Cycling Route around the Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

Some of the best cycling routes in the world pass through its most beautiful scenery.

Here are 10 of world's best bike routes for cyclists who either are up for breaking a good sweat or simply seeing the world without leaving an ugly carbon footprint behind.

1. Around the Sun Moon Lake, Taichung, Taiwan


Ride around Taiwan's largest lake for its idyllic views.


Located in the heart of Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake has long been charming curious foreigners and local visitors alike. Its calm, turquoise water has also inspired many ancient Chinese poets and painters.

The route around the largest lake in Taiwan is a three-hour ride, where visitors can enjoy lake scenery, experience Thao aboriginal culture and learn about the local ecology in the Nantou County.

If you arrive in early spring, you can even catch the cherry blossoms near this mirror-like lake.

How to get there: The Ren Yeou Bus runs daily from the Taichung station to Sun Moon Lake; Kwo Kuang Bus goes directly from Taipei.

Also on CNNGo: The natural beauty of Taiwan's Taroko National Park

2. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

windy bike route
The Great Ocean Road is one of the best coastal biking routes.


If you like a challenge, take on this 243-kilometer windy road along Australia's south-eastern coast. If a day is all you’ve got, take the 60-kilometer route from Torquay to Bells Beach.

There you’ll cycle through a rural farmland, enjoy the sweeping ocean views from cliff tops, and snake past the wetlands around Lake Connewarre.

The remaining ride is relatively easy and flat through the long Bells Beach, the surfing capital of Victoria.

How to get there: V/Line trains run all day from Melbourne to Geelong. From Geelong you can take a McHarry's bus to Torquay.

Also on CNNGo: Cyclists' revolution: Bike paths cover Sydney


3. Udaipur City tour, Rajasthan, India

Rajasthan
Palaces and temples make Udaipur City truly majestic.


Biking is arguably the best way to explore Udaipur, Venice of the East.

Cyclists often need to pedal past herdsmen and their goats and camels, sharing narrow, old pavements in this rustic but romantic city.

But surrounded by ancient forts, temples and majestic palaces, Udaipur conjures one of the best biking experiences, allowing cyclists to truly discover rural India.

How to get there: Udaipur is directly linked by rail with major cities including Delhi, Himatnagar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota and Chittaurgarh.

Also on CNNGo: 5 best biking cities in Asia


4. The Karakoram Highway, China-Pakistan

Karakoram
Glaciers reaching the road on the Karakoram Highway.


The Karakoram Highway is the highest international road in the world, reaching an altitude of 4,700 meters at the Khunjerab Pass.

Starting in Kashgar, China, cyclists can travel up to 1,200 kilometers on mostly unpaved roads, but the views are as breathtaking as the riding.

The snow-capped Karakoram Mountains will always be within sight, towering over the Hunza Valley.

You will also come across some small villages and towns near the Cathedral Ridge, with glaciers reaching the road.

How to get there: Catch a Chinese domestic flight to Urumqi, then travel to Kashgar either by train or bus.

Also on CNNGo: Cycle city: Shanghai ramps up its bike-share schemes


5. Route of the Hiawatha, Idaho-Montana, United States

hiawatha biking
Route of the Hiawatha promises hours of leisure cruising perfect for family trips.


Take your family out to Montana this summer and cycle along the most scenic disused railroad in the country.

The railroad turned bike trail turns into 24 kilometers of leisure biking that takes you over seven trestles and through 10 tunnels, with the longest one, the Taft Tunnel, stretching for 2.7 kilometers.

High up in the spectacular Bitterroot Mountains and hidden in a sea of evergreen, this trail can be hard to find, but is worth seeking out.

How to get there: A shuttle bus picks up bikers four times a day between Roland and Pearson. Alternatively, if you’re driving from the East end of Avery, Idaho head North on Forest Service Road #456 for 14 kilometers to the Pearson Trail head.

Also on CNNGo: New fee for (some) travelers to the United States

 

6. Route des Grand Crus, Burgundy, France

Route des Grand Crus
Cycling is the best way to tour the Route des Grand Crus.


With rolling hills, wooded paths, and expansive vineyards, the “Road of the Great Wines” offers close to 800 kilometers of leisure biking, and it promises bikers the best way to explore Burgundy’s finest vineyards and wineries.

But don't get carried away with the temptation of food and booze.

While cheese and wine tasting opportunities are many along the way in Mersault and Aloxe Corton, a small town with a population of less than 200, bikers will also enjoy a cultural tour in Beaune, a welcoming medieval town that was once the wine trade center in the 18th century.

How to get there: Burgundy’s railway station is located in Dijon downtown. Multiple high-speed trains connects daily from Paris, Lyon, Lille and Marseille.

Also on CNNGo: Parco Marina Bay: France, food and fashion on the waterfront


7. Molesworth Road, Christchurch, New Zealand

Molesworth
Be ready for some strenuous workout on the Molesworth Road.


This 320-kilometer ride is not for the faint-hearted; it can get challenging.

There might even be some bike-pushing involved, but you will feel accomplished afterwards. Refreshing downhill runs overlooking the country’s largest working farm should be enough to cancel out the strenuous climbs.

Open to the public between December 28 and April 1, this isolated bike route takes roughly five days to complete. So, make sure you bring enough food supplies for the entire trip and swimming gear for the famous hot springs in Hanmer.

How to get there: From Blenheim, head south on State Highway One, then turn right at the Awatere Valley intersection just north of Seddon and the Awatere Valley Bridge.

Also on CNNGo: Air New Zealand: Keeping Cuddle Class exclusive for now


8. P'tit Train du Nord Linear Park, Quebec, Canada

P'tit Train du Nord Linear Park
Mont Tremblant.


This linear park stretches for 200 kilometers in total and runs northwest from St. Jerome to Mon-Laurier. It has a combination of paved road (former railway) and grave dust.

Where it is paved, roads are wide and well groomed, but even the rougher surface and slopes are good for all age groups.

The trail goes through the center of many European-style villages and cyclists will come across the famous Mont-Tremblant, a magnificent all-season resort.

If you look to the northern part of the trail, you may even spot different wildlife animals milling around.

How to get there: The Galland Bus is bike-friendly and runs its service between Montreal and Mont-Laurier.

Also on CNNGo: Oh, Canada! PETA tries to save the seals … in Bangkok?


9. Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Canada-United States

cross-country bike
The "Holy Grail” of the mountain bike world.


Known as the longest off-pavement bike route in the world, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is also probably the most challenging bike trail in the world. Many also consider it the Holy Grail”of the mountain bike world.

Extending from Banff to the Mexican border, the complete route is 4,418 kilometers long with altitude topping at 3,600 meters.

The toughest and steepest sections in Montana could prove challenging even for the most experienced, but the ride is the best endurance test you could ever hope for.

How to get there: Take a van shuttle from Calgary (the closest international airport) up to Banff for about $50.

Also on CNNGo: Thai-made ‘Transformers’ invade the United States


10. Cycle Route 10, Amsterdam, Holland

amsterdam bike tour
Finally, something healthy you can do in Amsterdam.


Touted as the most bike-friendly capital in the world, Amsterdam is home to a bike-obsessed population.

This four-hour route covers 42 kilometers of the city’s rural and urban areas. Many buildings are the result of the 19th century urban expansion plan, some even older.

Pedalers will cruise past a ring canal, a river-dike, windmills, Albert Cuyp straat, the famous street market in Holland, and a now-defunct Heineken brewery. Roads are generally narrow but enjoyable with light traffic.

How to get there: Follow the Cycle Route 10 on ANWB/VVVTopografische Fietskaart Amsterdam / Noord-Holland Noord map: it starts in front of the former Heineken brewery at Stadhouders kade 78, and finishes at the Town Hall and Opera complex.


 

The Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TBT) in New York has announced that it will be joining the 25th Annual NYC Century Bike Tour on September 7 to promote the trendy Taiwan cycling tours as well as the Taiwan Cycling Festival that will be held from November 8 to 16.

A released from TBT stated: “The annual NYC Century Bike Tour is considered as one of the most prominent Summer events in New York City. Participants may choose between Central Park or Prospect Park as their starting locations and challenge four different routes - The East River Loop (35 miles), The Waterfront (55 miles) , The Rockaways (75 miles), or the NYC Century (100 miles). All of these routes travel through famous NYC sceneries and landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan skylines and other historic streets in New York. More than 6,000 cycling enthusiasts are expected to participate in the event.”

TBT also said it will have a “customized promotional booth at the Central Park Finish Festival to introduce the Taiwan LOHAS spirit and its internationally renowned bike routes to New York cyclists. Participants will get to experience Taiwan through entertaining and engaging booth activities on top of exciting cultural dance performances.”

Thomas Chang, Director of Taiwan Tourism Bureau in New York, said bike routes in Taiwan are internationally well-recognized. “There are more than 80 dedicated bike routes that cover over 3,000 miles winding through cities and countryside in Taiwan. Round-island cycling and bicycle tourism have also become very popular. With the outstanding facilities of rest stops, service stores for repairs and tune-ups all across the island, Taiwan is truly an ideal place for cycling enthusiasts worldwide to experience bicycle tourism.”

TBT claims that “bike trails in Taiwan are also known for their beautiful sceneries; CNNGo even named Sun Moon Lake area as one of the world's 10 most breathtaking cycling routes, where the internationally renowned Taiwan Cycling Festival takes place annually.”

Moreover, “the grueling 105-kilometer Taiwan KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge takes cyclists through mountains with an 87-km ascent through the magnificent Toroko Gorge to Wuling, a peak of which rises to an elevation of 3,275 meters. It has earned a place on the list of the world's 10 toughest by the French magazine “Le Cycle,” and was named one of the top 6 mountain bike routes on the planet by SBS Australia.”

TBT said its booth at the Central Park Finish Festival will “bring you a fun-filled experience with the "Time for Taiwan" themed elements - LOHAS and Eco-Tourism. There will be cultural dance performances by the popular Third Techno Princes as well as a "Taiwan Cycling Festival Buzzer Game” featuring Taiwan's round-island bike route. The game challenges participants’ dexterity and patience as if experiencing the diversity of the bike routes first hand. Limited edition sports water bottles with Taiwan Tourism mascot Mr. Oh!Bear's logo and other Taiwan Tourism premiums give away will be distributed to participating New York cycling enthusiasts.”

The tourism bureau also said it will announce their sweepstake lucky winners from the NYC Century Bike Tour registration drive. “Co-sponsored by Taiwan Tourism Bureau, China Airlines and EVA Airways, the amazing prizes are two Taiwan Bike Tour packages including round trip flight tickets, accommodations with meals, ground transportation, an English tour guide and various bike riding experiences.”

(Source: Sep2014)