Alishan, April 12 - 13, 2010. Click pic for album

Taroko to Kending

Taroko Gorge to Kending, Feb 14 - 19, 2010.

Northern Cross Island Highway

Northern Cross Island Highway, May 19 - 21, 2008. Click pic for album
27th February, 2008

Wulai and Tonghou

A waterfall on the way to Tonghou
So this Monday we decided to take a mini break -- ride the bikes down to Tonghou and then spend the night in a hot spring hotel in Wulai or somewhere along the road to Wulai. We're tired of riding through the polluted and traffic jammed streets of Taipei along Dunhua, Jilong and Roosevelt Road down to Xindian, so we bagged the bikes and hopped on the MRT. Down in Xindian, the buses were full so we took a cab -- NT$400 with the meter off. All in all, it took us 1.5 hours from the center of Taipei to Wulai Old Street, about the same time as it would take us to do the almost 30km on our bikes, but it was nice to avoid the boring ride. flat.jpg
Fixing a flat in Wulai
The ride from Wulai to Tonghou was a leisurely 20km. It felt as if most of it was on the flat, but going back again, I realized that there must have been an incline: we rolled most of the way back. The weather was good to great with the sun even breaking through a couple of times. The night was spent here, Riyueguang, Sun- and moonlight, five km from Wulai, because they seemed to have a few nice outdoor hot spring pools. And they did. We spent an hour soaking after the ride which ended in a light drizzle. Rooms were fairly big, and they let us bring the bikes to the room. Four or five outdoor pools, a large and a small tub in the room, family rooms in the basement with a fairly large tub, and separate pools for men and women, also in the basement of the hotel. Dinner and breakfast included made the price NT$3,300 almost acceptable. Other places with less advanced facilities charged upwards of 4-5000 bucks. Tuesday morning we rode the bikes back home, but the weather was worse with rain and a constant drizzle. In addition, D had her second flat in two days.
Facts The ride to Tonghou from Wulai is a leisurely 20 km with a slight incline. The surroundings are beautiful, and there's no traffic or people around. When the road ends, there's a suspension bridge that brings you across the river and from there you can hike down to Jiaoxi. I have also heard of people taking their mountain bikes and partly walking, partly riding the way down to Jiaoxi from here.
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3 comments to Wulai and Tonghou

  • Here an account in Chinese of riding the loop from Sindian to Yilan (Jiaosi) and then to Tonghou. Riding this route in reverse is the way you want to do it since the road from Jiaosi to the pass ends at the top at the pass and you can ride downhill from there to Tonghou offroad. The first 2km is probably half ridable for someone with some offroad experience. Not advisable for someone’s first or even second offroad experience. If you ride from Wulai (as I have done), you end up pushing your bike up the trail for the last few kilometers. It can be done, but not that much fun.
    I certainly agree about not wanting to ride all the way down Roosevelt to Sindian–and I libe in Guting!. But you can cut out a good chunk of Rooselelt by riding on the bike paths starting from the Water Park Museum on Shuiyuan Rd.

  • tff

    Wulai to Jiaoxi was also the direction that Tim at the Giant store by Da-an Park did. He showed me the pics, and it looked like a nice trail.
    We were going to do the river park back on Tuesday morning, but from Xindian we only got a km or two before the road ended and we had to get back up on the road. We probably went on the wrong side of the river. Should we have crossed the river on the Bitan Bridge in Xindian before getting on the bike paths?

  • tff

    Oh, and thanks for the link!