Southbound - Taiwan - CycleBlaze

January 2, 2020

Southbound

To Tainan

We were awake reasonably early, loaded the bikes and pedalled the 5km directly the Main Station. There we bought High Speed Rail tickets to Tainan. 

Before we were allowed access to the Southbound HSR Platform by the elevator,  we were told by rail staff had to fold and bag our bikes. Bummer!  It’d be a lot easier to roll the bikes to the platform, then pack them. Anyway, we managed the pack in a few minutes, which wasn’t a bad effort considering it was the first time we’d done this in a hurry.  The only slight hassle is that two folded, bagged bikes and four panniers in a separate tote bag are quite a load to lug; so it took us about 15 minutes to reach the platform. 

The High Speed Train trip was great, and very fast. Well under two hours to Tainan. The day was very clear, so the views across the countryside  from the train were lovely. 

Then the day finished with some real fully loaded cycling into Tainan via a slightly meandering rural route due to my navigation. It should have only been about 15km from the HSR station into Tainan, but I turned it into 30 km by accidentally discovering Taiwan Cycle Route 1 and following it too far. Not to worry. The error was found and corrected, and we soon meandered through the outer suburbs into the city centre before sunset.

We are now settled into the CityPlace Hotel for a bit of rest and recovery before seeking a local meal out. Joe did really well, as this was his first ever experience of cycling from the countryside into a major city.

The day in pics:

Taipei Main Station with its temple like profile
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Our high speed train to Tainan. It appears to have had a high speed collision with a couple of unfortunate birds or some other small wildlife.
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It didn’t take long to exit busy Taipei start passing through rural areas.
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Rural towns along cultivated waterways
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Similar wide, gravel river beds to New Zealand.
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Wonderful to see so much water in rural areas, unlike parched Australia.
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Taichung from afar
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Rich agricultural lands along the coastal plain.
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Looks like rice plant nursery beds.
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Verdant
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Solar powered farms.
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A bit faster than we can pedal
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Plenty of rice farms
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Not far from the station, we found this sign, and then kept following more similar signs on the very wrong assumption they’d lead us into Tainan.
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Part of the ride we did today from the Tainan High Speed Rail Station (which is in a rural area a fair way from the city) into Tainan City. Very quite country roads.
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Cornfields
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Then we corrected the navigation error, and found city outskirts.
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Soon we were in a motor scooter gang and heading into central Tainan.
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First impression is that that Tainan is a pleasant city.
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Today's ride: 35 km (22 miles)
Total: 105 km (65 miles)

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