Here’s the breathtaking scenery you’ll be overwhelmed by when cycling around Taiwan
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Check out the indigenous tribe of Pisirian. A woman rebuilt her community from scratch by taking children off the streets and introducing them to their tribal traditions of music and dance, and the skill of DIY. Together they attempt to construct a community dedicated to recycling natural waste caused by the typhoons and making something beautiful out of them. Close to here, you can also find a spot where the Eurasian plate and the Philippines tectonic plate collide in perfect unison.
The morning after, on our trip from Hualian up to the Taroko Gorge, we got lost. Maybe the beauty of cycling in an unknown island also rests in not having a clue of where you’re going and figuring it out on the way. In our serendipitous journey we discovered the beaches and dipped our feet in the freezing cold water.
Once you finally get to Taroko Gorge, rest assured that it’s worth every inch of the hype. It is nestled within the Taroko National Park, one of the nine national parks in Taiwan, and it’s a landmark gorge carved by the Liwu River. Taroko Gorge also holds one of the eight wonders of Hualien, the graceful Cimu Bridge. It is a natural habitat of incredible beauty; think Tarzan or world of the apes. The tropical forest nurtures the spirit of the island in grandiose generosity. The tips of the mountains nap in the clouds, kissing the shy rains before their departure to the ground.
Although you cannot cycle this route specifically, another example of breathtaking scenery you can experience whilst cycling round Taiwan is the trekking trail of the Baiyang waterfall. This 2.1km trail is a popular spot for tourists, offering mesmerising views for little effort. As we spot dozens of different creatures peeking out from the bark and hopping from pistil to petal, the mountains are covered in a thick and furry layer of greenery that makes the air come alive in warm gusts between leaves.
The next trail, the most demanding and challenging (I hopped onto the van) can take you from the geographic area of Taroko Gorge up to the mountainous range in the most beautiful winding ways. Cycle the whole way up to Hehuan mountain, a 3,416-metre-high mountain in Central Taiwan.
From here on, the scenery gets more amazing by the second. Travel to the other side of the Island up to the Yuchi Township in the Nantou County and absorb the placidity of Sun Moon Lake, the largest body of water in Taiwan. Home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, this place is literal heaven. Take in the flourishing greenery, blossoming buds springing right and left, from light green to dark green and lilac to burgondy, flowers intertwining between themselves. Small wooden houses shaped like hearts, a large, smooth path to take pictures on - you'll be confused with regards to where you actually are. _______________________
Sofia travelled to Taiwan with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau on a ten-day trip cycling around the island.
In this series she'll explore lifestyle, culture, religion, food, nature and sporting opportunities that are available in Taiwan.