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
4th March, 2010

Six days from Taroko Gorge to the Hengchun Peninsula

During the long Lunar New Year’s holiday, we joined up with Tim and six of his friends for a long ride from Taroko Gorge and down along the East Rift Valley and the east coast of the Hengchun Peninsula to Kending and then up along the west coast to Checheng.

Taroko Gorge

I‘ll do a more detailed write up with a Google map of the route when I get time between translation projects, but as an overall outline, we spent the first night in Tianxiang in Taroko Gorge, the second night in Ruisui at the northern end of the East Rift Valley, and then Taidong, Dongyuan and finally Kending.

Rice paddies along the 9 outside Yuli

We took the morning train from Taipei down to Xincheng, the stop closest to Taroko Gorge where we spent the first night. I just realized that since this a short and leisurely ride, it would be possible to do Taroko Gorge as a day trip from Taipei. Take the 7.30 train, arrive in Xincheng at around 10, spend, say, three hours to go up Taroko, and then roll back down again to catch an evening train back to Taipei.

D changes shoes after a wet and rainy morning on the bike

While the weather was better than in Taipei, that didn’t mean that it didn’t rain, it just rained a bit less than in Taipei. We had rain three days out of six, but every place we stayed had washing machines, so if you give your shoes a good spin in the centrifuge, they’ll be dry again in the morning.

The east coast somewhere along the 26

It was great to finally get to test the bikes on a real ride, but because we were gone for a week, we had a rack and panniers which changed the balance of the bike and gave it a fairly high center of gravity. Apart from making the climbs more tiring, the strong sidewinds along the east coast made it quite a wobbly ride. Still, the bikes felt great.

Closer toward Eluanbi at the southern tip of Taiwan

Tride along the 26 down the east coast of the Hengchun Peninsula was beautiful. The rain and the strong winds almost made me nostalgic for the autumn storms along the coast in my hometown in Sweden. Lots and lots of driftwood on the shore, but I think it might be illegal to actually collect it. On the bridges across the rivers coming down from the mountains in Taimali and other places, you could see all the silt and debris that washed down from the mountains during the Morakot disaster in August last year.


So, that was the short version of the ride. I’ll do a better write up as soon as I can with more details and a Google map, but here’s a map at For some reason it doubles the accumulated descent. For more pictures, click the top pic in the left column.

2 comments to Six days from Taroko Gorge to the Hengchun Peninsula

  • I like your idea of the day trip to Taroko. I have a similar trip in mind – From Danshui out 140km or more to somewhere near Jiaoxi or Toucheng – to a station, get a train to Hualien – stay at a cheap hotel in Hualien – next day ride from Hualien to Taidong or Yuli or somewhere and return Taipei that night. It would be a real weekend warrior ride but completely doable. Perhaps when it warms up a bit more.

  • tbv

    Yes, that would be a cool day trip. More tourism than biking, since it’s just 30-odd kilometers, but it’s so beautiful that it’s a great ride. Your suggestion is more hard core fro a weekend, but it’s doable. Danshui to Jiaoxi is a good day trip. We’ve done it several times, and depending on what way we go from our house, it is between 75 and 100km and we get between 1100 and 1300 meters of climbing down. A good ride.
    Talking about weekend warriors: D’s spinning coach and her buddies did Taipei to Tainan the other week. 360km in 12 hours, an average of 30km an hour. But they’re all serious triathletes.