Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Pingtung 172

On Monday the 4th of Aug I went down from Fangliao to Kenting in the morning to wait for Drew (post above this one). We were heading to Lanyu from Houbihu port in Kenting the next day, but in the meantime I wondered what could be done with the afternoon? Drew had the perfect answer: the Pingtung 172. Click on READ MORE....

ROUTE NOTES: The Pingtung 172 starts from the 199 just before the switchbacks. There's a sign for an archaeological site, turn right. The road runs southeast for about 15 kms until it hits the tiny hamlet of Fenshuiling, where you can get snacks and water. It has an easy rising grade for most of its length, except for a couple of downhills into river valleys. It's a lovely alternative to the 199 for going over to the east side, not as pretty as the 199, but still very enjoyable. There is no place to get water between Mudan village where the road begins and Fenshuiling. At Fenshuiling it meets the 200, which takes you north to Syuhai and the hot spring baths along one of the prettiest stretches of coast in Taiwan, or you can turn south on one of the prettiest stretches of road in Taiwan, the long fall through Manzhou township. Really enjoyable, well worth exploring.

First the ride down from Fangliao to Hengchun in the morning. The weather was lovely but the wind was incredible. By the time I got to Hengchun I was pretty tired, yet it was only 50 kms. The wind had pounded me to death as I rode south the day before too.

After lunch we took the Pingtung 151 just north of Hengchun up to the 199. A much prettier road than the vendor and car repair hell that is the 26.

I've been on this road many times -- it is always a treat.

After you turn onto the 199 you head for Mudan town.

The stone pillar atop the hill to the far left was erected by the Japanese to commemorate their victory over the local aborigines in 1874.

Drew heads for the Stone Gates, the gorge where the battle took place.

The entrance to the Pingtung 172.

The grade is easy.

Still learning how to use my new Sony DSC RX100, so forgive the blown out sky. The 172 traverses a set of low hills, very enjoyable.

On our way to Fenshuiling. This will take you to many other small, enjoyable roads.

We stopped at the dig site.

Drew looked around.

Nice views.

Pleasant farming scenery.

Finally reached Fenshuiling. Was pretty whipped, but revived with snacks and drinks.

Then it was the joyous downhill through Manzhou township.

As you can see, this section of the 200 is a must. A wonderful 50 km loop on the day, with Lanyu to look forward to!
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