World Ex­pe­di­tions, Solomon surf­ing, Van­u­atu

Adventure - - #209 -

Travel is some­times a re­flec­tion of one's at­ti­tude to­wards life. Tai­wan is a place that of­fers visi­tors an end­less num­ber of ways to en­joy a LOHAS (Life­styles of Health and Sus­tain­abil­ity) va­ca­tion, a trend that is quickly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity around the world. Rid­ing a bike along one of the is­land's scenic coastal high­ways, for ex­am­ple, whether at a chal­leng­ing speed or at a leisurely pace, is just one of the many ways to ex­pe­ri­ence the LOHAS spirit in Tai­wan.

With an ori­en­tal flair and unique char­ac­ter, Tai­wan pro­vides an ex­cep­tional cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­pe­ri­ence. There are through­out the is­lands a wide va­ri­ety of scrump­tious cuisines, sports and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. Get close to na­ture through cy­cling and give your taste buds a treat with healthy or­ganic cui­sine, or achieve phys­i­cal and men­tal bal­ance the ori­en­tal way with yoga Zen meditation, mar­tial arts or Tai Chi. If re­lax­ation is what you're af­ter, then a visit to one of Tai­wan's pop­u­lar spas, hot springs or foot mas­sage par­lours might be just what you need to let your mind and body un­wind. Or if you just want to en­joy some of life's sim­pler plea­sures, try look­ing for a com­fort­able hot spring.

Cy­cling has be­come a pop­u­lar trend in Tai­wan in re­cent years' with many scenic, eco-friendly and fun cy­cling tracks ap­pear­ing all over the is­land within a very short pe­riod of time.

Some lighter tracks are suit­able for the whole fam­ily while oth­ers con­tain moun­tain paths that can pose a chal­lenge even for pro­fes­sional rid­ers. An is­land net­work of cy­cling paths 5,000 kilo­me­tres long that links the whole coun­try to­gether is still un­der de­vel­op­ment. Apart from leisure cy­cling paths, Tai­wan also of­fers bi­cy­cle hire sta­tions at many lo­ca­tions across the coun­try, in­clud­ing ho­tels and bed & break­fasts. Taipei City has a pub­lic bi­cy­cle hir­ing net­work called YouBike, which al­lows lo­cals and tourists alike to rent bikes with a sim­ples wipe of their Easy­card. A sim­i­lar pub­lic ser­vice is avail­able in south­ern Kaoh­si­ung City, where rid­ers can use their credit cards or l-Pass card. Given the pop­u­lar­ity of leisure cy­cling in Tai­wan, bi­cy­cle re­pair sta­tions are also ex­tremely com­mon. Even some po­lice sta­tions have a spe­cials ser­vice sta­tion of­fer­ing wa­ter, air pumps and nav­i­ga­tional ser­vice to cy­clists. Cy­cling paths in ev­ery Tai­wanese city and county have their own unique char­ac­ter­is­tics and flavour. The cy­cling paths in the greater Taipei re­gion, for ex­am­ple, take ad­van­tage of the area's many rivers to of­fer a wa­ter­front rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, while the Bali Left Bank bike park is eco­log­i­cally friendly and full of cul­ture.

In Tai­wan, the cy­cling paths fol­low the re­gions old rail tracks and the Sun Moon Lake bike path, which is listed by in­ter­na­tional travel netwrok CNNGo as one of the 10 most beau­ti­ful cy­cling paths in the world is the pride of Tai­wan.

Bik­ing the Sun Moon Lake Bike Path, the pride of Tai­wan

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