This trip is designed to feature the different cycling experiences one can get enjoy while in Taiwan. The 3-day ride starts in Yilan, the perfect place to slow down and enjoy nature at its best. Yilan is also a county that’s almost as perfect for cycling as one could ask for.
Our first day ride journey commenced from Dong Shan Railway Station into the beautiful Yilan countryside. We cycled through the tranquility of Dong Shan River Park to Luo Dong Sports Park connected with designated cycling path. We cycled passed many paddy fields and farms while making stops for some pictures.
We ended the first day’s ride in King Car Whisky Distillery which is one of the highlights of this trip. It is the first local company devoted in brewing Taiwan whiskey. The most important ingredient, water, is why having the distillery built in Yi Lan. The water sourced from Syue Mountain and Central Mountain, is definitely the top choice for brewing whiskey. We did a self-touring of the distillery and ended with a whisky tasting session. I couldn’t resist a whisky ice-cream and it really taste good.
Before we reached our hotel, we made a stop Jimmy Park. It’s a little space near to Yilan Railway Station to showcase the works of Jimmy Liao, a Taiwanese acclaimed illustrator and picture book writer. His cartoon drawings are blown up into life-sized 3D forms statues.
The famous Fu Long Old Cao Ling tunnel was the start of day 2 ride. It was built during the Japanese Occupation as part of a railway project to ease traffic difficulties between Yi Lan and the greater Taipei area. When the new Cao Ling tunnel is built to support the heavier traffic, the government agency spent years of effort to turn the Old Cao Lling Tunnel into a tourist biking trail featuring the local history and culture. The tunnel also serves as an open-air railway museum. Not only the biking path looks like a railway track, the tunnel lights with oil lampshades are also of a retro-style. It was real and nostalgic!
As we exited from the other side of the tunnel, Taiwan’s north eastern coastline greeted us with its clashing waves. We cycled along the undulating coastal route while admiring the views of the Pacific Ocean to Jin Gua Shi and Ying Yang Sea via Long Men Yan Liao biking path. Lunch was at one of those “lunchbox” takeaway shops which used to be very popular where people will pack away lunch boxes to eat onboard the train journeys.
As the name suggests, Jin Gua Shi is a gold and copper mining area in the earlier days. The area boasts exceptionally beautiful scenery as well as an abundance of historical relics from the mining days. As we rode along the coast, we were supposed to see a bay where the sea is a mix of yellow and blue. This is Yin Yang Sea. It was initially believed that the sea color was the result of pollution from the mining activities. Although the mining company has stopped its activities more than 10 years ago, Yin Yang Sea still exists today. Fortunately we did not get to see Yin Yang Sea because it was raining in the afternoon.
At one of the rest stops, we had an option to ride or hike up to Sandiaojiao Lighthouse. We chose the latter as the ride up the winding road is supposed to be steep. I love visiting lighthouses as I like the feeling to be as close to the extreme point of the land.
Today’s ride was finished at the foot of Jiufen and we took the support vehicle up to the mountain village and rewarded ourselves with the throngs of local delicacies there.
We were back into the city after spending 2 days in the countryside. The last day brought us from Bitan to Tamsui riding leisurely through suburbs on bike paths fully and generally flat terrain. It is also the day where we see more people as we rode closer and closer to the city. More traffic can be heard and views of concrete taken over from nature as we spend the journey into Taipei City.
The last night was spent in Taipei so that we can catch up on some last minute shopping. The good thing about cycling holidays is that you hardly get to spend any money which I am pretty happy about it. Instead spending more time in the often less visited places and appreciating the surroundings. We took on this trip a little too early in Spring and encountered rain on 2 out of 3 days due to the changing season. We’ll take note of this and better plan for future trips.
There will be another cycling trip in Taiwan taking place in October during Autumn covering the east coast of Taiwan, known to be picturesque facing the deep blue Pacific Ocean. Click here for more details >>> https://goo.gl/JqXfn3