Seeing as this week saw the passing of Ghost Day, it seemed appropriate to give the route known as “The Graveyard” a write up. This road can be taken as a short cut from Nangang over towards Heping East Rd. and for me as I can do it in a loop in just under an hour, it’s perfect short run in the evenings.
In Taiwan, graves are typically built on hillsides and ideally near to water to take advantage of the good fengshui so most of Taiwan’s graveyards are located on the slopes of hills.
I always start this ride at the Academia Sinica end in Nangang as it means I can more easily avoid riding on Xinyi road on the return part of the journey. I’ve ridden a motorcycle here for years and I’m quite used to the madness of Taipei’s traffic but on a bicycle, it seems so much worse and the less time I can spend on the busy roads the better!
To get to the beginning of this ride, I head along to the end of Zhongxiao road 忠孝路. There’s a T-junction here and I turn right onto the 109. 5 minutes down the road gets you to the university. Turn right again onto Yanjiuyuan Road 研究院路. Eventually at the junction shown below take a left to carry on on Yanjiuyuan, signposted as the China Institute of Technology 中華技術學院. From here the road is much more rural and there’s a lot less traffic.
The climb is fairly gentle and passes by a number of farms and small temples. Watch out for the dogs the farmers keep, they can be as vicious as some of the stray dogs you encounter in the mountains here.
The highest point reached is around 190m and crossing over and heading down gives great views of Mucha, Maokong and the Zoo. To continue on towards Heping Road 和平路 keep to the right.
On this day I managed to get to the top in time for another beautiful sunset. There’s been so many recently with very little haze in the evenings.
The road that cuts through the graveyard is narrow and winding which is good as it generally keeps the other roads users down the same speed and cyclists.
Eventually you come out onto Chongde Street 崇德街. Continuing on gets you to Heping and Jilong, where the Liuzhangli MRT station is located. It’s perfectly fine to do the graveyard in either direction