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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Checheng 車城

Chēchéng 車城 is a small historic township in Pingtung 屏東 near the southern tip of Taiwan. Not to be confused with Checheng in Nantou.

South Taiwan Ride 2015: Fangliao to Manzhou

Metallic aquaculture monument in Fangliao
Metal fish in the sky: a monument to aquaculture on the outskirts of Fangliao.

Last summer I embarked upon a weeklong bicycle tour in the deep south of Taiwan. I began in Tainan 台南, cycled through Kaohsiung 高雄 to Pingtung City 屏東市, spent a day hanging out, and then continued on to Fāngliáo 枋寮, where the coastal plain narrows to a thin wedge between the mountains and the sea. There is only one road leading south from here—which meant I covered a lot of ground I had already seen while riding all around Taiwan in 2013. I didn’t mind repeating that beautiful stretch of coastline and, actually, I was looking forward to checking out some places I had breezed by on that first big tour, particularly in Fāngshān 枋山 and Héngchūn 恆春.

Taiwan Bicycle Tour: Donggang to Kenting

On the outskirts of Donggang
On the outskirts of Donggang.

My ride from Dōnggǎng 東港 to Kenting was a blast! I started my day in Kaohsiung City but my bicycle was already in Dōnggǎng 東港. I left it there the night before when it started raining on my way back from the lovely little island of Liúqiú 琉球. That meant I had to take public transit for about two hours before hitting the road for real.

After a small but expensive Western-style breakfast near Kaohsiung Arena 高雄巨蛋1 I went underground to Xiaogang MRT to catch the bus, route 9117, back to Donggang, with all my stuff. Since it was a holiday I had booked a hotel in Kenting, about 80 kilometers down the road. I also arranged to meet a friend of mine down there later in the evening. So much for going with the flow: on this particular day I had a specific destination and a schedule to stick to!