Explore Tropical Southern Taiwan by Bicycle
A stunningly diverse ride through Taiwan’s indigenous heartlands, from highland hot springs to the beautiful beaches of Kenting. This compact cycle tour explores some of the best southern Taiwan has to offer and is the perfect trip for those after a quick getaway with a mixture of active adventure and relaxation.
This bike tour runs from Kaohsiung and returns.

Ride Kaohsiung to Kenting Cycle Tour map

Taiwan’s deep south is a land of banana palms, pineapple fields and fringing coral reefs. Away from the coast huge mountains dominate the landscape and are home to a number of indigenous Taiwanese communities, including the Rukai and Paiwan, many of whom continue to live a traditional existence (albeit with a few modern twists), just a stone’s throw from the bright lights of Kaohsiung. Little known outside of Taiwan, the island’s indigenous communities have been thriving here for nearly four thousand years, and offer an unexpected view of the island, which provides the perfect antidote to city life.

Our ride presents an ever-changing pastiche of the rich Taiwanese countryside, mango orchards, papaya and dragon fruit plantations, Buddhist temples, Christian churches, and maybe even the odd monkey or snake. Like the rest of Taiwan, the south is blessed with numerous hot springs which are perfect to soothe aching muscles after a day in the saddle. The ride ends in Kenting, Taiwan’s tropical playground, where there are endless activities on offer including hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and surfing.

The distances and predominantly downhill nature of the ride makes it readily achievable for most riders of reasonable fitness. Our first day in the mountains around Baolai allows riders to get a feel for their bikes and the gears on traffic-free roads at altitudes of 500-1000m. The next couple of days are predominantly downhill, whilst the longest day’s riding, from Santimen to Sizhongxi is almost entirely flat.

Tour details

$1550 USD

5 days duration

230 km distance

Difficulty: Moderate

Deposit payment: $600 USD
Single room option: $450 USD
Tour code: TSCF18

Trip Features & Tour Inclusions

What makes Grasshopper so special?
Find out how your next bike tour goes the extra mile.
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Group Giant tour bike Taiwan - Taroko Gorge

Smooth Ride

Quality, well maintained Giant bikes in a full range of sizes are included in the price of your tour. These bikes are fitted-out to suit the conditions with hybrid tyres for smooth touring performance, a wide gear range to help you on any climbs and removable mudguards in case we encounter wet conditions. We also provide you with a helmet and bike pouch.

Comfortable Bed, Quality Hotel, Bike Tour

Comfy Beds

In the larger cities and established tourist centres we use stylish and comfortable hotels and resorts. In the smaller destinations we use simple hotels with air-conditioning and private bathroom, however in the truly off-the-beaten-track locations we will stay in guesthouses with shared facilities. We stay here because the ride is worth it! Find out more about the hotels we use on tour in Taiwan.

Group tour Specialist Guides

Expert Guide

Experienced English / Mandarin speaking leaders will host you on this trip - they are well spoken, very well informed, and always charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use a mix of local & foreign leaders all who have a passion for the country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of Taiwan and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.

Taiwan Bike tour Support van

Support Car

An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.

Local food banquet Taiwan

Great Meals

The island’s unique cultural and geographic diversity means that mealtimes are always a culinary adventure in Taiwan. The Pacifc’s rich bounty gives ample opportunity to sample super-fresh seafood, which the Japanese influence has nurtured into a love for sushi, whilst on terra firma the East Rift Valley is home to some of the island’s finest tropical fruit orchards producing dragonfruit, grapefruit, mangoes, oranges, papaya, pomelos and pineapples to name but a few. In the cities everything is available around the clock, but in remote areas meals typically consist of two or three meat and fish dishes, two or three vegetable dishes, plus staples of rice or noodles, with fruit to finish. Meat dishes are usually chicken or pork, but beef, lamb, boar and other more exotic choices are sometimes on offer. Beer is available almost everywhere, but good wine is more difficult to find. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.

Bike Tour Snacks tropical fruit

Snacking

Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.

Taiwan bike tour jersey kids and adults

Bonus Kit

A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home.

Small group cycling tours

2 to 14

This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.

single bike riders on tour

Singles

There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is an optional upgrade that you can book.

Bangkok Tour Guide and Shop Team Grasshopper Adventures

100% Hopper

This tour is 100% operated by Grasshopper Adventures. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our local fleet. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Grasshopper quality.


Tour Itinerary

for Ride Kaohsiung to Kenting

1

Cycle to Baolai

20-30km cycling

This morning we’ll meet in central Kaohsiung, and transfer out of the city to the massive complex of Foguangshan Monastery, home to one of the world’s biggest Buddhist statues. We’ll have the opportunity to chat with some of the nuns and monks and possibly try our hand at calligraphy or meditation.

After a chance to soak up the surroundings we’ll enjoy a local meal before continuing to the indigenous mountain village of Baolai. On arrival we’ll have a bike fitting and then take a short but steep ride further into the mountains. In the evening we’ll have a full briefing to the ride ahead and a dinner of local specialties. After dinner there will be time to enjoy the private hot springs in your room.
Meals: BLD

2

Cycle to Santimen

60km cycling

Our ride today follows the course of the Laonong River, one of the island’s best whitewater rafting rivers, with the huge Southern Mountains ominous and ever-present to the left. We’ll get great views of the 18 Arhats (aka “Little Guilin”) as we move along the valley, and if it gets too hot there’s the chance to take a dip in a refreshing mountain pool. Ride’s end is a lovely resort near the village of Santimen, a living showcase of indigenous Paiwan and Rukai culture.
Meals: BLD

3

Cycle to Sizhongxi

90km cycling

Our longest day’s ride is also the flattest as we continue south on a lovely little road which skirts the mountains, eventually joining the main coastal route to the tropical south. Towards the end of the day we’ll bear inland to the Paiwan village of Sizhongxi where yet more soothing hot springs await. In the evening we’ll head out for a traditional indigenous meal.
Meals: BLD

4

Cycle to Kenting

50km cycling

Our final day’s ride is a cracker, crossing the spine of the Hengchun Peninsula to emerge on the rugged Pacific East Coast. From here we’ll make our way to the island’s southernmost point, and then it’s just a short ride to beautiful Kenting. In the afternoon there’ll be time for a some snorkeling or surfing, or to just relax by the hotel pool with a book. In the evening we’l get together for a final dinner to celebrate our southern adventure.
Meals: BLD

5

Hike Kenting National Park, Conclude in Kaohsiung

This morning we’ll head up into Kenting’s rugged national park, which offers fantastic views of the whole peninsula. We’ll hike through uplifted coral passageways, eerie caverns and past giant banyans, possibly spotting monkeys, eagles, deer and even snakes. After our hike we’ll return to the hotel to freshen up and then have a final lunch together before making the drive back to Kaohsiung where the tour ends (approximately 3pm). For those who want to stay longer in Kenting we can arrange additional accommodation at our lovely tour hotel, plus a range of activities.
Meals: B


What's the Riding Like?

Some hilly terrain

4 days riding

230km distance

The distances and predominantly downhill nature of the ride makes it readily achievable for most riders of reasonable fitness. Our first day in the mountains around Baolai allows riders to get a feel for their bikes and the gears on traffic-free roads at altitudes of 500-1000m. The next couple of days are predominantly downhill, whilst the longest day’s riding, from Santimen to Sizhongxi is almost entirely flat.


Weather

Taiwan’s varied topography and location on the Tropic of Cancer gives it a diverse climate with countless separate micro-climates. Broadly speaking the best times to visit are autumn (October to December), which generally offers clear, warm sunny weather (18-28°C) and spring (March-May), which has similar if slightly wetter conditions, with the humidity on the rise as summer approaches.

Summers (June to the end of September) are hot and humid (28-35°C) with the risk of heavy tropical downpours and typhoons, particularly in July, August and September. This said if you’re prepared for the heat and the remote possibility of a typhoon this is also a beautiful time to ride in Taiwan – the hills are alive with flowers and wildlife, tropical fruits burst from seemingly every tree, and many villages celebrate traditional festivals. This is also the time you’ll see the most local riders out on the road.

The 'cold' of winter (December to March) is really only felt in the north and northeast (12-24°C), which are prone to rain showers and colder temperatures, but in the south and southwest conditions are typically dry and mild during this period. Winter is generally a very comfortable time to ride, particularly in the south, and is the most enjoyable time to soak in the island’s countless hot springs.

Our Recommendation - Winter is considered the off-season for domestic travelers, but the weather in the south remains warm and sunny without the heat and humidity of summer which makes it a great time to explore this part of the island on two wheels.


What our guests tell us...

Just a selection of our great reviews!

Its was an amazing experience to cycle in such stunning scenery. The brilliant organisation allowed me to focus on achieving my goal (of completion) ! Would love to join another trip!

JaneNovember 2017

Incredibly well organized, friendly staff you want to know long-term, luxurious food and accommodation at modest cost.

JimNovember 2017

Excellent. Very enjoyable cycling and overall experience. Great tour guides and friendly Taiwanese people.

AnonOctober 2014

Simon and Ana were wonderful hosts, who guided us through the amazing terrain of Taiwan. A wealth of local knowledge they were able to enhance the experience with detailed history and quirky information. A wonderful ride and a great way to see Taiwan.

AnonApril 2013

Video testimony from other tours...


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