Motorbike trip - East coast

Hey all,

I was last in Taiwan over a year ago and have not stopped thinking about it since I’ve left. I’m coming back for a holiday and want to do the east coast by motorcycle.

When I was last in Taiwan I successfully did the west coast from Taipei to Tainan, during Chinese new year which was busy, expensive and wet but still good times. I just set my GPS to each town on the way and off I went.

I want to do something other than just set my gps and go for the East coast, I would like some suggestions as to where to go and routes to take. My plan was Taibei - Yilan - Hualien - Taidong - Kenting then to Kaoshiung to send the bike back and take the HSR to Taibei.

But yeah any suggestions as to routes or places to see to give my plan some spice would be greatly appreciated.

No love? I guess I could just hit up google but thought someone could offer up a suggestion.

I don’t know the north very well yet but in between Taidong and Hualien I liked Fuyuan Butterfly Valley, the Walami Trail and Jhiben. You could also drive Hwy 23 which gets almost no traffic and Sansiantai is also pretty cool along the cool.

This is one route if you like mountains. It will take you up to Hehuanshan and down through Taroko. I have heard that somewhere this road is partially closed due to a recent landslide but this would be an awesome route.

[quote=“Abacus”]I don’t know the north very well yet but in between Taidong and Hualian I liked Fuyuan Butterfly Valley, the Walami Trail and Jhiben. You could also drive Hwy 23 which gets almost no traffic and Sanxiantai is also pretty cool along the cool.

This is one route if you like mountains. It will take you up to Hehuanshan and down through Taroko. I have heard that somewhere this road is partially closed due to a recent landslide but this would be an awesome route.[/quote]

Thanks buddy. I will definitely google the shizzle out of those and hit them up!

You could just buy a guidebook. At least to get an idea… :whistle:

Word. I just thought you guys would have some less commercial insight.

Word. I just thought you guys would have some less commercial insight.[/quote]

Well, I write the Taiwan guide and there’s nothing too commercial about it. I write what I’ve found to be great and the boards here are a huge inspiration to me too.

There’s some really really great backcountry routes on the east. Ones you have to do are the 193 and the 197 which leads into the 41 (I think) which follows the Beinan River. One side is all craggy crumbling badlands and the other hard rugged cliffs.

From Taipei head through Yangmingshan to Jinshan and then down. You’ll want to stop in Juifen, Wai’ao (cool little surf town), Hualien, Dulan (funky little art village with live music Saturday nights), then Kenting and up the 185 to Pingtung and across to Kaohsiung.

Between Hwy 9 and 11 on the east coast take some of the connectors. Great scenery.

Abacus suggestion is good. Instead of scootering from Yilan to Hualian on the coast go up to Wuling Farm and then take the side route to Hehuanshan, which is all rolling hills of alpine dwarf bamboo at 3200m. From there it’s a 86km downhill to Hualien at sea level and subtopical forest.

Word. I just thought you guys would have some less commercial insight.[/quote]

Well, I write the Taiwan guide and there’s nothing too commercial about it. I write what I’ve found to be great and the boards here are a huge inspiration to me too.

There’s some really really great backcountry routes on the east. Ones you have to do are the 193 and the 197 which leads into the 41 (I think) which follows the Beinan River. One side is all craggy crumbling badlands and the other hard rugged cliffs.

From Taipei head through Yangming Shan to Jinshan and then down. You’ll want to stop in Juifen, Wai’ao (cool little surf town), Hualian, Dulan (funky little art village with live music Saturday nights), then Kending and up the 185 to Pingdong and across to Kaohsiung.

Between Hwy 9 and 11 on the east coast take some of the connectors. Great scenery.

Abacus suggestion is good. Instead of scootering from Yilan to Hualian on the coast go up to Wuling Farm and then take the side route to Hehuanshan, which is all rolling hills of alpine dwarf bamboo at 3200m. From there it’s a 86km downhill to Hualian at sea level and subtopical forest.[/quote]

You Sir are a legend. Thanks

How dodgy would it be to undertake this on a scooter as opposed to a motorbike?

I doubt there’s enough data available to provide a sound basis to answer to that question, but I’d guess somewhere between 95 and 99% as dodgy. Urban riding, maybe the relative dodginess would drop a bit further.

Lots of people have gone round Taiwan on a scooter. Just don’t try too many km in a day unless your ass is made of steel.

Don’t matter as long as you can dodge the gravel trucks between Yilan and Hualien

Just thinking in terms of whether a scooter could deal with the punishment. I’m sticking a xiao jie on the back for company and translation in the boonies.

As long as it’s a decent scooter it will be fine. I rented a scooter in Hualien and two of us rode up and down Taroko for a 2 days. There’s no reason I couldn’t have Haulien-Taidong-Hualien with several side trips.

Word. I just thought you guys would have some less commercial insight.[/quote]

Well, I write the Taiwan guide and there’s nothing too commercial about it. I write what I’ve found to be great and the boards here are a huge inspiration to me too.

There’s some really really great backcountry routes on the east. Ones you have to do are the 193 and the 197 which leads into the 41 (I think) which follows the Beinan River. One side is all craggy crumbling badlands and the other hard rugged cliffs.

From Taipei head through Yangming Shan to Jinshan and then down. You’ll want to stop in Juifen, Wai’ao (cool little surf town), Hualian, Dulan (funky little art village with live music Saturday nights), then Kending and up the 185 to Pingdong and across to Kaohsiung.

Between Hwy 9 and 11 on the east coast take some of the connectors. Great scenery.

Abacus suggestion is good. Instead of scootering from Yilan to Hualian on the coast go up to Wuling Farm and then take the side route to Hehuanshan, which is all rolling hills of alpine dwarf bamboo at 3200m. From there it’s a 86km downhill to Hualian at sea level and subtopical forest.[/quote]

I third Abacus’ suggestion to take the 7-A and Central Cross (8) to Hualien. Dont take the Suhua (Highway 9) from Su-Ao to Hualien. It has some epic spots but its just no fun at all if you get stuck behind gravel trucks or tour buses. Which you most certainly will. There is also frequent construction which can cause traffic jams. Besides, the 7-A and 8 are both easily among the 4 or 5 best roads in Taiwan.

After that just do as MM says and zigzag back and forth between the coast (11) and valley (9).

One tough choice is whether to do the 11 or 193 south of Hualien. The 11 has great ocean vistas and one of the best camping spots in Taiwan (Niushan Huting) and is a bit faster, the 193 is tranquil and idyllic farm areas and less traffic. Both are a blast to ride. I just did a loop yesterday taking the 11 down to Fongbin, the 11-B to Guangfu and the 193 back to Hualien. Fantastic.

When I first got here I made an around the island trip on a 125 cc. I camped at small campgrounds or beach sites like in Hualian. I had a backpack, small cooler, sleeping bag, a small hiker’s gas stove and a small camper’s glass lantern and a small two person tent that I bungied on the back of the scooter and some went under the seat. I bought the camping gear in Banciao near the telephone office and at Carrefour. I had no problems except in Yilan where I was stopped by an English speaking officer. I only had my U.S. driver’s license and it was still valid. All my scooter papers were in order. They accepted it but told me I should get my Taiwan license when I got back home.
Toroko gorge is beautiful and doesn’t take long to drive up the gorge and back down. Then, back down to the highway and continue south and around the southern tip and back north.
It took me a week. I could have done it faster but I had plenty of time and the scenery was awesome. I have alot of pics and will send them to you if you like.