Travel Around Taiwan by Scooter / Motorbike
If you can get your hands on a scooter or a motorbike, do it! Traveling in Taiwan on two wheels is pure heaven. Sure, it comes with some danger, but the rewards are worth it! In the cities, you can visit more attractions in less time and in remote areas you can get to places not covered by public transport. You’re free to go wherever you want, whenever you want!
If you travel in Taiwan by scooter or motorbike…
- always carry rain gear with you,
- bring a good, detailed map of Taiwan,
- inspect your tires, check the pressure,
- make sure you’ve got good brakes,
- don’t ride at night in the mountains,
- don’t ride during a typhoon,
- don’t wear sandals,
- make sure you’ve got good travel insurances,
- watch out for dogs, chickens, potholes,
- don’t drink and drive!!!
If you go to the mountains…
- bring warm clothes (it gets really cold up there),
- don’t wait for your gas gauge to say empty (there aren’t many gas stations in the high mountains),
- don’t use your front brake (too much) on the way down,
- watch out for young Taiwanese punks who come here to race with their friends.
Where Can I Rent a Scooter in Taiwan?
You can rent a scooter outside most train stations in Taiwan. One problem about scooter rental in Taiwan is that they usually ask for an ARC (Alien Resident Certificate / work permit), or a Taiwanese driver’s license. Sometimes, your hotel can help either by giving them a phone call or by renting it for you. You’ll also be asked to show your international driver’s license and passport.
The following places are much more laid back for motorbike rental in Taiwan. All they want is a photocopy of your passport and the money: Kenting, Hengchun, Sun Moon Lake, and all the outlying islands: Penghu, Matsu, Kinmen, Green and Orchid.
Taiwan Scooter Rental – Cost
Expect to pay around 350NT$ / day for a 90cc scooter. Beware, if you crash it, you’ll have to pay for everything – most places don’t provide insurance.
Renting a BIG bike in Taiwan
You will definitely need to provide the following documents to rent a big motorcycle (400cc +) in Taiwan:
- an ARC (Taiwanese work permit),
- a valid international driver’s license,
- your passport,
- a heavy motorbike driver’s license.
You should know that there is no theft insurance in Taiwan for big bikes. If you do rent or borrow one, ALWAYS keep an eye on it. Don’t even leave it to go for a pee. If you want to camp out, chain it to your leg or sleep on it. I am not joking! Back in 2005, I got mine stolen after owning it for only 2 months. Its value was 10 000 USD$ and I still had to pay the bank for two years. Same story happened to my friend few months later…