Bicycle touring the Philippines: Manila to Tayug (Pangasinan)

Jeff flew from Denver to Clark (Angeles) for about six weeks of bicycle touring in the Philippines. Even though I arrived in the Philippines about three weeks before he did, I ended up scrambling a bit to meet him in time. I put off buying my Cebu-Manila ticket till I had my passport back from immigration (for a visa extension), and then the two sailings I was hoping for were sold out. “I have space on the 45-hour trip via Nasipit on Mindanao,” the ticket seller offered. Sure.

It was probably the most comfortable ferry trip (out of about 13) I took in the Philippines

Bye-bye, Cebu.

IMG_20240109_172250 by bryandkeith on flickr

Morning in Nasipit:

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Philippines first impressions: Cebu and Camotes islands

Philippines, a new country, how exciting! Flying from Taipei to Cebu was quick and easy. I had prepaid the bicycles with AirAsia (Z2), and check-in was simple and painless. Mac from Busan helped us get settled into comfortable digs in a “little Korea” (my name) neighborhood in Banilad Barangay. It’s literally one Korean restaurant after another.

Kim and Mac by bryandkeith on flickr
Kim, Mac, and Ferda
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Wrapping up Taiwan: from Cabazon? to the Taoyuan airport

Palm trees and a huge T-Rex along the highway! We must be in Cabazon, right?

IMG_20231212_101108 by bryandkeith on flickr

It’s actually Chenggong near Fangshan. Kind of weird (like Cabazon).

Our goal was to get to Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung, since we had managed to buy train tickets from there to get our bicycles (and us too) north.

Before getting too urban we managed to find this campsite a couple kms NNE of Wulong. There were too many mosquitoes, and it was hot enough that we were sweating just sitting in the tent (in December!).

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Bicycle touring Taiwan: Chishang to Fenggang via Baisha

By our third week in Taiwan we were getting better at choosing good roads. My notes include words like “fantastic” and “brilliant”. However, I also find “too much highway” and “too much traffic”.

We rode through some lush tropical forests, pretty agriculture lands, and also miles and miles of aeration ponds for sewage treatment.

Chishang is known for its rice paddy scenery. The thing that everyone (apparently) needs to do is bicycle out to Mr. Brown Avenue to see the tree made famous by an Eva Air commercial.

IMG_20231207_103427 by bryandkeith on flickr

The street, incidentally, is named after the coffee from an earlier commercial that didn’t get so much hype. The area is, I suppose, more picturesque with the pre-harvest green and gold. Nearby areas are just as nice without the crowds.

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Bicycle touring Taiwan: Heren to Chishang via Taroko Gorge

This week (our second) was better than our first week in Taiwan. We hadn’t fully got away from the traffic, but it was getting better, and of course we visited Taroko Gorge. Two friends had told me that Taroko Gorge was their favorite outing in all of Taiwan. I concur.

This man (below) was one of many people who we met who was walking around Taiwan. Uff, it seems like that would involve lots of walking along busy highways. I can think of better places to walk. Indeed we met one guy from Malaysia who had walked three different Camino de Santiago routes before choosing to walk around Taiwan. The man below, however, is a 64-year-old Taiwanese who had cycled around the island twice before. He knew what he was getting into.

This man was on day 37 of his walk around Taiwan. by bryandkeith on flickr

This section of coast (north of Taroko) certainly has some nice coastal views.

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