Cycling In Taiwan – Everything You Need To Know

Two bicycle tourists riding past an impressive Tao Temple in Taiwan

The island nation of Taiwan is a small, but crowded place filled with friendly people, good food, affordable accommodations, and some of the best cycling infrastructure in the entire world. Taiwan is truly a land built for bicycle travel!

Click here to read about (and see photos from) my month-long bicycle tour in Taiwan… and then watch the video below to hear my friend Kevin and I discuss our favorite bicycle touring moments in the country.

How To Get There

If you’re coming to Taiwan from a foreign country, you’ll likely fly into Taiwan’s capital and largest city – Taipei. This bustling metropolis of 2.6 million people is the thriving commercial center of the island and is the most modern location in the entire country. Young people are everywhere. There are shopping malls, restaurants, night markets and entertainment galore.

From Taipei, you can cycle straight out of the city (which is easier to do than you might think) or jump on a bus or train that will take you and your bicycle to one of Taiwan’s most bicycle-friendly locations.

If you plan to take the train, make note of the fact that there is usually only one train each day that can accommodate full-size bicycles, so be sure to buy your train ticket(s) at least a day or two in advance… and be sure to get a ticket for both you and your bicycle.

Hualien, Taiwan street scene photo

Bringing your own bicycle to Taiwan is a good idea – especially if you plan to spend several weeks or months cycling around the country. If, however, you want to fly into Taiwan and then rent a bicycle for the duration of your stay once you get here, that’s easy to do as well. There are a number of bike shops in both Taipei and around the country that will gladly rent you a bicycle for your stay. If you can, try and arrange this rental agreement before you arrive… and be sure to inquire about whether or not the company you rent from also provides racks and panniers on their bicycles. If not, you’ll want to make sure you bring your own panniers from home so you can easily attach them to whatever bicycle you are provided with for the duration of your time in Taiwan. Most of the quality rental bikes in Taiwan are hybrids and/or mountain bike models with road tires and a few road-riding modifications.

Things To See and Do In Taiwan

Most of the people who come to Taiwan for travel or bicycle holidays spend a few days in Taipei and then head east toward the country’s less-populated coastline. Taiwan is a country that is very much divided by the mountains that run vertically down the center of the island. The west coast of the country (the side that faces China) is where the majority of the population lives and works. This is where much of the industry and much of the country’s population lies. On the opposite coast (the east coast), the towns are small, there are farms and lots of open space. In between these two extremes is a steep, mountainous, jungle-like terrain filled with a variety of plant and animal life.

If you’re coming to Taiwan to cycle, you’ll probably want to stick to the island’s eastern coastline (at least for the beginning of your journey). If, after cycling down the east coast (which can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how fast you want to go), you can then cycle up the west coast. By that time in your travels, you’ll be prepared to navigate the busy streets of western Taiwan after having spent the last several days and/or weeks in the country.

two bicycle tourists riding past liyu lake in taiwan

If you’re interested in learning what attractions, cities and locations are worth visiting in Taiwan, please see the following articles for tips and suggestions and what to see and do in the country while you’re there:

When Is The Best Time To Go To Taiwan?

The best time to go cycling in Taiwan (unless you’re one of those people who likes extremely hot weather) is in the wintertime, during the months of October through February. At this time of year, average temperatures range from 19-27 degrees Celsius (66-80 Fahrenheit) during the day and from 14-22 Celsius (57-72 Fahrenheit) at night.


Rain is less common in the wintertime, although it can still occur. It’s hot during the day, and many local cyclists cover themselves up from head to toe in tight-fitting black Lycra in order to protect their skin from the sun. Temperatures drop slightly at night, but a jacket is rarely ever needed during the winter months.

Packing a light rain jacket is recommended, however, as rain showers are common… and if you plan to cycle into the mountains, which reach as high as 3,000+ meters (10,000+ feet), cold weather, rain, fog and even snow can be encountered. Be ready for it!

Bike Paths & Additional Cycling Infrastructure

You won’t believe it until you actually get there, but Taiwan has an incredible number of bicycle lanes, bike shops, rest stops (built specifically for people traveling by bike), cycling events, and additional bicycle infrastructure. Locals and foreigners alike make it a common practice to get outside and cycle around the island – whether it be for just a short day trip, a week of riding with friends, or for a month-long bicycle tour around the entire island.

bike touring in taiwan jungle

If you plan on cycling in Taiwan, you’ll likely find yourself riding on one of three very different road types:

1. If you want to bike on one of the larger highways in Taiwan (which is perfectly legal and often the only way to go in some instances), you will usually be treated with a wide and luxurious bicycle path. This special bicycle lane is usually (but not always) shared with motorcycle/scooter traffic, so be careful not to take up the entire lane, as faster-moving vehicles will want to occasionally pass you. In many instances, however, there will be one or more lanes for larger vehicle traffic (trucks and cars), then a special lane for slow-moving motorcycles and scooters, and then an additional bicycle path to the right of all of that.

2. If you opt to cycle on smaller country roads or up into the mountains in the center of the country, you’ll likely be cycling on a paved road with little to no shoulder. But don’t worry, because these smaller roads have light vehicle traffic, which makes cycling on them both easy and enjoyable. Plus, drivers in Taiwan are used to seeing cyclists, so they look out for you and know how to slow down and/or move over when they see you in the road up ahead.

3. Finally, if you cycle into any of Taiwan’s cities, you’ll find yourself riding through a chaotic mess of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. From afar it might look as though there is no order to the madness in the city streets of Taiwan, but you’ll quickly learn that there are a few basics rules to cycling in these hectic city streets.

Tips For Cycling In Taiwan

In the cities and on crowded, high-traffic roads, slower traffic should keep to the right while faster traffic should pass on the left. If you’re on a bicycle, you’ll want to be on the right-hand side of the road for much of the time. Just watch out for pedestrians walking in and into the street, scooters backing up without looking, cars and trucks pulling out in front of you, car doors that might open suddenly, and vehicle traffic that is passing you from behind.

Rather than waiting in the middle of the intersection to turn left at crowded city intersections, you’ll want to make a two-point left-hand turn by cycling straight through the intersection and then waiting at the opposite corner for the light to turn green, then cycling through the intersection in your intended direction. You will see signs instructing people on motorcycles and scooters to turn this way as well… and there are special white boxes painted on the ground at some intersections where motorcycles, scooters and bicycles alike are supposed to stop and wait while they make their two-point left-hand turns.

Dylan Brayshaw and Rian Cope of EAT SLEEP SURF

Don’t be surprised if you see people on bikes, motorcycles or scooters going through red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road (sometimes coming right at you!), or making illegal left-hand turns in places where they aren’t supposed to. These actions may not necessarily be legal in Taiwan, but they are extremely common.

Finally, it should be noted that people in Taiwan are incredibly good at avoiding one another when walking, cycling and driving. If there is any one rule to follow when cycling in Taiwan, it is this: Don’t run into anything in front of you. Whether it is a person, another cyclist or an individual driving a car, truck, motorcycle or scooter, your job is to avoid hitting anything in front of you.

What Should You Pack? What Kind Of Bike Should You Ride?

If you plan to stay in hotels and/or hostels during your travels in Taiwan (which is what most of Taiwan’s bicycle tourists tend to do), then you’re going to be conducting a type of bicycle touring known as “light touring.”

Light touring is a type of self-supported bicycle touring in which you ride a bicycle carrying just a small amount of gear (usually carried in one or two panniers) on the rear rack of your bicycle. Instead of carrying camping equipment (which weighs a lot and takes up a lot of space on your bicycle), you will be able to significantly reduce the weight of your bicycle and gear by carrying only the basics you will need for your time in Taiwan – a couple changes of clothing, a pack towel and personal toiletries, and any navigation and/or entertainment items you might wish to carry.

For a detailed sample “light touring” packing list, please see chapter two of The Bicycle Touring Blueprint.

Taiwan cyclist covered from head to food in lycra makes me hot and sweaty

As for the type of bicycle you choose to ride in Taiwan, it doesn’t really matter all that much. While a touring-specific bicycle might be ideal, many of the locals riding around Taiwan do so on a wide range of road and mountain bike models.

The roads and bicycle paths in Taiwan are mostly paved and in very good condition, so you don’t need a bicycle capable of handling off-road riding, unless of course, you’re going to make a point of seeking out that type of cycling. In most instances, a bicycle equipped for several hundred kilometers of road riding is all you need. If you plan to cycle into Taiwan’s mountains (which are beautiful and highly-recommended), then you’re going to want to make sure the bicycle you use has enough low gears to get you up the hills you are sure to encounter. Other than that, you really only need a bicycle that is capable of mounting a rear rack and a couple small panniers.

Taiwanese Food & Drinks

People in Taiwan rarely cook at home. Most meals are eaten on the street or at restaurants and cafes around town. Street vendors and small local shops/restaurants are everywhere in the cities and are easy to find. Most menus are written in Mandarin Chinese, but a few of the more modern restaurants will have an English menus available (if you ask for one).

The most common type of food in Taiwan is Chinese and/or Taiwanese food, which consists of lots of white rice, vegetables, tofu and meat. Buffet-style dinners are popular in Taiwan, but don’t be surprised when you find that your meal is served cold (rather than warm, as you might normally expect).


In larger cities, western fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, KFC and Domino’s can be found. The food at these locations is, as you might expect, pretty much identical to what you would find back home and the prices are about the same as well.

Due to the lack of appropriate acreage for raising cattle in Taiwan, dairy products are rare and extremely pricey, which is why many fast-food chains don’t offer their customary milkshakes, and why foods like pizza and quesadillas are both rare and overpriced throughout Taiwan.

In addition to the local cuisine and the modern western fast food chains, there are some more unique and obscure dining options to be had. In some of the country’s larger cities, Mexican food, Italian food, Greek Food, Hawaiian food, Indian food, and even South African food can be found. You have to do a fair amount of Internet research in order to find these special local diners, but they can be found with a little digging.

If eating out isn’t your thing, then you better get used to eating at 7-Eleven and/or Family Mart – two nearly identical shops that can be found on practically every street corner in Taiwan. These small gas station-style convenience stores sell junk food like soda, candy bars, potato chips, and coffee. At these locations you can buy a magazine, heat up a bowl of noodles, get your blood pressure taken, use the restroom, make photo copies, and a whole lot more. In many of Taiwan’s smaller towns and villages, it is the local 7-Eleven that serves as the heart of the community… and is sometimes the only place in town to get food or drinks of any kind. If you plan on traveling in Taiwan, you better get used to eating and drinking at 7-Eleven and/or Family Mart.

Hotels, Hostels & Camping Accommodations

Finding a place to stay each night is easy in Taiwan. Hotels, hostels and campgrounds are plentiful… and there are lodging options available in various price ranges (all the way from totally free to thousands of New Taiwan Dollars each and every night).

If you plan to stay in private hotel rooms during your travels, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 New Taiwan Dollars per night for a single person or $1500 New Taiwan Dollars for a double room… up to much higher prices (usually between $2500 NTD and $4500 NTD), although some extremely fancy hotels charge a lot more than this per night.


While the price of hotel rooms in Taiwan may be on par with what you might find in much of the United States and even parts of Europe, don’t expect all hotels to be the same. The quality and cleanliness of hotels in Taiwan ranges greatly… and price isn’t always an indicator of the type of room you’re going to receive.

When inquiring about a hotel room in Taiwan, it is customary to ask to see the room before you agree to pay the quoted price. If you don’t like the room (or the price of the room), don’t be afraid to either leave the hotel or ask for a better room/price. Also, be sure to ask (and sometimes even test) to make sure that the hotel in question has hot water. Not all hotels in Taiwan do!

In additional to the standard hotel rooms you might expect to find anywhere in the world, Taiwan also has a number of hostel options for those traveling on a budget. Hostels are common in Taiwan, with most offering dormitory-stye accommodations at a rate of anywhere from $300 – $600 New Taiwan Dollars per night. Some (but not all) hostels include a small breakfast.


If you’re prepared to camp, there are a number of good options for you when cycling around Taiwan. Few cities have established campgrounds (but if you can find one, they are usually well-equipped with bathrooms and hot showers), but are also a little overpriced (usually charging $400 New Taiwan Dollars or more per tent each night).

If you want to camp for free, there are some wild places where camping is allowed. It should be noted, however, that there are several places throughout the country where camping is not allowed. Many of the beaches, parks and other public areas are not open to camping. So if you choose to camp, make sure that doing so is both safe and legal.

If you can’t find a good, safe place to pitch your tent for the night, you might try asking if you can stay at one of the many Tao or Buddhist temples that are scattered throughout the country. You probably won’t be given a free bed for the night, but you will be given a small area in which you can pitch your tent.

How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Taiwan?

While traveling in Taiwan is certainly more costly than other places in much of Asia (such as popular backpacker destinations like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia), the country as a whole is quite affordable, especially if you compare it to other Asian island nations like Japan.

Meals in Taiwan range from as little as $50 New Taiwan Dollars (less than $2 USD) for your typical Chinese/Taiwanese food… to as much as $400 New Taiwan Dollars ($13 USD) for fancier dishes or western-style meals. Drinks and appetizers will obviously increase the cost of your meal bill each day.

fully-loaded bicycle tourist man on road in taiwan's rift valley

Your average hotel cost between $700 and $1500 per night for a single person and between $1200 and $2500 per night for two people.

Hostels cost as little as $300 to $600 per night in a dormitory-style accommodation where you’re sharing the room with as many as 3 to 11 other people… and prices go up from there for larger, more private room options.

Camping costs are free in many parts of the country, but if you opt to stay in an established campground, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $600 per tent… and as much as $2000 per night if you stay in one of Taiwan’s rare RV parks.

Taking the train in Taiwan is both easy and affordable. Because the country is so small, even the furthest of train rides won’t set you back much more than $800 New Taiwan Dollars (about $25 USD).

On a whole, traveling in Taiwan is pretty comparable to traveling in the United States, Canada, parts of central Europe and much of Australia/New Zealand.

Taiwan Is Waiting For You!

If there is any one thing that makes traveling in Taiwan a worthwhile endeavor, it is the people that you will meet while you are there. In my travels to more than 50 different countries all around the world, I’ve never encountered an entire population as friendly and as welcoming as the Taiwanese people.

oyster saleswoman in taiwan street market

If you come to Taiwan, expect to be greeted with smiles and waves. If you ride a bike, local cyclists and drivers alike will go out of their way to cheer you on and give you a “thumbs up” as you pass. Locals are quick to help in any way they can, whether it be giving you directions to a nearby hotel or restaurant, or stopping to chat and ask where you are from and how you are enjoying your time in Taiwan.

Whether you are an experienced cyclist with thousands of miles/kilometers under your belt or a total newbie who’s looking to get started with this whole “bicycle touring” thing, Taiwan is a great place to be. There’s a little bit of everything in this country – flat coastal riding, steep mountainous terrain, beaches, jungles, cities and more!

While there are a lot of wonderful, positive things to say about the nation of Taiwan and why you should come to this small, but special island off the eastern coast of China, the best part about this place is the people. The cycling is great, the food is good, and the prices are affordable… but the people of Taiwan are, by far, the best thing about this small country!


Additional Questions or Concerns About Cycling in Taiwan?

Do you have any questions about traveling and/or bicycle touring in Taiwan that you want to ask me? Is there anything you think I should discuss about cycling in Taiwan that I left out… that I should include in future updates to this article? Leave a comment below with your questions and/or concerns and I’ll write you back with a response just as soon as I possibly can.


56 thoughts on “Cycling In Taiwan – Everything You Need To Know

  1. Rikio Matsushita says:

    I really enjoyed your travel reports of ?aiwan?and I am very glad that you have found and enjoyed the beauty of Taiwan,I live in Taipei for 26 years,l also found the people here are extremely friendly,Taiwan already became my second homeland.l hope you have a wonderful time for the the rest of your stay in Taiwan and keep good memories forever!

  2. Ellie says:

    Thanks you so much for your tips! Even if I can’t go there and see it for myself your articles are so interesting and I have feeling I’m on the bicycle there! Keep sharing your experience! All the best, Man With Van Knightsbridge Ltd.

  3. Eliza says:

    Hi Darren, thanks very much for posting this informative article. I’m starting to plan a trip biking around the perimeter of the island–do you know how I can plan the route? I’m wondering about which roads, what elevation gains are, etc. I’ve also read a little about some harder cross-island routes, do you know where I can find more information? Ideally, I’d love to map out my route, if possible!

  4. Jinny&Rachel says:

    Hi, Darren,

    We (Jinny and Rachel) are native Taiwan girls and do wanna introduce our beatiful country to more people all over the world.

    Occasionally read this artical of your bike travel in Taiwan. I do appriciate your recommand to my lovely country Taiwan. All information you post are so realistic. Do helpful for all traveller who may want to visit here.

    If you do not mind, we hope to share your artical in our FB page. We unregularly post artical something about Taiwan.

    Do hope you visit Taiwan again:)


  5. Christina says:


    Thanks for the extremely informative article, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ll be heading to Taiwan with a few friends in Oct to ride along the east coast. I’m curious to know where I can rent a road bike. I’ve scoured the blogs but could not find anything and a friend mentioned you can’t rent road bikes (only hybrids from Giant), although this seems strange. Any chance you can shed some light on this?

    • Matt says:

      Thanks for a great article. I’m also planning a trip to Taiwan – in the past I’ve taken my bike, but it got dinged up in the plane and needed a mechanic in Taichung, so this time I want to hire. If you (or anyone reading this) knows a bike shop that does decent quality road bike multi-day rentals from any of the major cities (especially Kaoshiung, Taichung and Taipei) please do share contact details, especially if they speak English. My main problem is not having the ability to search online in Chinese, and then call the shops in Chinese.
      Thanks again!

  6. Friends in Taiwan says:

    Hi Darren,

    I enjoyed your article a lot and would love to share this article. The only thing that stops me is the link you included here for the “Top 10 attractions in Taiwan, China”. Taiwan does not belong to China. It’s an independent country despite the debates. Taiwan issues its own passports and elects their own president. Mainland Chinese government does everything possible to confuse people not familiar with the matter. If you can kindly remove the link or make a note on your link to stop the confusion, it will be highly appreciated by the people of Taiwan.

    Thanks much.

    • Bicycle Touring Pro says:

      It’s just a link. I didn’t write the article myself… and I have no control over what they’ve written. I’m sure they have just included “China” in their article title for search engine purposes… and not as any type of political statement.

  7. Manuel says:

    Hi Darren,

    great article! We´re planning a cycling trip in Taiwan at the moment, this helps a lot.
    So: Thank you!!!

    One quesion:
    Do you have any experience with bike shipping via Air China?
    I´m searching for hours now but I can´t find useable information (regarding costs/possibilites) for this airline.

    (well, I´ve read that the baggage must not exceed 158cm in linear dimensions – which would mean that bike-shipping isn´t possible since the box would be bigger for sure – but I can´t believe that it´s not possible at all)

    Would be great if you can share how you brought your bikes to Taiwan.

    Thanks again & Cheers,

    • Bicycle Touring Pro says:

      Hi Manuel,

      Happy to hear about your bicycle touring plans in Taiwan. It’s a wonderful place – for cycling, for making friends, etc. I hope you have a wonderful time.

      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Air China. When I traveled to Taiwan, I simply packed my bicycle up inside a tiny cardboard box, which I cut down to airline standard size. This is the major advantage to owning a bicycle equipped with S&S couplers (See this article for more information:

      If I were you, I would simply hunt around for the cheapest airline ticket to Taiwan – the one that is cheapest for both you and your bicycle. That’s all you can really do. Just find the cheapest deal.

  8. Janice says:

    Thanks so much for this article! I’m a single gal hoping to bike along the east coast of Taiwan in December. Would you recommend doing this alone or joining a tour group? Any groups that you recommend? Or do you have suggestions on how I might be able to find other interested riders? Thank you!

  9. Chan says:

    Do you know about the Giant Rental Scheme where we rent a bicycle from a town and return it in another? Do we have to make reservation prior or can we walk in to rent the bike directly? Cant seem to find the website or email to do the reservation. Really appreciate your kind advice.

  10. Tracy chester says:

    Hi, My husband and I will be heading off to tour the east coast and south of Taiwan in Feb.2017. We will be staying in Bitan, New taipei for a couple of days before heading out. We are both pretty experienced riders and have toured quite a bit. I am wondering if we should head up the bike path to Tamsui and then cycle the North of the island to the east or travel the #9 across thru the mountains to get out of Taipei? Is the #9 really steep? I don’t really feel like slogging it on the first day. Or is it just hilly and I’m being a bit spoilt? We have 16 days to play around with. I’m wondering about the weather on the north coast in Feb or if we should just boot it across to the east and head for the south…. It’s a real hard one. Taiwan looks fantastic for all sorts of reasons. And while I have your attention can you also tell me how steep it is going into Taroko George from the east coast? I guess I’m trying to deside if I have to up my granny gears….I love your blog. And congrats on a great lifestyle choice, I point people in your direction all the time. Thanx for the info and inspiration!!! Cheers! And hope this finds you well!!

    • Darren Alff says:

      Yes, the #9 is pretty steep leading out of Taipei. It totally kicked my butt on the first day of our bike tour and I would not want to do it again like that. Taroko gorge is also pretty steep, regardless of which way you approach it. But it’s a climb worth doing, for sure! Have a wonderful time!

  11. Don't park your bike anywhere you can't see it while in Taiwan says:

    Don’t park your expensive high end bicycle (or anything else) anywhere you can’t see it 100 percent of the time while in Taiwan. Some jealous idiot will kick it over or vandalize it. Instead ride or walk the ugliest thing you can find.

    I thought strangers only damage other people’s luxury cars and motorcycles. I’ve seen both in Taiwan. Owners even go to the extreme of “uglying” up there motorcycles with paint spots, so people won’t steal or damage them, but I never expected it to happen to a bicycle, my bicycle. But I learned a terrible lesson today.

    After coming out of a restaurant on a small country road in a very small town in a very remote part of Taiwan, I found my bicycle kicked over with the handle bars bent out of line and the grip damaged from the fall.

    The person who did this and the countless morons who do this sort of thing really stole something I value: The peace of mind and the freedom I enjoy while riding in Taiwan. I’ll walk for now on.

    I stopped riding an expensive motorcycle in Taiwan years ago for the same reason. Some moron walked into a book-coffee shop in Taichung and drug his key across the gas tank of my high end motorcycle. That person taught me a lesson. I now ride a piece of crap scooter that draws no attention.

    It happened to a friend’s car in Taipei last month too. He was parked on a city street (and no, he didn’t live there or frequent there, so it wasn’t done by someone he new).

    And before someone replies and says that I offended someone or something silly like that, I didn’t offend any cowards that needed to attack a bicycle to show their frustration with the owner because they didn’t have the stones to stand up to the owner. I parked it safely out of the way of foot traffic (away from the door) on the sidewalk (away from road traffic) in front of the restaurant. This sort of thing happens all of the time in Taiwan to a great many people.

    Having lived in Taiwan for over a decade, I can say that Taiwan is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people, but this sort of thing happens often that it’s a real problem.


    Really disappointed

  12. Camille says:

    Hey, thanks for the article! I have a good condition but I actually never bike, so it may be a bit challenging for me. Do you think that traveling in January is a good period? Do you also think the East coast is easily accessible for beginners? Which itinerary do you recommand on the East coast and how long does it take? Besides, I have a very poor sense of orientation, and I’ll be traveling on my own, are the path indicated well enough?
    Thanks !!!

    • Darren Alff says:

      You will need to be able to read a map, but I would recommend cycling from Hualien to the southern tip of the islands if this is your first bike tour. That’s going to be the flattest and easiest route to navigate.

  13. Malia says:

    Hello! I will be riding my bike from Hualien to Kenting National Park next week and would like to take a bus from Kenting to Kaohsiung. I was hoping to put my bike on the bus. Do you know if this is possible? Or what the bus options are from Kenting to Kaohsiung?

    • Darren Alff says:

      I’m sorry. I don’t know. I never took the bus while I was in Taiwan. I only traveled by train… and taking the bike on the train was super easy.

  14. Christophe says:

    This trip looks exiting! I was wondering where to find a travelling buddy. Any information you could share with me? Thanks

  15. Paul Greening says:

    I plan to cycle around and perhaps through Taiwan in the next couple of months. Wonder if you can give me advice:

    -Do flights leaving Taipei have any problem taking bikes?
    -I need a new saddle. Can I easily get one in Taiwan? One that is broad and does not ruin my sex life.
    -Do most hostels have single rooms and are these same or cheaper than cheap hotels?
    -What is the best sim card with data to get on arrival?
    -Is it necessary to book accommodation? Is bargaining for a room usual?

    Thanks a lot. Your article convinced me to make this trip.

    • Darren Alff says:

      1. Depends which airline you take. Most airlines allow bicycles.
      2. Yes, you can get a bike saddle in Taiwan. But why not bring one that you like with you?
      3. Yes, there are single rooms in both hotels and hostels usually. Hotels in Taiwan are usually pretty cheap.
      4. I don’t know about the SIM card situation, because I didn’t have a SIM card when I was there. I just used WiFi in the hotels.
      5. You don’t need to book accommodation in advance in most instances. Just find a hotel and walk inside. Bargaining is probably possible for hotels, but prices are fair in my opinion.

    • Paul Greening says:

      Thanks a lot
      I ask about a saddle as I need A new one and think I may have a better choice a lower price in Taiwan.
      Cycling counter clockwise looks the best. Agree?

  16. Mike says:

    I’m in Taiwan now. It’s my opinion and the opinion of the others I’ve talked to that this is one of the best wild camping places I’ve been. I don’t advocate breaking rules but ever person I’ve asked here has said it’s no problem. Ask someone or be discrete and respectful. It’s been fantastic.

  17. Edmund says:

    I am planning a bike tour in Taiwan. I am looking for map(s) showing designated bike routes and their type (shoulder, dedicated path, etc.). It would be nice if there was a way to determine the vertical climbs on any particular route. I tried Map My Ride however it appeared that Taiwan was not in their system. Can anyone recommend where to find maps or a “Taiwan” Map My Ride?

  18. dave mccarthy says:

    Hi, Good article, well done. You don’t mention “assisted” travel, where your luggage gets taken on. We’ll be going very shortly on a 15 day trip round Taiwan with our grown-up kids which will be at most 1/3 or so cycling. So we’ll have ordinary suitcases and rucksacks as well as some bike specific stuff, panniers, clothing, a few tools. Might we easily find someone to move our other stuff along, say for example to where we’ll be in 3 or 4 days’ time? I should say that we speak some Chinese.

  19. ShuHao says:

    Hi, I am Taiwanese and really enjoy your article of cycling in Taiwan, most of things, hotel, price, campground , food and nice people are totally right. It’s amazing you did it.
    and I also follow your other info and inspire me to bike tour.

    • Darren Alff says:

      In some parts of the world… YES. But I’m not sure about in Taiwan. I bet if you call around to all the local bike shops you would be able to find someone who would be willing to rent some panniers to you.

  20. Susan Ethé says:

    I came across your article and hope you can help us 🙂
    We are a cycling group from Germany and are going on a trip from 20th – 27th of January starting and ending in Tapei. 10 of our cyclists wanted to rent bikes but the vendor “giant bicyles rental” is not able to support us with road bikes anymore. Searching in the world wide web as well as research with the lonely planed didn’t bring any other vendors than giant bicycles. Do you have any idea where we can rent good quality road bikes for the above mentioned time?

    Thanks a lot for your help and I am looking forward to your answer.
    Best regards

    • Darren Alff says:

      I’m sorry Susan. I don’t know of any specific companies in Taiwan that can handle renting out so many bikes. If I were you, I’d simply contact local bike stores in Taipei and see if they might be able to help you or point you in the right direction.

  21. Dave Derpak says:

    Really enjoyed the information and photos. We are doing a trip in November, starting in Taipei, looking to ride for 7 to 8 days and then train back to Taipei. Looking to rent bikes and panniers there and leave our bags at our hotel. Would love some suggestions on routes to follow.

    Thanks, Dave

    • Laura Carreras says:

      Hi! I am planning a trip to Taiwan on the second half of November with a friend. We also want to cycle for some days on the south part.
      We’d be happy to hear suggestions on renting bikes, routes or camping sites, too.

      Thank you!

    • Lois Li says:

      Hi Dave, my husband and I are running an online bike rental in Taipei. We specialize in road bikes and touring bikes from Rikulau (, a boutique bike manufacturer in Taiwan. Our rental packages come with essential accessories (including panniers and pannier bags) and free delivery and pick-up within Taipei. You can leave your luggage with us and we are most happy to help with route planning. Feel free to check out our website for more info: Thanks, Lois

      Hi Darren, thank you so much for this comprehensive guide on cycling in Taiwan. If this reply is in any way inappropriate, please let me know. Thanks again. Lois

  22. Max Irons says:

    Hi! I’m extremely interested in cycling around Taiwan on Route 1. However, the bike I’d want to do the journey on is a race bike and is my pride and joy. I wouldn’t want to rent a bike. While I could make my position a little less aggressive by a few adjustments and easily attach minimum bike luggage, would this kind of bike be unsuitable? I’d want to stay in hotels each night and would bring the absolute lightweight bare essentials with me attached to a single top tube roll-up, so I wouldn’t need typical heavy duty bike luggage. Assuming th right amount of physical preparation has been done, and yoga is practiced during the journey, do people successfully manage Route 1 on a drop bar bike? Thankyou so much and I look forward to hearing back from you. All the best. Max

    • Chengnon Hsu says:

      Hi Susan,
      Back in 2018, maybe there were no supplier of high end road bikes.
      But, since 2019, you can rent a titanium road bike from Rikulau or Bike Express.
      This info may be too late for you. But, may benefit anyone who sees the posting.
      Hope you can find the bike you need on your next visit to Taiwan.

      Best regards,

      Chengnon Hsu

    • Chengnon Hsu says:

      Hi Max,
      I am a local Taiwanese.
      No problem to do the journey on Route #1 on a drop bar road bike.
      People here do this all the time.

      For your reference

      Chengnon Hsu

  23. James Ward says:

    Hi Darren,

    Fantastic article! I am planning on cycling around the Island in March and wanted to know whether the bikes for rental come in XL frames (58-60inch) – reason being is that I am 6ft 5 (almost 2 metres). If not do you know how easy it would be to buy an XL – XXL frame bike over in Taiwan?


    • Chengnon Hsu says:

      Hi James,
      This info may come in too late. But, you can try Rikulau or Bike Express on your next visit to TAiwan. They do have very big bikes for rent. Up to 2 meters, I guess.

      For your reference

      Chengnon Hsu

  24. Almut Schmidt says:

    Hi there,

    we will visit Taiwan in 2 weeks and unfortunately have to change our plans a little through an injury (two broken wrists). We really want to do the East-Coast-Cycling from Hualien to Taitung but the only possibility is with a tandem. We already got in contact with a rental service, but they don’t have any. Do you have an idea if and where we could rent a tandem? Thank you so much in advance, i really got out of ideas how to fix the vacation.

  25. drogo123 says:

    How much training do you need to start an adventure such as yours? How much riding and longest rides do you have to do in order to prepare yourself?

  26. Mahandra Kumar says:

    Hi, I got a Brompton 6 speed folding bike. I toured South Korea on that comfortably last Autumn. Do you think I can tour around Taiwan including its Central Mountain region on it. Your advice will be pretty helpful. I am planning to do it in November this year.

    • Chengnon Hsu says:

      I am local Taiwanese.
      From January to April, you may encounter a cold front in Taiwan. But, the temperature hardly fall below 10 degrees C in the north, and 15 degrees C in the south.
      But, if you climb the mountains, that is a different story. As we know, temperature falls 0.6 degrees for every 100 m rise in altitude.

      For your reference

      Chegnon Hsu

Comments are closed.

Send this to a friend