Getting Around

Taiwanese Railways

That was the idea. Explore Taiwan island by train only. Except for one section in the South, I managed to circle the island around using high-speed and commuter trains. As with Japanese RailPass, I opted for Taiwanese 5 Day Rail Pass, instead of having to queue, dealing with foreign ticket counters, purchasing the ticket on every leg of my journey. Well, the reality was that I still had to use logistics and organisation skills to secure a seat or connection. I would say that it was a creative and definitely innovative way to travel to Taiwan. All in all, I had to purchase one extra ticket for a high-speed train going from Taoyuan to Chiayi. Bear in mind that Terminal for high-speed trains is located 5 miles from the city centre. I got there much quicker but then I had to take a connecting bus to the city. It is worthwhile to double check what type of train is more convenient. In my case, I just needed to get to my hostel before midnight. With the commuter train going directly to the city of Chiayi it would still take me 3 more hours.

Taiwanese high-speed train going from Kaohsiung to Tainan.
Taiwanese high-speed train going from Kaohsiung to Tainan.
Taiwanese trains
The frequency and punctuality were astonishing.
This long-distance high-speed train will take you from Taipei in the north to Tainan in the southwest of the country. Remember that this line operates ONLY on the western side of the island.
Getting ready for a ride? This is a typical fast train connecting two major cities. Comfortable and clean with polite and friendly passengers.
This is so not like a typical train in Europe, is it? Or maybe I just happened to have boarded first class?
What I appreciated most is the legroom and cup holder. Also, the inclined seats allowed for extra comfort. So much you would have to watch your stop before you fall asleep.
With so much room I could easily accommodate my backpack next to me. I like it keep it handy, even though the train had a luggage storage room on each end of the carriage. This time the train was almost empty, other times you would have to compromise on space available, or lack of it.
Sitting with my diary and cuppa. Pulling up somewhere on my way to Kaohsiung. Lovely sunny day but already chilly.
Jinlun railway station on the eastern part of the island. The trains were efficient and clean.
Another train going via east coast up to Taipei.
Typical Taiwanese train station. Digital display showing departures, arrivals, and delays. Since I was traveling with my RailPass, I had to inform the train conductor before boarding where I wish to travel. They were very helpful in assuring me that for example to the next train is not always the faster train. Better to wait one more hour but reach your destination one hour earlier.
Safety barriers, signposts, and less crowd, that is every traveler’ dream.









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