eyes on. This is not a well known route, so it is a special treat for those who dare to try.



Pinglin Rd.



Route 3,448,516 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Pinglin Rd. is the backdoor out of Jhuolan township. It is a mix of light climbing, a few hills, some excellent drops and the type of rural atmosphere you can expect along Taiwan's foothills. It is better (easier) from the Jhuolan side. The road ends in Dahu township and could easily connect to the Route 130 for added climbing.

           Pinglin Rd. Backwards


Daxue Shan (Big Snowy Mountain):


Route 3,455,126 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The quickest way to a serious mountain climb near Taichung, is Daxue Shan, or Big Snowy Mountain. Daxue Shan is an up and back climb that starts in Dongshih Township and wraps its way through fruit farms until it enters the cedar forests at the higher elevations. Daxue Shan is often used as a litmus test for the monument climbs in Taiwan, like Wuling and Tatajia. The scenery is superb. The road conditions fair. The gradients challenging. It is definitely wort the trip.

Posts: N/A


Changhua: 




Route 3,448,510 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Changhua Century route has dozens of alternative options. This is only one example that goes through the historic town of Lukang and along the coastal Highway 17. The roads are flat and wide. Just over the Zhoushui River, the Yunlin Route 154 crosses through farmland to Hsiluo, in the heart of watermelon country. Be sure to cross the river on the Route 145 on the magnificent Hsiluo Bridge before taking the nasty, but expedient Highway 1. I normally do not recommend the Highway 1, but there are times it is just easier than bobbing around the countryside.

           Hsiluo Bridge
          Changhua Century II
          Lanterns of Lukang
          Lukang Area
     


Jiufen Er Shan/921 Earthquake Route: 



Route 3,448,562 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The ride up Jiufen Er Shan is awesome in the extreme. It has some grades that challenge you to keep the front wheel on the ground. You can walk those. I won't tell anyone. Once up amid the ruins of the great 921 earthquake, the experience is just awesome. It is a terrifying and life affirming look at Taiwan's violent geologic past. The road is well maintained and empties out onto some lovely back roads that take a much easier path to the starting point. I highly suggest this ride at some point if you have never done it.



Sun Moon Lake Alternate Route:


Route 3,448,566 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The main point of this route is to tour Sun Moon Lake while minimizing encounters with tour busses and maximizing the luscious scenery. I am choosing Jiji as a starting point as it has a train station so novice riders can easily get to where the riding gets good. You could also take the train out to Shuili, but there are a few nice roads from Jiji to Shuili I thought I would showcase as well. This route includes the Nantou Route 152 connecting to the Route 131 to the top of Sun Moon Lake. This is a really sweet way to get up there while bypassing both the Highway 14 and the Highway 21, both tour bus routes. The return takes the payoff Nantou Route 63 to the Highway 16 and out. These roads are cycling ecstasy.

Posts: Jiji 152
           Sun Moon Lake from Shuili
           Highway 16
           Sun Moon Lake Critique


Nantou Alternates: 


Route 3,451,691 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: For riders who are looking to get off the beaten track and away from the roar of Highway 14 on the usual route to Sun Moon Lake, the Nantou Routes 68 and 64 are both excellent alternatives that can be combined with the Route 131 or Route 147. The Route 68 passes a swimmable waterfall, while the Route 64 provides a shady respite on a summer day. 

 
Posts: Routes 68 and 64 



Meishan:


Route 3,449,078 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is a happy little climb through pretty green country. The big surprise is at the junction with the 149. Boom! Then it is back to more lazy climbing and descending into coffee country.

Posts: Gukeng and Meishan


Zhushan and Sanlinxi: 




Route 3,451,188 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: If you are in for a hard day of climbing without the hassles of tour busses and holiday makers, then this is your route. The Nantou Route 49 to Sanlinxi is a beastly climb that is not simply unrelenting on its long, unbending lower slopes, but it also involves some technical skill to navigate the ruts and gaps at the higher reaches. The road flops over itself amid high altitude tea farms with nothing but nothing below. These are rare, but hard earned vistas.


Posts: Climbing a Mountain of Tea



Clockwise Alishan and Sanlinxi:




Route 3,451,220 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: I am putting this route up here as the Nantou Route 56 is an incredible little road, and it would provide a creative flourish to any round island trip for the hardened cyclist. It provides a way to seamlessly work the Sanlinxi/Lugu areas into a clockwise round island trip without having to needlessly detour. The roads are quiet, less traveled spaces where a cyclist can enjoy the scenery without dodging busses.


Posts: The Lost Highway

           Mountain of Tea
           Alishan
            Nantou Route 56 


The 36 Bends:




Route 3,450,481 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The work for rewards quotient on this ride leans heavily on the rewards. The climbs are effortless and you are soon perched like a downhill skier at the top of one of the most amazing descents Taiwan has to offer. After a quiet and lazy spin on light grades, the narrow 212-1adds to the feel of a secret getaway. After twisting over gullies and along hidden tea farms, the glory of the 36 hairpin curves rests below, begging to be attacked.


Posts: Michael's Meishan Madness



Miaoli 130:


Route 3,449,823 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is a nice loop up the Highway 3 past Dahu, and then back on some quick little roads in Miaoli County. The 130 becomes a very speedy descent out of southern Miaoli.

Posts: Highway 6


Douliu to Zhushan:



Route 3,449,819 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This route goes through some nice tea country. With one major climb, there is no reason not to give it a try. The climb isn't long, and the descent lets your roll forever. One time on the descent I rolled most of the way to Douliu without a pedal stroke. The Route 158 is a small, well paved route. This makes for a great century ride.

Posts: Tea Country
          Gukeng Century

__________________________________
Taichung Local:


Route 3,449,824 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is one of my favorite short training routes. It takes me about 45 min. to complete and covers some climbing and bike handling, as well as a very fast descent. The Industrial Rd. has about the right degree of incline to improve climbing in a hurry. Riders must be cautious of vehicular and pedestrian traffic as the Tunghai Market and Xitun Rd can be clogged in the evenings.

           Night Loop
           Night Loop (Video)


Route 3,449,825 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Caotun Loop is my Wednesday evening training ride. It uses the road under the Number 63 Expressway to avoid the heavy evening traffic on the Highway 3. From Caotun to the Hughway 74, the traffic is really not bad. I enjoy this route at night because I can see where the cars are by looking for their lights. This is an excellent route to build stamina.

Posts: Caotun Loop




Route 3,449,945 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The hills around Dakeng have numerous little roads that can provide a taste of the great outdoors within 20 minutes of the city. Several of the roads connect to a greater network of agricultural roads that can take you much further into the hills around Taichung. The CKS Campground is a great destination to begin exploring the area around Dakeng.

           Dakeng Riding
           Dakeng Hills



Route 3,450,321 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is a convenient route if you are just starting to venture out of Taichung, or if you need a good ride and don't have the time. Some of the climbs are a bit steep, but they never last very long. The WOW factor makes the climbs worth every stroke of the pedal.

Posts: Route 129 to 136






Route 3,452,728 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is the nuts and bolts of a series of rides in and around the hills of Taiping. This route and its connected roads are common routes for weekend riders who want to leave the city and disappear into the folds of the landscape. I have quit climbing to Hsinshe on the 129 due to traffic and construction. The Route 88 is higher, quieter and more scenic.

Posts: 129-136
           Hardest Climbs?





Route 3,450,341 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: If you live in Taichung and you are looking for a route for some quick hill climbing practice, this is an excellent route. The climb over Dadu Shan in not too difficult and a great warm-up. After circling around toward Ching-shui, the climb becomes a but stiffer. Then to cap things off, the route continues up to the Taichung Metropolitain Park before finally allowing some reprieve.

           Ching-shui
           Sunset Over Chingshui




Route 3,450,357 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: For a short, sweet climbing session when time is short, this little route packs two sustained climbs into parallel roads with a roaring descent down the "Blue Highway". The grades are enough to make you work at maximum effort without respite. I have also finished and reversed for the added ouch factor.


Posts: N/A






Route 3,455,040 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Taichung residents who would like to work on their climbing and can't get out to the mountains, or don't want to burn the distance to get to the great natural climbs, can either find a nasty little hill and do boring repeats... or they can find a nasty little hill and find as many ways to climb it as possible. This is one of those routes. It strings a series of tough little climbs together into an impressive day of quad busting ascents. Some of these climbs are enough for the front tire to lose grip on the pavement if you aren't careful The full route is plenty to make a climber out of anyone.  

Posts: Metropolitan Park Area
             Dadu Shan
             Ching Shui Hills
______________________________________

Taiwan South:


Route 3,450,368 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The trip around Kenting can take many forms. This route balances the scenery and historic parts of Kenting, with a little bit of the fun. The trip on the Route 199 through Mudan is fascinating for its history and beauty. The Highway 26 along the coast was once off-limits, but now boasts a mesmerizing lead-up to the breathtaking tour of the Manzhou Valley. So many nice roads all within riding distance of a bar on a beach.

           The View From Kenting




Route 3,450,375 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This route to Tainan comes in to be just about 160km or 100mi. When I suggest this route, for some reason few people take it. It is less obvious than the Highway 1 or the Highway 3, but it is smoother, faster and has fewer traffic lights than any other option. The Route 145 from Hsiluo is a brilliant alternative to any of the major highways. It will eventually meet the Highway 19, so it is not confusing or complicated. If you think you need to cover the flats, this is an excellent route.



Route 3,450,385 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: This is a ride I do once a year. In honor of the great Paris-Roubaix one-day race, I will bike from Taichung to Kaohsiung along the coast on the Highway 17. The idea of a coastal ride might sound scenic and maybe a little romantic... but this is Taiwan. The majority of the western  coast is a blight. I never really enjoy this route as it just looks like decay. There are also fewer convenience stores and gas stations. Still, if you really want to do it... this is it.







Route 3,451,720 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Most people are content with the well known roads around Kenting and Taiwan's beach district. There are also a few surprises out on the smaller roads in the Kenting area. The hills around Mudan are both rich in history, culture and the rare tranquil beauty that Kenting hasn't seen since 1868. 



Posts: N/A 





Route 3,450,396 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Meinong area is a gorgeous basin nestled up against the high mountains. The Central Cross Island Highway starts nearby and this route takes the hills ringing the basin. Lots of altitude, but very rewarding. The area has been hit by some pretty violent storms since I was last there, so I can not attest to the road conditions. I hope to ride it in the near future and report on the current situation. 

Posts: Meinong Madness





Route 3,451,709 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The route through the Maolin area to Dona Village has a couple of sharp climbs, but nothing most riders couldn't handle. It makes a very easy way to see some of Taiwan's mountainous areas, without too much hassle. It is a bit touristy, and several local bike clubs seem to have marked it as their weekend route, nut boy is it pretty.


Posts: Maolin Madness





Route 3,451,221 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: If you don't really have the legs for climbing, but you want to get out into the mountains, I would highly recommend the Highway 29 to Namaxia. The gradient is gentle and slowly lifts the rider into the central mountains. For the adventurous rider with a little more in the tank, hop over the hill on the Qingshan Rd. and slice down the wall of a mountain to Dapu and out on the Highway 3.


Posts: Namaxia






Route 3,450,405 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: An alternate way back to Taichung, aside from the Highway 19 to the Route 145, is this route that is a bit more inland. Although it uses the Highway 1 for a while, the detour onto the Route 165 near Guan Tian is well worth it. This will skirt the foothills without wearing you out on rollers.

Posts: Tainan to Taichung





Route 3,452,778 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Highway 3 is the best of the major highways along Taiwan's western side of the mountains. Taichung and Nantou are the only exceptions to an otherwise pretty, treelined stretch of pavement. The greatest problem with the Highway 3, is that it can be death by rollers depending upon how far you plan on travelling. The reservoir area is especially so, and therefore, the Route 172 is an easy out that leads back to the Tainan HSR station, which is conveniently located far from every other thing to see in Tainan.

Posts: Taichung to Tainan Highway 3

___________________________________

Taiwan East:

Route 3,450,405 - powered by www.bikemap.net





Route 3,450,411 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: The Central Cross Island Highway is an eye-opener for anyone traveling Taiwan. This is a route that will not only destroy quads, but also crush the all too common misconceptions that Taiwan is a flat, polluted island of concrete and factories (Yes, I have met people who believed this). The Central Cross traverses Taiwan's highest pass through alpine forests and rugged mountain tops. It cuts right through Hualien's breathtaking Taroko Gorge. You will never see Taiwan the same way again.

           Hualien to Taichung
           From the Puli Side
           Packing For The Central Cross


Route 3,450,417 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: Taiwan's East Coast is one of the most recommended areas for tourist cycling. The Highway 9 and Highway 11 are the major routes, but they are hardly the best routes for enjoying the area by bike. This alternative route provides a more varied approach to seeing the east coast.

Posts: Biking Taiwan's East Coast
           East Coast (Courtesy of The View From Taiwan)
           Go East


Route 3,450,425 - powered by www.bikemap.net

Description: If you want to see a little bit of everything and feel you are a decent enough climber, this is an excellent route. You can ride down the fantastic coastline to Hualien, and then climb up to abput 2500 meters through Taroko Gorge. The climbing is not that difficult, just long. Then descend past Taiping Shan and back to Iilan. A marvelous route filled with nature and adventure.






Description: Taiwan's little secret. Orchid Island may be a small island, but it boasts more amazing scenery per square kilometer than any other part of Taiwan. I am serious. The coastal road dips and slides beneath towering emerald cliff sides. There are waterfalls, caves, springs, beaches and traditional Da'oo cultures. It'll blow your mind so take a few days to see it all. The coastal riding will take longer than expected due to frequent photo stops. There are two big climbs. One goes to the light house, but it is a very technical descent. The other is to the weather station with one of the steepest grades near the top. Scooters have trouble. When not biking, there is hiking, swimming, diving and lounging around drinking beer. Lots to do. GO THERE. But if you go, please be respectful of the Da'oo. They get crapped on by too many visitors.



16 comments:

  1. Comprehensive, well worked out and organized. Goldmine. A heartfelt 'Thanks.'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Excellent! Ditto above comment. I like how you linked your blogs to each map. It was like reading a good book when you can't put it down...I had to read all in one sitting.

    Mike C.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the routes and maps..its a great resource when looking for new routes to try out! Looking forward to try out some of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for posting this. Huge help.

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  5. This is awesome!!! Thanks for the info

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  6. Thank you For the energy, passion and effort that has clearly gone into this write up. Hands down one of the best resources for Taiwan touring on the web. Im looking forward to my own solo circumnavigation, this coming July. This blog will aid my in many ways.

    Thanks again

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  7. Philippe VincentMay 13, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Thanks for your blog and all the details info that you provide, it is very helpful for a beginner who wish to know where to ride in Taiwan.
    I have a few questions though.
    We intend to buy our bikes with Giant when we will arrive in Taipei, is it a good idea, and do you have any recommendation to where we should go to get a good and proper bike for our bike ride?
    Since our time in Taiwan is limited(7 days riding) and since we would like to see as much as amazing things while riding what ideal itinerary would you suggest? Our team is made of casual bikers, so we are not too fit for real serious climbing.
    I have prepared an itinerary, please let me know if its feasible..
    Dawu to Taimali to Chenggong to Fengbin to Hualien county to Taroko National park to Taipei,,(7 days biking)

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  8. That is That should be no problem except for the part that goes from Taroko to Taipei. If you are not climbers, then you should take the coast or the train. For leisure cyclists you could be able to get between Taidong and Hualien in three or four days. It would be another two or three days to Taipei from Hualien…. if you are traveling at a leisurely pace. You may want to take a short train or bus ride to Iilan on your way from Hualien to Taipei.

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  9. Is it possible to get any data files so that my GPS equipment can follow some of these fine maps... GPX or KML?
    I plan on visiting Taiwan this July 2015 and would like to travel around the island
    Thanks

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing all of these awesome routes!! My friend and I are excited to ride along the east coast or potentially even around Lanyu.
    Can you suggest any places to rent bikes from? Or are we better of buying bikes...
    Thanks!

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  11. Hi! This looks like an incredible resource, although most of the maps are coming up as private. Would you be willing to grant me access to them? My girlfriend and I plan on bicycling around Taiwan in the coming week! Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks!

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  12. Again, I apologize. The map service had a major breakdown and they lost all the old user data from those maps. You can zoom on the ones Inhave posted and see how to navigate. Future maps will be through a more reliable service.

    I am really sorry about that.

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  13. Hi, Thanks for the ideas and maps! I've just come back from 2 weeks around taiwan and used many roads from your round island spectacular. A word of warning - route 44 east near 36 east, north of the airbase near taitung, has deteriorated to long grass and no longer rideable. I spoke with a bemused local farmer who confirmed the situation. I'd also recommend the road through Guanziling hot springs and route 175 coffee road instead of route 3 east of Tsengweng Reservoir, to route 20.

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  14. Thanks for sharing all this information. You have provided an amazing resource for fellow cyclists and have made my planning so much easier

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