Cycle road trip
Cycle road trip
Huandao (環島) is the Chinese word meaning ‘around the Island’ . In Taiwan this is a legendary bicycle journey and almost a rite of passage for bicycle touring enthusiasts. Although it’s nice to have the accomplishment of cycling around the Island, this Huandao is all about covering a variety of Taiwan’s finest scenery while enjoying other activities along the way. The route chosen on this trip explores rural areas where Taiwan’s amazing aboriginal culture can be found.
IN THE PARAPHRASED WORDS OF LAO TSU
On the first day of the trip you’ll meet with the rest of the group in Kaohsiung, which is a 2 hour ride on the high speed rail (HSR) from Taipei. If you have rented or purchased bicycles, they will be waiting there for you to take for a test ride! Accommodation is in the centre of town and there will be a dinner and orientation session before setting off early the next morning.
Say goodbye to big city life because you won’t be seeing it for a while. The first day of cycling is a 100km ride out of the city with a dramatic change of scenery along the south west coastline. There will be plenty of time to take breaks and at the end of they day, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy a well deserved rest. If you have a little more energy to spare, Hengchun’s night markets are well worth exploring.
The ride over to the east coast is a very relaxed 20k with great views and a series of dragon fruit farms (one of Taiwan’s strange geological quirks to discover along the way). The afternoon offers the option of going for a surf, hanging out at the beach or the stone garden bar/cafe. In the evening we’ll have a bonfire on the beach, should you have the energy to join us!
Before we head off, you’ll have the opportunity for a last surf before setting out on a spectacular coastal road that weaves between forest and seaside, hopefully passing a heard of Taiwanese water buffalo (水牛) along the way. These roads are as challenging as they are beautiful with a few big inclines and descents, you can always hitch a ride with the support van if you’d like to sit back and enjoy the scenery. En-route there is the option of pausing for a soak in a natural hot spring.
With the wind on your back, the afternoon is a wonderful ride along the Eastern Coast. Before sunset the support van will pick you up and take you to Dulan in time for another surf (if you’ve still got the energy!).
What a day to be alive! The day begins with a stand up paddle or surfing session (or a longer snooze, should you need it). Taiwan’s East Coast is like a mountain range on a beach. From the ocean, you’ll be able to see our day’s starting line. With a quick lift up to the top of the mountain range by the support vehicle, we will descend into Taiwan’s rift valley. We’ve chosen a spectacular route through the mountains where you can expect to see a few Formosan Macaques, rice paddy fields and fantastic cycle paths. This is road biking at its best.
In the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to stop by an Aboriginal village where you can learn about some local traditions, or, if you fancy it, pick some of the naturally sweet ‘eastern beauty’ oolong tea Taiwan is so famous for.
Continuing north through the rift valley, today’s cycle is nice and flat with beautiful roads leading towards Hualien. After arriving at the end of the valley, the support van will pick you up, pass through the city life of Hualien briefly, and head straight to Taroko Gorge. Here you will be able to chill out in one of the hammocks provided or, if you’ve chosen the hotel, enjoy the rooftop pool. All in the spectacular Taroko Gorge setting.
It’s worth a ponder why this place isn’t an official wonder of the world. Taroko Gorge is an epic setting peppered with shrines, bridges, waterfalls and natural hot springs. Today is a mellow day where you’ll have time to explore this marvel or relax in the swimming pool set in the middle of the gorge, if you chose the fancier option. In the afternoon the support van will carry you 2000m up to the cloud forest. From here you’ll be surrounded by vast views and ancient trees, one of which is a gigantic, 3000 year old Lunta Fir tree.
Today’s objective is to descend 2500m through the valley to return near sea level. The ride passes through high alpine communities with many peach, cabbage and watermelon farms. Enjoy weaving round the corners for this otherworldly scenery. The roads are in great condition and there are surprises at every turn.
At the end of this epic ride we will be staying at a campsite near an Aboriginal village where you’ll be able to take a well deserved soak in a hot spring river. The bicycle tour concludes with a bonfire celebration at the campsite.
On the final day of the journey you’ll see some of Taiwan’s finest scenery before reaching Taipei. Depending on the preferences of the group the morning could begin with a bath in a river hot spring or a surf on the east coast before packing up camp and jumping in the support vehicle to skip the hustle and bustle of Yilan town. Today’s ride will start with a view of turtle island before entering into the 3km long bicycle tunnel originally built during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.
After lunch in the famous historical town of Pingxi the road weaves its way between picturesque lily ponds and rice paddy fields for a couple of hours before reaching Taipei. You’ll be back in time for an evening flight should you have one booked, otherwise join the group for a ride in a glass bottomed gondola to Maokong where we will have a final farewell dinner with stunning views overlooking Taipei.
Booking Deposit NT$5,000
*Additional hotel booking / upgrade options available after sign up.
*Available as a custom tour on demand
Ready to cycle taiwan?
During the trip you will have the option of upgrading your accommodation options (such as hotels and campsites). Bike rentals are included, additionally we can help suggest and make bike purchases ready for the journey. The trip will include van support to carry baggage and as a place to rest should you require it.
NT$5000 deposit must be made two months prior to the trip to confirm your place, numbers on each tour are limited 25 participants. Discounts for group sign ups available, please enquire.
When you have filed out the form below you will be sent a confirmation email with a request for NT$ 8,000 deposit. Once payment has been made your place on the tour is confirmed. The final instalment should be made one month in advance of the trip.
In the rare case that Imagine-Taiwan must cancel a trip due to low enrolment, we will do so at least 45 days prior to departure. If we cancel fewer than 45 days prior to departure, we will issue you a full refund plus a NT$ 4,000 credit toward any of our other tours within a calendar year.
Exceptions to our cancellation policy can not be made for any reason, including weather, civil unrest, natural disasters or personal, family and medical emergencies. In all cases, we will not be responsible for any personal expenses incurred such as airline tickets, hotels or car rentals. Imagine-Taiwan reserves the right to make route and lodging modifications as needed.
No refunds will be made for meals, services or lodging paid for but not used.