Saturday, April 14, 2012

Island Getaway

The temperature really shot up this week, so I decided to combine a bike ride with some snorkling. The closest decent beaches to KHH are on Hsiao Liu Chiu (Xiao Liuqiu) island, so I hopped on the MRT early Saturday morning and travelled east to the last station: Daliao.

The convenient elevator at KHH Arena station near my house.

Ready for a day at the beach with flippers in tow.

Not many people ride to the end of the line.

Exiting Daliao station and turning left, you travel south for about 300m and turn left again at a T-intersection and follow this road all the way east to the Gaoping River. Then cross Highway 21 and get up on top of the dyke and ride the bikepath along the river all the way south to Lingyuan.

Riding south on the dyke.

One of the few bits of shade to stop for a drink on this ride.

The new bridge across the Gaoping river on highway 17 has a lot more room for cyclists now.

Arrived at Donggang harbour at 10:45am and quickly boarded a boat leaving at 11:00. $380 for a return ticket + $50 extra for the bike each way.

Didn't realize there are 2 different harbours on Hsiao Liu Chiu and this boat didn't go to the main Baishawei Tourist Harbour. As I circled the island counter-clockwise, I couldn't figure out why it was taking me so long to get to the beach where I wanted to swim. The island also had a lot more hills than I remembered from when I last visited 8 years ago; I'm getting old.

Looking back toward Dafu Fishing Harbour from a viewpoint at the top of the first climb.

The famous crystal-clear waters of the island's beaches.

Houshi Skirt Reef beach had great snorkling.

The lack of cars on the island made for very good riding, with the odd tour bus to look out for on corners like this.

Arrived back in Donggang at 3:45 to be greeted by a brutal headwind for the 20km trip back to KHH. Can't say I enjoyed this portion of the ride very much and took no photos.

1) Daliao MRT - Donggang : 26km totally flat
2) Island Loop : 12km of short steep climbs (+8km when I got lost)
3) Donggang - Siogang MRT : 20km totally flat

To see this ride on Bikemap:
To Dongang and back
Island Loop


  1. That's an impressive day Andy. I'm almost tempted to try something like this one day. Need a real bike though.

  2. The history of Hsiao Liu Chiu is even more amazing. Did you know about the genocide committed by the Ditch out there between 1636 and 1642. Absolutely astounding. I hope to get out there to ride just to write about the history.

  3. I did a bit of reading about the island's history before I went, but there seemed to be conflicting stories as to who actually died in Black Ghost Cave: Dutch sailors or Local Islanders.

    I'd like to go back on a weekday and visit the main attractions without standing in long lines.

  4. I have read many of the Dutch documents on it and the dead were mainly a group of indigenous people. Later stories transformed them into "African slaves" in an attempt to reconcile the historical memory with successive political economies. One of the indigenous islanders was even freed from bondage in Batavia (Jakarta), moved to the Netherlands and married twice.