I want to use my New Year’s break to explore Taiwan. In particular, I was thinking of circumnavigating the entire island on my motorcycle - starting from Taipei and going down the East coast, then spending a day or two in Kaohsiung before going up the West coast. I was planning on starting out on Sunday the 29th, since I was told traffic shouldn’t be too bad that day, and doing it over about a week.
I was wondering if anyone else had tried this, or had any advice on how to do it and what routes to take? Is there a road I can just follow all the way around the coast?
Also, I was hoping for some advice on good places to stop, or interesting things to see. I’d really appreciate any help, since I’m kind of new to Taiwan and not sure what I’m looking for - just anything interesting that anyone would recommend.
Finally, I was planning on going on this trip alone, but if anyone else is interested please drop me a line - I’d love to have some company.
CNY is not the time I would pick to do a circumnavigation. Lots of people are shuttling between husband and wife’s relatives and people are going out to have fun.
What you suggest is a nice way of doing it normally. Go to SuAo for lunch on day one. Stop for coffee at one of the breathtaking coffee shops between SuAo and Hualian. You can take a detour to green island or Orchid island. When crossing back to the west coast on the cross-island highway there is a nice detour about half-way that can take you to Che-Cheng.
You are likely to be sorry if you ride up (or down) the West Coast between Taichung and Taipei…nasty, nasty road, sort of like 16 hours of driving thru Panchiao…crowded with innumerable yahoos driving on the verge, dirty, nothing to see, and hellacious crosswinds that never let up.
For that section, I’d say you’re way better off coming inland and going through the mountains, although at that time of year you’re almost guaranteed of that route being very cold and wet.
I would do something like ride to Taidung via Suao and Hualien on first the 9 and then the 11 (coastal highway), continue south on the 9 and over to Fengkang, up the 1 as far as Fanliao and then up the Pintung 185 until it meets the 27 at Tajin. The 27 is aka the Southern Cross-island Highway. It’s high and narrow and it will be wet and cold, but the views are spectacular. You come out on the 9 in the Huadong valley. Go back north to Ilan and from there back to Taipei.
Some of this route may be cold and wet, especially the mountain crossing and the northern part, but at least it’s pretty enough to take your mind off the weather.