I’m running into the same darn problem I had last year. I want to go from Tainan to Hualien next Monday, the 19th. I tried to buy the ticket last week at the station, and was told that you can only make a reservation or buy a ticket one week in advance. So, this morning I tried via that really awful train ticket site to buy one. No tickets available. Went to the station. No tickets available.
Same thing as last year. They tell you you can’t buy a ticket more than a week in advance, but if you go exactly one week in advance, they are still all sold out. So how do those people get their tickets?
And any ideas how I can get to Hualien by the 21 when I have a meditation retreat there? I tried planes as well, and guess what, sold out! Trying to travel during CNY sure stinks!