Taiwan Bespoke. RH21
Please be aware that this is a private tour open to invited guests only. For our regular Taiwan tour please click here.
Taiwan, off of the east coast of the People’s Republic of China, is perhaps Asia’s best-kept cycling secret. Only 400 kilometres in length the island formerly known as Isla Formosa - The Beautiful Isle, packs in a huge amount. The central area is a range of mountains reaching up to four-thousand metres above sea level. The west coast, from Taipei to Kaohsiung is the industrial heartland where most of the nations twenty-four million inhabitants dwell, whilst the rugged east coast offers stunning views and wonderful cycling on dedicated cycleways and deserted byways.
This tour combines the beautiful east-coast route with the epic KOM climb through Taroko Gorge, from sea level to the midst of the hill country.
Taiwan, an undiscovered cyclists paradise.
At a Glance
Total Days: 14
Cycling Days: 11
Daily Average: 78km
Max. Alt.: 3250m
Kaohsiung International Aiport (IATA Code: KHH) and driven to our joining hotel where you will be greeted by your tour leader. Typically the group will meet on the first evening of the tour for a briefing before our first meal together. Full details will be sent to you prior to the tour.
Overall the tour is suitable for people happy to ride 100kms in a day with a few kilometres of climbing each day. Please each day's description for details of accumulated ascent and descent. Road conditions are generally good with a lot of dedicated cycling routes incorporated into the tour and very little off of sealed roads.
Day 8 is one of the single most challenging days of any road cycling tour with in excess of 5000 metres of vertical altitude gain. Everyone is welcome to ride some of this climb and transfer to the top. Only the most enthusiastic climber will ride the whole way. A support vehicle is always at hand.
At PaintedRoads we hold firmly to the opinion that using your own bike, the bike on which you feel at home and comfortable is the finest way to enjoy a cycling adventure, but If you do wish to hire a bicycle we can arrange for the hire of good quality cycles from our in-country agent. Typically these bikes are hybrid or hardtail mountain bikes made by Giant or Merida.
Most kinds of bicycle, except fragile super light-weight racing bikes, are suitable for this tour: touring bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids or cyclocross and gravel bikes are all fine. Road conditions vary from asphalt to gravel and some hard-packed dirt tracks. Tyres from 35mm in width upwards will be fine.
Taiwan is often warm, so the ability to carry one or two water bottles is essential (either on your bike or in a backpack). Our back-up vehicle carries water and tools although for those competent with tools bringing your own pump, puncture kit, and multi took is recommended as it would speed up repairs and minor adjustments. If bringing your own bike please bring along a few spare spokes that fit your wheels (please note that different wheels have different size spokes). We carry some spares, but with such a variety of wheel sizes, brake types, gear systems, etc. these days we simply cannot be sure to cover all spares for all bikes. If in doubt please ask at your local bike shop.
A means of carrying your camera, sunblock etc is also useful – either an on-bike bag, handlebar or saddlebag for example or a lightweight day-pack.
•Recommendation: Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.
ESSENTIAL! Please be sure that your bicycle is in perfect condition before you leave home. Again, if in doubt please consult your local bike shop.
(meals key: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner; S = snacks)
Day 1: Arrive Kenting Street
Upon arrival to Kaohsiung International Aiport (IATA Code: KHH), you will be met by a driver and transferred to our joining hotel in Kenting Street at the southernmost tip of Taiwan Island.
Day 2: Kenting Street Loop.
After a long flight, today is free to relax and recuperate ready for the journey ahead. Before lunch, we can all meet up for a chat about the days ahead and either build up our bikes or become familiar with our rental machines. For those eager to stretch their legs this afternoon we can take a short ride around Taiwan's southernmost tip.
Day 3: Kenting Street to Jinlin. 100kms
Leaving the rugged southern cape of Taiwan, the first half of our day's ride is on quiet rural byways as we climb through beautiful green hills heading for the east coast. Reaching the Philippines Sea the remainder of today's ride is along a flat coastal road.
Day 4: Jinlin to Dulan 65kms
Our route north follows an eclectic mix of ways today, from highways to bicycle-paths, to tracks, and coastal paths. We pass by fishing harbours, estuaries and beaches as we make our way to the surfer's town of Dulan.
Day 5: Dulan to Yuli. 70kms
A flat 55kms on roadside-side bicycle lanes, winding paths, and rural country lanes take us coast side to a nine kilometres climb inland towards the East Rift Valley. As the road climbs the views across the ocean grow, until, passing through a hill-top tunnel a sweeping descent leads us to a hot-spring resort where weary muscles can be soothed.
Day 6: Yuli to Hualien - The East Rift Valley.
Riding the East Rift Valley one could be forgiven for believing this road was created exclusively for two wheels. All but bereft of cars this stunning ride leads us through a beautiful valley of rice fields, citrus groves, beetle nut palms, and pineapple plantations for an unforgettable day of epic cycling.
Day 7: Hualien. Rest Day.
The largest city on our east coast route, Hualien provides a mix of opportunities for our rest-day. Explore the city by bike on the network of bicycle paths, visit one of the nearby parks or markets. Wander along the coast, just 5 minutes from our hotel, or simply relax at our hotel before tomorrows monumental climb.
Day 8: Hualien to Toroko Gorge Silk Palace
We leave Hualien riding quiet paths with little traffic as we cycle towards the day’s highlight, the stunning Taroko Gorge.
Following our morning break, we enter the narrow Taroko Gorge where, for the next 20kms, we climb on a gentle gradient between the towering walls of this beautiful marble canyon. The climb ends at the Silk Palace Resort, where we can spend an afternoon relaxing in preparation for tomorrow’s epic climb.
Days 9: Toroko Gorge Silk Palace to Li Shan
For those cycling, an early start and a hearty breakfast are in order today, for ahead of us lays once of the worlds epic climbs. Gaining more than 4000 metres in vertical elevation this climb’s magnificence is equal in both physical challenge and glorious mountain views.
Those less enthusiastic about such cycling challenges can have a more leisurely start to the day and transfer to the top of the climb, or our hotel in Li Shan.
Day 10: Li Shan to Luodong.
We leave the high mountains today, as over the next 110 kilometres we descend from 2000 metres to sea level. With a few climbs thrown in along the way, our total accumulated descent by the time we lean our bicycles up and open a well-deserved beer will be a whopping 3300 meters. An epic day's riding.
Day 11: Luodong to Keelung.
The morning's ride passes through small towns, villages, and rice fields on a series of wide shoulders, bicycle lanes and rural roads before a rare and unavoidable stretch of busier road where the mountains drop down to join the sea (anyone uncomfortable with the busier road can, of course, make use of our support vehicle).
Following lunch, we turn inland where following riverside paths and winding rural byways we cross a quiet mountain road where the only sound is bird song and the trill of insects. Dropping down to the sea once more we make our way hotel Keelung Harbour where we spend the night.
Day 12: Keelung to Tamsui. 75kms
A short ride through Keelung town leads us to a wonderful series of seaside bicycle trails that wind past beaches and harbours, at times clinging to the beachside cliff face. Turning inland a seven-kilometre climb leads us on rural roads past multi-story Buddhist temples and traditional graveyards before dropping back down to the northern coastline and our overnight stop in the domestic tourist destination of Tamsui.
Day 13: Tamsui to Taipei. 25kms.
There cannot be many capital cities in the world, and much less so in Asia where cycling to the city centre is a pleasure, but such is the nature of Taipei. Riding into town along the Tamsui River cycle path is a surprising, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable finale for our exploration of Taiwan. We will arrive at our hotel in time for lunch, leaving the afternoon free to pack for the homeward journey or explore a little of Taiwan's capital.
Day 14: Departure.
The tour ends this morning. You will be provided with a transfer to Taipei airport in time for your onward flight.
Markers below are clickable as are the markers on the map itself.
We're sorry we don't have any future dates for this trip in the calendar yet. Do please get in touch if you'd like to ask about some dates or a custom trip.
Our Other Tours in Taiwan
Formosa - Cycling The Beautiful Island
Dates: No dates available at this time.
Taiwan, off of the east coast of the People’s Republic of China, is perhaps Asia’s best-kept cycling secret. Only 400 kilometres in length the island formerly known as Isla Formosa - The Beautiful Isle, packs in a huge amount. The central area is a range of mountains reaching up to four-thousand metres above sea level. The west coast, from Taipei to Kaohsiung is the industrial heartland where most of the nations twenty-four million inhabitants dwell, whilst the rugged east coast where this tour runs offers stunning views and wonderful cycling on dedicated cycleways and deserted byways.
Taiwan, an undiscovered cyclists paradise.
Total Days: 11 | Cycling Days: 8 | Difficulty: 6/10 | Daily Average: 75km | See more information, dates & prices »