Taiwan, a small yet captivating land spanning under 500km in length and merely 150km in width. Despite its size, it houses a wealth of wonders - bustling 24-hour cities, East Asia's highest peak, the world's deepest marble gorge, and seamless shifts from tropical beaches to lush jungles.
But there's more beneath the surface. With deep-rooted cultures, from time-honored Chinese traditions to indigenous heritage, Taiwan exudes an irresistible magnetism. In the following paragraphs, we're riding through 8 reasons why a Taiwan bicycle tour should absolutely find its place on your bucket list.
1. Culinary Bliss: A Gastronomic Journey Through Taiwan's Flavors
Hold onto your handlebars, because Taiwan is a paradise for foodies. Beyond the renowned street food, Taiwan is home to the world-famous Din Tai Fung restaurant chain, credited with popularizing the delectable soup dumplings known as Xiao Long Bao.
Taiwan's food culture is more than sustenance; it's a piece of their identity served on a plate. There's a sweet side with sticky treats that'll have you grinning like a kid in a candy store. And then, brace yourself for the bold journey of the aptly named stinky tofu – a dish that's not just food, it's an adventure.
While Taiwan is a powerhouse in industries like electronics and metal products, it's these vibrant night markets that capture the essence of the country. These are the places where people gather, where life unfolds in all its flavors, and where you're invited to be a part of the spectacle.
2. A Panoramic Tapestry: Exploring Taiwan’s Breathtaking Coastal Scenic Routes
Taiwan has its own kaleidoscope of beauty that never ceases to amaze. Lush forests, rice paddies, steep mountains, and rugged coastlines, all woven together to create a tapestry of sights that keep your eyes wide open and your heart racing with wonder.
From the seat of your bicycle, you'll witness the dance between modernity and nature, as urban developments brush shoulders with serene landscapes.
But what's truly unique to Taiwan? It's the way you can pedal alongside the Pacific Ocean on one side while gazing at majestic mountains on the other.
3. Healing Waters: Immerse Yourself in Taiwan's Soothing Hot Springs
Perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan boasts a landscape shaped by the fiery forces of nature, from its towering mountains to its soothing hot springs.
With over 100 to choose from, Taiwan's hot springs are your ticket to relaxation and rejuvenation, a perfect way to wrap up a day of adventure.
From publicly accessible areas to luxurious resorts, these springs offer a soothing dip that transcends the physical – it's a chance to cleanse your body and mind, ready to embrace whatever the next day of adventure brings.
4. The Warmth and Genuineness of Taiwan’s People
Taiwanese people have a unique warmth, a genuineness that awaits travelers with open hearts. From sharing stories at a local tea house to exchanging laughter over a meal, these connections go beyond cultural boundaries.
With a total of 16 officially recognized indigenous tribes, Taiwan's population is like a rich mosaic of cultures, each a distinct gem in its own right.
Every tribe holds its unique identity, language, customs, and social structure, forming a diverse and captivating human landscape.
5. Pedaling for Change: Cycling as a Responsible Form of Tourism
Let's pivot to a topic that's gaining momentum worldwide – sustainability.
As you pedal along, you're not just exploring, you're also leaving a positive impact on the environment and local communities. With each turn of your pedals, you're reducing your carbon footprint and embracing a responsible form of tourism.
Cycling provides the perfect way to experience a country at your own pace, to see real life up close and personal. Taiwan recognizes the importance of this and has declared 2021 the Year of Bicycle Tourism. This means more cycling events, more bike infrastructure, and more opportunities to explore this incredible island in an environmentally conscious way.
6. Varied Terrain for Adventurous Souls
Traveling along Taiwan's coastal Route 11 is a delight for riders and adventurers alike. This scenic roadway offers a diverse and captivating experience.
As you pedal, you'll be treated to breathtaking coastal views, lush greenery, and charming seaside towns. The road itself is in good condition and relatively flat, with enough ups and downs to wake up the legs but not so much as to distract from the views.
For a change from the ocean scenery, you can head just slightly inland over the coastal mountain passes to explore Taiwan’s beautiful East Rift Valley. This lush green belt runs parallel to the coast and is surrounded by impressive mountain ranges, here you’ll find quiet country roads and can immerse yourself in the charm of rural Taiwan.
Our routes are thoughtfully designed to accommodate travelers of different backgrounds and skill levels, ensuring that everyone can savor the beauty of this Taiwan.
7. Safety Measures and Cyclist-Friendly Infrastructure
Taiwan takes cyclist safety seriously, with well-maintained bike lanes and clear traffic regulations. It's a cyclist's paradise, where bilingual road signs guide your way, ensuring that even non-native speakers can navigate the twists and turns of Taiwan's landscapes.
But safety in Taiwan extends beyond the road. The country's commitment to creating a secure environment for travelers is evident everywhere you go.
From friendly locals who are always ready to help to a sense of order that permeates every corner, Taiwan welcomes you with open arms and ensures your journey is not just adventurous, but also worry-free.
8. Embracing Taiwan's Cycling Culture
Dubbed ‘The Bicycle Kingdom,’ cycling in Taiwan isn't just a mode of transportation here; it's a way of life.
From die-hard enthusiasts to casual cruisers, you'll find locals on two wheels everywhere you go. This shared passion creates a bond that transcends language barriers, making it easy to connect and share stories with fellow cyclists.
Taiwan's commitment to this passion echoes in its government's ambitious plan to triple the bike lane network within a decade, a movement fueled by the export of billions of dollars' worth of bikes from the world's largest bike manufacturer, Giant.
Today, dozens of companies manufacture bikes on the island. However, it was less than 20 years ago that the government started promoting efforts from homegrown manufacturers and providing significant investment, giving birth to a bike culture and "cycling fever" that soon spread all over the country.
The hit local movie in 2006, "Island Etude", chronicling a boy's voyage of self-discovery during a solo cycle around Taiwan’s coastline, also contributed to the rapid rise of interest in cycling.
Pedal through the pages of Taiwan's story
A Taiwan bicycle tour offers an array of captivating experiences that truly deserve a spot on your bucket list. Taiwan's unique blend of cultural richness, breathtaking landscapes, and culinary delights ensures an unforgettable adventure.
From cycling through fruit plantations to conquering inland mountains before taking a soothing dip in refreshing hot springs, these Taiwan cycling tours will give you the depth and breadth of the country.