While Taiwan isn’t hugely known internationally as a cycle destination, that’s beginning to change and with good reason. Hugging the coast of Taiwan from Hualien to Taitung is Highway 11; one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the entire country. We had heard about the option of cycling Taiwan’s east coast a few years ago and had long wanted to do it independently and it looked like this was our chance. We had researched about the trip while we were checking out Taipei and we were all geared up to hop on some bikes!
A Guide To Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast
What’s So Special About Cycling In Taiwan?
Taiwan, the heart of Asia is known as “Bicycle Kingdom” and is home to the world’s largest bike manufacturer Giant Bicycles. The country is extremely cyclist friendly with a massive cycling culture, with the whole month of November dedicated to the Cycling Taiwan Festival. There are tonnes of dedicated cycles lanes and cyclist rest stops roughly every ten kilometres. In fact, you can even circumnavigate the whole country by bike which takes 10-15 days depending on the route you choose and takes in a whopping 866kms! As we only had two weeks in total in Taiwan so we opted for the short version, cycling the east coast from Hualien to Taitung and known to be the most beautiful stretch of Taiwan’s Pacific coast. The east coast is renowned for incredible mountainous landscapes, while still being quite untouched and remote feeling, yet is also very well set up for a cycle tour with bike lanes the whole way.
Do You Need Cycling Experience?
Let’s get one thing straight from the start; we are not cyclists, although we do enjoy spinning classes to keep fit. Yes, we can ride a bike, but we don’t ride bikes regularly and no we didn’t have a clue what we were getting ourselves in for. But sometimes that’s the best way, just jump in and give it a go! We committed to doing it and that was that, once we were on our bikes there was going to be no turning back. This was our first multi-day cycle trip and what a place to pop our cherry!
When Is The Best Time To Cycle In Taiwan?
The weather will obviously have a huge effect when you are planning your cycling trip in Taiwan. Between June and September, there are high temperatures, from 30°C-33°C and upwards, high humidity, increased chance of rain, and a greater risk of typhoons. We cycled the east coast of Taiwan in early September which wasn’t the wisest choice but with that being said, although it was quite hot and sticky, we had good weather otherwise.
The best time to cycle in Taiwan weather wise is from October – February. During these months the weather is milder, not as stifling or humid, making it easier to cycle with the average daily temperatures between 18°C-27°C. It’s also less likely to rain during these months. The absolute best month to cycle weather-wise is in November and as a bonus, the Cycling Taiwan Festival will be in full swing. Be prepared for lower temperatures on the mountains during the autumn and winter months and always be prepared for rain as it’s not uncommon for it to rain where the mountains meet the sea in any season.
Which Route To Take Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast
Which route you take when cycling Taiwan’s east coast will be your own choice of course but we chose to stick to Highway 11 or the Hualien-Taitung Coastal Highway as we wanted to hug Taiwan’s east coast for the duration of our journey. You can also head inland on Highway 9 to take in the East Rift Valley but beware that this route is more mountainous, therefore tougher on the legs. We went from Hualien, just outside the Taroko National Park and finished in Taitung and followed Highway 11 passing through Fengbin, Shitiping, Chenggong, Donghae and Dulan.
Bike Rentals On Taiwan’s East Coast
We rented our bikes from Giant Bicycles, right next to the train station in Hualien who offer point to point rentals around the country. Their English is limited but is more than enough to get you set up with what you need. For TWD$1,500 you can rent a bike for three days and it costs TWD$200 per day after that. Included are small rear panniers, a pump, multi-tool, a lock and front and rear lights. If you want to use a helmet consider bringing or buying your own as one was not provided. Our plan was to cycle to Taitung and drop the bikes back to their other shop there, which conveniently is also at the train station.
Transferring Your Luggage
We were worried about what we were going to do with our big bags, as we knew we would be crippled trying to cycle for 170km with them on our backs! It was all very easy in the end. At the train station in Hualien, you can send your bag forward to Taitung for a small fee where they will hold it for three days for free, there is a TWD$50 charge per day, per bag thereafter. With our bags posted on ahead and us up on our bikes, we made a quick stop for breakfast and we were off.
What To Expect When Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast
The scenery all the way down the coast was incredible, it really was. It was a proper tropical paradise. The only issue was that every little village we passed through seemed to be deserted, there was nothing open. The first stretch, in particular, was very quiet. The trip ended up turning into a sort of 7-11 tour of the east coast for us, which was amazing as they made great pitstops for snacks and coffee to refuel, to take a toilet break and get a welcomed air-con hit!
Day 1 Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast: Hualien To Fengbin
As far as the cycle itself went, it was manageable. The first day saw a long flat section out of Hualien. Then we started gradually climbing and it continued like that for most of the rest of the day. Some of the hills were long and steep but the views from the top were spectacular. What was even better than the views was the buzz of flying down the hill on the other side; we picked up serious speed going downhill- like being a kid again!
Most people stop at Shitiping on the first night and at Dulan on the second night. On the first night, we fell short of Shitiping and instead stayed at Fengbin in a small guesthouse right next to the 7-11 in the middle of town. It was probably the nicest room we had anywhere in Taiwan and was TWD$1,200 for a double room. The local restaurant across the way cooked us up a good feed and we were fit for bed.
Day 2 Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast: Fengbin To Dulan
The next morning we set off and not far outside of Fengbin, you pass over the Tropic of Cancer. There is a monument to mark this geographical point and having been to the equatorial line before, we joined the Chinese tour group buses and stopped for the photo op. On the second day, we made it as far as Dulan covering almost 100km. We stopped in Donghae, a big town before Dulan in the hope of staying there but could not find a hotel or guesthouse so we decided to push on to Dulan, a small ‘hippy village’ according to our guidebook. When we got there, there was just one hostel open, across from, you guessed it, the 7-11. It was becoming difficult to imagine what Taiwan must have been like before 7-11 arrived, locals seem to gather here to eat, have coffee and just hang out and with everything else closed they were probably out of options.
Day 3 Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast: Dulan To Taitung
The following morning was a short spin into Taitung to mark the end of our journey. We passed the 160km marker on the highway and a few more after. The train station was inconveniently positioned outside of the city centre adding a few extra kilometres onto our trip but once we arrived at the station everything was easy. Giant Bicycles was easy to find right next to the station and we picked up our bags from the baggage room right next door and just like that we were done.
Learn From Our Mistakes
Underestimating the heat was probably our biggest mistake. Cycling that kind of distance in 35°C heat coupled with uncomfortable humidity levels made things that bit more difficult. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather when planning your cycle trip in Taiwan!
The other mistake we made was not getting started early enough, we underestimated the distances and ended up cycling after dark each night. It was much cooler than during the day but in the pitch dark on roads with substandard lights, it was a bit sketchy at times. Also, cycling shorts – as silly as they look they do serve an important function!
Packing List For Cycling Taiwan’s East Coast
What you pack will, of course, depend on the season and whether you’re renting gear or bringing your own. As a bare minimum you’ll need to pack the following:
- A bicycle (duh!) You can bring your own bike with you, or rent a bike in Taiwan like we did.
- A good bike helmet – safety first!
- Bicycle panniers.
- Comfortable active clothes or a cycling jersey.
- Cycling shorts (Yes, they are less than attractive but you won’t care if you can sit down without pain after 8 hours cycling!) or you could always get a bike saddle cushion if you can’t bring yourself to don the shorts!
- A good rain jacket (especially as you’ll be cycling in the mountains).
- A map of Taiwan or a bike GPS.
- A refillable water bottle, we love the Nalgene brand with the narrow mouth – gots to stay hydrated as you’ll no doubt be sweating. A camel pack or water bladder will be even easier to manage while cycling.
- Sunscreen, especially a high factor facial sports sunscreen, we love the Zinka face stick as it doesn’t sweat off.
- A bicycle toolkit.
- A bike tyre patch kit.
Optional extras but a good idea would be to also bring:
- Bike accessories to pimp your bike and ride in style. “They see me rollin’, They hatin‘!” Haha!
- A mobile phone in case you need to make an emergency call or just want to get some shots for the ‘Gram!
- A Camera – the scenery will be epic so you will be snap happy!
- A GoPro, you’ll definitely want one for the epic on the go footage and cycling selfies!
- A good travel insurance policy, we love World Nomads.
- A sense of adventure!
Over To You
Three days, 170 kilometres, a numb backside and a great sense of accomplishment. Cycling down the breathtaking coastline, taking in the views, and all under our own steam; this was the highlight of our two week Taiwan trip, no question. It got us thinking, where would our next cycle trip be?!
Have you cycled Taiwan’s east coast? Did you enjoy it? Is there anything we forgot? Let us know in the comments below!
Brian is a travel writer, photographer, blogger, travel addict and adventure-junkie. Being outdoors, getting off the beaten track and outside his comfort zone is what makes him tick. Brian’s the dreamer in the relationship; when he’s not travelling, he’s dreaming about it! Keeping fit, cooking, music and red wine take up the rest of his time.
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It was great fun to read this as I go through pictures and journals from my own 5-day solo trip down the east coast from Taipei to Kenting in 1988. It was definitely not a bike-friendly trip back then — I even carried my bike over a landslide and walked through a pitch-dark tunnel on the Suao-Hualien portion of the route. It makes me want to try again!
Thanks Brian and Noelle! Really appreciate your tips and sharing. I brought two kids from Hualien to Taitung last Oct.
My first multi-day cycling trip, what an experience!
We love the freedom and option to “Detour-explore”.
TW bike culture and infrastructure really top-notch and bike friendly.
The scenic views (coastal and valleys) are so instagram worthy.
And thank God for 7-11 and FamilyMarts.
We did highway 9,30 before 11. We took 4D3N to soak in the sights 🙂
Enrolled in a surf class at Dulan too 🙂
You’re very welcome. We’re so glad that you and the kids enjoyed the trip.
Taiwan is incredibly well set up for cycling and it was also our first multi-day cycling trip there too!
Yes, the 7-11s and Family Marts are lifesavers along the way! Hope you caught a few good waves in Dulan. 🙂
I’m about to go to Taiwan and cycle the east coast and trying to decide in the best route. Another website https://hualien-adventures.com/ said the opposite what you said about the Hwy 11 route compared to Hwy 9. They state Hwy 9 is much flatter. This will be my first major cycle. Do you know anyone who has done the #9 route. Thanks.
We don’t know anyone who has done the #9 route, unfortunately! We really wanted to be beside the sea so I think that ultimately made the choice for us. I do remember things being a little quiet and far apart at times and there was one particularly hard uphill stretch one day. We had been doing a lot of spinning classes in the lead up to this trip, but other than that we are not cyclists and found it fine. This blog compares the two roads and also says #11 is tougher! : http://meetyouatthebridge.nl/taiwans-best-roads-highway-11-9-and-14/
Hope this helps!
Thanks for a nice write up! Do you remember what size bikes did you get? How tall are you? I ride 57cm road bike/22.5″ hybrid and was told that ML is the max size bike available from giant. Worried a bit about the fit…
We can’t remember the bike sizes, unfortunately! Brian is 6″1 or 185cm and I’m 5″1 or 155cm. Our bikes were fine for the few days of cycling anyway, though I’m sure Brans was probably a touch small. Hope you can get the size you need! 🙂
Hi Brian, when I came to Taiwan for biz for the first time the idea to cycle a little bit next time was in my head right away. Last month I had the opportunity doing so and with the inspiration and information of your blog plus a little help from my Taiwanese customers (all bikers) I did a three days trip from Taitung to Hualien. Renting a bike online from the Giant store was just a great experience although I have to admit that their English in the written communication was a bit limited. In the store everything was totally different and easy. I did not only bring my own helmet but also my own shoes and pedals. Highway 11 is pretty nice at the beginning but lateron, let’s say after 40 km north of Hualien , I tried to find a smaller and less busy road closer to the water front. There are some options but doing so means that you add quite some km plus some short but challenging climbs.
Before the your I could hardly find information how challenging crossing the mountains from HW 11 to HW 9 would be. I took the wonderful road 30 which meant a 5 km climb up to the 2.6 km long flat tunnel. For someone who never bikes uphill maybe nothing to recommend but for those who like it a bit for sure a great experience. When I left the hot springs area I took road 163 but it was a bit boring. Much nicer was leaving the road and go zig zag through the rice fields. No problem even with a race bike. I was totally alone and riding on top of the flood protection dam meant to be able to see the river in the left and the rice fields on the right.
Day 3 I kept on going on road 163 all the way to my final destination and this was for sure the best part at all. No traffic, great landscape, excellent small roads, many Butlerfinish not to long or steep climbs made it a perfect day – incl. a little swim in the sea.
My recommendations: 1) Make sure that your phone never runs out power – I found my first hotel only with the help of some wonderful Taiwanese people who luckily spoke a little bit of English. Standing on HW 11 in the dark without any idea where to go is for sure not the best you can experience! Better you have a print ou of your accommodation in Taiwanese and English.
2) Download a translation app.
3) Really don’t underestimate the distances, the heat and the many little climbs.
4) If one of the countless dogs really follow you – just stop. At least that’s why the people in the bike store told me 😉
Again, thanks to all who made so many valuable comments!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience Frank – great advice for anybody else planning to tackle this route. 🙂
Hi, I’m looking into doing this solo trip myself this Sunday. I’ve cycled before but never distances like this. I’m a bit apprehensive so will probably take route 9 and not route 11 as it appears to be busier and therefore more places to stop, refresh etc… Do you know if one route is easier (flater) than the other? Great post btw, like others have mentioned, very inspiring
So sorry for the late reply. You have probably already completed the cycle. How was it? I think route 9 may be steeper but cannot remember off the top of my head. Maybe you can let us know about your experience?
Thank you for your expérience. I am doing it right now on the second day. Yesterday was awful… sun and tunnels. Check your saddle otherwise you will feel it ! I was in a very nice b&b in fengdin yesterday : sea princess. You can find it on booking. Beware, the sign is only in chinese.
We’re so happy you found this guide useful. Hope you enjoyed the experience and thanks for the B&B tip! 🙂
That’s it… it is over. The next B&B was not so good. I finally did it and my buttocks are very happy. The end to Taitung was very beautiful.
Well done Michel! And sorry to hear that the next B&B wasn’t so good. We’re so glad you enjoyed this cycle trip! 🙂
Next time rent a road bike at least, lol.. It will make your life easier
Thanks for the tip Stephane.
Hello Noelle and Brian, thank you so much for your post. Husband and I are going to Taiwan next week for 12 days and we plan to do a 3-day cycling similar to your route. Thanks so much for such a detailed and informative post.
Would like to ask, since you said “if you would like a helmet” I assume wearing helmet is not compulsory for us on the road? Does GIANT rent out helmets or do we definitely have to get our owns?
Hi Stella! You’re very welcome – we’re glad you found the post useful and we hope you have an awesome time in Taiwan! 🙂
Regarding helmets – as far as we are aware, it is legal to cycle in Taiwan without a helmet. It’s your choice whether you choose to wear one or not. GIANT definitely sell helmets – we would assume that they rent helmets too but we couldn’t be 100% sure of this! Please let us know how you get on with helmet rentals!
Have a great time in Taiwan – it’ an awesome country! 🙂
I was just at giant store hualien yesterday… and what they offered me is to lend me a helmet but paying 100 ntd for them bringing the helmet back from taitong to hualien. However i finally rented the bile in another place.
Btw i almost die in the longest never ending way up from hualien . And thanks a lot for the post i was looking for some info for the trip i your blog was very useful! I am staying at a very nice airbnb (cheap) at km 73 from hualien in case someone needs the info. Thanks again!
* When i said i almost die… there were several lol faces after the sentence that didn’t show up! Don’t want to scare anybody! 🙂
Haha! Thanks for your update Sol! We’re so glad that our post helped you out and hope your legs aren’t too sore from the trip. 🙂
Thanks for the information about guide cycling taiwan coast hualien taitung,
You’re very welcome! 🙂
I was in Taiwan and met so many cyclist in the hostel. I just knew that it’s popular to cycle around the country. Should have done that while I was in Taiwan. Would come back again probably doing cycling trip this time. Thanks for your tips!
No problem Velysia! It was a great place for our first cycle trip as it was very well set up for it. Hope you get to go back on two wheels!
Hi, i’m inspired to do this bike trip no! Can you please advise which months would be best weather-wise? Thanks!
I believe that the best time to visit Taiwan for good weather is from October to March. Enjoy the trip! 🙂
Hello! I’m really inspired by your post and is considering to plan a solo trip for this. Would you recommend this for an inexperience female cyclist? It would be a virgin experience for me and my cycling experience is pretty much limited to spinning classes. I’m even prepared to push my bike for the more strenuous climb but would like to gauge if it will be manageable for me. And lastly, will there be many vehicles on the road along the way?
If your cycling experience is mainly cycling classes you will push your bike at least in the larger hill. I had plenty of cycling experience but no lot much experience with hills. I’m not sure if I’d have managed cycling the large hill if I started there instead of cycling 80-90 km to get there. Since you’re following the main highway on the (less populated) east coast there is traffic. You’re on a scooter bike lane so there is no conflict but you’ll be able to get help if needed. Maybe you should save some Chinese sentences on your phone in advance.
Im not good at guessing how far you get. On a trip with colleagues an untrained female colleague cycled 20km (with an uphill section) and took the train back. 60 km a day for a 3 day trip on this route may be possible. Maybe you can try taking a 60 km round-trip before you leave (maybe longer to compensate for luggage, climate and hills).
If your not sure: consider the guided tours with luggage transfer I linked above.
Thanks for your advice! Will reconsider my options again. Cheers
Hi Ben! Thank you for your advice! 🙂
Hi Joan! Great to hear our post inspired you and you are considering tackling the route – it really is a beautiful trip. This was our first’reasonable-distance’ cycle trip so it was a virgin experience for us too! 🙂 Funny that you mentioned spinning classes as being your only cycling experience, as that was the same situation for us. The trail is definitely challenging in parts, but we managed ok and didn’t have to resort to pushing our bikes up any hills thankfully. So yes, we think it would definitely be possible for an inexperienced cyclist – you may have to grit your teeth and push yourself at parts (we certainly did!), but you can do it!! 🙂 In relation to traffic on the roads, there is some traffic but not a huge amount – we never felt nervous or unsafe on the road because of traffic.
Best of luck with your trip – we hope you have an EPIC time! If you need any additional info, please let us know 🙂
An inspiration for me to do the same ASAP.
It’s a great experience, Ahmad – highly recommended! 🙂
Where did you stay at night during your bike ride?
We stayed in hotels/guesthouses along the route Anna – you’ll find them listed above under the description of each day of the trip.
Hi, I’m planning to do a similar trip in the other direction (Taitung to Hualin). A friend of mine who is living in Taiwan was surprised that you can ship bags at the train station. Do you do this at the ticket counter or is it a seperate company?
How is their english (I’m fortunate enough that I can call someone who spaks Mandarin or let him prepare some notes).
My friend is sceptical that it’s possible to get a room on the way without booking in advance – on my last bike trip I learned that the flexibility you get by booking a room on the evening is very usefull. Do you still recommend not booking a room in advance?
Thanks for this beautifull guide.
Hi Ben. We had no problems posting our luggage ahead at the train station. It was at a different area of the station than the main ticket counter but was part of the main train station, not a separate company – they ship all sorts of stuff from backpacks to motorbikes so you should have no worries. English levels were non-existent but we managed to get our message across with gestures. We don’t speak Mandarin – if you have a friend that can help you that would, of course, make things easier. 🙂
With booking rooms, we had no problems finding rooms as we went – in fact, we had choice and never came across anywhere completely booked out. With that said, there are no guarantees – you’ll have to decide whether you want to take the risk or not.
We hope that’s helpful – best of luck on your trip – enjoy every minute! 🙂
I just wanted to give a short summary of my trip.
I arrived in Taitung and because of the construction going on at the train station I couldn’t find the luggage counter right away. But at the information counter someone spoke a little english – she led me to the luggage counter and helped me post my luggage.
At the giant store was immediatly approached by some tour guides for guided tour departing the same day – if anyone doesn’t feel comfortable self-organizing the trip you can book them at http://www.giantcyclingworld.com/travel/.
Aftrer I clarified that i wasn’t with the group I rented my bike. When they prepared the bike they put my clipless pedals on it.
Since it was noon when I started I planned on going just 20 km that day – I endet up going 60 kms to Chenggong. I got a hotel room with a fantastic view of the sun dawning over the pacific. The guided tour stayed in the same hotel. I originally had planned to do a detour inland and arrive in Hualien after 3 days of travel. Because someone told me I really had to visit the tarokko national park I changed my plan and decided to go the 120 km to Hualien on the second day. I realized it before it may not be wise because thats about the longest distance I cycled on one day and when I did it before I did it on flat terrain without luggage and with less heat and humidity.
After 60 kms I started getting cramps at every stop. At 90 km I got to the only serious climb on the route. The highway can’t follow the coastline here and goes up to 200 m. I managed longer climbs but none of them after cycling 90 km. So I had to push my bike up there and already asked a Taiwanese friend to send me a Text to show a taxi-driver telling him to get me and my bike the rest of the way.
Rolling downhill was great – I got up to 60 kph. After that I somehow found the strength for the last 30 km and arrived in Hualien right when the giant shop was about to close.
What I’d recommend:
Do the trip in 3 days. If you want to do it in 2 start in hualien because you’ll be fresher at the only serious climb on the route.
Take notice that the giant-store in Hualien is closed on Thursdays (got warned in taitung about this).
Don’t do this in May – I got lucky and it never rained even if the weather report predicted it both days – but it’s really humid and about 30 °C. Since you are in the northern tropic there isn’t much shade the whole day.
If you start in Taitung you’ll go downhill in most of the tunnels (i’m not sure about one – it felt downhill but when I left it I was higher up than I expected).
Both train stations are currently under construction. It looks as if Hualien is getting a complete new station building north of the old one.
Hi Ben – thank you so much for the detailed update on your trip – other people tackling this route will find this very helpful! Great to see you had a successful trip – the downhill sections were some of our favourite sections – incredible views and so fast!!! 😀
I’m inspired to do this now! How soon would you suggest I start my day to not end up cycling after dark?
So glad that this post inspired you to do this trip – you won’t regret it! 🙂
I would suggest starting no later than 9am to avoid cycling after dark. Possible even 8am depending on how long you want to spend cycling each day or how fast/slowly you cycle. Keep in mind that the sun sets in Taiwan (at the moment) at around 5pm. So just check the sunset time and aim to be at your planned destination for the day by that time!
Hope this helps! 🙂
Hi guys, thank you for sharing a very detailed description. It sounds amazing!
Due a lack of time, I have only one day for the cyceling from Taitung to Dulan. Is it possible to send the luggage to Dulan?
I don’t think there’s a train station in Dulan so I’m not sure. Sorry we can’t be more helpful.
Enjoy the cycle trip!
Hi!! I just wanted to say a big thanks for the blog above. I read this in August, and it inspired me to do the same trip. I completed last week and loved it. Lots of fun and a massive adventure. I now plan to do more Cycling holidays :-). Taking your lead above, I have written a blog as well to inspire others -Taiwan is a beautiful country and others should take the opportunity to go and see it. Thanks again!
You’re so welcome! We’re so glad you enjoyed the cycle trip and it’s so great to hear that this post inspired you to do it! 🙂 Taiwan is so beautiful!
Amazing! Haha I’ve never been to Taiwan so had no idea what the conversion rate was. I read that as $1,500 USD and was like….what?!? Then I went and did the conversion and had the same reaction but because that’s so cheap! Looks great. I’ve been cycling a lot recently and was thinking about doing some kind of longer overnight trip. It’s such a great way to see an area really up close and immerse yourself literally in the area! I’m not the most experienced biker (cycler? is that a word? Lol) though, so I’m a little apprehensive. But good to hear that it’s manageable even if I’m not wearing sponsored spandex shorts from Livestrong. 😉
Haha! US$1,500 would be a very expensive bike rental alright! It was so affordable. Yeah, it’s quite doable if you’re relatively fit. The bum does get a bit sore though, so we learned the hard way that those silly padded shorts cyclists wear actually do serve a purpose! 😉 I saw some people with a little cushion thing for the saddle and thought it was a great idea as then you don’t look like a child that needs their nappy changed when you get off your bike! 😀
Yeah, we agree, cycle trips are a great way to see an area close up and at a slow pace. You actually have time to take in more of the scenery than travelling by car, bus or train.
Thanks for the really helpful write up! I’m getting ready to do parts of this trip in January with some friends. I see that most of the official materials about Taiwan’s Cycle Route 1 suggest taking Route 9 along the east side of the island instead of Route 11, which I see you took. It was helpful that you mentioned Route 11 is flatter and along the coast. Did you feel safe on Route 11? Is there a good bike path or shoulder in the part you traveled? I’m curious as to why Route 9 would be officially considered part of the cycle trail over Route 11, which seems more appealing when looking at the map. Any advice or info you have about your experience on Route 11 would be really helpful!
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Did you go on the trip in January?
There was a good shoulder on Route 11 and the roads were very quiet when we did it too so we felt very safe. We’re not sure why Route 9 is officially more part of the national cycle trail as it links up with Taipei too so I imagine it would be busier traffic-wise towards the north. Maybe overall as an entire route, it is potentially flatter than Route 11 as it is part of the East Rift Valley but we’re not sure. Anyway, we absolutely loved Route 11. There were one or two tough climbs but nothing hectic and we just loved having the sea views and small villages as we went.