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.
..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.
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.
-6D5N trip, but 4D3N actual cycling
-We cycled 250km from Hualien to Taitung (detours inclusive). If strictly no detour, 180km possible.
Kids are impressive!
-Day 1- 80km Hualien to Ruisui
-Day 2- 55 km Ruisui to Yuli to Antong
-Day 3- 70km Antong to Dulan
-Day 4- 40km Dulan to Taitung
-Every night a new 民宿 minsu, we quickly learn how to efficiently unload/pack our luggage.
All these dreams were spark by Hualien Taitung map below. Encouraging both Taiwanese and tourists to cycle more, see more.
Below map (Credit Hualien Adventures) gave a good overview and has plenty of riding suggestions, pit stops. It was a Great tool for me to plan either highway 9 or 11 🙂
You can cover Taiwan East Coast cycling in 3D2N, or take your own sweet time to enjoy the detours. We took 4D3N to complete our journey but 5D4N best 🙂
Highway 9 runs along the train line. There is a parallel route 193 ( also known as 花東縱谷) as you will cycle in the valleys, flank by green or yellow paddy fields! Highway 11 is winding coastal road, with the roaring Pacific Ocean next to you all the way South!
Do visit their Hualien Adventures bike links for research and tips.
If you know your average speed, you can then estimate your distance and preferred rest locations. Our average speed was a comfortable 20 to 30km on flat road.
-Only bring the essentials
-Ensure easy access for critical stuff, eg first aid, batteries or powerbanks -Balance left and right bags
-Pack essentials on top, for easy access
-Might not need to pack extra drinks and food as convenience stalls everywhere
Over the next few nights, we got very efficient with packing and unloading.
Each touring bike, be it racers or MTB, will have two side bags (panniers). Racers bags are much bigger and waterproof, I do not understand why MTB bikes are 10l only, and not waterproof?
Photo below. Three fully loaded bikes, fortunately we got extra haversacks to load our stuff. The bikes (and maybe the riders) look very serious haha 🙂
We plan our rest points along scenic spots, ideally with shade, drinks and food.
You can actually cycle north from Taitung to Hualien too, but will encounter strong headwinds.
Returning our trusty bikes. Feeling Happy that we complete our Journey and also Sad that our epic adventure has come to an end 🙂
Was really grateful for all the HELP and TIPS we got along the way. Thanks Douglas (he just toured Incheon to Busan ride) and Uncle Soon.
I had a fall near the end of our journey. A blessing in disguise, as we were at the end point, and there was no fracture. This was the only incident we had over our cycling journey. We did not encounter any rain (so lucky!)
I will gladly attempt another Taiwan cycling trip with the kids!
After returning our bikes, we collected our luggage and pick up the train tickets from Taitung to Kaohsiung.
Non-hassle, very easy for tourists.
Do take note Taitung Train station is 6km from Taitung center.
Taxis are readily available, metered rate should be between NTD200 to NTD 300.
More good FOOD 台東 Taitung !
If you have time for only one food in Taitung, go for 藍蜻蜓 Blue Dragonfly.
I might not eat KFC anymore after Dragonfly :p
Yummy 哈拉麵 🙂
Super friendly host and nice ambiance.
More food options are captured in our Google Sheet itinerary.
Checkout our Taitung Eat See Play custom Google Map.
The yellow icons are our cycling path.
I am one PROUD Dad!
Our Taiwan East Coast cycling 花東 took us out of our comfort zone.
We literally had to stretch ourselves, and look out for each other.
I hope the experience will make our family bond stronger.
The kids might not know it, but 250KM is a BIG DEAL.
Hope our Taiwan Cycling experience will leave a big imprint for their future explorations! Go out and explore the WORLD.
This blog post is only a summary of our compressed 4D3N Taiwan East Coast cycling. We will be sharing more photos and stories of our trip.
*Use our Google Sheet Itinerary and GPS for your planning reference (Link).
We hope our experience will encourage more folks to cycle in Taiwan!
*(C) Tips for Taiwan East Coast cycling:
1)No1 tip- Send your luggage from Hualien to Taitung. We only pack minimum for our 4D3N road trip, pack everything else for Taitung pickup
2a) Bike handling Relatively safe for families to explore Taiwan on wheels. Just ensure kids are confident on bikes (gears, brake, balance). Kids need to be comfortable with speeds maybe up to 40kmh, especially when going downhill.
Reflexes are harder to train(eg to be more steady). No 3 will instinctively swerve-hard inwards when cars horn. This might cause him to lose balance.
2b) General Safety It would be good if one knows how to fix bicycle chains, or patch a tyre (or change a tube). Some roads can stretch for a few kilometres without bicycle shops or even convenience stores (especially Highway 11). In worse case, broken bike can cab to the next meeting point.
Kids like to cycle near the kerbs, which is not advisable. This is the area where most pebbles and broken glass gather, risking punctures. Besides, you will have less “allowance” to evade or maneuver during an emergency.
I notice the barriers along some bridges are maybe only 1m in height. A fall would be drastic!
No3 Boon Yee was in the center most of the time, as his bike was the smallest and least visible.
*Kids should know which emergency number to dial, in case the adult is hurt. Bring your first aid kit along and know your basic first aid skills.
3) The best time to cycle might be in October and November, with temperatures between 25 to 28 degrees in the day (summer can reach 30+ degrees). Minimum Typhoon, and paddy harvesting means fields are turning Gold.
4) Appreciate warm Taiwanese hospitality and cycling culture. Bicycle lanes are wide and available on 90% of our route. Cars generally give a wide berth. Singapore has a lot to learn!
We felt safe on the road and passer-bys will SHOUT 加油! We wave to riders on the other side 🙂
5)Use Google Map “Driving” icon to navigate instead of “Walking”.
Walking might bring you to shortcuts, which can be hard to navigate or sometimes non-passable for wheels (especially in the mountains)
I am just curious why Taiwan Google Map does not have Cycling options (unlike New Zealand Mountain-to-Ocean track). Secondly, “Walking” mode cannot go through Tunnel (which is weird).
I need “walking” mode to estimate the elevations and plan my rest points.
6) Ensure your accommodation (minsu) allow you to keep your bikes indoors. It is relatively safe in Taiwan, but we just need to be vigilant and prevent theft
7) Scooters and Cyclists cannot turn left at main junctions. We have to go into the small box, and wait for green light. (YouTube explanation)
8)We could not cover all the scenic spots during this trip. We will cover them in our next trip:
–太魯閣 Taroko Gorge (need one full day to enjoy)
–池上伯朗大道 (Mr Brown, 金城武 and EVA ad wah!)
–知本溫泉 (hot spring)
*9)Do pop by the following links and resources too:
-Taiwan Tourism cycling manual eBook
–https://taiwaneverything.cc (my resource kit)
–WhyWendyWrites (hot air balloon, 綠島 Green and 蘭嶼 Orchid islands)
-Many more blogs (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 for IG, *5 , 6 round island!, 7)
I suspect the best blogs are those in Mandarin (but I struggle to read)
–TwoWheelCruise 2 parts (heavy rain and nice commentary)
-Another nice video (novice too)
-Additional tips and stories (Cycle Taiwan)
-If in season, fruits picking might be fun too (link)
IG Beautiful corners in Taitung! Follow @tintinghi
One of the best videos (credit @MyTaiwanTour), so cinematic 🙂
10) Essentials. Get the reliable wifi router from Klook. Ensure you have enough powerbanks, batteries and MicroSDs for your journey. I brought a notebook along to backup our daily photos and videos. WATERPROOF everything as rain is frequent.
11)Read up on earthquake and Typhoon precautions. Hualien and Taitung has regular earthquakes!
12) If you are attempting the same route, these two links will answer 30% of your questions, be confident. We are not super fit, nor do we cycle regularly. But if you can cover 30 40km every 3 or 4 hours, you should be ok.
Do cover more grounds (maybe 60/40%) before noon as weather will be hotter in the afternoon.
13)If you are not cycling, you can still self-drive and enjoy the sightings. Scooter rental can be under NTD1000 per day! E-bike rentals are available at many places but will need to recharge every 50km.