(Taiwan) For the first time, I camped comfortably in public places.

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I was about to go on a bicycle trip in Taiwan. It was only 5 p.m., but darkness had already arrived. I took a picture with the 101 building, the symbol of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and then I left to find a camping spot.


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Since I’ve been staying at a hostel, I really wanted to go camping for the first time in a while. However, when darkness came, it was not easy to find a wild camping spot. For the first time since traveling the world, I pitched a tent in an open public park. I talked to a middle-aged woman at the river, and she said Taipei is safe and I could pitch a tent here. After pitching the tent, the park security guard came and talked to me, but there was no problem at all.

While staying in Taipei, I felt that Taiwan was quite safe, in that many people did not drink alcohol. This was the first time on my trip I’ve seen a place like this where people don’t drink alcohol. Actually, the reason I couldn’t camp in public places is because I’m worried about drunk people, but in Taiwan, I didn’t have to worry about that, so it was really nice.


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I woke up in the morning and it was raining. Taipei is known to be a city with frequent rain like London.


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After riding my bike in the rain, I arrived in a city called Ruifang and checked into a hostel. It was my birthday that day, so I ordered two special side dishes, and the black thing on top of the tofu was a fermented egg, which I didn’t know. It had a really strong smell. It remained as a memory of giving myself a very special birthday present.


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I heard there was a place called Cat Village nearby, so I took the train to see them.


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Afterwards, I went uphill to a place called Jiufen, and the town was really pretty.


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It turned out to be an incredibly famous tourist destination, and personally one of the best places during my trip to Taiwan. If you have time when you come to Taipei, Taiwan, I definitely recommend you go! The night view is really nice, and there are many alleys, making it perfect for a walk when the night is cool.


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Afterwards, I thought whether to ride my bike on the beach side or in the mountains side, but I decided to go up the mountain because I thought it would be quiet and nice. Since the slope was gentle, there were no major problems riding the bike. This was a famous place frequented by photographers.


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I wanted to have wild camping, but couldn’t find a suitable place, so I pitched my tent in a park again. Generally, when camping, I get permission from people and pitch a tent in their yard, or I camp hidden in a place where people can’t see. However, this was the first time I’ve done this frequently on my trip, and it’s because Taiwan felt safe.


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It was very hot to cycle on the mountain at the next day. Mosquitoes loved me, so I turned on the mosquito coil and ate the lunch I bought in the town.


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When I looked at the weather forecast, it said it would rain the next day. I really wanted to go over this mountain today as I didn’t to cycle on downhill in the rain tomorrow. But they said I couldn’t pass the road because it was under construction. Usually, when construction is underway, one side of the road is blocked and the other side is left open, but in rural Taiwan, the entire road is blocked for construction. I heard that the road would open after 8pm, so I had no choice but to look for a place to pitch my tent, but I couldn’t find it because the surrounding area was a cliff.

When I returned to the construction site and asked if there was a place to pitch a tent nearby, an employee on a scooter suddenly asked me to follow him. I cycled to follow the employee for a while, and it turned out that he had let me pass through the section that was under construction.


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Night had already fallen so I couldn’t go any further. At that moment, I saw a temple next to the road and pitched my tent next to it. It was my first time pitching a tent right next to a road where people were passing by. Although Taiwan was said to be safe, it was still true that I was worried, for I still felt insecure as solo female traveler sometimes. Since it was a rural mountain road, I consoled myself by thinking that there wouldn’t be many cars passing by.


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Next morning, going downhill in the rain


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I made it safely to the shore.


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Waiao Beach is famous for surfing, so I stayed at a hostel nearby for about a week.

There were many townhouses like this in Taiwan, and most guest houses were located in these kind of townhouses. It’s a three-story building, but what’s interesting is that all the houses have elevators. There are a total of 10 houses in the picture, which means there are 10 elevators in this picture. Some are for family homes and others as accommodations.


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It was not a good season for surfing as winter was coming. In the summer, when surfing is good, there are so many people that they bump into each other, which can be quite dangerous.


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While riding my bike after leaving Surfing town, my rear brake suddenly stopped working, so I looked and found that the brake spring was broken. It is said Taiwan is famous for making bicycles and parts, but it was very difficult to find the right parts for my 10-year-old bicycle. This is because the current bicycle industry only produces parts for expensive race bike or mountain bike.

I went to several stores and finally found one having my brake type, but it turned out to be a cheap part. Because it was absolutely necessary, I replaced the entire rear brake with it. The bike shop owner was very kind. He also served me tea, and when I was about to leave after the repairs, he also gave me fruits and snacks.


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I heard that the road to Hualien was beautiful, but it was raining so I couldn’t see it. Above all, the tunnel kept coming out, and there was no shoulder inside the tunnel, so it was very scary. If there’s one thing I really dislike about bicycle travel, it’s riding a bicycle in a tunnel. The car sound is very loud and echoing in the tunnel, which makes me so scared and nervous.

At the end of that day, I found an inexpensive accommodation, dried all my wet clothes and bags, and then went to sleep.


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The next day was as clear as ever, and I was finally able to see the beautiful scenery.


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I arrived at a small village at sunset. In neighborhoods where indigenous people live, indigenous culture is decorated on the streets like this.


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Indigenous people have been living on the island of Taiwan for 5,000 years. Many Chinese started immigrating 17c. In 1905, Taiwan’s population was 3 million, and in the 2000s it increased to a total of 22 million. There are 16 indigenous ethnic groups on the island of Taiwan officially, and they account for about 2% of the population now.

Taiwan’s immigration history seems kind of similar to the U.S, Canada, and Australia in terms of settling down at indigenous land. Surprisingly there was no one living in New Zealand until in 1400-1500 so New Zealand’s immigration history is different from above places.


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I bought the dinner here for camping night.

Actually Taiwan history is quite complicating and I make it short by the list.

*Aboriginals have lived since 5000 years ago*
(Around 1600, Chinese started immigrating)
[1624-1662 (28yrs)] Dutch Rule
[1662-1683 (21yrs)] Ming’s Koxinga Rule (Koxinga came after his Ming Dynasty destroyed by Qing Dynasty; both from Mainland China)
[1683-1895 (212yrs)] Qing Dynasty Rule
[1895-1945 (50yrs)] Japan Rule
[From 1945] China Rule (Chiang Kai-shek was leader of China at that time.)
<<1949>> Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan after his party(Kuomintang) lost against Chinese Communist Party(CCP) lead by Mao Zedong in the Chinese Civil War
<1949-1975 (26yrs)> Chiang Kai-shek Rule (His goal was to build power in Taiwan to retake control of mainland China. He died of heart attack in 1975)
<1975-1988 (13yrs)> Chiang Ching-kuo Rule (Officially 1978-1988) (He was Chiang Kai-shek’s son. He died of heart failure in 1988 )
<Since 1988> Democracy has started.

(South Korean dictatorships ended in 1987, and democracy started from 1988; similar year to Taiwan. While South Korean democracy was notably propelled by citizen-led protests over a span of 43 years, in Taiwan, political leaders at higher echelons played a more prominent role in initiating democratic reforms, although public protests were also a factor. Now both South Korea and Taiwan are recognized as similar level of democracy internationally)

In 2023, 12 countries recognize Taiwan as an independent country (Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu)

(I got the information from research, so some of information might be inaccurate. I recommend you have your own research if you want to know better.)

Links : Taiwan Population on Wikipedia, Taiwanese History on YouTube (In Korean)


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I pitched a tent and slept on a large lawn next to a corner of a rural village.


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The scenery on the road to Hualien was so beautiful that it was fun to ride a bike.


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When I arrived in the city and stayed for a few days in Taiwan, I always went to Starbucks to edit the video. At Starbucks in Taiwan, there were a lot of people who came to study, so it was good to get motivation.


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Hualien is also known for surfing. Since it is a bay, it blocks the surrounding wind and the waves are stable, so the waves are much softer than those at Waiao Beach. The problem was that my surfing skills were still not very good. And it was harder because I had to get used to the rental board, but it was nice to be able to surf.

When I was staying in Hualien, I suddenly felt a strong earthquake and ran out of the building barefoot, but the streets were really quiet. When I opened Google Maps, an alert popped up saying 5.9 magnitude earthquake occurred. In fact, when I was running barefoot down the stairs, an old man was coming up the stairs. Taiwan has earthquakes time to time, so an earthquake of this magnitude is probably not treated as big deal to many locals.

There was a warning to stay away from the coast because the earthquake could cause a tsunami, but the beach seemed peaceful with people walking and surfing. I asked a local who own surf shop, and he said there was no problem at all that he was about to go for surfing. So I went out to surf just like local. The most important thing while traveling is listening to the locals.


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Afterwards, as I was riding my bike away from Hualien, night fell and I couldn’t find a place to pitch my tent. I took the country road I saw on the map and felt like a truck slowly following me. Soon the truck stopped on the side of the road, and I turned into a small side road. Just in case, I turned off the front and rear lights and stood on one side of the road for a moment to check if he was really following me. And yes, the truck was entering into this small road. As soon as I saw the truck, I turned around and pedaled like crazy to get back to where I came from.

Taiwan felt much safer than other places, and there was a country road leading up the mountain, so he may have originally intended to take this road. But the most important thing is to trust my gut and get out of there if I don’t feel comfortable. Afterwards, I arrived at a small town, pitched a tent next to a temple, and went to sleep peacefully.


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One of the similarities between Taiwan and Korea is that there are quite a few people who try to make a round trip on bicycles, scooters, and carrying backpacks.


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I found a country road on the map and rode my bike quietly.


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I thought Taiwan was always hot, but it can be quite cold in the winter. I recently discovered an app called Windy, and it’s really great because I can intuitively see the weather and wind. Usually in Taiwan, the wind blows from north to south in winter, and it often rains in northern Taiwan, which is not good weather for surfing. It was quite cold that day, with the temperature dropping to 6 Celsius (42f).


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I thought I had found a hidden country road, but it turned out to be one of the bicycle routes. One of the reasons why Taiwan is great for cycling is that most of the roads are included in the bike routes, and information signs appear here and there. I think this would be good for preventing accidents because drivers would be able to predict that there would be cyclists on the road.


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Afterwards, I arrived at a place called Yuli, which had the most famous stinky tofu in Taiwan. It was cold at the time, so there weren’t that many people waiting. In fact, it was the most delicious stinky tofu I’ve ever had. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, and went really well with the sauce underneath. I can’t eat stinky tofu if it is on the stew or soup, but the fried stinky tofu is quite edible.


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While riding my bike in the mountains, I couldn’t find a place to pitch my tent, so I went into the police station to ask and they recommended a place that looked like a community hall. There, natives were creating large works in preparation for the village festival.


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The police officer who introduced me to this place came to me in the evening, gave me drinks and dinner, and told me to contact the police station if I had any problems. In the morning, a native person gave me milk tea and breakfast. I felt grateful that everyone in Taiwan treated me so well.


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Soon, I entered to mountain which I didn’t see people coming by bicycle. In eastern Taiwan, small hidden roads like this were well paved and has gentle slopes, so they were good for biking.


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There was often a squeak sound, and I found wild monkeys living on the mountain.


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Afterwards, I went to another surfing area and met the manager of the guesthouse I stayed at at Waiao Beach by chance. She won a prize in the women’s surfing competition in Taiwan, and her boyfriend also won a prize in the Taiwanese surfing competition! It was said that the guesthouse gets busy during Christmas, so they came down here to spend a short vacation before Christmas.


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The waves here were so rough that I didn’t dare to go in.


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I pitched a tent nearby and spent the night.


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After it, I stayed in a rural village where indigenous people live and ordered dinner at a small restaurant run by a local. Their house was also right next restaurant.


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Local people in Taiwan told me to go down to the south, saying that the north is a cold and rainy area. Anyway, the scenery was nice and the indigenous villages came out often so it was good experience to see a variety of cultures.


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In Taiwan, there are 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and other convenience stores everywhere. If I arrive at a village without a 7-Eleven, it means that it is a truly rural village. Taiwanese convenience stores have restrooms, bicycle pumps, and places to rest comfortably, so I started using them often, but the problem was that I started buying unhealthy food too often. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve tried to eat as much healthy food as possible to avoid the hospital, but whenever I went to convenience stores, this plan ran into problems.

On the other hand, convenience stores were a meeting place, so it was nice to be able to talk to people sometimes. The woman in the photo above looked at my bike and said she liked riding a bike too. We talked and we ended up riding together. I was able to have a fun day thanks to the her showing me nearby tourist attractions.


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Many different indigenous people live in rural villages in Taiwan’s mountainous terrain, so I can get a glimpse of their culture as you pass by.


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Kenting, the southern part of Taiwan, was the most beautiful bike ride in Taiwan. This area is famous as a tourist destination, but since it was the end of the year, accommodation prices had became extremely expensive.


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Eventually, I left the tourist area and entered a rural village. When I asked a local if I could pitch a tent next to the temple, he told me to follow him. The place he guided me to was a grandma house right next to the temple. Thanks to them, I had a safe night.


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Afterwards, I went to another surfing spot, but the waves seemed too rough. It is said that this is not a place for beginners to ride.


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There was a park with a sign saying it was the southernmost part of Taiwan, so I went in and found an interesting looking bicycle. The GoPro mount equipment I really wanted was mounted on the bike. I think this may have been something he made himself.


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It was the last day of the year. Most accommodations in small and medium-sized cities were fully booked, and the remaining accommodations had outdated facilities but prices had increased 3 to 5 times.


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I had no choice but to pitch my tent at the temple once again. The wind was extremely strong that day. If the wind blows too hard, the noise in the tent becomes so loud that it becomes impossible to get a good night’s sleep. I want to spend my birthday and New Year with people whenever possible, but I often end up spending it alone on my trip.


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The road out of the city was very busy, but fortunately I ended up taking a country road full of fruit farms.


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In 2005, I suddenly took on the challenge of reading 100 books for one year, and since there were no smartphones at the time, I easily succeeded. Reading 100 books helped me establish a philosophy about life, and traveling the world gave me the opportunity to look at the world based on that philosophy.

However, as time went by, I spent too much time using my smartphone, and I often felt like I was wasting my life. So, this year, I bought a Kindle to once again set a goal of reading 100 books.


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Looking at the map, I thought it was an industrial area since it was a very small village with well-drawn roads orderly. But when I went in, it turned out to be a place where people lived. Since I saw a large park, I decided to pitch the tent later and found a restaurant to have dinner first. It was a restaurant run by indigenous people, and the owner offered it to me to try local indigenous food. Some of the indigenous guests looked similar to Southeast Asian people.


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It was a huge park, and above all, Taiwan felt safe because CCTV is everywhere.


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The village seems to have been built recently for the indigenous people. The religious proportions in Taiwan are Buddhism 35%, Taoism 33% (Originated in ancient China), Shamanism 18%, Christian 4%, and other 10%.

There was always a church in the village where the indigenous people lived. If I saw a church in the distance after arriving in a small village, I could guess that it was an indigenous village.


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As I was leaving the small village and riding my bike on the main road, I saw a road that looked very interesting.


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In Taiwan, garbage trucks pass by at certain times in the morning and evening with playing some melody songs. Then people come out to throw garbage. But this melody was somehow reminiscent of the bell I used to hear after class when I was in school.


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I was entering in the mountainous area and bridge kept coming out that day. Each bridge was painted a different color, giving a different feeling every time I passed by.


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Looking at the map, I saw that western Taiwan was full of big cities. When I entered the city in general, there were so many scooters on shoulder that it felt dangerous to ride a bike with them, so I decided to go to the mountainous area where not many people lived.


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I looked around the village for a while to see where I could pitch my tent, but the sun was setting and I felt uneasy. Then I entered a side road and found this great camping spot. There was a bridge connecting the two villages behind and I thought I could be seen from there, but Taiwan felt safe so I decided to pitch my tent.


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It was the nicest place I pitched a tent in Taiwan, so I drank coffee and read a book in the morning.


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In Taiwan, cats seem to be seen more often than dogs, and people seem to especially like cats.


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I bought breakfast before leaving the village.


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Until now, Taiwan’s mountain roads have always had gentle slopes, but this time the slope was too steep. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a road here. I just happened to zoom in on the map and saw a road here, so I went in, but I had no idea that the slope would be this steep.


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Afterwards, I arrived at a small indigenous rural village. The weather was hot and I thought I would get a lot of mosquito bites if I camped, so I got the accommodation.


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The hotel owner was very friendly. I asked if there was an indigenous restaurant nearby, and she guided me, asking me to walk with her. One of the representative foods of Taiwan’s indigenous people was similar to Korean pork belly BBQ, but it came with onions. I also bought fried rice. The vegetables on the side were what the owner herself made for dinner and also shared them with me.


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Breakfast was also included in the accommodation. Because the yard was pretty, I spent a quiet morning buying coffee separately from owner.


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Afterwards, as I was going uphill, smoke continued to come out of one side of the road. Cars just passed by without paying attention to the forest fire. If that was the case, I thought there was no problem. But it didn’t seem like the fire was started on purpose, and more than anything, there was an electric pole right next to it, so I decided to put out the fire and leave. I extinguished the fire by scooping it up and stepping on it one by one with my shoe. I think it took about an hour.


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I couldn’t find a suitable camping spot, but night came. I just pitched a tent right next to the road. There was a tiny village right next to it and a supermarket next to it. Police cars came and went at the supermarket, but they didn’t pay any attention to me. No locals came to ask or talk to me. I felt I am a ghost that no one would bother me. So I didn’t worry about anything and slept well.


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For a few days, I continued to pass by small rural villages where indigenous people lived. But after lunch, I was about to head out onto the main road.

The restaurant owner was really kind and she gave me some fruit after meal. Later she showed me some cosmetics with Korean written on them and asked if these were really Korean products. I told her that I couldn’t find it in a Korean shopping mall. Anyway, I told her that the factory was listed as being in Korea and that the manual was written by 100% native Korean.


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The mountain I was riding my bike today was called Yusan having the highest peak in Taiwan at 3,952m(12,965ft) above sea level. The top of the paved road is 2,600m (8,530ft) above sea level. This was my first time knowing that there were such high mountains in Taiwan.


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As I got closer to the top of the mountain, there were no more villages or supermarkets. At the middle of the mountain, there was a bus terminal with a 7-Eleven, so I bought lunch and dinner.


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After two days of wild camping in a row, I was busy charging my batteries.


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The eastern mountains had gentle slopes, but the central mountains had very steep slopes, so I could only move 25 to 29 km a day.(15mi to 18mi)


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At sunset, I reached the summit at 2,615m (8,579ft) above sea level. It was so cold at the top that I immediately put on a windproof jacket.


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I found a hostel while zooming in on the map. It wasn’t on the hotel booking site. Hostel was right at the corner on top of the road, but they said they weren’t accepting guests because it was fire drill day. I showed him the bike and explained the situation, and fortunately, he agreed. This appeared to be a mountain lodge where hikers climbing highest peak stay. The room was quite large and had a lot of beds. I think there were roughly 32 beds in one room. There were also several rooms, but I thought they would be full during the summer season.

Additionally, the lodge rules were unique. People must leave luggage in the hallway. People can only bring necessary items, such as a cell phone into the room to not bother other guests, and the hostel turn off the room’s lights at 9p.m. And it is ban to make noise after it. People must leave the lodge at 9 a.m with taking their own trash they made themselves.


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For dinner, I cooked with food I bought at a convenience store at lunch time. When night fell, the cabin was very cold, like the middle of winter. I thought it dropped to 2 degrees (35f). It was nice that the blanket was very thick, but the problem was that as I moved, it created space between the blankets and open air and the cold air kept coming in, so I woke up often.


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I woke up around 8 a.m. and lying down on the bed, and the staff knocked to ask if I was awake. Of course I was aware of the 9 a.m. rule, so I answered right away, packed my bags, and left before 9 a.m. The weather was really nice that day.


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There was a museum and restaurant near the top of the road, so I was able to buy a delicious breakfast.


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After that, I went down a long downhill for a while. When I came down from the mountain, it was very hot, so I took off the windproof jacket pants I was wearing.


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Afterwards, I came down to a place called Sun Moon Lake, and it turned out that it was one of the famous tourist destinations in Taiwan, so the accommodation prices were expensive. I wanted to go camping, but it was difficult to find a suitable place because it was a tourist attraction, and if I pitched my tent in a place like this, I would have to leave before dawn, so I couldn’t sleep well. In the end, I decided to find a hotel to have a better sleep.


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After checking out the next day and taking a bike tour, I realized why this place was a famous tourist destination. The lake was so nice that I really wanted to come back one day again. There were many people who rented bicycles to stroll around the lake.


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I was planning to go to South Korea back home finally after Taiwan. However, my plan changed and there was a place I really wanted to stop by, and there was a rumor that the border there would soon be opened, so I took my time touring Taiwan by bicycle, and the visa-free period for Taiwan was almost over. In the end, I decided to do a visa run. Taiwan allows a visa run, which means that if you go to another country and re-enter, you will be given a visa free period again. One foreigner said that he had been living in Taiwan on a visa free for the past 10 years, but during the coronavirus outbreak, the border suddenly closed and he could not come back to Taiwan.

But it didn’t look like the Taiwanese border would close again, so I left my luggage at a hostel in a city called Puli and left for the Philippines, where the cheapest airfare was.

❤️ Thank you for reading my long travelogue.
Writing during bike travel is quite challenging.
Translating from my native Korean to English which I’m still struggling to speak requires immense patience.
So, supporting me would be a great reward for the time and effort I invest in my blog.
Thank you!❤️

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==Videos about Taiwan Trip from my YouTube channel==


Taiwan Vlog 1 – Setting up a tent in the park



Taiwan Vlog 2 – Setting up a tent next to the road on a day when there was a delay due to construction


Taiwan Vlog 3 – Biking in a dangerous tunnel



Taiwan Vlog 4 – Setting up a tent at the village hall with the help of a friendly police officer



Taiwan Vlog 5 – Setting up a tent in an indigenous village



Taiwan Vlog 6 – Biking deep in the mountains of Taiwan



Taiwan Vlog 7 – Biking on the highest mountain in Taiwan


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  1. Thanks for your beautiful Taiwan travel story. One thing I was totally not aware of before coming to Taiwan was that there are various indigenous people living, and I enjoyed it so much to learn more about them while cycling Taiwan. It’s so great to see that you took your time and slowly moved from place to place. From the outside, your Taiwan cycle looks like a masterpiece of a cycling professional, with a large variety of impressions, places, people, and I hope that your feeling inside corresponded to this impression.

  2. Congrats. for every day, wk. for moving along. Is it just Asia, you all plan to bike around?

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