Gleaming under a vast expanse of blue skies, Mr Eu Pui Leong savoured every moment as he pedalled through the picturesque landscapes of Hainan's east coast. With the refreshing sea breeze against his face, he navigated rolling hills fringed by pristine white beaches and swaying coconut palms.  The scenery was truly the definition of paradise. 



This unforgettable journey through the Chinese island province, dubbed the “Hawaii of the East”, was part of a cycling adventure organised by the Civil Service Club (CSC) Cycling and Adventure Club earlier this year. Over five days, the group of 27 cyclists covered 440 kilometres (km), riding from Haikou, Hainan’s capital, to Sanya, the southernmost point of China.


The expedition marked the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club’s maiden trip to Hainan since Mr Eu joined the interest group over a decade ago. Serving as Vice-Chairman from 2020 to 2023 and now Secretary, he has participated in various cycling jaunts to destinations like Tibet, Taiwan, West Malaysia, Batam and Bintan.


Describing the joys of cycling in unfamiliar territories, Mr Eu shares: “I love exploring new places by bicycle. You get to really feel nature and understand the terrains better —an experience that isn’t possible when travelling by car or bus.”



Basking in Hainan’s natural beauty


Hainan boasts a round-island highway route with dedicated cycling lanes, offering a safe ride along coastal paths with relatively light traffic. Besides panoramic views of the sea and countryside, the group also noticed looming condominiums, service apartments and hotels. These structures, as shared by the local guide, were developed for seniors in mainland China, who buy them to seek warmth in Hainan during the months of cold winter up-north.


Besides gaining valuable nuggets of information, riding in an organised tour led by local guides has other advantages. “Such as having a support van accompany us. It served as a safety vehicle and refreshment point with fresh local fruits and coconut juice,” Mr Eu explains.  


Riding in a group also fostered a spirit of camaraderie and pride amongst the riders and enabled them to get to know their fellow riders, especially through challenges that they have overcome.  



“When overseas, one gets pride to have overcome tough slopes (like in Taiwan) or over bridges (many across Batam).  Or riding all round a bigger island, in Taiwan or Hainan.” Mr Eu beamed.


Although the group had looked forward to ride in sunny Hainan, a Siberian wind brought cold spells to much of China, including Hainan, on the week they arrived. Despite riding in light rain on the first day and needing windbreakers to shield against the cold for the rest of the trip, their spirits remained high. On the last day, they crossed a climate line at the hilly range demarcating Sanya and a town at its north. “The sun and blue sky magically emerged as we crossed the range into the rain shadow,” describes Mr Eu about the magnificent sight. 


Mr Eu and his fellow CSC Cycling and Adventure Club members indulged in local feasts daily as a reward of their hard work. “Haikou and Wenchang are the hometown of many Hainanese in Singapore. On our first night, we visited a seafood wholesale to pick up fish, crabs and prawns. The cooks at the restaurant will then prepare them in the styles we requested,” recalls Mr Eu.


The group also had a chance to explore Sanya freely on the final day, finding the beach adjacent to their hotel brimming with locals and foreigners. “We even saw signs written in Russian, suggesting that the beach is a popular destination for Russian tourists,” Mr Eu adds.



Cycling for Fitness and Friendship


Similarly, Mr Paul Chan, Chairman of the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club, cherishes how cycling enables him to explore places sustainably. “You can travel further and appreciate more scenery, while reducing carbon emissions. Cycling is an environmentally friendly mode of transport,” says the 65-old-year Senior Estate Manager at the Housing & Development Board.


Mr Chan’s  involvement with the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club dates back to 2009 when he was invited by the CSC Sports Department to form a running club. A cycling club soon followed with Mr Chan as Vice-Chairman. Some years later, both clubs merged to form the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club, and Mr Chan has served as the Chairman since.


Under his leadership, the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club organises two major annual cycling trips to places like Taiwan, China and Australia, alongside shorter weekend excursions to nearby destinations, such as Malaysia, Batam and Bintan. 


Taiwan has become the signature location for long-haul excursions, with eight trips organised since 2014. “The great food, stunning landscape and friendly people keep us going back,” says Mr Chan.



 Looking Ahead to the Next Adventure


In November 2024, the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club will host its ninth Taiwan cycling trip that brings participants through Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien, Yilan and Taipei over eight days covering 668km. The trip promises diverse challenges and scenic experiences, from battling strong winds atop cliffs at Fengchuisha at Kenting National Park to tackling the upslope climb at the Beiyi Freeway.


“Historically, Taiwan has been influenced by various cultures,” Mr Eu reflects, “which creates a unique blend of architecture, traditions and cuisine.” Mr Chan adds that the thrill of Taiwan will never fade: “We never get tired of it because there are always new things to discover.”


The next adventure continues:

The CSC Cycling and Adventure Club 2024 Taiwan Cycling 
24 November to 2 December 2024
Total distance: 668km
Total elevation: 5,149m
Level of difficulty: 4 out of 5
Routes: Kaohsiung > Pingtung > Kenting > Taitung > Hualien > Yilan > Taipei

If you are interested to join this expedition, contact: Paul (91457388) or Pui Leong (96365514)




Traveling with the CSC Cycling and Adventure Club allows riders to explore new places with safety and support. With local guides, safety tools and accompanying vehicles, participants can embrace new challenges with confidence. Click here to find out more about the activities organised by CSC Cycling & Adventure Club.



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