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Biking in Taiwan with Blogger Michael Turton Ep 138

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

A few months ago, before Taiwan went on COVID alert level 3, I spoke with Michael Turton, about biking in Taiwan. I remember when there was a push to make Taiwan more bike-friendly and it became popular for people to bike around the island or along the coast. Michael shared why he loves biking around Taiwan and how it is one of the best places to bike in the world. Surprisingly he advised avoiding cycling route number 1, which is the bicycle route around the island of Taiwan developed by the Taiwan Ministry of Transportation and Communications. He also talked about what he’s learned about Taiwan’s history and aborigines by biking around Taiwan.

Michael is a political commentator, Taipei Times columnist and blogger. We’ve had Michael on Talking Taiwan previously in episode 119 when he spoke with me about China’s ban of Taiwan’s pineapples.

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • What brought Michael to Taiwan
  • How/why he started biking
  • Michael’s website about Taiwan in the 1990s which led to his blog
  • Blogs that have inspired him
  • How he’s learned things about Taiwan’s local history and aborigines while biking around Taiwan
  • How interacting with the land is a way to get to know the land
  • How biking is a way to discover and learn about Taiwan
  • Why Taiwan is one of the best places to bike
  • Tips on how to get around the island easier with a bike
  • How long it takes to bike around the entire island
  • The lighthouse to lighthouse bike ride
  • How he’s able to track changes in Taiwan by regularly biking certain routes
  • The difference between driving around in a car vs. riding around on a bike
  • How Taiwan and Madagascar are the only tropical places in the world that have Badlands
  • Where he recommends you should bike or not
  • Taiwan’s steep bike routes


Related Links:


Michael Turton’s blog:


U.S. Peace Corps:


Michael Fahey:


Scott Sommers/Summers:


TC Lin’s blog:


Roland Soong’s blog East West North South:


Andrew Kerslake’s blog:


The award winning Wikipedia page on Taiwan aborigines that Andrew Kerslake wrote:


Bunun tribe:


The film, Island Etude


Yushan aka Jade Mountain (Taiwan’s highest peak):


Sun Moon Lake Swim:


Sun Moon Lake:






Moonscape area of Tainan aka Taiwan’s Badlands:


Taiwan Cycling Route 1:


Taipei Times article, “Ride to the clouds” by Mark Roche:


Mark Roche’s Blue Sky Adventures:




Alishan tea farms:

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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