Getting Around

Taiwanese Rail Pass

Taiwanese Rail Pass is not something travelers opt for too often. Since my journey covered two neighboring countries with similar railway networks possibilities I went for it and decided to discover Taiwan, or more specifically circle it by train. Judging by my own experience this Pass has not been enjoyed by visitors too often. It was joy,  it was fun. From the start of booking, I was met with surprised reactions of Taiwanese authorities. The practical side of it, just like with Japanese RailPasses, once you entered the country you have to validate it in one of the selected authorising points. These can only be High-Speed Train Terminal. In my case, it was in Chiayi, some 10km away from city centre. Once I got to my hostel in Chiayi I went to the nearby Train station to only to be advised by a ticket seller that they didn’t know anything about this form of tickets and contacted the main office. After a brief confusion and waiting, I was instructed to take a local bus and go to the High-Speed Train Terminal 10km away. A bit chaotic and frustrating but ultimately positive experience.

Below you find the helpful instructions from official Taiwanese Rails website:

  • The PASS can only be used by the individual owner and is not transferable.
  • The PASS is limited to use within the valid period. The passenger is permitted to take the Taiwan High-Speed Rail trains for an unlimited number of times during the valid period. The valid period of the PASS should be specified when exchanging; it is calculated based on the consecutive accumulation of days from the starting date, within 30 days from the date the PASS was issued; once the starting date is set, it cannot be changed.
taiwan high speed
This voucher has to be exchanged for a real Pass issued in one of High-Speed Rail ticket counters.
    • This PASS is valid for travel in non-reserved seat cars; the passenger needs to take a reserved standard seat, please reserve in advance at the ticketing window at no additional charge, however, the following must be noted:
      • Reservations must be made by presenting the PASS and an original copy of the passport at the station ticket windows; no online or telephone reservations will be accepted.
      • During peak hours or national holidays, seat availability is not guaranteed. Should seat reservation not be available due to full booking, please make use of the non-reserved seat service.
      • When taking reserved standard seat with the PASS, please board the train in accordance with the seating information specified in the inner pages of the PASS during the reservation.
    • When traveling with the PASS, the passenger is limited to enter and exit the stations via the manned gates; please bring the original copy of passport for verification purposes. If the passport cannot be presented, or the identity on the PASS does not match the passenger, the passenger will not be allowed to board the train; those who have already boarded the train will be asked to purchase another ticket.
    • The PASS does not accept any form of change or return. If the PASS is lost, damaged or stolen, no re-issuance, application for loss or refunds will be given.
  • During extraordinary circumstances such as train delays, interruption of service or cancellation of trains, the PASS will not be compensated for, nor will the valid period be extended.
  • Only the original copy of the PASS is valid; any photocopying, alteration, forging or damage that is beyond recognition will be deemed invalid.
  • For more details, please refer to or contact your travel agent. If you have already arrived in Taiwan, please contact THSR Customer Service Hotline: 4066-3000 (Miaoli: 42663000, Taitung and Kinmen: 4666-3000, Matsu and Cell Phone: 02-4066-3000)
THRS Rai Pass explained. Inside the booklet, you have a map showing the rail network that applies.
This booklet type rail pass needs to be presented at the rail gates and if the seat reservation is necessary, the train conductor makes a note to ensure you are not left stranded.
During the five days validity period, you are to choose two days when you can additionally use high-speed trains. I only needed one day due to the remoteness of the HS train stations.

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