ShuangXi To FuLong
In Part 1 our journey had gone to ShuangXi 雙溪, a major town near Taiwan north coast area.
Stone monument near ShuangXi Station.
Cool front design ShuangXi High School.
ShuangXi town view from outside. ShuangXi literally means “two creeks”, and you can see why it got the name here: two rivers were combined here into one that flowed west.
As we exit ShuangXi we headed west toward FuLong 福隆, a town by Taiwan north coast and where we began our coastal bike path. We took the wide State #2 Bin (台二線丙), an extension of the famous Taiwan North Coast Highway State #2 (we would ride and drive on it later!).
Great wide State #2 Bin with wide scooter/bicycle lanes.
FuLong was at GongLiao District 貢寮, a coastal area that had the controversial Taiwan #4 nuclear power plant.
Misty mountains blurred by rains.
Small GongLiao major town.
State #2 Bin soon merged with State #2 near FuLong. There was quite some holiday traffic here, probably due to FuLong being a popular water activity center.
Local swim gear shop.
Super crowded FuLong Station and nearby shopping area.
At FuLong Station there was a local road that headed toward Old CaoLing Bicycle tunnel entrance 舊草嶺隧道, part of the coastal bike path system. Here my front light couldn’t handle the rain and wet dead (luckily later at home it was resurrected by drying it).
Very nice, quiet path.
Soon the local road ended at the Old Caoling tunnel entrance.
Old crossing signs were preserved.
The tunnel entrance.
The Old CaoLing Tunnel was an impressive bicycle-only tunnel over 2km long. Inside the tunnel was well lit, while the surface was a bit bumpy. (Notice there were opening hours!)
Inside the tunnel.
As the tunnel crossed the New Taipei City and YiLan boundary, there were signs indicating the crossing point.
Video: Exiting CaoLing Bicycle Tunnel to YiLan
The Old CaoLing Bicycle Tunnel took us all the way to the coast at YiLan, connecting directly to the coastal bike path.
Little viewing pavilion.
The new CaoLing Tunnel for trains.
The famous GuiShan Island 龜山島 that we barely saw before at the Bike Fun YiLan event!
Where we got out of the tunnel.
Onto Coastal Bike Path
After resting a while we went onto the coastal bike path. It was really cool to have such bike path here along this section of State #2, as State #2 was north’s only big truck route toward east, thus having a lot of big trucks.
Coastal bike path view and great east coast mountains!
ShihCheng Rest Stop 石城服務區
GuiShan Island with cool north coast rocks.
Well polished north coast rock surfaces.
More coastal bike path view. You could see that the bike path was separated by concrete to main road, preventing cars/big trucks to block cyclists’ way during passing or illegal side parking.
Back to New Taipei City limit!
At Taiwan north coast layers of rocks was formed.
Two kinds of fun.
Care stop by and have a betel nut?
LaiLai Ecology Park 萊萊地質區。
At a major road turning point we saw the white weather radar station as well as the SandDiaoJiao lighthouse on the hill.
The white radar station and the lighthouse.
Simple bugs stop on State #2.
There was a small town here called MaGan 馬岡
There were two ways to get up to the lighthouse. One was to take the staircase as below and perform some extreme bike-carry cyclocross. The other option was to ride up a steep road. As I was not in a cyclocross mood I took the second option.
The long staircase all the way to top.
The second option.
Cool weather radar, just like its cousin at Kenting National Park!
At the hill boundary was the beautiful white/blue SanDiaoJiao lighthouse complex.
There were some more cosmetic structure near the lighthouse and the radar. Personally I found them lack of taste and unnecessary, but whatever.
Unnecessary item #1: “Love chapel 幸福教堂”, a great example of Taiwanese people’s shallow understanding of religion.
Unnecessary item #2: Key of Love or whatever. Would make a really great photo with the background tombs.
Staircase down to State #2.
After down to coastal bike path, we continued heading west back to FuLong.
A great little bay area.
Many times the coastal bike path would left State #2 and connected with local town roads.
A nice little harbor town called MaoOw 卯澳.
A little simple performance stage next to the shore.
Old stone-built ruins.
The coastal bike path also passed by a local elementary school, with colorful sitting pavilion facing the sea to watch sunset.
FuLien elementary right next to the coastal bike path.
Directly next to the school was a tidal pool area.
Sea-facing sitting pavilion stairs.
Some sort of city fishery research facility.
Nice simple viewing plaza.
The coastal bike path went into towns again.
Not sure what this hole was for.
As we approached FuLong it started rain again.
No. 21th Coast Guard division.
Crowded path toward FuLong Station.
At FuLong Visitor Center I got picked up and ready to head back.
Driving North along State #2
As the direct path toward National Highway (that will be State #2 Bin extension) was very crowded, we decided to take a detour and drive the famous State #2 all the way back to KeeLung. This part was doable by bikes, but there was no coastal bike path and you would ride directly with the big trucks, kind of dangerous.
The great cliffs near BiTouJiao 鼻頭角. Also my India bobble-head.
Looking back at BiTouJiao
KeeLung Island 基隆嶼
This route was simply supreme. Whether it be visiting JiuFen old street, Golden waterfalls or riding the coastal bike path, there were just so many nice views to see and experience. Plus there were even more places near JiuFen not yet visited!
If weather permitted I would combine with roads to ShiFen and make it into a 100k loop. 10 out of 10 route!