Taiwan tour by bicycle + Okinawa cruisers

Hello everyone !

I’m new to this board, found it few days ago and started to come here to get some info, used the search button, but havn’t found all my answers…

I’ve decided lately to make a tour of taiwan this summer (mid august to mid september) by bicycle(and maybe train sometimes).

And because my chinese level is really weak (i’m not even sure if i could order food in a restaurant…or i know i can’t )

i’ve had few questions about the budget and other stuff…

I’ve heard many different things about the average cost of life per day. Sometimes it is around 5-10us and sometimes it jumps to 50us . Which should i trust the most ?

As i guess that people here mainly live in Taiwan, Can somebody tells me how much does a bike cost that could last for one month without breaking (too often) ?

When i read few tips about travelling in taiwan on other board, i’ve been alarmed by “snakes” and so on…is it really a danger ? As i was planning sometimes to sleep outside in a tent, shall i really reconsider it ?

I’ve read on the same other place that taiwan’s streets are not that safe…is it really true ??? this surprised me too…

Plus i’ve seen there are cruisers from taiwan to Okinawa, but mostly people go there just for visa run. I would like to know if some people here went there not for a visa run and have an idea about the price for a round trip, like go there on a monday and come back the next monday (i dont know if the time spent there influence the price of the ticket) ?

Well, I had many other questions, but it seems that while i was writing those above, i forgot the others, so they will be for another time.

I know, i might sound quite noobish with all my questions, but every helper is welcome : )
Thank you to everybody who read me and thanks for all your answers.


Hmm, it depends.
The expense is different between big city and country .
Travelling around Taiwan by bicycle ,the expense only for food,I think it could be 5-10US$ .(noodle,lunch box…)

.[quote]When I read few tips about travelling in taiwan on other board, i’ve been alarmed by “snakes” and so on…is it really a danger ? As I was planning sometimes to sleep outside in a tent, shall i really reconsider it ?
I am not sure about this.Because I haven’t heard the snake thing for a long time.

[quote]I’ve read on the same other place that Taiwan’s streets are not that safe…is it really true ??? this surprised me too…
You mean the Drag-racing clan ?
There are some places are not safe in every country.
Asking local people or police where you can stay,I think they will give you the best suggestion.
Don’t worry about your Chinese.
You can prepare some useful terms and write them down .
When you need just show it to people.I think it may help.

Anyway,good luck on your trip in Taiwan

I’ve decided lately to make a tour of Taiwan this summer (mid august to mid september) by bicycle(and maybe train sometimes). [/quote]
Btw,I think you have to notice the typhoon warning issue at that time

I think if you prepare well then you shouldn’t need to worry about many things.
If you have a tent, then zip up the fly sheet at night and you won’t have to worry about any snakes.
The greatest worry you should have is getting your bike stolen, which is what will probably happen if you don’t ALWAYS keep an eye on it, even when locked up so don’t be fooled.
If you like you can purchase or rent a cheap cell phone/mobile phone and keep someone’s number in there just in case you need a call for translation or for advice. I don’t mind giving you mine, just PM me if you would like it and you can call me anytime. I’m good for things like translation, expected prices for things, some information sourcing, but only some information on some few tourist hot spots.

You should be able to survive on only a small amount of money if you don’t mind camping and preparing your own food. I reckon I could get by on about 8,000nt per month if I was to prepare all of my own food, cook it myself, live in a tent (damn hot these days) and cycle everywhere without using any other form of transport. That won’t include entrance tickets to sights or anything else either though. A more realistic budget without being too extravagant may be around the 20,000nt mark, but will still include much camping and transporting yourself most of the time.

If you really want to have a little luxury at times however then keep the following prices in mind:

  1. Bus ride north to south Taipei to Kaohsiung one way about 700nt
  2. Cheap guest house accommodation 1 night off peak with no food (no weekends or holidays as prices may at least double) 500nt per night.
  3. A hot meal at a cheap local restaurant 100nt
  4. Bicycle repair should be free, they only charge for parts, but are limited in skill of fitting.
  5. Internet cafes can charge from about 50nt per hour.
  6. Used mobile phone from a shop 1,000nt. Pay as you go card about 700nt with credit.

7*) From the selection of bikes available suitable for touring in Taiwan I would personally recommend the Giant Yukon I have shown some pictures of my heavily modified version HERE. Bare in mind I have changed every component but the original frame in these shots and the entire bike including rear rack cost me 36,000nt after exchanging all of the earlier components with money returned for them as they were entirely unused. The bike was built by the shop which supplied it.
The original Giant Yukon bike comes with disk brakes, Shimano Deore gears, levers, crank, hubs etc, front Suntour sr shocks, straight bars, foam saddle, no bottle holders, light mud suited tyres and no rear rack, but is a really good deal at about 9,000nt.
My bike is fully kitted out for touring and with lots of great spec stuff, but is not necessary for touring Taiwan. I wanted my bike to be a couple of kilos lighter than the original spec as I want to travel to Germany on a plane next year and would rather have more luggage allowance weight than being taken up on the bike itself, so I dropped the suspension and disks and went for solid forks and caliper brakes which are much lighter. My bike now weighs 11 kilos, which is about three kilos lighter than the original.
I have looked at many different bikes suitable for touring, but I believe that this Giant Yukon in original spec is perhaps the most suited, offering a comfortable riding angle, rear lugs for pannier fitting, reliable Shimano gears with smooth shifting, good wheels and the ability to hold two bike bottle cages that fit!. If I were to recommend one change to the original it would have to be the front shocks as the Suntour chocks offer limited travel and are heavy. They also have no means to attach front panniers.
Most of the Giant model bikes in Taiwan at around 10,000nt come with fairly poor front suspention forks and these are the only things that really need changing before touring I would say.
Edit: Oh, and you may be wondering why I didn’t include a touring bike in my recommendation…Well I personally think that one should best be repaired for any kind of road surface in Taiwan and because of this I chose a mountain bike instead which can handle even the worst or roads without snapping or bending out of shape as easily as a touring bike would.

One thing you might consider, depending on your plans and budget is purchasing a bicycle in Taiwan, riding it around, taking it home and selling it. Many people purchase top end bikes in Taiwan as they are much cheaper than abroad seeing as most good bikes come from Taiwan in the first place. A Titanium MTB frame costs about 20,000nt for example which is probably far cheaper than most people can find in Europe and can pay for a trip here if resold back in the E.U. If you would like to get more information on a bike build or a readily available model, then you can drop me a PM and I’ll either put you in touch or help get the information you require. The only things you should bring for sure is some good panniers as the Taiwan made panniers may not be as good in quality as Ortlieb for example, but there are reasonable panniers here for cheap prices that should get you by for a while without problems.

Thank you very much for all your kind answers. You all mainly answered my questions, and even more, you gave me more will to accomplish my trip :slight_smile:

By the way, wisher noticed the typhoon danger…I was in Tokyo two years ago, about the same period of the year and there were few typhoons, but all were not so frightening…are they really bad in Taiwan ?

[quote=“Pirem”]Thank you very much for all your kind answers. You all mainly answered my questions, and even more, you gave me more will to accomplish my trip :slight_smile:

By the way, wisher noticed the typhoon danger…I was in Tokyo two years ago, about the same period of the year and there were few typhoons, but all were not so frightening…are they really bad in Taiwan ?[/quote]
Yes.Typhoon always damaged Taiwan badly.
In summer ,There will be many typhoons to form.
And the chances are high to hit Taiwan.
The heavy rain and strong wind caused the landslides .
There were many people were buried because of the landslide.
But not every typhoon damaged Taiwan badly.
Some damaged Taiwan badly are like :HERB,TORAJI,NARI Typhoons.
AS for Japan ,Its location is different from Taiwan totally.
And it was hitted by typhoon as not many as Taiwan.
Last year when I was in Japan ,yes,the typhoon wasn’t frightening at all.
Anyway,when You are in Taiwan,Be careful the traffic and typhoon.
Hope you have a happy time in Taiwan. :slight_smile:

Oh,And after typhoon ,please notice the traffic information.
Because some roads may damamge and you can’t pass through.
Bear in mind,no matter where you are,just ask the local people and police for information.

Can you link to websites for cycling shops showing the difference in price between Taiwan and Europe and/or North America? I know I once considered picking up a nice Giant road bike while in Taiwan to bring back to Canada with me, but the bikes were either the same price as in Canada, or even more expensive!

Another problem with this plan is that mountain bikes have become so ubiquitous now that just about any shop out there has most anything you’d ever want, from high end to low end, so you’d be hard pressed to impress anyone with a Giant “direct from Taiwan” anyway. A friend of mine tried to do just that a few years ago, and ended up keeping the bike because no one who answered his ad was prepared to pay more than half of what he was asking (i.e. the going price was lower than in Taiwan).

Again, perhaps Europe is different, though during my cursory browsing in several bike shops in Spain it didn’t seem to me that bikes were much different in price than here in Canada. My impression is that the notion of buying a high end bike for cheap and selling it back home is a non-starter.

I don’t have any specific web sites to refer you to to get a good idea of price comparisons but I have asked quite a few prices for Giant or Merida frame sets here and they are considerably cheaper than a few of the U.K. web sites are offering them for. 300 pounds is what a Giant XTC frame is advertised for on a U.K. site here for example, when a local Giant bike shop tells me the same frame here should be around 14,000 tops. The same goes for more exotic frames with the gap between local prices widening even further than the prices expected abroad. As I typed earlier somewhere a nice solid titanium frame can be made to measure here for about 20,000nt not including forks, try comparing that to some of the prices abroad.

some hurried search results for online titanium frame set prices:
setavento.com/Setavento_HTMT … otos.shtml

There is an organized tour of Taiwan (about 1000 km) from Aug 5 to 15 this year… and its pretty cheap if you’re a student, or if not its 11,000NT$ fully supported… including food and visits and hotels.


for a discussion on frame prices look here:


I last compared prices a number of years ago, and back then they seemed to be about the same between the U.S./Canada and Taiwan, or even more expensive in Taiwan. Now, though, it looks like prices are indeed cheaper in Taiwan.

OCR Composite 1
Giant’s suggested list price: 59,800 NT = US$1,810

Random bike shop in U.S.: US$2,999
Random bike shop in U.S.: US$3,000
Random bike shop in U.S.: US$3,100, on sale for $2,099.

I may just have to look into buying a nice new Giant the next time I’m in Taiwan. Thing is, I’m a devoted steel frame rider, and can’t imagine riding anything else (certainly not aluminum, in any case).

What about the used market? Is there anything like Craig’s List in Taiwan?

In the bike shop where I purchased mine they had a few steel frames hanging up, a nice Voodo frame caught my eye but I didn’t ask the price, I’ll try and remember next time I go. The majority of good U.S. brand frames seem to be still made in Taiwan and so it isn’t always impossible to see them hanging in local shops although finding a local listing of U.S. brands in steel frames and suppliers may be a bit more tricky than with giant and Merida.

thank you very much everybody one more time !

thanks urodacus to gave me the info, but i wont be able to take part in the event as my datum will be around 10 august to 20september (more or less, due to some professional reasons).

But i learnt something nice, it is that it is around 1000km to do a tour of taiwan by bicycle…which will be a nice first bicycle tour for me !!
But i just took a look on their roadmap, this could be a help to make mine ^^

One other really nice thing to see is that there are some bike maniacs who seems to know quite a lot about bikes ! But you know, i’m still a student, so i won’t be able to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars (us dollars i mean here) in a bike. I was more willing to find like a second hand shop and search in taipei 2 or 3 days long for a nice shop with nice and cheap bicycles…my price would be between 100 and 250-300 us dollars (around 200euros actually…wichi is exactly 268us $)…considering the fact that i will use this bike one month only and then sell it (very quickly, like in 1-2days) or simply give it to somebody, i dont want to have the feeling i’ve waisted money in it…i dont know if im understandable, sorry.

But as my sister’s husband is found of bicycles, it is great thing that i’ve found these info…maybe he will want me to take one back for him…so, thanks a lot : )

And to come back on the typhoon topic, landslides are a problem occuring everywhere in taiwan or specifically in parts of the island ?

thank you again to read and answermy questions.

Well,not everywhere.Near the mountain area(Like in Nan Tou county which is near the center of Taiwan.)

Pirem if budget is a concern then you can always simply rent a bike from Alan’s bike shop mentioned earlier in the topic.

wow !!! I had no idea we could rent bikes…well, i am gonna reread the topic, thanks sulavaca.

I reread all the topic, but couldn’t find any weblink linking to this shop, so they don’t have a website ?

Sorry if I didn’t post it up, my mistake.

[quote]Bike Rentals

We understand that not everybody who visits Taipei wants to, or is able to bring their bike with them. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying some of the excellent riding that Northern Taiwan has to offer.

At Alan’s, we offer both hardtails and full suspension bikes for rent on a day-to-day basis. The rental price for hardtails is $800 NT per day, while the full suspension bikes are $1000 NT per day. We stock a variety of sizes, including large frames to accommodate tall riders. We recommend that you contact us a minimum of 2-3 days in advance to ensure bike availability. Renters are responsible for their own safety and for any damage to the bike during the rental period, and are required to leave a deposit and/or their ID with the shop. "[/quote]

On second thoughts, they seem a bit pricey if one is intending on renting for perhaps a couple of weeks, but I’ll bet they are willing to make a discount deal on a longer rental period so drop them a line before making a decision, and make sure to ask them if they can supply a pannier rack for the rear and even panniers if possible.

Thanks sulavaca.

Actually yes, I am planning a five or six weeks trip, including few days in Okinawa, so after all i do believe it is better for me to buy a bike. But i’d never heard of renting bike this way, so thans to you who made me discover this ^^

This bring me to the other side of the topic :

any idea my dear forumosa members of prices of okinawa cruisers ?

PS : this forum is such a relief !

PS2 : am I the only one who quite often got bug or debug message when trying to go on the forum ?

After some researches, I’ve found that ferry costs from around 15k yens to 30k yens per trip from kaohshiung/keelung to Okinawa.

But does anybody knows what makes the big difference between the two prices ?

'Cause I don’t.

Sorry, I have no idea about cruises around here.