LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) becomes more and more popular nowadays. Undoubtedly, Taiwan is the best destination in Asia to experience LOHAS. Taiwan gives full support to every cyclist; either local Taiwanese or foreigner. Guess what? Police station is also known as the "cyclist inn" (in Chinese: 铁马驿站) in Taiwan. Police station is the station where tourist with 2 wheels can take a rest and also reload stuffs for their upcoming challenge during cycling tour. In the cyclist inn, travellers can find food and beverages, repairing tools etc. And the sweetest thing is they will encourage you to keep going! What is better than a warm blessing from the local?
Sadly to say, you will not be able to see this beautiful sceneries if you choose to travel in popular towns. The only way to go for more adventurous and stunning views is traveling along the coastline. Taiwan is named as " 宝岛" (in english "Bao Dao", means the island rich in treasures), and no doubt, it is true. You will be amazed by every single coastline with different sceneries. For example, Yeh Liu and Shifen Waterfalls in northern coastline, Sun Moon Lake in middle of Taiwan, Gao Mei Wetland in western-central coastline and also Qingshui Cliffs at eastern coastline.
If you think traveling with 2 wheels in Taiwan is an easy job, you are absolutely wrong! It is adventurous and you are battling with your own stamina. Eastern coastline is the most challenging part in every cycling traveller's tour. But then, most are saying that eastern is also the most beautiful and memorable coastline among the entire trip. For me, it is even challenging because I am a person who doesn't know how to cycle. You must be thinking I am insane because I want to discover Taiwan with two wheels; yet I don't even know how to balance myself on the bicycle? Well, that's why I push myself off the limit. We must taste the bitter before we can appreciate the sweet!
Following that, you would need to choose how many days you would like to complete your cycling tour. As said, it isn't easy to travel the entire Taiwan. Generally, people plan to complete the trip in 15 - 20 days. Of course, you can plan shorter or longer, it is absolutely depends on yourself. But remember that, the shorter the time, you have lesser time to enjoy the sceneries along the coastlines. Don't forget you got a flight to return.
When renting your bicycle at Yogoaima, they will teach you basic technique to repair your bicycle. Therefore, when your bicycle has minor breakdown during the tour, you can repair it yourself. Do take good care of the rented equipment, it is your partner throughout the trip. I am sure, you don't want it to break down in the middle of the trip.
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- Bicycle shorts - Get the one which has padding. This is to help reduce your pain on butt. After a long ride, our butt, for sure, is going to be pain and you don't feel like sitting anymore. A cyclist (not girl, is a guy) suggested to use sanitary pad as the padding during the tour.
- Flashlights and Batteries - EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA! You never know when you are running out of lights. What if it happens in the evening or night or when you riding in the tunnel? So bring as many as you can.
- Rain coat - If you are going as suggested season (March), you may experience raining. Bring a raincoat as a windbreaker.
- Sunscreen - You definitely need to apply sunscreen. It helps to prevent you getting sunburn.
- Quick drying clothing - You can't bring a lot of clothing because it will put on more weight on your bicycle. This is thing you definitely don't want to happen. Else, you will find hard time when cycling at the hill side; especially at the east coastline.
- Medicine - Bring some emergency medicine or multivitamins so that you won't fall sick easily during the tour.
- Guide book - Get yourself a guide specifically for Taiwan cycling tour. It contains all information you need to know about wheels trip. BTW, get the latest one. Some information may change from time to time.
Undeniably, money is the element to make this 2-wheel trip success. My friend told me that she spent around RM4000 - RM5000 for her 18-day cycling tour in Taiwan . This includes renting the bicycle and equipment, accommodation, food and beverages and purchasing souvenirs. Air tickets were not included here but you can get tickets when Air Asia has low fare sale.
If you want to cut down your budget, I recommended you to cut down from the accommodation portion. You are here to experience life, hotel is just a place for you to rest. Hence, you can actually get those budgeted hotel/motel. Some cyclist will build their own tent or stay overnight at cyclist inn or school which is totally FOC!
You may find a lot of bicycle lane in Taiwan. They have clearly stated on the signboard. That's the best and safer way to cycle around Taiwan. If you want to explore some other places yourself, you can actually choose small country roads but it is more challenging and dangerous. And the last one will be cycling in the city, which you should AVOID! Again, you are here for LOHAS experience. Don't stuck yourself in the city. You don't want to waste your time there.
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