Fun cycling to new Cittaslow Fenglin town in Hualien

Riding on the bicycle route in Fenglin.(Courtesy of @travtlfood)
Riding on the bicycle route in Fenglin.(Courtesy of @travtlfood)

The final and highlight of the “2019 Taiwan Cycling Festival” series, the “Fenglin Cycling Fun Ride,” will unfold in Fenglin, Hualien county on Nov. 16.

Directed by the Tourism Bureau, MOTC, organized by the ERV-NSA and executed by the Taiwan Cyclist Federation, a music concert will be held together with the cycling fun ride to celebrate the new Cittaslow Town Park of Fenglin.

Being the largest Hakka settlement in eastern Taiwan, Fenglin is a town famous for its beautiful scenery, historical architecture and remains of its old tobacco industry.

It is also the first town in Taiwan to be approved by the Cittaslow International to call itself a Cittaslow town. This cycling fun ride event will provide tourists with a LOHAS and casual vacation during the weekend.

Since a majority of the population in Fenglin are of the Hakka ethnic group, there are many Hakka features in the town, such as the Hakka Cultural Exhibition Hall showcasing the Hakka people’s immigration history, the Principals’ Dream Factory sharing local specialty goods and community knowledge volunteered by the principals and the teachers, as well as a couple of old tobacco house monuments that represent the industry of the town in the 1960s’.

Besides its Hakka culture, there are also a couple of traditional old Japanese halls and shrines from the days of Japanese colonial rule, and a checkerboard-like street has been preserved. The town is also nicknamed “Home of the school principals” since more than 120 principals have been cultivated from this town.

A refreshing ride along the “Green Tunnel”.(Courtesy of @travtlfood)
A refreshing ride along the “Green Tunnel.”(Courtesy of @travtlfood)

As Fenglin has been certified as a Cittaslow town, riding a bicycle will be the best way to experience this town. The cycling route connects most of the scenic spots and old tobacco houses in town.

The “Fenglin Cycling Fun Ride” event welcomes families and cycling tourists. Starting from the new Cittaslow Town Park, event participants will explore the town to find different scenic spots as well as specialty shops, collecting stamps along the way to exchange for souvenirs. At 11 a.m., the music concert will be held in the Park for riders to further experience the LOHAS atmosphere of this town.

Since DIY experiences are very popular with tourists, the town also offers locally-unique DIY courses, including tea and papermaking, glass painting and the Hakka-traditional blue fabric dyeing experiences.

Three different cycling routes will take you to these places where you can try your hand at DIY activities:

1. Hakka Village Route: Town Park – Dream Factory – Fine Oil Workshop – Honey Museum – Sacred Tree – Coal Workshop – Rail Station – Town Park. (Route distance: 9 kilometers)

2. Town Route: Town Park – Tobacco Houses – Paper DIY – Old Police Office – Old Shrine – Peanut shop – Town Park. (Route distance: 17 kilometers)

3. Town Park – Dream Factory – Rail Station – Shoutien Temple – Confucius Temple – Rice Paradise – Chilan Farm Blue Dyeing – Town Park. (Route distance: 15.8 kilometers)

By registering for these fantastic activities, you can get coupons and souvenirs. Uniquely designed cycling jerseys and traveling tickets could also be additionally purchased. Registration is open until Oct. 31.

Riding in the breeze under the sunny sky is part of life in Fenglin. (Courtesy of @travtlfood)
Riding in the breeze under the sunny sky is part of life in Fenglin. (Courtesy of @travtlfood)

●The Cittaslow Movement

The Cittaslow Movement started in 1999 as a way of countering the fast-food culture and was later expanded to become a movement that promotes ecological preservation, tourism, cultural assessment and environmental protection.

It’s hoped that by living a slower-paced life, one will be able to find balance in today’s fast-paced way of living. More than 200 towns and cities in over 30 countries have been approved as Cittaslow destinations so far.