London-Juliet Elliott, a bike racer and an award winning blogger, recently took a 900-kilometer cycling trip around Taiwan, which she later described as a fantastic and unique experience.
At the invitation of Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, Elliott embarked on the nine-day trip from Taichung in central Taiwan to Pingtung in the south, and then up the east coast to Taitung and Hualien in November.
Along the west coast, she and her friends rode through Dajia, Lukang, Chiayi and Kaohsiung, which are known as cultural and industrial hubs.
Battling hot weather some days and heavy traffic, Elliott and her friends stopped along the way to sample local specialties such as butter- and egg-filled buns and to try betel nuts.
“The traffic is pretty nuts in the city,” she said, talking about the leg of the trip from Chiayi to Kaohsiung, in a YouTube video that has drawn over 10,000 hits.
“So far, what we’ve ridden have been big, wide open, straight highways. Whether those highways are running though industrial land or agricultural land, it’s kind of the same. And then when we end up in the big cities, it’s mad hectic.”
Elliot said it was a welcome change to ride on the long stretches of bike paths leading out of Kaohsiung as she and her team headed to Checheng in Pingtung.
“The ride from Kaohsiung was really great because there’re lots of bike path, but not bike paths shared with scooters, just bike paths for cyclists.” she said. “So that was just super chill, really enjoyable after all the highways.”
In Dapeng Bay, she described the scenery as “absolutely gorgeous” and “pretty tropical.”
Elliott said she was excited to explore the more “wild” and “mountainous” east coast as she headed from Checheng to Taitung and Hualien.
“It’s a totally different landscape and scenery, with lush vegetation, quieter roads, hills. I absolutely love it,” Elliott said. And there’re incredible villages, with amazing arches to look at. Oh, it’s just the best.”
Although she had never heard of the Cycle Route No.1 before her bike tour around Taiwan, Elliot said, the route is seen as a must-visit destination among many cyclists around the world.
She said she would like to visit Taiwan again, not just because of its flat bike paths on the west coast or the mountainous and challenging bike paths on its east coast, but also because of the contrasts of the country’s traditional and modern lifestyles.
The 900-km ride was a unique and diverse experience, she concluded.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel