Less than 500km long and only 150km wide, Taiwan is the definition of small but beautiful. This tear-drop shaped gem in the Pacific is packed with surprises encompassing everything from neon-clad 24-hour cities to East Asia’s highest mountain, the world’s deepest marble gorge, and tropical beaches & jungles. In addition to the sights, it's home to intact Chinese and indigenous cultures, delicious and wonderfully diverse cuisine, and some of the friendliest and most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.
For riders, a tour in Taiwan has always offered the chance to cycle spectacular roads with so little traffic it seems they were built exclusively for cyclists. And then to end your ride in comfort, a hearty bowl of noodles and a soothing hot spring.
Sound good? Well now, after a year like 2020, there are even more reasons to cycle Taiwan in 2021.
1. The Year of Bicycle Tourism
As environmental sustainability and green issues move closer to the front of everyone’s minds, cycling is the perfect way to experience a country. On two wheels you can enjoy a pace that affords the chance to see real life up close and personal. Cycling as an activity and as a responsible form of tourism also remains safe in terms of social distancing. In response to this, the Taiwan Tourist Bureau has designated 2021 as the Year of Bicycle Tourism. This means there will be even more cycling events than normal, and more bike infrastructure developed.
2. Taiwan's Safety
Taiwan remains one of the safest countries in the world in terms of Covid-19. Whilst being less than 200 miles from the outbreak's epicentre of Wuhan, it has recorded less than 1,000 cases. It had only 1 domestic case since April 2020 and just 7 deaths. The emergence of SARS in 2002 was an early warning for Covid. It predisposed both the government and the Taiwanese people to minimize the impact of a highly contagious respiratory disease. Aside from a pre-emptive school closure back in February 2020, there have been no lockdowns. Life on the island has continued very much as normal.
3. Convenient Cycling Routes
Recent improvements in the transport systems have made it quicker to get around this small but incredibly rugged island. As a fringe benefit, this has left some spectacular roads as perfect cycling routes. A new tunnel through the southern mountains has made the final day of our Bike Taiwan ride, which was already a cracker, even better.
4. Ready for Guests
Domestic tourism has boomed in Taiwan’s Covid-free environment after a year of no international visitors. However, once it is deemed safe to open up, the incredibly friendly and helpful people of this island will be keener than ever to welcome people from around the globe.
5. Top Quality Bike Manufacturing
No lockdowns have meant no factory closures and so Taiwan has continued making bikes throughout the pandemic. The island remains one of the world’s biggest quality bicycle manufacturers, home to Giant amongst others. Picking up a bike during your time here can offer both great choice and value.
6. Tasty and Nutritious Cycling Snacks
Even better — cycling snacks! In the absence of cycling tours with overseas guests, the Taiwan team used this unprecedented opportunity to fulfil a life goal. We set up “Bamboo Bakery” with a focus on local, healthy, natural ingredients. Going forward, riders on our 2021 tours will benefit from even more delicious and nutritious cycling snacks, including our sell-out Energy Bites.
This is just a handful of reasons to cycle Taiwan in 2021, if you'd like to know more check out article on why we love riding in Taiwan, and maybe when you consider active travel this year it will be on the list! Also check out our bike tours in Taiwan for more ideas on what that could look like for you. Take care and we hope to see you on the trail soon.