|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||63 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Mar 23, Apr 6, Sep 21, Oct 19, Nov 16, 2014; Mar 22, Apr 5, Sep 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, 2015 (2 participants minimum)|
|Start city:||Taipei, Taiwan|
|End city:||Kaohsiung, Taiwan|
If you're looking for some challenging road cycling with dramatic views then this is definitely the ride for you!
Starting in Taipei, you ride from north to south on Taiwan's scenic roads to the highest point of 10745 ft/3275 m and then descend through endless tunnels to the Taroko Gorge and back to sea level. The views remain breathtaking here and the road undulates as you ride through valleys and along the coast to the southern most tip of Taiwan.
Spectacular winding roads that provide tough-but-rewarding climbs and exciting descents are the hallmarks of riding in Taiwan. The roads are surprisingly quiet on the less populated East Coast and are very well maintained.
Though only 248 mi/400 km long, Taiwan has a surprising variety of ecosystems. There are more than 100 peaks over 9843 mi/3000 m in the Central Mountain Range, which you'll cross twice! There's an amazing descent of 37 mi/60 km through the dramatic Taroko Gorge before you ride south through the lush East Rift Valley, then meet the power of the Pacific as it hits the coast. Here the beaches and palm trees will make you wonder if you are on the same island!
An added benefit of Taiwan is the plethora of hot springs, and for five nights you'll be able to soak your muscles after your hard day of riding to prepare them for the next day's efforts.
With breathtaking scenery, challenging riding and plenty of off-bike experiences to enjoy, the stage is set for a uniquely rewarding cycling holiday – one you will remember for a long time to come!
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Taipei – Fusing (31 mi/50 km)
Your guides and support crew will meet you at your Taipei hotel in the morning and drive you to Fusing, where your ride begins. You will have a short ride but it starts at sea level and ends at about 1476 ft/450 m. It’s a gentle start through undulating hills to get your legs warmed up before you start the serious climbing. You'll be riding through thick forest, and the thick moss and huge ferns that line the narrow road give the whole place a Jurassic feel. Meals: L,D.
Overnight in Fusing.
Day 2: Fusing – Wuling Farm (74 mi/120 km)
You’ll ride straight from the hotel to start your ascent of the Central Cross Island Link that takes you to just under 6562 ft/2000 m and the high altitude plateau of Wuling. The forest will be thick and will change from cedars to bamboo. The scenery is spectacular up here and the air fresh. Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight at Wuling Farm.
Day 3: Wuling Farm - Gu Guan Hot Spring (41 mi/66 km)
You continue up the Central Cordillera with views that will inspire awe. The area is breathtaking with mountain vistas on every corner as you make your way up to the high altitude farming village of Lishan where you’ll stop for a rest. Then it's a glorious downhill to Gu Guan and fabulous hot springs! Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Gu Guan.
Day 4: Gu Guan Hot Spring - Lu Shan Hot Spring (60 mi/97 km)
Today's ride is along an excellent route through the Wushe Scenic Area that contains numerous betel-nut plantations, rice fields, temples, and other cultural points of interest. You'll be traversing the Spine of Taiwan, as the central mountains are sometimes called, and pass though the Tri Mountain National Scenic Area. Along the way you enter Puli, the geographical center of Taiwan and the starting point for the highest and toughest climb Taiwan has to offer. Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Lu Shan.
Day 5: Lu Shan - Taroko Gorge (65 miles/105 km)
For those wanting to punish their legs we suggest an early start to ride 20 miles/32 km and 7,136 ft/2,175 m up to Hehuanshan Pass, the highest road in East Asia at 10,745 ft/3275m. We will offer a car transport and options to start at different points along the way on the way up.
After photos we have an absolutely exhilarating ride down into Taroko National Park and the world famous Taroko Gorge. This will be one ride you will never forget as we drop some 10,728 ft/3270m, riding through endless tunnels and a multitude of ecosystems. The last 12 miles/20 km of Taroko Gorge is a mind-blowing ride through marbled walled passageways that twist and turn as the gorge rises some 1640-3609 ft/500-1100m above. Simply spectacular!! Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Taroko Gorge.
Day 6: Rest Day in Taroko National Park
Today we take a break from the bikes and spend the day visiting and hiking in Taroko Gorge. We will visit the Siangde Temple that has a giant statue of Guanyin and a pagoda that provides views of the valley from the top and walk the Tunnel of Nine Turns trail, which is on the original road through the narrowest part of the gorge. There are many other hikes to choose from and we'll decide which ones are best to do based on the group's interests. Meals: B, D.
Overnight in Taroko Gorge.
Day 7: Taroko Gorge – Yu Li Hot Spring (62 miles/100 km)
From Taroko Gorge we ride out onto the east coast and into the superb East Rift Valley. We cycle on an undulating route that hugs the foothills and takes us through numerous aboriginal villages. After cycling through this fertile valley we overnight at yet another wonderful hot spring resort! Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Yu Li.
Day 8: Yu Li – Jhihben Hot Springs (63 miles/102 km)
We ride from our hotel south and then up into the Badlands area and enjoy splendid views from our deserted mountain road. We eventually connect with the Luye back roads and enjoy a wonderful ride through the outskirts of the port town of Taitung and down to the lush Jhihben River valley where the hot springs are between 75-96 degrees Celsius. Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Jhihben Hot Springs.
Day 9: Jhihben Hot Springs - Kenting National Park (93 miles/150 km)
Today's ride takes us over the top of the Capricorn pass and down to the white sand beaches of Kenting and to the southern most point of Formosa. We ride on quiet back roads through the fertile, lush rolling terrain before we round the southernmost point of Taiwan where we stop for a photo. We have more white sandy beaches and rocky outcrops on our route to our charming guesthouse. Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Kenting.
Day 10: Kenting National Park – Bao Lai (80 miles/130 km)
Today is our last ride of the tour as we leave behind beautiful and rugged Kenting National Park and ride to what will also be our last hot spring of the tour. The ride starts off along the coast but after about 31 miles/50 km we turn inland and will be riding parallel with the southern most section of the central mountain spine. There will be numerous aborigine villages as we cycle through fertile farm land. We stop for lunch at one of them for some traditional aborigine food. The second half of the ride takes us along the banks of the Lao Nong river, a preferred area of Buddhist monks with impressive temples dotting the landscape. We'll have our farewell dinner after our soak in the hot springs. Meals: B, L, D.
Overnight in Bao Lai.
Day 11: Departure
Today we'll transfer you to Kaohsiung where you can catch a flight or the high speed train (highly recommend!) to Taipei or to your Kaoshiang hotel if you wish to spend the night in this port city. Meals: B.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$20 per day, for incidentals.
These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.
Day 1: Ching Dzuang Guest House, Ching Dzuang
Day 2: Wuling Farm Guest House, Wuling Farm
Day 3: Gu Guan Uni Resort, Gu Guan
Day 4: Lu Shan Sha Du Hotel, Lu Shan
Days 5 & 6: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge Guest House, Taroko Gorge
Day 7: Yu Li Hot Spring Hotel, Yu Li
Day 8: Rainbow Resort, Jhiben
Day 9: Casa Aperta Guest House, Kenting National Park
Day 10: Bao Lai Spa Village Hotel, Bao Lai
Bikes available on this tour (not included in tour price, must be reserved at time of booking):
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please ensure that it has a universal seat post.
Helmets are available on this tour, but we recommend that you bring or buy your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.
On this hilly, and sometimes steep, ride you will be challenged as you head up and over the Central Mountain Range twice, culminating at 10744 ft/3275 m on the Hehuanshan Road. You will ride just under 572 mi/920 km in 9 days of riding on smooth tarmac roads.
The trip is fully supported and your guide’s expert knowledge of the area and terrain means that you always know what is coming up in terms of distance and difficulty. This makes a tremendous difference, as does the constant supply of cold drinks, ice and fresh fruit.
This tour is challenging and is recommended for cyclists in above average physical condition. Fitness will be a huge asset on those long days, steep climbs and on the undulating hills. The tour is fully supported and the bus is always close at hand for those that find the riding too difficult.
Nearest airport: Taipei, Taiwan
Nearest airport: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
International and domestic flights to and from the tour start/end are not included in the tour price. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times.
You will be led by a local English-speaking tour guide, and if the group is 8 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
We will be supported by an air-conditioned vehicle that will follow us the whole time.
The Tropic of Cancer runs straight through the middle of Taiwan resulting in a subtropical climate. Summers can be hot, humid and wet, although rainfall is often limited to short showers.
Typhoon season hits in late summer to mid-autumn, and tends to strike the east coast particularly hard. Winter temperatures are mild and the only snowfall is on mountain peaks. The annual average temperature of the northern part is around 21.7C (71F) while is around 24.1C (75F) in the southern part. The coldest months are from January to March with the lowest temperature to about 10C (50F). The average temperature of the rest months is around 25C (77F).
Taiwan is also prone to earthquakes as it sits on the colliding Eurasian and Philippine plates. These grinding plates are also responsible for the beautiful mountains and amazing hot springs that make the trip to Taiwan truly worthwhile. Most of these quakes are small earth tremors.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
All nationalities require a passport for entry into Taiwan. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from date of entry. If staying less than 30 days then a visa is not required for European, North American, Australian and many other nationalities.
You should visit a travel medical doctor and ask about the following vaccinations: typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local and feature noodles, rice, curries and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring drinks while you are riding are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere, but is NOT included in the price.
Taiwan’s currency is the New Taiwanese Dollar (NT). ATMs, which are abundant, are the easiest way to get NT. At the more than 4,000 7-Elevens across the country there are ATMs on the international Plus or Cirrus network and have English-language options. Have a supply of US dollars in cash on hand, just in case your card doesn’t work. Credit cards are accepted in big cities and resort hotels but you’ll need cash for family-run guesthouses or restaurants.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$20 a day, for incidentals.
SpiceRoads endeavors to offer high-quality, educational, and adventure-filled itineraries that highlight and focus on the diversity of landscapes found in Asia and its people. As a specialized "niche" bicycle tour operator since 2000, we provide the most authentic, unique and exciting adventures in Asia.
The SpiceRoads family began back in the mid 1990s, when Hamish Keith was creating, operating and leading ground breaking cycle tours throughout Thailand and in emerging destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for well known companies such as Exodus Travels and World Expeditions and his own company the Wild Planet.
In 2000 Hamish decided to concentrate on what he loved doing the most and he established SpiceRoads as a specialist cycle tour operator in the region he knew best - Southeast Asia. The “niche” was to promote bicycle group tours directly to clients all around the world via the internet. Hamish set the standard for all subsequent SpiceRoads tours by offering a high quality tour - from customer service, to bicycles, to well researched routes to the guides we use – at a good value.
In 2002, when Hamish left to pursue other opportunities in the travel industry, Struan Robertson came on board, and with his skills in management, IT and of course cycling, the company has grown to encompass other Asian countries. During the years of growth what hasn't changed is the spirit of SpiceRoads, which is to offer professional, international standard cycle tours and services to independent travellers and cycle enthusiast looking to discover Asia by bicycle.
Our well-planned eye-opening cycling tours provide an active immersion into local cultures, languages, scenery and, of course, the most delicious of foods. By combining legendary service and rare opportunities for cultural experiences, our travel philosophy continues to excite, enthuse, and positively impact every guest. Take a look at our guestbook if you don't believe us!
SpiceRoads' staff and all of our professionally licensed multi-lingual tour guides are passionate about creating the best possible experiences, with fun, creativity, and total dedication to satisfaction.
We're always peddling towards making your tour perfect so you can See Asia by Bicycle!
(Involuntary) On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions.
(Voluntary) If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the following formula:
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
Number of days prior to trip start
Cancellation fee per person
50% of tour price
70% of tour price
**Administration fees include bank fees and exchange rate losses.
Exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please note:
We strongly advise that clients have full personal travel insurance that covers for the refund of monies paid in case either party cancels the tour for any reason.
We regret that we cannot be held responsible for incidental/consequential costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any changes or cancellations. No compensation is payable for minor changes.
Any damages/injuries incurred that are attributable to your own actions, acts of some other party unconnected with the contract services or where the damage/injury results from events/circumstances which our outside our control and could not be reasonably foreseen.
For damages where SpiceRoads is responsible, our liability is strictly limited to twice the total price of the tour. In booking a tour with SpiceRoads you, the client, are agreeing to these terms and you accept this limit on our liability. This limit allows us to keep the prices of our tours as low as possible.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and all the visas and permits required for your tour. This includes any medical certificates that are required. The client accepts full responsibility for obtaining any and all such documentation. Every client is encouraged to contact the consulate/embassy for the countries they are traveling in respectively to receive the latest and most current information about their immigration / transit policies.
SpiceRoads does not accept responsibility if your documentation is not in order. Information provided by the company about these matters and other related items (clothing, baggage, climate etc.) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out good travel insurance before joining one of our tours. There are inherent risks involved in cycling and mountain biking and we will not be liable for your medical expenses or evacuation in case of an accident.
This insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident, medical expenses, injury, death and repatriation. Insurance should also provide coverage for cancellations or curtailment of the holiday. Clients should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour.
If you join the tour without adequate insurance you may be disallowed from continuing on the tour without the right of refund. Clients are solely responsible for arranging their own insurance and they should ensure that they are covered for the full duration of their tour. Your tour leader will ask for copies of your insurance before allowing you to join the tour. This protects both you and us.
In case of an accident, please consult with your tour leader or contact our reservation staff at +66(0) 89 895 5680 (24 hour hot line).
Upon signing up for a tour you must agree to accept the authority of the tour leader who is the representative of the company. The tour leader should be regarded as the same as a “ship’s captain” or an airline’s “Pilot.”
At all times the authority of your tour leader will be final when concerning matters likely to endanger your own health or safety or in regard to behavior or ill health that is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress or disturbance to the group and the well-being of the tour. Failure to abide by the authority of the tour leader could result in legal proceedings and the immediate termination of your participation in the tour without recourse.
In such circumstances we reserve the right to terminate all travel arrangements without liability on the part of the company. You must always comply with the local law, customs and drug regulations of the country/ies you are visiting. Failure to do so may lead to you being ordered to leave the tour without recourse to any refund or any legal claim against the company. In the case of ill health the company and its operators can make those arrangements that it sees fit and recover all monies paid from the client. The person who signs the booking form (which incorporates these conditions) warrants that he/she does so, with full authority on behalf of all those whose names appear thereon, and confirms thereby that all such persons accept and are fully aware of these conditions.
No refund will be given for non-utilized services, however if we are able to obtain a refund ourselves for these services we will endeavor to pass these on to the client less reasonable administration charges.
SpiceRoads pledges never to increase the tour price except under exceptional circumstances for those that have previously book the tour. Circumstances of this policy include: government action or legislation that directs the company to increase prices, exceptional and unfavorable changes in exchange rates that exceed a 20% fluctuation or currency devaluation.
Clients will be notified of any price increase at least 4 weeks before departure.
We will not accept any liability for any delay in your outward or inward flight/s, whether the cancellation or delay is caused by the weather, airline rescheduling, industrial action or mechanical failure. We will give no refunds or compensation for lost time and services from the itinerary.
Should you have a complaint while on tour, you must notify your guide, or the local operator, at the earliest opportunity, so that they can do what they can to immediately rectify it. Failure to do so will result in the limiting of a client's ability to claim compensation. If the problem is not brought to our attention we have no opportunity to rectify it. Any complaints should be sent to us in writing, or by email, not more than 28 days after the tour ends.
Complaints related to booking, inquires, billing, sales or operations should be directed to the Sales and Marketing Manager and/or the General Manager.
If there is anything else you need to know or want to hear in order to put your mind at rest, please do not hesitate to contact us.
SpiceRoads is not liable for any bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided.
SpiceRoads is also not liable for: expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) that are not specified as included in the trip cost but may be required to get to or from a trip start or end point.
SpiceRoads reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as necessary to improve the trip quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant SpiceRoads express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approve such use by third parties with whom SpiceRoads may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
To view our liability release form click here. You will be asked to sign this form before you start your tour.