Wed, Jun 19, 2019 - Page 13 News List

Sand, sculptures and cycling

There’s two months left to see the sand sculptures in Fulong Beach, which features an Atlantis theme that is meant to explore deeper issues that relate to the lost city

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

Curiously, the domestic competition portion has a completely different theme. Teams built depictions of settlements from around Fulong to go with the Tourism Bureau’s “Year of the Small Town” initiative. It’s a good way to promote these places and to encourage local participation, but maybe there could have been a better way to integrate it into the main theme, such as using Atlantean themes to promote seaside locales in Taiwan.

COASTAL BIKING

Even for the meticulous viewer, the whole display won’t take more than an hour to finish. Zoning out on the beach is always appealing, but taking a cue from the sculpture commemorating World Bicycle Day on June 3 and another piece depicting the nearby Old Caoling Tunnel (舊草嶺隧道), I mosey back to the train station to rent a two-wheeler.

There’s a shop right outside the train station exit, and a nearby lot offers free bikes for motorists who park there (or it could be the other way around).

Abandoned in 1986 and reopened in 2008, most cyclists seem to traverse the 2.2km-long tunnel, take a selfie on the other side and then return to Fulong. It’s a cool experience on its own — literally, as the temperature noticeably drops and the rider remains in the tunnel for about 15 minutes.

Keep going, though; the scenery is worth it as the tunnel cuts straight across the northeastern cape to Shicheng harbor (石城). From there, it’s a stunning seaside ride along the shore, past Sandiaojiao (三貂角) lighthouse and across the bay anchored by the quiet fishing village of Maoao (卯澳). Both are worth a stop, and take the time to wander Maoao’s winding streets and try its agar hotpot.

The route eventually leads back to Fulong, which provides an opportunity to explore the less-touristy part of the village that still operates as a fishing harbor. The bike route connects here to another path that takes riders about 5km west to Longmen (龍門) and Yanliao (鹽寮), but the beach is calling.

IF YOU GO

Getting there

Trains run from Taipei Main Station to Fulong Station, travel time is between 55 minutes but can take up to 100 minutes depending on the train type. Tickets cost between NT$83 and NT$128.

Bike rentals are plentiful, ranging between NT$100 and NT$300 per day depending on the model.

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