Day #125: Cycling in Taiwan

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Asia » Taiwan » Hualien » Yuli
August 4th 2013
Published: August 16th 2013
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Taiwan must be one of the most cycling-friendly countries in the world. Most cities have inner-city cycleways on the roads (i.e. parts of the road painted off for the use of cyclists only) or, even better, parts of the pavement sectioned off from both the pedestrian pavement and the road, just for cyclists. In addition, most places also have recreational routes, next to rivers, around lakes, or just around scenic areas. It is cheap to rent bicycles and I rent a bike probably one day in two, as public transport outside of Taipei is not very comprehensive and most Taiwanese get around by bike or scooter (and many also cycle recreationally).

Today I cycled from Yuli to the head of the Walami Trail (there is no public transport to Walami), a route that goes through flat farm land, past temples and a stream, and then goes uphill for 5km. It is worth it to get to the Walami Trail for the impressive views over the mountains, a dramatic suspension bridge (built by the Japanese) and a pretty waterfall. There are bear warnings all over the Trail, including a set of instructions on plaques in the Visitor's Centre for what to do if confronted by a bear, in scenarios graded from if the bear hasn't seen you, to if they have seen you but not attacked through to what to do in a full-blown assault. The final, worst-case scenario advice: "Do not give up! Struggle to live!" Fortunately I did not see a bear.

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