Day 1b – Taiwan Giant bicycle rental and Hualien attractions

Taiwan Giant bicycle rental is straightforward and easy.
We will share the steps in this post.

Scenic 花蓮 Hualien!

The first impression when I reach Hualien is the mountain ranges all around. Maybe this is the feature for Taiwan East Coast, townships are always squeezed between mountain and sea 🙂

October temperature is starting to turn cold (nearer to Autumn) and rain is minimum. We were very lucky to get 25-28  degrees during our rides. (avoid cycling between June to Sep 30+ degrees!)

Hualien Activities

This is part 2 of our Hualien activities, read the first part here. Highlights:
-Arrive Hualien and lunch
-Checkin to minsu, 東之戀民宿 (8 min walk  from Train Station)
-Bike collection (Giant)
-Warmup ride to Qi Xin Tan beach
-Back to minsu after 20km
-Pack and send our luggage to Taitung (train service)
-Night Market dinner

Hualien Taitung Itinerary

Before we share more about 捷安特 Giant Bicycle rental, let us share our Google Sheet itinerary first. We have added the GPS and proximity of attractions, F&B near to train station.

Hualien itinerary recommendation
Hualien itinerary recommendation

Our Google Sheet itinerary is at this link.

Due to time limitation, we would need to visit gorgeous Taroko Gorge next time. Trip requires a 2 hour transfer from Hualien City, full-day trip recommended.

錐麓古道 Zhuilu trail sounds interesting.

Hualien is a good base to explore nearby attractions too.

清水斷崖 admire the sheer cliff drops! (and Pacific Ocean blues)
翡翠谷 Emerald Valley (need to walk 10 minutes in), 鯉魚潭 Liyu Lake
雲山水生態農莊 anyone?

Taiwan Giant bicycle rental

The first step to cycling would be to rent a bike.
捷安特 Giant Hualien is one popular option (next to Hualien Train station).

Giant Bicycle Hualien
Giant Bicycle Hualien

Three Easy steps to book your bikes

Step 1) Contact 捷安特花蓮站 on Facebook or
*Bicycle booking details and FAQ ( link), Google (map).

Step 2) Tell them your Start and End point, and cycling dates

Step 3) Choose your bicycles (mountain bikes or racers). Electric bikes available too but limited by battery life (every 50km need recharge)

Giant accept credit card payment, and you only pay after bicycle collection.

Bicycle rates are only SGD $15 to $20 per day!

Bikes will come with panniers, and lights (for tunnels).
We would recommend your own GoPro.

We always target to reach our destination before 5pm. Sun sets around 5.30pm and it gets dark around 6pm.

As we did not wear cycling shorts, INVEST in a thick cushion seat!
Your bum will Thank you.

Helmet is most important safety gear.
Not inclusive in Giant package, rental fee is NTD 100.

Other protection would be gloves, sunglass, arm-sleeve and sun tan.
*Take note Giants shops are closed on Thursday.

Taiwan Giant bicycle rental
Taiwan Giant bicycle rental

What to pack for your cycling trip?

Image below is a reference, every family would have different needs. Packing and unloading will become easier after a few tries.

Multi day cycling packing list
Multi day cycling packing list

Only heavy thing we had was our notebook, we need to backup our photos.

Anything extra will be sent to destination. Taiwan train services offer this service all around Taiwan. And it is very affordable too NTD 50 (one piece SGD 2.50 only).

*This is a lifesaver service, take note “delivery office” close at 8pm.
** Do waterproof your items, and get a raincoat for yourself. Rain is quite common in Taiwan, but we were lucky

Before we set off, we recommend Taiwan Tourism’s cycling ebook too.

Warmup Cycling around Hualien

After collecting and equipping our bikes. We went for a short 20km warmup round.

We have highlighted these spots in our 4D3N Cycling Summary post, 七星潭, 四八高地 and 奇萊鼻燈塔.

Beautiful and scenic coastal area. Just take note there are a lot of dogs in Taiwan (both pets and wild). Most only bark :p

Hualien Night Market

Dinner at 花蓮東大門夜市 Dongdamen Night Market.

No 3 Yee and his 滷肉饭. I could count the number of meat pieces! Yee loves his rice but I found it miserable :p

炸蛋蔥油餅 (4/5) (stall in market)
Best! Super oily, but the egg will melt into the dough.
Google Map tells us there are two other authentic stalls 🙂

蔣家官財板 (4.5/5)
Imagine French toast, with 20 choices of ingredients!
Choose the correct stall, there are three in this night market!

Hualien best food
Hualien best food

Accommodation, booking dilemma

Homestay Hualien
Our Hualien Homestay

Comfortable bed, friendly host. We set off early at 0700 the next day. We could keep our bicycles in the hall.

The dilemna with a daily change of minsu (homestay), on a cycling tour. How do we estimate the mileage and plan for next rest point? There are plenty of dynamic factors, when we are on the road 6 to 8 hours a day.

For example. Starting at 花蓮 Hualien (Highway 9), should we rest at :
-光復 Guangfu Town-50km. Or stretch it to ..
-瑞穗 Ruisui-70km
-玉里 Yuli-92km

Do we have the Stamina? If we are over-ambitious and book too far away, we might rush through our journey.  This can be dangerous as we might lose concentration, and also opportunities to discover local attractions.

What happens if rain or punctures delay our trip?
Where/when do we want to take our rest and meals?
What happens if we are forced to cancel our minsu (lose the deposit?)

Very often, we could only confirm our stay 24 (or even 4 hours) before we reach. Since Oct is not peak-season, we had plenty of options (plan A, B, C etc).

Which town has more amenities and food? In above example, Yuli and Ruisui confirm more happening than Guangfu 🙂


Our short stay did not do justice to Hualien. We would like to come back again and spend more time exploring the mountains.

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
… (wip)Day 2-Hualien to Ruisui
… (wip)Day 3-Ruisui to Yuli (So beautiful!)
-Day 4 – Surfing at Dulan


ps.. We enjoyed some discounts from our Giant bicycle rentals

Day 1a – Taiwan Railway Online booking and journey to Hualien

Taiwan Railway Online booking can be a great help to secure your train tickets earlier. Train options are seamless and affordable in Taiwan.

Before we proceed further, do drop by our 4D3N Hualien Taitung itinerary and summary at this link.
Summary of our journey:
-6D5N trip
-Fly to Taoyuan, train to Hualien. Rest one day then cycle
-4d3n cycle Hualien to Taitung, slow and easy
-Each day cover 50 to 80km (20 to 30kmh)
-Taitung train to Kaohsiung then fly home


It was logical for us to book our train to Hualien. Fortunately, friends warned us that Hualien tickets always sold out.

You need to book your ideal tickets online, 2 weeks beforehand.

This blog post will share how you can purchase your train tickets online. We are only sharing the Taipei-Hualien track 🙂

1. Visit 台铁 Taiwan Railways

Figure 1

Railway Taiwan website
Railway Taiwan website

The first question:
– 1a) Are you taking the train direct from 桃園 Taoyuan to 花蓮 Hualien?
– 1b) or Taoyuan to 台北 Taipei (main) then Hualien?

Google search seems to flavour 1b)
Maybe Taipei station has more train (and bus combo) options?

2. From Figure 1, shortlist your time slots first. Indicate your Schedule date and time, Departure and Arrival station.

All train services would be listed. Identify your preferred slots.

Take into consideration:

-2a) MRT from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Main (purple line)  is 90 minutes. Frequency every 15 minutes, and ticket NTD 450 (SGD 20).
(Do cater extra time for luggage and customs too)

-2b) You need to collect your Hualien train tickets 30 minutes beforehand

*Make use of Google Map “Schedule Explorer” to find out train frequency

-2c) Train timing =Departure time. This means train will ARRIVE at station maybe 5 minutes beforehand. Do not be LATE as trains are seldom late :p

-2d) Kids under 150cm 50% discount

-2e) Image below. You can actually roll your bikes into selected cabins

3. Hualien train tickets are available for online booking 2 weeks beforehand. Refer Figure 1 again, but click on bottom-left “Booking Service” to book your tickets.

Once fields updated, click on “Inquiry“.

3a)At this point, we only need the passport for one person ( I need not key in the passport details for the boys).

Taiwan Railway Online booking
Taiwan Railway Online booking

3b)Choose your tickets and quantity, and proceed to book.
Example, adult and child tickets are NTD 440 (SGD 20) and NTD 220 respectively (for the fastest train).

3c)Take note we cannot choose our seats. But you should ensure seats are in same Car (ie cabin).

3d)Payment by credit card. Train tickets are only collected once you reach Taiwan.

4. You can also book through Taiwan railway mobile app. This app will send notification if train is late.

5. The fastest way from Taoyuan to Hualien is actually taking bus/train combo. Your bus will drop you at 羅東 Luodong or 宜蘭 Yilan, where you connect via a train.

*Detail tips here ->

**However Google Map indicate this combo is only available after 0930(?)

5a)Take note Mountainous road might be challenging for kids (vomit)

We hope above Taiwan Railway Online booking tips would be useful for your next trip.

No1 tip. We still recommend booking your Hualien train tickets 2 weeks in advance 🙂


Day 1 – Fly in from Singapore to Taoyuan

Train tickets settled, we can safely fly to Taiwan to start our journey.
But first, burgers and family at Jewel Changi Airport.

Shake Shack Burgers (rated 4/5) are good and delightful but maybe overrated. Business (at Jewel Changi) was good even around 10pm!

We reach Taiwan 0550, and quickly grab our MRT to Taipei Main station.

Collected Hualien train tickets before McDonald breakfast (fast food again!).Hualien Train Tickets

Hualien Train Tickets

Taipei main station
Taipei main station

Since we were early, visited 臺北府城北門 North Gate.

Be punctual and arrive early.
Taipei main station is huge! After checkin, try to find the toilets haha.
(there are toilets on the trains)

Confirm your train platform and just wait for train, stand at the designated “Car”.

Time 0920, Train 278.

Time to catchup on our beauty rest. It will be a 2 hours ride.

宜兰 Yilan is always beautiful. All the paddy ponds reflections, and of course hot springs.

Do take note different trains will stop at different stations. Express trains will have lesser stations, thus faster. 

Endless mountain ranges.

Reached Hualien before lunch.

Lunch and snacks before we checkin to our hotel.

出外人 – 平價牛排 & 日式小火鍋 (rated 3.75/5)
Decent hotplates and meals at affordable price.

花蓮99黃金奶油酥條-後站門市 (rated 4/5)
Kids love this milk snack. Quite addictive.

tourism office Hualien
tourism office Hualien

If you have tourists questions or need maps, drop by 花蓮縣旅遊服務中心.

We would love to cover more of Taiwan on trains 🙂
It feels so nostalgic and romantic.

Train travel allow me to relax and catchup on my books or movies.
The long period on the train is where I really relax, and worry less about the kids :0

Our hotel for the night, 東之戀民宿 (

homestay Hualien
homestay Hualien

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
… (wip)Day 2-Hualien to Ruisui
… (wip)Day 3-Ruisui to Yuli (So beautiful!)
-Day 4 – Surfing at Dulan