@FarEastAdvTravl

Cycling Ilha Formosa The Beautiful Isle – Taiwan

By F4rE45tadtr4 | Travel Ideas

Oct 11

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Cycling Taiwan

We have been blessed with favorable weather conditions at the half-way point of a cycle around the beautiful island of Taiwan in East Asia.

Hello, Namaste and welcome to another episode of Far East Adventure Travel-The Podcast on the road cycling around Taiwan. Hi this is John Saboe the publisher of Far East Adventure Travel Magazine taking a rest day on the west coast in Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan.

Cycling-Taiwan-towards-Northcoast
On the north coast of Taiwan during a cycle trip around the island

We started our ride at the beginning of the week from the east coast city of Yilan, and after 5 days we are basically at the half-way point of a cycle around the island.

Taiwan is one of the most densely populated places on the planet. A population of 23 million squeezed on an island that is a total of 36,000 square kilometres with 80% of the country mountainous. It’s still amazing with a population that size on such a small piece of land that you can have stretches of beautifully undeveloped seaside with cycle paths that give you breathtaking unobstructed views of the ocean. If you are watching the video version of this podcast you will have a chance to sample some of the footage I’ve taken on this trip.

Taiwan is definitely a cycling paradise with great roads and paths, plenty of convenient places to stop and take fuel and water breaks, amazing coastal villages that specialize in tasty seafood dishes and snacks. And wonderfully friendly people. We are quite often cheered on with the phrase Jiayou, Jiayou-meaning add oil, go go, as we are passed by motorists.

Does it help to speak some Mandarin Chinese, the main language of Taiwan? Yes in the smaller villages, but if you’ve traveled before in a foreign country where little English is spoken you won’t have a problem. I am fortunate to have a riding partner and friend who has lived in Asia for several years. Andy is fluent in Mandarin and also is an excellent navigator so I am extremely lucky.

We decided to start the ride from Yilan on the east coast circling the island counter clockwise to avoid some of the strong head winds that you can face if you ride the island clockwise on the eastcoast. We also wanted to avoid as much of the big city riding around Taipei as possible.

The north coast gets the most precipitation so we knew we had a decent weather window with our timing. If we did have to face some rain we would have rather have gotten it out of the way at the beginning of the ride rather than the end. It turned out we only had about an hour of rain the morning we left the northern port town of Keelung-an extra coffee break gave us shelter- a relief from the shower.

I’m still processing much of the experience in the middle of the ride but I will tell you with Taiwan’s infrastructure, numerous towns and villages, and countless 711’s coupled with beautiful expanses of mountains, seaside, and agriculture, it really is the perfect place for a multi-day cycle adventure. Our trip in total will cover over 1100 kilometers over a 14 day schedule which allows for a couple of rest days.

I have traveled the island mostly by train, bus, and motorbike but I’m seeing so much more by cycling. There are still many traditional Fujian houses scattered around Taiwan especially near the coastal towns and of course countless temples whose followers worship the Buddha, the Tao, and numerous folk gods.. We stopped at the famous Matsu, Goddess of the Sea Temple in Dajia on day 3 and had our bikes blessed by the local Shaman of the temple. I immediately had a rear flat tire, late changing it twice due to defective tubes. The next day, a issue with my bike chain. I think the Gods are protecting me with numerous bike shops and handy motorbike repairman.

This trip is also a chance to sample the great food of Taiwan. All along the coast we have been spoiled with fresh amazing seafood dishes that cover almost all regions of Chinese cooking including, Fujian, Sichuan, Cantonese, Hakka. The influence of Japan’s rule of Taiwan is also evident. Seafood I have never seen let alone eaten is everywhere. Of course Taiwan is world-famous for it’s night markets and all around the island there are lots of opportunity to visit them and savour the famous snacks of the island. Keelung Night market was one of our favourites on the trip so far.

It’s long days of riding, but I’m enjoying every moment of this adventure on Illa Formosa, the beautiful Isle..Jiaoyou, Jiaoyou.

That’s it for this week’s episode of Far East Adventure Travel The Podcast-brought to you by Far East Adventure Travel Magazine, inspiring your next big adventure in Asia. Just go to the iTunes App Store-search Far East Adventure Travel-download the app and subscribe. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter, Google+ and please like Far East Adventure Travel’s Facebook page. All the links are on fareastadventuretravel.com

Next time on the podcast another report on the road cycling Taiwan. Until then this is John Saboe, safe travels and Namaste!

Cycling-Taiwan-Taoyuan
Sunset cycling in Taoyuan County on Taiwan’s West coast

About the Author

Related Posts

Swayambhunath-“The Monkey Temple”-Kathmandu, Nepal-Captured this morning at 6:30 while observing/filming Gunla, the month long Buddhist festival observed by Newari Buddhists. The Newaris are the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. This month long ritual of praying, fasting, playing music, and singing is believed to originate from when the monks retreated from the monsoon rains to meditate. Loud, but full of joy I only recently discovered this festival with the kind help of a ticket attendant at Swayambhunath who let me use my entrance ticket a second day,(never happened before), to see the Gunla ritual. Inspiring to see young and old followers enjoying the warm spirited atmosphere at this storied site. Energy/vibe-crazy amazing!!!#nepal #himalayas #kathmandu #annapurna #podcast #photojournalism #trekking #backpacking #buddhist #away #tripme #traveling #alone #photooftheday #travelblogger #new#happiness#travelingram #instago #instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #igtravel #travelphotography #mountainscape

Kathmandu, Nepal-More From Gai Jatra 2018 Festival this past Monday. Some of my best moments spent in Nepal besides trekking in the Himalaya have been observing the various festivals whether they’re Hindi, Buddhist, or Newari. The indescribable aura especially with the mix of beliefs and people that come from all over the country to work in the Kathmandu Valley is magical, unlike almost anywhere else I’ve visited. Sometimes I wonder did I find this place or did it find me. On my 8th visit in as many years… #kathmandu #hindu #hinduism #nepal #festival #podcast #photojournalism #trekking #backpacking #away #tripme #traveling #alone #photooftheday #new#happiness#travelingram #instago #instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #igtravel #travelphotography #WeAreSherpa

Kathmandu, Nepal-Gai Jatra 2018, “The Festival Of Cows”! These boys are dressed as cows leading processions of people who have lost a loved one this past year. Cows lead the processions but if one is not available a boy dressed as a cow is an acceptable substitute. They accept offerings from people in the street. Young children are dressed in bright colorful costumes and adults sometimes dress in funny outfits. It’s all to help those see they are not alone in their suffering and to help relieve the pain of loss. I felt so much joy and community today in Kathmandu. Once again the spirit of harmony and compassion unfolded itself in a beautiful ritual in the Kathmandu Valley. #kathmandu #hindu #hinduism #nepal #festival #podcast #photojournalism #trekking #backpacking #away #tripme #traveling #alone #photooftheday #new#happiness#travelingram #instago #instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #igtravel #travelphotography

Varanasi, India-The look in their eyes. Sometimes I turn the camera the other way just to capture moments like this. A group in this boat staring up at the ghats of the great Ganges each with their own perspective, different reasons perhaps of why they are there. Do they have a relative who’s body was cremated or are they waiting for someone to finally pass on to the next life? Are they simply just tourists admiring the ghats and city for the first time. Or could they be reminding us to always feel gratitude no matter what’s currently happening in our lives. Varanasi goes at many speeds with layers of activity that can sometimes only be felt days, even years after the fact…. #varanasi #nikon #puja #incredibleindia #hinduism #streetphotography#photojournalism #away #tripme #traveling #alone #nikon #flowers #photooftheday #new#happiness#travelingram#instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #FF #igtravel #followme

The Hungry Ghost Festival 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan

The Hungry Ghost Festival 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan

Mt. Kailash,Tibet-The highest point on the kora of Mt. Kailash, Drolma La Pass, 5630 meters. This is one of the most unique adventures on the planet. Travel to remote Western Tibet, Walk for 3 days on a pilgrimage around one of the holiest places of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Bon followers. They say doing one kora around Mt. Kailash wipes away the sins of a lifetime. Some believe after you do a kora, circumambulation of Mt. Kailash, you will go on to do something good for humanity. It’s an incredible awakening and it helped change my life! #tibet #buddha #buddhism #hinduism #photojournalism #trekking #india #backpacking #away #tripme #traveling #alone #photooftheday #travelblogger #new#happiness#travelingram #instago #instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #igtravel #travelphotography #mountainscape

Hanoi, Vietnam-I think we’ve lost so much in the way of individuality and charm when it comes to retailing, let alone how it’s impacted our cultures and society. So many governments encourage big business and multinational chains with tax breaks and incentives while making it increasingly harder for an individual to start a small business- shameful! The Old Quarter Of Hanoi is still filled with family businesses that offer products, services, and style that’s quite unique for a capital city these days. From a traveler’s perspective it’s so refreshing to walk around a city and not see the same stores that are showing up everywhere else on the planet. I want more LOCAL at home and when I travel! #vietnam #hanoi #fuji #myfujifilm #fujifilm #streetphotography#photojournalism #away #tripme #traveling #alone #photooftheday #walkingstreet #nightmarket #new#happiness#travelingram #instago #instatravel#traveltheworld #instago #beautifulplace#travelpics#travellife #wildernessculture#instafollow#travellife #FF #igtravel #followme #travelphotography