Day 4 Attractions along Highway 11 Taiwan

Day 4 brought us to attractions along Highway 11. Of course, the coastal views and breeze are a magnificent sight too.

(we had cycled from Ruisui to Yuli to Antong the day before)

..but first, we had to crawl 5 km uphill from Antong! You will meet many cycling enthusiasts who are here to challenge the slopes.

We can cycle up slowly, but no3 (Yee)  would be wobbling. It would be safer for us to push.

We will be cycling from Hualien to Taitung (tunnel), then through ChangBin, ChengGong, and finally Donghe Dulan (長濱,成功,東河). Estimated distance is 70km.

We have blog about Dulan 都蘭 surfing earlier (blog post).

Discover other interesting venues (and GPS) and attractions along Highway 11 in our Taiwan cycling Itinerary (refer Google Sheet link)

Taiwan cycling itinerary
Taiwan cycling itinerary

*Do take note Google Map might recommend shortcuts along the way, but we would recommend newbies to stick to main highway. Some of the shortcut paths are narrow and covered with thick bushes

Not forgetting to enjoy the scenic mountainous views even when we are catching our breaths.

0920 reached tunnel and posed for photos.

Good luck when you see this tunnel, we had conquered the hardest part of our cycling journey (4D3N cycling Itinerary from Hualien to Taitung).

Tunnel was 2.7km long and super cooling. Shout and hear our own laughter echo down the tunnel.

Tunnel was a downward gradient for us, good compensation for the initial uphill struggles.

At the tunnel exit, do pose at this decoration “東部海岸國家風景區遼望台“. The tunnel starts at Hualien 花蓮 but ends at Taitung 台東, we can see the blue sky and ocean merged over the horizon.

Enjoy the landscape views.

385m elevation, no wonder. We had underestimated the slope.
Nevertheless, Highway 30 is still the shortest (and maybe easiest) way to cut across the mountains.

Thank you Hualien Adventures for the route recommendations!

Do take note the downward speed can easily reach 50kmh, and has multiple bands.  Even a crash at 30kmh will be awful, kids should be mindful. Thankfully, cars will give you a wide berth when overtaking.

At the leg of Highway 30, another popular Instagram spot. The road seems to dive into the sea!

If time permits, turn left at this junction for 14km and you will reach King Kong Avenue 金剛大道. No giant apes here, but an open expanse with a famous road flank by green fields. Expect optical illusion of road heading into the sea.

We gave it a miss and headed South :p

You may visit our Taiwan Custom Google map for an idea of our cycling route, and nearby attractions. (“Black icon” means skipped)

The Pacific Ocean will accompany us all the way to Taitung 🙂

Waves all around, and super windy. Fortunately not head-wind, but tough luck for those cycling in the opposite direction.

Temperature was still a warm 27 degrees.

Had a lull period at 烏石鼻, we did not cycle all the way to the end as it was a steep slope. We were already contented with the coastal view from this hut.

Some say Taitung is like mini Hawaii.

Do take note that there are quite a few slopes along Highway 11, especially after ChengGong stretch.

Go slow and easy, we are near the last segment of our cycling journey. What goes up must come down.

The next stop was out of curiosity. While researching for stops, this male genital 男人石 next to 石雨傘風景區 caught my attention.

A good distraction for our ride haha, but locals worship the penis deity.

Literally “Stone umbrella”, 石雨傘 showcase the strong wind and waves. The wind will actually pick up small black pebbles and pelt visitors! (we are not exaggerating)

We can admire how the force of nature is shaping the rock formation.

Although we are cycling along the coast, the mountain range are never far away.

三仙台 SanXianTai Bridge is one of the famous icon along highway 11. We had stopped nearer to 比西里岸部落 Pisirian, hoping to capture some wooden animal decorations.

Image credit IG HowSayLove

..but the wooden deer was no longer available. Are they remove permanently?

We only got a closeup look of these giant concrete structures (photo below), which are used to prevent coastal erosion.

三仙台跨海步橋 Sanxiantai Arch Bridge is one of the famous icons along Highway 11. Those interested can spend 3 to 4 hours hiking to and fro to the island.

The arching bridge looks like a dragon.

Attractions along Highway 11
Attractions along Highway 11

This spot is nice for a siesta moment, enjoy the strong breeze.

Reached 成功豆花 around 1100. This was our halfway point. Cold or hot sweet dessert before we proceed.

Shopping for water and Pocari at local supermarket.

Had wanted to visit “交通部觀光局東部海岸國家風景區“. The “peak”offers a panoramic sea view, but it demands a 100m steep climb. No thanks.

Reach famous 東河包子 for late snack.

You might spot biker gangs too, like these Harleys.

Cross the road for another round of snacks. 7-11 should pay us for all the advertisements :p

We are only 14km away from our hostel WaGaLiGong (in Dulan).

You will spot similar vans from Donghe onwards. Surfers can just place their surfboards on top or motorcycle sidecars.

Reach Dulan around 4pm, you may read about our cool surfing experience in this post 🙂Surfing at Dulan

 

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Stay tune for more adventures and photos.
Do follow our IG Story too #sengkangbabiesTaiwan #SengkangBabies花東

Refer to our Taiwan cycling posts here :
*Google Sheet itinerary

*4D3N Cycling itinerary and summary
-Day 1a-Hualien-Taiwan Railway Online booking
-Day 1b-Hualien-Taiwan Giant bicycle rental and Hualien attractions
-Day 2-Cycling Hualien to Ruisui
-Day 3-Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, route 193 is SO beautiful!
-Day 4-Antong to Donghe (Attractions along Highway 11)
-Day 4/5 – Surfing at Dulan
(wip) Day 5 – Taitung, Kaohsiung, Home

ps.. Do follow our Cycling adventures on Instagram hashtag #Cycling

 

Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, Day 3 along East Rift Valley

Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, Day 3 brought us to beautiful Hualien East Rift Valley 花蓮花東縱谷!

Personally, this was the MOST SCENIC route on our 4D3N Cycling adventure!

We wanted to go slow and soak in the views and fresh air.
We covered less than 50km from Ruisui to Yuli to Antong ( 瑞穗, 玉里, 安通).

* the full video is at end of page

 

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You might want to review our Day 1 journey from Hualien to Ruisui here.  We are still on Hualien East Rift Valley 花蓮花東縱谷, which stretches 150km from Hualien to Taitung.

I suspect this area could be Taiwan’s rice bowl, there are so many padi fields! Although many tourists would only remember Chisang’s famous Mr Brown 池上伯朗大道 . Maybe Bento and 金城武 :p

Imagine yourself on a TRA train, the window view would be Yellow, Green or Golden depending on seasons, and Blues (sky and ocean) So Romantic!

More photos on Taiwan Tourism website or this Instagram Erv_IG account (花東縱谷_官方).

Anyway, we followed GPS and headed South on County Road 193. This road runs parallel to Highway 9 (in Hualien), and actually starts at Xin Cheng 新城.

Internet would recommend the 20km stretch between Ruisui and Yuli as the Best segment.

Bicycle panniers packing
Bicycle panniers packing

On a side note, kids can now pack their panniers faster.

Click on our custom map for the attractions on East Rift Valley

Within 5km from our start, Green Fields greeted us already!

Cycling Ruisui to Yuli
Cycling Ruisui to Yuli

Fresh air!

Courtesy stop at Police Station 花蓮縣政府警察局玉里分局春日派出所 . Refill our water and toilet break. Police stations are pit stops for cyclists 🙂

  

Many small towns will have these cute landmark drawings. Even the bustop has a cute black bear decoration.

Before we proceed further, most of the attractions on this post would be listed in our Google Sheet itinerary. The distance marker are relative to Hualien Train Station.

With a name like 玉里天堂路 (GPS 23.432846, 121.377370 ), we could not want to miss this spot.

Winding road, only green plains and mountains. Let the wind blow against the lush stalks.

台灣稻草田
台灣稻草田

Google will highlight two popular eateries around. 谷悠GuU咖啡民宿 and 米達雞排 (best chicken chop but only for dinner). The former has closed already, too bad for us.

There will be some slopes but gradient is not too steep.

The green fields along us has a calming effect.

赤科山 will be covered by Daylily (金针花) in August September, but would take cyclists a few hours to ascend!

Map below, we are near to Yufu Bikeway 玉富自行車道. From the photo below, the bike route is built over the old train route.

We had one more stopover before exploring further.

Yufu is reputed to be the best cycling track in Taiwan! This bikeways below are exclusive for bicycles, and used to be the old railway track.

This is the bridge (GPS 23.321188, 121.330339) where you can STEP on two tectonic plates! European and Philippines plates.

Instagram spot.

Other attractions near to Yuli. Many would actually stay 2D1N in Yuli to explore nearby attractions.

We had to cross Route 30 (over the mountain) to Highway 11 the next day, thus we missed the following attractions :

關山鎮 (and another famous bikeway, Guangshan 關山環鎮自行車道)
池上伯朗大道 Mr Brown Boulevard
瓦拉米步道 Walami Trail
六十石山金針花海

As we have more time today, we headed to Yuli town for their famous noodles.

傳統美食玉里麵 . Those from Singapore and Malaysia will find the noodles so so compared to our mee pok 🙂

Do go and try yummy Taiwan version.

 

85 degree cafe cake and coffee. We just wanted a cool spot to chill, and the cakes are good too 🙂

Sometimes kids are to engrossed in their phones, they might not realised if their bikes are stolen! (it is locked if we stay longer than 10 minutes)

Exploring more Fun under the sun, and iconic red bridge in Yuli “客城鐵橋 Kecheng Iron Bridge” (GPS 23.318884, 121.311827).

There are a few angles to capture the bridge, hardcore fans will wait for the trains. We had fun playing tourists 🙂

We hop back on to Yufu Bikeway to explore the other end. This bikeway is 10km one way.

Cutting across two old railway stations (Antong 安通 is in photos below).

This is the other “old” station, Dongli.

..and the new Dongli station 東里車站. The train passing by Keching Red Iron bridge will pass this station too.

東里車站
東里車站

Folks will visit the 2nd level for an elevated view of the padi fields.

Relive our Cycling Ruisui to Yuli  🙂

With that, we make our way to the last stop of the day, Antong Hot Spring Hotel. Do take note you have to exit Yufu Bikeway at Antong Old Train Station, refer this Google Map link.

Slope up is quite steep, but Google Map indicate it as flat. I was beginning to doubt our fitness level :p

Fortunately, it is a short 2.4 km.

安通溫泉飯店
安通溫泉飯店

I was there for the hot spring and onsen, but kids found out about the Pokemon Gyms haha.

There are plenty of pools for everyone, and I found it weird that management did not enforce shower cap for visitors :p

Sulphur smell is strong but we got used to it after a while.

We badly need a HOT soak and the hot water soothes our tired legs and shoulders.

Everything met our expectations except two of us got bitten by bed bugs!
Maybe we were unlucky, do take precautions.

Saw a story of how Yuli Noodle became famous.
We had instant noodle in our room 🙂

Be it hiking, cycling or even rafting.  Farms and sightseeing await visitors and explorers.  Hualien East Rift Valley 花蓮花東縱谷 will not disappoint 🙂

More details and photos here -> https://taiwaneverything.cc/2016/05/15/east-rift-valley

Stay tune for more adventures and photos.
Do follow our IG Story too #sengkangbabiesTaiwan #SengkangBabies花東

Refer to our Taiwan cycling posts here :
*Google Sheet itinerary

*4D3N Cycling itinerary and summary
-Day 1a-Hualien-Taiwan Railway Online booking
-Day 1b-Hualien-Taiwan Giant bicycle rental and Hualien attractions
-Day 2-Cycling Hualien to Ruisui
-Day 3-Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, route 193 is SO beautiful!
-Day 4-Antong to Donghe (Attractions along Highway 11)
-Day 4/5 – Surfing at Dulan
(wip) Day 5 – Taitung, Kaohsiung, Home

ps.. Do follow our Cycling adventures on Instagram hashtag #Cycling

If time permits, check out this 3D bear picture on the paddy field “玉里熊讚彩繪田“. Ask around first as the Drawing would be bare after harvesting :p

Updated 09Dec: Our cycling video is up, love the Greens and blues!
(YouTube link)