Have you already been to the typical tourist attractions in Taipei, and want to do something off the beaten track? Experience life like a local! Get a bike and spend the afternoon biking in Taipei along the Keelung river.
Where can I hire a bike?
The best place to hire a bike is from YouBike. YouBike is an electronic bike sharing service with kiosks all over the city. You can pick up and drop off a bike at any YouBike location. See this map for details.
I started the route at City Hall, but if you are not confident on the road in traffic, I recommend you hire the bike from the location near Raohe Night Market or Rainbow Bridge (circled below). From here you can easily walk with your bike to the start of the dedicated bike path along the Keelung River and start the ride from Rainbow Bridge.
What is the Cost?
Hiring a bike in Taipei from YouBike is very affordable:
10NTD (~$0.45AUD or $0.30USD) per half hour, up to 4 hours
20NTD (~$0.90AUD or ~$0.60USD) per half hour between 4 – 8 hours
40NTD (~$1.80AUD or ~$1.20USD) per half hour beyond 8 hours
You will also be charged a $2000NTD
(~$92AUD, or ~$65USD) holding fee which will be released when you return the bike.
You can use your credit card or Easy Card (the MRT train card) at the kiosk. You will be charged the number of hours once you return the bike.
Tip #1: Use an Easy card for payment and the first half hour is free!
Tip #2: Make sure before you choose your bike at the electronic kiosk, you physically look at the bike you want to hire. Check that the brakes, gears, chains and bell work and that the tires aren’t flat. Note: you cannot hire a helmet, so if you want one you will need to bring your own.
From Rainbow Bridge, I took a right turn and followed the river up to Nanhu Bridge (~8km return). This route wasn’t the most interesting as it was quite isolated and followed a major highway.
When I cycled back to Rainbow Bridge, I crossed over and followed the path up to the Grand Hotel Taipei. This route was much more picturesque and I recommend cycling this route instead (~20km return).
The highlight was stopping halfway to get some pictures of the Taipei 101 and city skyline.
Tip#3: Set out on the journey at about 2pm. Spend a few hours cycling and then on your way back it will begin to get dark, so you will also get to enjoy the city lights. Don’t worry about cycling in the dark. All YouBikes also have a night light!
Tip#4: After all that cycling why not stop for a bite to eat at the Raohe St Night Markets. It is open from 4pm.
Why is it worth the trip?
While there aren’t that many must see sites along the Keelung River, the bike ride itself is a nice relaxing way to spend the afternoon. The ride is very easy, the path is flat and it is well maintained. It is an inexpensive way to see the outskirts of Taipei and exercise like the locals do. If you are looking for other things to do in Taipei check out our secret tip on the best view of Taipei.