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

You may reference our Taiwan cycling posts at this tag SengkangBabies花東 : *Google Sheet itinerary (GPS inclusive)

*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

 

Day 4 – Taiwan Surfing at Dulan 都蘭

冲浪 Surfing at Dulan 都蘭 (Donghe town 東河, Taitung) was super cool! The waves crafted plenty of memories and FUN for us.

The highlight for our latest Taiwan trip was the amazing 250km biking trip from 花蓮 Hualien to 台東 Taitung.

But if you ask the kids, their favourite activity was Surfing at 都蘭 (Dulan)!

Repeat after me, Du 1 Lan2. It is not the Hokkien expletive :p

YouTube Video:Cool Surfing at Dulan Donghe 🙂

You can checkout WaGaLiGong’s expert videos too.

The kids did not even know that Surf was up, as it was meant as a surprise. Secondly, wind and wave conditions are never predictable. Infact, our surf was only confirmed on the morning itself.

金樽遊憩區
金樽遊憩區

Surfs and strong waves all along the East Coast (Highway 11). The first target when we reach Dulan was to 吃冰 (literally Eat Ice).

台澢號  Taitung Tea House is the only shop to offer the cool Surfing dessert. Hey, their fish & chips rocks too 🙂

Dulan famous dessert
Dulan famous dessert

Friendly cafe, offering a resting stop for travellers. At this point, we had already cycled 200km from Hualien! (4D3N itinerary here)

Checkin to our Hostel, WaGaLiGong.
Weird name, maybe direct translation from dialect 我跟你讲 ?

哇軋力共
哇軋力共

WaGaLiGong is managed by Mark (our surf coach too) and partner. He used to teach in South Africa but somehow found Surf and Love in Taiwan 🙂

Dulan surf house
Dulan surf house

WaGaLiGong provides both shelter and surf classes. Travellers mingle to share their life journey.

Quaint and unique architecture. The interior looks totally different from the quiet streets. I would say Hippy too.

You can learn SUP (Standup paddling), and many more water sports too.

If you have an opportunity, ask the locals about the story behind bus-on-the-roof.

Dulan is actually a little known town. The main highlight in this town could be ex Hualien Sugar Factory. It is now filled with music and arts, as in many 文創(Cultural) establishments.

Maybe you can explore 都蘭鼻 (more cliffs and shore).

Dinner was next door eatery. Simple fare, but delicious 🙂
Be prepared to wait as the chefs really put in a lot of passion in their food.

Comfortable rest before we embark on the next adventure. 

Day 5 6am, we were ready for our surf class.

But the waves and wind was a bit strong for newbies Surfing at Dulan.

In the end, we proceeded as we did not want to miss the opportunity of another Fun adventure.

Class proper and safety instructions first.

Mark shared why surfers encounter more dangers as they always search for new spots and breaks. We need to understand the sea condition and currents (especially rip tides) before we surf.

*If you encounter a rip tide, do not try to swim against the current towards shore. Instead, swim left or right (and get out of the rip)

** Try to be calm during any emergency. Panic will make things worse.
If in doubt, just float and tread water, catch your breath and energy and THINK.  (would be tough to remember when we are struggling in the water)

Hey, we learn about geography and wind too.

Example, wind will generate waves. Reef,sandbank, river mouth(eg donghe) will create a bump for the surf.

The wind should be far from shore, just push the waves towards surfers. If the wind is near shore, then the waves would be unpredictable.

Look at the endless Pacific Ocean waves. Intimidating and Exhausting!

Very often, we move forward two steps only to fall back one step.

The board is hard to wield and the wind kept blowing our board around. But Kids never GAVE UP!

My arms and core was weakened after 45minutes.
Found an excuse to be the camera man haha.

Kids nailed their “training” session, despite the less than optimal wave conditions (too windy and choppy)

Three steps to remember: Our coach will shout these commands 1,2,3 to us.
1-Prone (lift your chest up)
2-Squat (one leg lift infront between hands)
3-Stand (and hopefully balance)

Surfing at Dulan
Surfing at Dulan

Verdict: Surfing the waves is more Fun than Surfing internet!

Kids pickup a new skill. They exhibited their fearless and adventurous attitude. We were all tired but they kept running back into the waves!

We got bruises, cuts, even our nipples and chest got abrasion rash from the board too! Yet the kids proclaimed their Love for SURFING!

I was just PROUD that the kids took up a challenge and owned the Moment.

Our coach Mark (L) and Steve(R).

台湾都蘭冲浪
台湾都蘭冲浪

After a tiring morning, we enjoyed some chill breakfast moment at 逗留豆遊.
Google Map has give them a Good review.

Niche cafe with two friendly bosses. But they emphasised that the real boss is their 4-legged mascot 🙂

By the way, we are publishing Surfing at Dulan post first, because a huge Surf event is coming up!

台湾台东国际冲浪赛 (Taiwan Open Surfing) surfs from 23Nov to 07Dec website) and many international folks will be barreling at Donghe.

WaGaLiGong surf class starts from NTD 1400 (2 pax) to NTD 1200 (4 pax, about $50Sgd). I would say the money was well spent as it bought us unforgettable memories in Dulan!

Experience is priceless 🙂

We would like to shout Thank You to team WaGaLiGong for the surfing adventure! Mark is recommending that we should extend our Surf class to a week next time :p

Do contact WaGaLiGong :
-Phone +886 89 530 373
-Email wagaligongdulan@gmail.com
-Social media Facebook/Instagram
-Website http://www.wagaligongtaiwan.com

Let’s Go! On to the last stage of our cycling milestone.
Only 9km to Taitung town, and 30 km before we end our 花東 cycling .

Goodbye 都蘭 Dulan, Hello 台東 Taitung!

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

You may reference our Taiwan cycling posts at this tag SengkangBabies花東 : *Google Sheet itinerary (GPS inclusive)

*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

We enjoyed some discounts from WaGaLiGong. The surfing photos credit WaGaLiGong.