Day 3: Guangfu - Yu Li Back on the 193 and Ruisui Farm
We packed some local bananas to go and we set off about 10:00am headed out of Guangfu township and hopped on back to the 193 heading south bound. Along the route there are more uphills and downhills as we took breaks in between. We took a little detour into part of a small town for a quick lunch.
For lunch we usually get food to go from 7-11, but this time we decided to have some local food by random selection. The food was pretty good and simple, nothing too heavy. If you don’t feel like experimenting with the food, 7-11 is always a safe choice! I think 7-11 has many great selections from Japanese rice ball to chicken steak rice along with lots of option for drinks including alcohol.
After lunch we passed by a garden decorated statues with the symbol of the 12 animal Chinese zodiac sign. These statues are made from potted plants, pot, and hays. Its a little difficult to tell some of the animal interpretation, at first I thought the bull was the dragon but later found out the dragon was in a different area. There is also a man playing his flute near the parking lot, a lot of people stopped to observe and listen to the music before continuing on their way.
On the way to Yuli we passed by a city called Rui Sui. We stopped by the visitor center and cycled around for a little and went on to another path towards the Rui Sui Farm. We had some milk ice cream and explored the place. The farm animals consists of ostriches, a lot of cows, chickens, rams, birds and other animals. We didn’t explore the whole farm since we are on a schedule, but there is a lot of people visiting and it seems to be a popular destination. The farm itself is quite big. After some pictures with the cows and having ice cream, we left the farm and headed back towards route 193.
We arrived at our next housing for the day around 4:00pm. The place where we staying is called Our Cafe. The place is famous amongst locals for being popular with younger crowds and the fact that they have 4 cats living there. They also have a Japanese style housing which we could rent, but the sleeping area is like a communal area so you will be sleeping next to other people. At the time we stayed there, we were lucky to be the only group.
Once we settled in we headed towards the bar area to get some drinks. We tried the infamous Taiwan Beer, with 2 flavors the traditional and the newer one. The cats were hanging around as we hung out and wind down to end the day.
Day 4: Yu li - Guang Shan
Upon leaving the city of Yuli, we discovered an alternative bridge route parallel to the bridge route leading to the main road we originally planned. This route turns out to be a cycling-only highway. Not far into the trail we discovered a resting spot where we are basically standing between two tectonic plates. The view was very scenic, overlooking the river and with the mountains serving as a backdrop. We stopped and took some pictures along with a banana snack break.
The route stretches out for quite some distance. We noticed that the route was originally an old train track that has been revamped into a cycling route, very cool. The roads are empty, smooth and well paved, with plethora of greens plants and blue sky spread out all across the trail. Occasionally we ran into people riding their scooter/motorcycle on the trail. Along path, we came upon the old train station that is no longer active. The tracks were removed and they swapped it out for some fresh asphalt as a bicycle route. There are some local vendors opening restaurants and resting stops for cyclist to stock up on drinks and food. Across the old train station we can see the new train station and train track that are active.
Chishang FanBao Museum
Upon reaching the city of Chishang, we stopped for lunch break. The place we went to was the Chishang Fanbao Museum. It is essentially a small museum with a restaurant that serve fried chicken in bento style boxes. The ‘Chishang’ grown rice is also famous as it is believed to be the most delicious rice. The restaurant consist of old train cabins and passenger seats as the restaurant furnitures. Food aside, they also sell souvenir such as train models. This is a very popular location for locals and tourists alike. We often see their bento boxes sold in seven eleven too.
After lunch, we continued on the bicycle path for quite a bit until we reached big open rice paddies. Once we reach the farmland we visited the most famous tree in Taiwan due to the fact that it was featured on an international advertisement for Eva Air, featuring Takeshi Kaneshiro. The tree looked very familiar from the advertisement. The tree stood alone in between rice paddies and the road with a backdrop of green mountains. Unfortunately, because of its popularity there are a lot of tourist crowd when we went there. My friend told me that the local farmers were not happy because they have to deal with the increase traffic and receive no benefit. We didn’t bother to stop and look around, we simply passed by the area on our bike.
The sky got a little gloomy as we continued on, we thought it was going to rain at one point. But the weather held still at gloomy and it never rained on our route. Around 5pm we arrived at our airbnb housing for then night in the city of Guanshan. Guanshan is a very small town with not much going on. We took a shower break and went out for a ride to explore the small town for a bit. After circling and looking at several places to eat, we settled on eating hot pot because it seems like a very good choice given the slightly chilly weather. After dinner we continued to cycle around a little and made a quick pitstop by Seven Eleven to stock up on drinks, snacks and some beer. On the way back we found a a little area with a Totoro (google “My neighbor Totoro”) painting on the wall and decided to chill there to have some snacks and beer.