10/10 long weekend cruise from taoyuan to ilan via #7

Looking to do a trip from Taoyuan across to the east coast (via the northern cross island highway, also known as No. 7) over the long weekend of 10/10. I need advice from someone who

I made it once from Hsinchu to Yilan and back in one day (Xinzhu - Zhudong - #3 - #118 - #7 - Yilan - Toucheng - #9 - Xindian - Sanshia - Longtan - Xinzhu).

Route 7 is very nice (between Shimen reservoir and Chilan), but also very narrow, steep, sometimes foggy and slippery, and full of surprises…
On the map it looks like it’s 40-50km, but I think it was more like 100km. The average speed was about 30km/h.
For the most part it’s about 3m wide, and I imagine it would be a little tricky with 2 people on a 125cc scooter. I was alone on a 125cc and it was tricky.

There’s a hotel in Mingchi (between Baleng and Chilan), and it looks pretty nice from the outside… bud I didn’t go inside.
The area was very foggy, and you could hear the owls’ cries echoing from invisible mountains… almost surreal.

Mingchi:

I think you are going to have a tough time booking a room if you haven’t done so by now…

It’s easily doable on a 125cc scooter, the elevation isn’t that high (about 1700meters) but the road is really narrow in places and frequented by large tour buses, especially on holidays.

The 118 doesn’t go through Neiwan, it starts in Kuanshi, goes behind Shrmen dam and ends up right at the “official” start of Bei hen (No 7). The road you are thinking about that goes through Neiwan is the 120, which has yet to be repaired and does not go through.

If you plan to spend the entire 3 days on Bei hen, then you can find a myriad of swimming holes, side roads and lots to explore…Less so towards the top. Count on both Baling and Mingchi to be solidly booked.

Camping?

If you plan to do a loop however, you might consider the following:

First, no rooms available in anyplace even remotely touristy. But if you leave early in the morning, you should have plenty of time to play while on Beihen and still make Ilan by early nightfall. There are also a pretty wide assortment of hotels to choose from (especially in Chaoshi). The next day head up the coast on the 2, stopping at Tashi/Fulong to hang out at the beach. Again, count on full bookings for Fulong. Providing you can find accomodations in or around Fulong, you can hit the 102/106 back into Taipei, with plenty of cool spots to stop along the way.

I’ve done all the Cross-Island highways, and consider Beihen to be the most challenging and fun of the bunch.

Again, I can’t reiterate enough on how tough it’s going to be to find places to stay…Camping will give you a myriad of possibilities for the route I mentioned, not to mention perfect weather for it.

Have a fantastic trip, and if you want some more info on stuff to see on Beihen, PM me. :slight_smile:

Thanks so far for the suggestions and advice. Will check the map and what I know so far and get back to u with more questions :wink:

How cold does it get up there? I guess we would need to take warm clothes right?

I wrote this in the “Motorcycle Touring” sticky thread since you posted your original message there as well. So I wrote this before looking at the above replies to your OP.

[quote=“sleepoverbandit”]Looking to do a trip from Taoyuan across to the east coast (via the northern cross island highway, also known as No. 7) over the long weekend of 10/10. I need advice from someone who

10/10 long weekend … guess every Taiwanese that can move will be on the move … places to sleep will be difficult to get by and prices will be jacked up …

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This place might be the Wuling farm area, they have a trail you can walk to a waterfall, a hotel and probably some new facilities to stay.

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The Fuxing-Yilan route, It’s quite a demanding route as you have 88 Km of curves and narrow road, and as far as I know a lot of construction going on from Fuxing to Baleng.

Ai yo!

Yeah, everybody will be out and about I guess. Really looking for some peace and quiet so thinking of postponing the trip. What do you guys think?

It’s always easy to put off a trip. You always regret it later. The trip your planning is really worthwhile. Your biggest problem will be lodging. I have posted this advice before but - here it is again. A tent and sleeping bag is cheap. Try RT MART. The labeled 5 person tent is really a three person tent so if 10 go, you better consider more than 1. After you get onto 7 you will need to be careful of fuel reserve. The last place to get fuel is (I think) Fusing. The only gas station is off the main road to the right. I also carried an extra water bottle of fuel for an emergency. Camping spots on the E/W hiway are rare. There were a couple of spots but they were close to the road. There are also two large forest hotels. I pulled into one thinking a back part of their parking lot might suffice but I pushed on. This is a very scenic ride and your 125 with 2 people will be fine. Stack the small tent on the floor and sling a sleeping bag over each side with some straps or bundle them on top of the tent. You should still have room for your rider. I camped where 7 N/S meets 7 E/W but the floods 2 years ago have wiped this camping area out. However, go North on 7 from the intersection and there is a small town of DaTong. (also, the first gas station for MANY miles) There is a very new building as you enter town. It’s a great tea house and they have a nice hotel apart and behind the shop. They also have a nice grassy park area that I camped in. They charged me 200 for the night but didn’t charge me when I decided to stay an extra night. I was welcome also to use the hotel dayroom with TV, showers, restrooms, etc. Highly recommend this place. Nice folks. Lots of side roads in this area and they go WAY up into the mountains and the scenic view is great. After you get to Yilan, take hiway 2 North, then 9 East to Shindian. Also a nice ride as it passes through the Wulai hot spring area. Notice that there are 2 hiway 9s. One dead ends at a police station and you can’t take the scooters further. The other one is further north and goes also to Shindian but be careful which one you take. A good look at a map will certainly help.
If you decide to go up around through Keelung on hiway 2, you might try going through the Gold Mountain area. The turn off is near Reifung. Watch for a large fortress looking building far up the hill on your left as you travel North. This road will wind you up and across the mountain and land you on hiway 5 in Taipei. I don’t have my map with me so I can’t tell you the road number but it isn’t difficult to spot becuase of the mineral processing plant on the hillside (fortress) along hiway 2.
Maybe someone else has some other suggestion and can fill in some of the areas which are a little fuzzy here. All in all you will have a great trip.

[quote=“Enigma”]… After you get onto 7 you will need to be careful of fuel reserve. The last place to get fuel is (I think) Fusing. The only gas station is off the main road to the right. I also carried an extra water bottle of fuel for an emergency.

[/quote]

This not only goes for the #7 but for Taroko too, fill up before you go into the gorge, the next one is at the other end … I know out off experience.

Don’t postpone your trip…Just think outside the box a little. You have a pretty large group right? With that large a crowd, it would be easy to carry 3 or 4 tents and all the gear you need. Camping on the 7 is pretty easy, basically any place you can pitch will do.

Shiao wu lai is worth exploring, as well as the turnoff before. Both have good swimining holes. You’ll also find several tributaries running into the main river on your right as you head up toward Baling. About 2km before the summit there is a small clearing on your right where you can pitch. Also, there is a camping area off to the right as you enter Baling. Once you pass through the two tunnels there will be a right going over a bridge. Take it, and head down the side roads until you get to the river.

My spouse and I on many ocassions have hauled a weeks worth of camping stuff on a RZR. You’ll be amazed how much crap you can carry if you put your mind to it…Don’t postpone your trip, just camp :sunglasses:

thanks all. still deciding. wanted to go this weekend instead of 10/10 but looks like typhoon is heading our way. MJB, I mailed u for more info. Please check your box.