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Five Hidden Highlights of Taiwan

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Five Hidden Highlights of Taiwan

Tot and SimonBy Tot and Simon   Posted 27th Dec 2021

For a country slightly larger than Belgium, Taiwan has a lot to offer, so much so that it was quite a (fun) challenge selecting just 5 lesser-known highlights to list here. From illuminating wildlife displays, to secret beaches, and our favorite remote mountain road which winds down to the scenic coast; Taiwan has it all… and then some! With surprises around every corner, it’s been one of our favorite destinations for years and here are a few unique reasons why...

Firefly Frenzy

Witness a firefly frenzy

Taiwan’s vast topographical variety means that the magical glow of fireflies can be enjoyed at different elevations year-round. Some of the most impressive firefly displays occur in the East Rift Valley around March and April, and can be witnessed on all our bike tours in Taiwan.

Cycling Provincial Highway 23

Taiwan Highlights: riding highway 23

Taiwan has hundreds of remote mountain roads, but those across the Coastal Mountain Range are some of the best, and Provincial Highway 23 is our favorite. Starting from the East Rift Valley we ride through the rice terraces of the foothills, and into the low jungly mountains, passing time-old temples and often spotting wildlife. After a long, but achievable, ascent we finally reach the highest pass and then it’s a wonderful sweeping downhill through badlands topography to the coast at Donghe.

Our Bike Taiwan route includes Provincial Highway 23, and the Taiwan E-Bike tour rides the road in reverse, going from the coast to the Rift Valley.

SUP along the Donghe River Gorge

Donghe River by SUP

Stand-up paddleboards, or SUP's for short, are a great way to have fun on the water and give you a unique vantage point for viewing what’s down under the water and out on the horizon. Paddling the calm waters of the emerald green Donghe river into a chasm of gigantic white boulders at sunrise is a magical experience that’s (you guessed it) included in both our Bike Taiwan and Self-Guided itineraries.

Enjoying a Traditional Indigenous Meal

Enjoying a traditional indigenous meal

Food can be a highlight of any journey, and Taiwan has so much culinary diversity it’s difficult to choose a favorite, but the island’s little-known indigenous cuisine is a surprising contender - healthy, delicious, organic tropical Pacific food quite unlike anything else you’ll taste. Millet, quinoa, red rice, wild boar, and countless unique greens feature in the country's indigenous cuisine, and all our trips make sure to include at least one genuine indigenous meal, if not more!

Secret Beaches

Taiwan Highlights: Secret beaches

Keep this a secret! Taiwan has endless untouched beaches, from the gentle white sand coves of the south, to the rugged coastline of the East Coast, where the Pacific crashes into black sand, against a backdrop of coconut palms and steep verdant mountains. There are “secret” beaches without road access, dotted around the island, and when cycling the coast you'll have the opportunity to find your own untouched slice of Pacific paradise.

Cycle Taiwan

If you are interested in discovering some of Taiwan's hidden highlights and more by bike but would like the local insight of an expert guide and the convenience of a fully supported tour, take a look at our Bike Taiwan guided tour, an 8-day exploration of the island and its eastern coast, or our latest E-bike Tour of Taiwan. If you are looking for a more independent bike touring experience, but with the convenience of luggage transfers, GPS guidance, and our updated Grasshopper touring app (your pocket-sized guide), then check out our East Taiwan Self-Guided Cycle Tour and discover this unique island at your pace.

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