Ever since stepping foot in Taipei airport, we have been waxing lyrical over Taiwan. Biking along Hualien’s coastline to Qixingtan beach only cemented further proof that this country has everything one would associate with the perfect destination.
Biking from Hualien City
We decided to start our ride in Beibin Park, easily recognisable by its *interesting* fish gate!
Beibin Park is a popular spot for the locals to perform their evening exercises or take a leisurely stroll. However, due to the searing 'winter' heat of 29 degrees during the day, we had the whole park to ourselves! This park is also a great place to bag yourself an oBike to rent, which makes it an ideal starting point for your bike ride.
How to use ‘oBike’ in Taiwan
Now for the boring part about how to rent oBikes in Taiwan, I’ll try to keep it short! Rental prices for bikes can be relatively high in Hualien, however oBike provides an extremely economical alternative to renting from a shop.
Simply download the ‘oBike’ app, locate a bike nearby, scan its barcode and you’re off! One slight problem for travellers is that in order to rent a bike, they must be connected with the app through WiFi. Additionally, only one bike can be rented per account, so ensuring that each individual has their own app is a necessity. We simply downloaded the app whilst at our accommodation, Big Bear, then once at Beibin Park I shared my hotspot with Audrey (I have a sim with data and she doesn’t), so that she could connect to her bike. An oBike day pass costs just NT 14 (£0.35). BARGAIN!
Biking towards the coastline
The route from Beibin Park takes you down verdant cycle paths, reminiscent of England on a summers day. Spacious and well maintained, the paths here provided the perfect place for Audrey to practice, for the first time at the grand age of 22, standing up whilst riding!
The diverse landscapes of Taiwan
Before long the real scenery comes out to play!
At times you have to remind yourself which country you are in, the landscape changes so dramatically here!
Tropical palm trees dominated the pathway in front of a stunning mountainous backdrop that reminded us of our time in Slovenia.
10 minutes down the road and suddenly we were approaching Hualien’s impressive coastline. The grass was lined with giant structures used to combat the colossal waves!
We felt like this area looked almost like Iceland in the summer.
The colour of the water here was a beautiful blue but we were unable to get down to the beach itself. Unfortunately the Taiwanese government has revoked access to many of the beaches due to them being so unsafe with landslides and relentlessly strong waves.
First impressions of Qixingtan beach
Here is where we caught our first glimpse of the stunning Qixingtan beach before the path slalomed back through the Taiwanese countryside.
The colour of the water is unlike anything we’ve seen before. The view could easily be mistaken for Brazil or South Africa!
We finished the journey by heading down to Qixingtan beach itself and spectating the local fisherman ply their trade. The beach has endless amounts of strikingly vibrant rocks and stones, half of which Audrey wanted to take home with her.
We were told that Chinese tourists used to visit Qixingtan Beach with giant bags ready to pack full of stones and gems that they wanted to take home with them! And we could see why!
We got very lucky with the unseasonably warm weather, but even on a cloudy day Qixingtan Beach is still a sight to behold!
We hope this has inspired you to take the time to cycle to Qixingtan beach. It's a great way to work off all those dumplings whilst exploring the best of Taiwan!