A Dream Come True

Circumnavigating Taiwan via Bicycle

by Dudley Henderson (Aug 4-11, 2012)

After moving to Taiwan in January 2011, bicycling became more of a passion and my main exercise. Taiwan offers such a variety of places to ride. The West coast is mostly flat and one can spend hours touring cities always watching out for the scooters you must ride with. As you move East it becomes hilly and then mountainous which offers a different challenge. Then there is the beautiful coastline, especially the Southwest and Eastern coast.

After a while I heard talk that the thing to do was ride the entire circumference of Taiwan. That would be approximately 1000-1250 kilometers or 625 to 775 miles depending on how many side trips one took.

I told my wife, Mona, I was going to do it alone and she was adamant that it was not going to happen. Now I owe a debt to a fellow biker, Paul, who has a great blog on travels which includes his solo circumnavigation of Taiwan. After reading his blog, I was determined to give it a try and WOW! my wife read the blog and decided that I should go for it. Since the Lord only promises us three score and ten years and I will reach that age November 2012, I thought I had better get on with it.....so here is the account of my circumnavigation of Taiwan. By the way, check out Paul’s great travel blog at www.durbanbay.com. Paul was most helpful in encouraging me to give it a go!

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Notice that the West coast of Taiwan is closer to China than the entire length of the Island of Taiwan.

Day 1 Home, Dashe (Northeast of Kaohsiung) ~ Manjhou

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I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I had carefully considered all that I needed, but the thought of taking off on a 1000+ kilometer ride alone was both scary and exciting.

Am I really ready for this?

The Route

The day started from home with a climb through hills to Highway 21, which would take me to Highway 1. Highway 1 goes through the edge of Pingtung and makes its way to the coast. I should have had a nice ride down the coast, but the day started with rain, then more rain. Being somewhat of an optimist I considered myself lucky to be riding in the cool rain in the middle of August. Highway 1 gives way to Highway 26, which continues, down the coast and through Kenting.

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I rested for a bit at a small Buddhist shrine and watched the rain.

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First Views of beach, sky looks scary

By the time I reached Kenting the rain had stopped and I was able to enjoy views of the beach. I did not want to stay in Kenting so I continued south and stopped to enjoy the views from a high cliff overlooking the Philippine Sea.

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Beaches, Kenting

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View from a cliff at Southern tip of Taiwan

Highway 26 goes across Southern tip of the island and no doubt years ago continued along the coast and turned North along the Eastern coast. But part of it has been closed and I had to take Highway 200 North to my first nights destination of Manjhou.

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Reached first night destination, Manjhou.

 

Experience Day 1 ~ Home to Manjhou by pictures ~ HERE

Day 1 Home to Manjhou

Day 2 ~ Manjhou - Taimali

Day 3 ~ Taimali - Fongbin

Day 4 ~ Fongbin - Fulong

Day 5 ~ Fulong - Tamsui

Day 6 ~ Tamsui - Dajai

Day 7 ~ Dajai - Budai

Day 8 ~ Budai - Home

Comments questions to: dudley@moreearnestheed.org