The ride from Taipei to Wulai (烏來) is pleasant but not particularly remarkable. Past Xindian the city is quickly left behind. The road follows a river valley all the way up to Wulai town. The road goes up and down a bit and there are some nice views of the river and the mountains along the way.
However, the road doesn't stop at the township of Wulai. In fact the ride beyond Wulai is the real reason for riding to Wulai. It takes you high up into the mountains where you will find the most incredibly beautiful scenery. If you go on a weekend you will be sure to see plenty of other cyclists along the way.
The road climbs gently up into the mountains and you soon leave all signs of the city behind. There is not much up here, just a road and a river and amazing scenery. The further along the road you go the more beautiful it gets. There is a nice waterfall along the way and several places where you can swim in the river.
The end of the sealed section of road is marked by a small suspension bridge across the river. From here I suggest continuing up the river about one kilometre. Don't cross the suspension bridge, just go past the barriers on the right hand side.The trail comes to a kind of end where two rivers meet. It is possible to continue on from here all the way to Yilan (宜蘭) although the trail is difficult and you need to be well prepared. A detailed account of this is available here.
It is 16 kms from Xindian (新店) to Wulai. The road is mostly uphill but not steep. Look out for buses and speeding cars as there is no shoulder in places. Traffic on this road can get heavy on weekends. It is generally not too bad in the mornings though.
When you get to Wulai cross the small bridge past the Family Mart then immediately turn left and follow route 9 (甲 jia). It branches off occasionally but the road isn't too difficult to follow. The traffic is light, but the road is narrow and there are many blind corners so you need to ride carefully. You can follow this route for 26 kms (from Wulai) before the road ends. There is a gate along the route where you should stop to buy a mountain permit for a small fee. You need to bring your passport or Taiwan ID card for the permit.
5 October 2002
updated 22 June 2008