Mountain-Sea Bike Trail in eastern Taiwan mixes exceptional beauty with contemporary art

Mountain-Sea Bike Trail in Taitung links history, art, and ecology with stunning views

Mountain-Sea Bike Trail (Image from Taitung County Government)

Mountain-Sea Bike Trail (Image from Taitung County Government)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Mountain-Sea Bike Trail which circumnavigates Taitung City offers superb views of the mountains and ocean, as well as a tour of some of the region’s most innovative outdoor art.

The trail which is 21 kilometers in length, is idea for both serious cyclists and families, and autumn is the ideal time to experience it for yourself.

Starting at the old Taitung Railway Station, the trail passes some of the region’s most well-known tourist destinations, including the Taitung Historical Rail, Taitung Sugar Refinery, The Sea Shore Park, Lusi Lake, and the Railway Art Village.

A major feature of the Mountain-Sea Bike Trail is the incorporation of outdoor art, as expressed on residential buildings and in standalone form.

Several colorful mosaic crocodiles are dotted along the route, as well as a quaint ice cream booth.

Some of the art concepts repurpose discarded materials, to give them a new lease of life, while other pieces reimagine and refocus objects which would otherwise be hidden in plain sight.

An ideal place to stop for refreshments is the Taitung Story Museum in central Tainan City. The building built during Japanese colonial rule, was previously the Taitung Land Office of Taitung County.

The museum is one of the best examples of repurposing old buildings in the region, and is emerging as cultural landmark. It is now used as an art space, as well as a venue for exhibitions and concerts.

Another point of note on the trail is the mosaic “Tree of Hope” designed by Taiwanese artist Jao Ai-chin (饒愛琴). Colorful tiles were places on a dead tree to represent Taitung’s future full of color and joy.

The tree takes center stage in front of the old railway station tourist center.

On a clear day, Orchid Island can be visible, and if you are lucky, you might be also able to spot the island’s lighthouse at night.

Bike rentals can be arranged in Taitung City, and more information can be found on the Taitung County Government’s bike tour website.