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  • Date:2016-06-03
  • Update:2019-04-12
  • Department:IOT

Slow living is a new trend in contemporary living and bicycling has become a new favorite activity of the public. Bicycle touring that combines both aspects has become a new form of traveling for exploring the beauty of Taiwan. Driving is too fast, and walking is too slow, but the 15km/h bicycling speed is perfect for getting to know the mountains, oceans, and people of Taiwan all over again.

15km/h East Coast Tour is a micro film about the self-healing and self-exploration journey of a couple who have recently broken up. The film shows their different state of mind, thinking, and perspective during their individual bicycle journey as they travel through four counties and cities and six classic bicycle routes in the eastern region. The objective of this micro film is to promote bicycle routes in Eastern Taiwan. So now, let us follow the footsteps of the film, and see the scenery along each of the classic routes in Eastern Taiwan.

Facing the wind in the Northeast Coast

Bicycle route network on the Northeast Coast include Provincial Highway 2, the old Caoling link, and the Lungmen-Yanliao bicycle route. Spring, summer, and fall are the best seasons for bicycle riding. The Fulong station on the Northeast Coast is the starting point of these classic bicycle routes, and the station is one of the most characteristic train stations along the North-Link Line. The old Caoling tunnel is 2,167 meters long in total, and the Taiwanese folk song “dio dio tong” describes the train tunnel that passes through the Caoling Mountain. The northern and southern ends of this tunnel have been called “zhitianxian” (natural barrier) and “baiyunfaitsu” (place where white cloud flies), respectively. Travelers can see the famous Guishan Island when they exit the tunnel at the southern end. Fulong station is the final destination of the male and female leads’ bicycle journey in the micro film. In the film, the male lead rides in the nostalgic red brick and oil lamp lit tunnel. The distant tunnel light hints at the lightened up future.

Along the Provincial Highway 2, travelers can see the blue skies and green waters unique to the Lailai geological area and the Magang fishing village. We recommend bicyclists to ride along the Lungmen-Yanliao cycleing route. The bike path passes the Lungmen suspension bridge, which is a scenic bridge rarely seen along Taiwan cycling routes. Visitors can stop on the bridge and gaze out to the seaport. Yanliao Beach Park is the only best preserved sand dune plant ecological area in Taiwan and the abundant plants in the park make visitors want to linger on.

Lingering along Yilan shores

Yilan's bicycle network combines the left and right bank of the Dongshan River, the Lanyang River south shore bike path, Shuang Yuan bike path, Luodong River south shore bike path, and the Meihua Lake bike path. These bike paths circle the Langyan plain along beautiful mountains, rivers, and the sea. Bring your bicycle, or rent one at the Dongshan station and start your leisure Yilan river shore tour. Dongshan station is the first rail station in Taiwan built specifically for tourism, and the train plaza integrates contemporary design with Taiwan flavor. From afar, the platform has dome shaped scaffolding that looks like a tightly woven net that holds the beauty of the Lanyang plain. This route offers the nostalgic look of the Dongshan Bridge, the antique look of the Faihong Bridge, the unique ecological environment of the Langyang Estuary, and the beautiful scenery of the Dongshan River Forest Park and Meihua Lake. All these are awaiting your visit.

We recommend you to drop by the Yilan coastal cycling route. Ride along this magnificent bike path and you can have the blue seashore as your companion and listen to songs of sea breeze. Enjoy the view of Guishan Island and the beauty of the Langyang plain. As you pass the Yong Zhen Coastal Recreational Area, remember to stop and savor the sight of the distant horizon as the male lead in the micro film did, and let the sounds of waves cleanse your body of weariness.

Immerse in the mountains and rivers of Hualien

Seats for the Hualien-Taitung train have always been hard to get and the ride to Hualien/Taitung is long and difficult. Why not try another way of experiencing the magnificence of Hualien and Taitung? Get on the local train from Dongshan station or the new Su’ao station and go south to the Taroko station. The entire Hualien/Taitung rift valley will open up in front of your eyes. In close proximity to and extending along the east coast, the journey through Hualien starts here.

The distance between recommended scenic points in Hualien is longer and suitable for a one- to three-day trip. Travelers can complete the entire trip or turn back at any time depending on their physical strength. Or, accommodations can be arranged along the way to extend the duration of the bicycle ride.

Hualien Ji-an one day trip

The new Taroko station (formerly the Xincheng station) is the starting point of the Hualien trip, and the doorway for entering Chihsingtan or the Central Cross-Island Highway. Go along Provincial Highway 9 and turn to County Highway 193 toward the Twin Lake bike path. This cycling route will take travelers to Chihsingtan and Liyu Lake through Shiba Heights, Chilaibi lighthouse, Nanbin, and Baibin Park, all of which are destinations waiting for you to explore. When you arrive at Liyu Lake, we recommend that you take the 4.5 km lake detour bike path, then take Provincial Highway 9 northward. When you arrive at Jicheng 2nd St., turn back to the Twin Lake bike path and go toward Baibin Park. This will connect you to the railroad cycling route and take you back to Hualien station.

In addition to the scenic spots described above, we recommend travelers arrange a half-day or one-day trip to tour around the downtown of Hualien City. Visit the alley where the male lead met his little dog, the coffee shop where he stopped by, and the small bookstore that the female lead visited, and see other secret spots from the micro film.

Or, start from the Taroko station, go on the Central Cross-Island Highway and Provincial Highway 8, and challenge the difficult rift valley bicycle tour. This is where you can revel in the natural wonders from Taroko to Tianxiang Road.

Two day Hualien Rueisuei rift valley tour

This is a long-distance bicycle journey at a speed less than 100 km per day. We recommend starting from Hualien station on Day 1 and taking the Meilun riverbank railway bike path to Baibin Park. Connect to the Twin Lake bike path and go south to County Highway 193 bike path. This will take you on a winding coastal mountain route along Hualien River to Rueisuei station. You may end your first day journey and spend the night at the Rueisuei hot spring area.

County Highway 193 passes Mizhan Bridge, Mizhan community, and Guangfu Tafalong, all of which are full of local characteristics and worth a see

If your physical strength and time allows, we recommend you go toward Fenglin Township when passing through Jianying Bridge and enjoy the Hakka culture and Tobacco Building. Afterwards, connect to the Lintianshan bicycle route.

Start the second day from Rueisuei station and challenge the Rueigang Highway (Hualien Highway 64). The entire distance is 22 km of fluctuating elevation, and is one of the more challenging routes. Travelers can rest after arriving at Changhong Bridge and use the eight lookout bridges on the bridge to view the Xiuguluan River as it meanders out to sea, as well as the boats and rafts below the bridge. Afterwards, connect to Provincial Highway 11 and return northward to Hualien station. Cyclists will pass by Shitiping, Jiqi Beach Recreational Area, and Baqi Gazebo, where they can rest and enjoy different magnificent landscapes and specialty foods. Come and challenge the mountain, coastal, and rift valley trip from Hualien to Rueisuei!

Hualien station is the starting point for the Hualien one-day and two-day trips. It is also where the hero and heroine in the film met once again when they traveled with their bicycles on the train. The Guangfu Dafudanong Forest Park next to County Highway 193 is where the male lead rode upwind on a straight path along the mountain chain at the end of the micro film. We recommend taking a detour to this forest park in the rift valley (equivalent to 40 Daan Forest Park) to enjoy the ecology and phytoncid.

Two-day Rueisuei-Yuli rift valley trip

This is a long-distance bicycle journey at a speed less than 100 km per day. We recommend travelers to stay at the Rueisuei hot spring the night before and start from the Rueisuei station on the first day. Take County Highway 193 southward along the Hualien-Taitung rift valley (between the coastal mountain range and the central mountain range). Travelers can see verdant sprouts in spring, golden cassia fistula flowers in summer, mesmerizing rice fields in fall, and Brassica blossoms in winter. This is a place worth visiting over and over again in all seasons. When passing by Chunrih, don’t forget to visit the Chunrih Bicycle Inn, the first police station to set up in an inn in Taiwan. Enjoy the welcome from the station chief and his comrades before heading toward Yuchang Highway. Go north along Provincial Highway 11 to Shitiping to finish the first day of journey. Don’t forget to rest at the Changbin rest stop and see the amazing blend of the sea and the sky over the Pacific Ocean from the rift valley. Also remember to visit the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees north latitude) that crossed between the tropic and the subtropics.

Set out from Shitiping on the second day and go along Provincial Highway 11 back to Hualien station. This will give travelers a complete experience of the mountains, ocean, and valley between Rueisuei, Yuli, and Hualien. Travelers can also consider the two-day rift valley trip between Hualien and Rueisuei.

Taitung excursion

Taitung possesses the longest shoreline and the bluest sky in Taiwan. Nearing both mountains and the Pacific, it is the last pristine paradise in Taiwan. Get your bicycle, step on the pedals, and trek through high mountains, rift valleys, plains, and the coast.

When visiting Taitung, we recommend at least a three-day trip for experiencing the classic bike path that goes through Chihshang, Guanshan, and Longtian. Set out from Taitung station on the first day and go north on Ma Heng Heng Road. Pass scenic places like the Xiaoyehliu Recreational Area and the Dongheh Bridge and connect to Provincial Highway 11. Continue going north with the company of blue skies and coastal mountain ranges and turn to the Yuchang Highway at Changbin. Stay overnight at the Antung hot spring area.

Start the second day from Antung hot springs and connect to the Yufu cycling route through the Antung Bicycle Inn. Go south to Tungli station and continue south on Provincial Highway 9. Travel with leisure through the Chihshang detour cycling route and go to Guanshan through the Chihshang-Guanshan linking road. Take the Guanshan detour cycling route and stay overnight at Guanshan.

Start from the Guanshan station on the third day and go south on Provincial Highway 9. Take the Wuling green tunnel and connect to Taitung Highway 33. Go pass Yongan community and Luye Hill to Longtian. Visit the Longtian bike trail and return to Taitung station via the Luye-Taitung linking road (County Highway 197 to Taitung Highway 45).

After seeing the magnificent mountains, coast, rift valleys, and plains of the Northeast coast and the East coast, try the West coast tour! The circum-island route is scheduled to complete in 2015, which can be used to plan a one-off nine-day circum-Taiwan trip or staged two-day trips (the entire Taiwan is divided into the North-Central four-day trip, Taichung-Changhua-Nantou-Yunlin three-day trip, Chiayi-Tainan three-day trip, Kaohsiung-Pingtung-Taitung four-day trip, Taitung-Yuli four-day trip, Hualien-Yuli three-day trip, and Yilan Northeast Coast two-day trip). You can choose the route and speed suitable for yourself, and use your own way to shuttle between the windy city of Hsinchu, the granary of Changhua, and other west coast cities. Enjoy the beauty of Taiwan at a leisurely pace.

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