One day more and we are off to Vietnam. I hope we find some bike boxes for the flight. So far, we have been unsuccessful, which feels a little bit ironic. Taiwan is maybe the biggest exporter of bicycles: Colnago, Specialized, Giant, Merida, Bianchi, BMC, Cervelo, Zipp, 3T, FSA, Kona, Vivente, and many more brands, all made in Taiwan. So where are all the boxes? Anyhow, Things always work out in the end.
We are back in Taipei and we came with a train in the end. We had some great days in Kenting NP, the very south of Taiwan and started riding along the west coast. It was not really bad riding or so, just a bit boring. No steep mountains, quirky little villages, deserted beaches or wild oceans. The west coast means big roads, much traffic and not much nature. I have attached a few bike riding photos, that are not perfect roads in beautiful nature. That is part of long-distance riding as well, sometimes it is long stretched on the outskirts of towns, or riding into industrial areas that look as they will eat you. Strangely I enjoyed riding these places as well, there is so much to see. We stayed in Kaohsiung which was a quite pleasant place, but at the end we traded three big days on the bike against some big city time in Taipei, as we have some stuff to organise and to find bike boxes!!
Staying in a noisy, cheap AirBnB in Taipei feels a little bit like an anticlimax for me, because Taiwan has been a fantastic experience. The bike riding, the diversity, the people, the nature has blown us all away. I could stay for another month and do it all again.
Xièxie Taiwan, we have fallen in love with you.
And here are the final stats and our final rankings for the trip
Total km: 1198km
Total altitude gain: 6100m
Best road we travelled on a bike
Steffen: Lishan to Taroko Gorge (by an enormous margin and that Ellie and Max choose some other days just shows they have no idea what is good)
Ellie: Downhill into Hengshun
Max: Bike path before Hualien
Steffen: Vegetarian Chinese pancakes in Hengshun
Ellie: Steam buns in Donghe
Max: Steam buns in Donghe
Best place we stayed
Steffen Wulin Camping
Ellie Taroko Gorge Camping
Max Jinlun Homestay
Ellie: Taroko gorge
Max: Taroko gorge