Beyond milk tea and night markets, Taiwan is also a dream destination for biking enthusiasts. Thanks to brilliant infrastructure, roads all over the country are generally safe and convenient for both pedestrians and bikers. Not to mention, the routes are scenic and fresh.
For tourists, it’s not difficult to live the cycling dream in Taiwan even without bringing your own bike. Bike rental shops are everywhere, and some guesthouses even offer free use of bicycles. If you plan to go on a two-wheel tour of Taiwan on your next holiday, below are the best biking routes you shouldn’t miss depending on your destination of choice.
Taiwan Cycle Route No. 1 (Countrywide)
Let’s get the most extreme out of the way first. It’s every biker’s ultimate dream to tour around the whole island of Taiwan on two wheels, and if you’re an avid biker, it’s definitely possible.
You can take Cycling Route No. 1, which starts from Songshan Station in Taipei. You can go westward and through beautiful spots in western and central Taiwan, such as Taichung and Sun Moon Lake. And then, you’ll go around the southern tip and through the scenic eastern coast until you return to Taipei.
You can check the detailed guide to Cycling Route No. 1, complete with preparations and planning details, made by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau here.
Route length: 939.5 km.
Duration: 10 to 12 days
Starting point: Taipei Songshan Station (Kilometer 0)
Keelung Riverside Bikeway (Taipei City)
Keelung Riverside Bikeway in Taipei has a peaceful riverside location with lush parks you can stop by and rest. You can take either the left or right banks, which meet at Dazhi Bridge. Dajia Riverside Park on the left bank is the viewing site for the famous Fountain of Hope water and light show. The bikeway is also close to Raohe Street Night Market, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and The Grand Hotel.
You can easily find bike rental centers near Dazhi Bridge.
Route length: Left bank – 22.2 km.; right bank – 20.6 km.
Duration: 80 to 90 mins.
Starting point: Lin An-Tai (No. 10) Evacuation Gate, Zhongshan District, Taipei City
Xiangshan Bikeway (Sun Moon Lake)
Sun Moon Lake is one of the most sought-after destinations outside of Taipei for its captivating natural scenery. A nice way to explore a huge section of the lake is by biking. Its most popular section is the Xiangshan Bikeway, with quaint bridges and trails that run along the edge of the lake. The route starts from Shuishe, where there are many bike rental shops on Zhongxing Road.
After your biking exploration, you can relax as you cruise on the lake with this discounted Sun Moon Lake Cruise Ticket. You can also combine it with a Nantou Day Tour that takes you up the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway and to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.
Route length: 3.4 km.
Duration: 30 mins.
Starting point: Shuishe, Yuchi Township, Nantou County
Sanxiantai Bike Route (East Coast)
If you’re into natural scenery and cultural immersion, the best place to be is Taiwan’s east coast. It is home to many tribal villages, and its biking paths lie between the ocean and the mountains so you can always get the best of both worlds.
One of the best biking trails here is the Sanxiantai Bike Route, which gives you access to the legendary rock and coral formations at Sanxiantai Recreation Area and the marine life at Chenggong Fishing Harbor. Sanxiantai is also a popular sunrise viewing spot. You can access the bike route from Highway 11, which is a cycling route of its own as well.
While on the east coast, you can also go on a whale and dolphin watching cruise in the nearby Hualien City.
Route length: 9.7 km.
Duration: 30 mins.
Starting point: 109.8K point on Highway 11, Chenggong Township, Taitung County
Dapo Pond Bikeway (East Coast)
Also on the east side but deeper inside the greenery is Dapo Pond Bikeway in Chishang, Taitung. With the township’s vast paddy fields backdropped by mountains, it is the epitome of the Taiwanese countryside. The most famous spot is Mr. Brown Avenue, which traverses an idyllic field unobstructed by buildings and utility poles.
You can start from Chishang Railway Station, where you can also find bike rental shops nearby. Mr. Brown Avenue is about 3-4 km. to the south of Dapo Pond.
If you want to make the most out of the east coast, you can also go on a shared tour from Hualien to Taitung.
Route length: 17 km.
Duration: 60 mins.
Starting point: Chishang Station, Tiehua Road, Chishang Township, Taitung County
It’s easy to navigate Taiwan’s biking routes with the help of trail signs and handy Google Maps on your phone. Be sure you stay connected throughout your biking trip with a 4G SIM card or portable Wi-Fi rental.
Commute with ease anywhere in Taiwan with the iPass Public Transit Card.
*Featured image via Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration