Around Taiwan - Day 10 - Suao ~ Ilan

The tenth installment on my "Cycling Around Taiwan" series. Day 10 was the shortest day from a riding perspective. I started in Suao around 11:30am and rode the short 30km from Suao to Ilan with a short stop for lunch in Suao. It was a really hot, sunny day but it was to be a very short ride so I wasn't too fussed. The road condition to Ilan was pretty good and there were no major hiccups. Once in Ilan I just walked around the town and enjoyed a slow afternoon and early night.

Yilan Rice Paddy House
Beautiful Rice Paddy and House in Ilan

The Route

A slow pace 30km ride to Ilan from Suao
Leaving Suao

Well, we stayed in the premier resort in Suao. Queenie had to leave early Sunday morning for a Church meeting so I hung around in the hotel and enjoying the hotel facilities until checkout time at 11:30am or so. It is quite funny staying in five star hotels and asking people to bring you your bicycle. Anyway, I was soon on my way and decided to have lunch in Suao before heading out to Ilan.

Suao Tunnel
Tunnel out of Suao

Once on the road North (Route 2) you get to go through the last tunnel on the East coast immediately and then you are riding safely along an excellent road in good conditions. I stayed on the road until I hit Road 7 that takes you into Ilan city. As I said, the road wasn't that difficult and it was good, after 2 days in a beautiful resort, to be back in the saddle and heading to my final destination. The plan for the remaining distance was to head to Ilan and spend the night in Ilan. Then from Ilan, head up Route 2 to Fulong and Keelung and overnight in Keelung. The final stretch would be from Keelung, along Route 2 to Tamsui and then back along the river to Taipei and home. The end was in sights and only two more nights on the road.

Route 2 to Ilan

The road to Ilan was fine, it was the first and only time I got chased by a dog. I just lashed out at it with my foot and it ran away. I carried on riding up the road. Came across some interesting temples along the route. Some were big and colorful, others were small. Since Ilan is very flat there are lots of beautiful rice paddies all over the county and even all the way into the city (see the picture at the top of the post).

East Coast Temple
Colorful Temple

Bridge Side Temple
Temple on the Side

Temple on the Road
Old Temple

I also started to see some of the big rivers again that I saw on the West coast the week earlier in the ride. The first river I crossed was really wide and there were a few others into Ilan that were wide too. Ilan is a beautiful place to ride. Its mostly flat and, for the most part, with all the green rice paddies, beautiful.

Big River
Beautiful Big River

Dry River Bed
Dry River Bed

Wide River Bridge
Long Bridge over River

The other thing I noticed in Ilan was one big factory. I thought it would be the first of many at the time but then I didn't see any major industry until I got close to Keelung which was quite a surprise.

East Coast Industry
East Coast Industry

Arriving in Ilan

Getting to Ilan is simple enough: just looked out for Road 7 and then went down the road and headed straight for the city. The rice paddies outside the city are really beautiful and the 7km ride into the town is easy. The rice paddies outside the city make getting into town really picturesque but once inside the town it is like any other small city in Taipei. I do like them as they march to their own beat, but still, they do have a different vibe to Taipei.

River Rice Paddy
Rice Paddies outside Ilan

Ilan City
Inside Ilan City

After riding around Ilan for a bit, I found a simple hotel for NTD600 a night and checked in. The room was small and comfortable enough and I settled in: had a shower, got dressed, had a short nap and then went for a walk around the town. My hotel was near the Luna Plaza so after strolling around in the afternoon, I went there for dinner and ended the day with a massive Chicken dinner at Cafe Gazie. I didn't know the dinner would be that big and had to leave half of it uneaten. Even eating half of it was tough.

Yilan Girl
Beautiful Girl in Ilan

Luna Plaza in Ilan
Luna Plaza

Chicken Dinner at Cafe Grazie
Chicken Dinner

I drifted back to my hotel early to get a decent nights sleep. Along the road I saw a brightly lit temple. My hotels neon sign all lit up at night was also pretty cool.

Temple in Yilan
Brightly Lit Temple

Yilan Hotel
Hotel neon sign

So anyway, it was the end of a relatively short riding day. I was comfortably in my bed and getting ready to sleep and thinking about all that had gone before and the few km left to cover. The next day I would strike out back for Route 2 along Route 7 and head up to Fulong and then Keelung. Once I reached Fulong the road would be known to me as I have ridden all the way from Fulong to Tamsui before on different days. But I was still looking forward to the ride. I was both looking forward to going home now but also sad it was coming to an end. It is amazing how fast the time had gone, but I still had two days and planned to enjoy every last moment of it.

Other Cycling Round Taiwan Installments


  1. Didn't have any need to ask directions from this beautiful girl then?


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