If you like scenery and nature, you definitely want to visit the east coast of Taiwan, and nothing is better than cycling to experience all the gifts that nature has to offer. There are many trails run along the east coast, but Hualien to Taitung may be the best one. There are three different tracks to travel from Hualien to Taitung: Highway #9, Highway #11, and a combination of Highway #9 and #11 via Highway #30. Here we will explore the Highway #11 route.
Highway #11 is a demanding ride which requires a great amount of physical strength, especially in the climb near Niushan. Quite challenging for those who are not avid cyclists, but if you are a water lover, a bit of exercise won’t be a problem. That’s right, Highway #11 offers lots of oceanic lookout spots which will bring you closer to the sea more than you can imagine.
Highway #11 meanders along the Pacific Ocean through the heart of the East Coast National Scenic Area where you’ll find idyllic fishing villages, rice paddies, herds of water buffalo, and some surfing spots in Taiwan. And even more, the East Coast is a combination of natural beauty and culture. This is the home of indigenous groups such as the Amis, the Kavalan and the Sakizaya. You’ll see how harmonious it is when people know how to coexist peacefully with the natural surroundings.
The most challenging climb is the 10 km uphill stretch near Niushan. Apart from that, the rest of Highway #11 is short and small climbs.
The ride starts from Hualien Train Station in Hualien.
Food and drink
Highway #11 is a little inconvenient when it comes to food and accommodation. Unfortunately, the villages along the highway are less populated, which means that the access to catering service is limited. The first 7 Eleven is 50 km from the city center and the second one is about 100 km away. So we suggest bring water and food with you.
Day 1: Hualien to ShiTiPing
ShiTiPing is around 67km from Hualien. The terrain is pretty challenging, especially the section near Niushan. You’re going to experience a long and sharp climb which extends approximately 10km. You can have a short rest in FengBin where you can find toilets and eateries before continuing to ShiTiPing.
Day 2: ShiTiPing to DongHe
You’re going to conquer another 67km on relatively difficult terrain. You don’t have to cycle non-stop to DongHe. If you are tired, ChangBin is your rest spot. You can rest there for an evening and continent to DongHe on the next day. This will give you enough energy to cycle to DuLan, leaving only 20km left to Taitung.
Day 3: DongHe to Taitung
The route from DongHe to Taitung isn’t as long as the previous ones. You can stop at DuLan and visit Sintung Sugar Factory Culture Park. This place used to be a sugar refinery, but it was bombed during the World War II. Later, the factory was re-built as a multi-purpose park. Here you can find bed and breakfast, handicraft shop, and coffee houses. The architect of the park is very interesting. It is mostly made of pebbles, steel bars and driftwood.
When you reach Taitung, make sure to treat yourself a delicious meal at one of the lovely restaurants in the town and have a nice rest.
Since there is no bike shop along the way either, we recommend you to carry a spare inner tube and an understanding about fixing a flat tire is necessary.
168.829 km / 104.905 mi
1,567 m / 5,140 ft
1,534 m / 5,034 ft
233 m / 765 ft