Ok you guys correct me if I'm wrong here, but does a tiny budget plane with a dodgy safety record qualify as style and comfort? LOL. I'm not sold on the idea, Brian!
Of course, I am not THERE and haven't been on either the trains OR the domestic planes, so I am only guessing and going off of things I read here and there. The trains seem to be comfortable, from the pictures anyways. But the thing about "Standing room only" is slightly concerning- if I am able to book an express train online 2 weeks in advance and they actually give me a listed car and seat number I should be ok, right?
Dragging luggage doesn't concern me, I have very little. The shuttle to the train station doesn't seem overly daunting either. In my mind, it felt doable.
My thought was that I would book the...cough...Hello Kitty train...or try to...(because yes, I am a girly girl and hello kitty is adorable)...and I would sit with my camera and just relax and enjoy the view down the coast on the way to Taitung, alternating between reading, people-watching, and feeling like I'm completely insane and totally out of place.
Getting to Taitung isn't exactly about speed for me. So I don't mind the extra hours. I don't even care if I'm super tired...you can sleep when you are dead!
Perhaps I am romanticizing the whole riding the train down the coast. But because my plans are so loose, I don't know if or when I will make it back up north and the train ride was one of the things I guess I wanted to do. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm leaving to another country from Kaohsiung before the 90 days are up (but probably returning to Taiwan directly).
I'm ranting. I know. Either way I go, though, you guys have shown me alternate routes and I also feel more comfortable with what I know about getting a train ticket if I decide to take that option.
And if I do decide to take the train and have the most hellish experience known to man, it would sure make for a great story. My best stories from foreign travels always seem to be about experiences that were highly embarrassing, frustrating, or horrible in the moment.
Thank you to you all for your thoughts, opinions and excellent information! You are my heroes, and I shall sing your praises for generations to come