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.
Eleven days into riding all around Taiwan I reached Kenting 墾丁 at the southernmost tip of the island. I started my day in Kaohsiung City but had left my bicycle in Dōnggǎng 東港 the night before after it started raining on my way back from the lovely little island of Liúqiú 琉球. This ensured I’d be off to a late start—but I was in no particular rush.