Life on the HSR

We’ve decided to make this the go-to thread for miscellaneous discussion of High Speed Rail in Taiwan, like the “Life on the MRT” thread. The following article is just a starter. :slight_smile:

I wonder how many times this kind of scheme succeeded (with these two or others) before they figured out how to catch them in the act.

She bought the cheapest ticket (Taipei to Banqiao) but went all the way to Zuoying, where her partner met her and handed over another ticket. Then she pretended that was her ticket and said she wanted to cancel her trip.

Hopefully we won’t get to the point where you need to have your name and ID number on the ticket, like on the mainland.

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That’s actually a great way to get rid of the scalpers

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Helpful, useful, but not sure if it’s necessary.

Do the monthly ticket subscribers have something like this?

It should be done on the east cost line which is a complete disaster.


I know, but I come from a country where walking outside without your passport/ID is not (yet) a crime, so I instinctively find the concept repulsive. :idunno:

Think about the blue trucks here, though. At least they will know which embassy/representative office to call.

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Funny 1 and yi 一 . Chinese numbers and pinyin which means nothing to most people. No English. Who is coming up with these things?

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Interesting story. She could have avoided the punishment had she been not too greedy to repeat the offense.

We’ve tossed around the idea of buying a house in Hsinchu (or somewhere around those parts) since home prices are much better then Taipei, and me commuting on HSR. Any HSR commuters here with words of wisdom? I wonder how crowded the train gets in rush hours.

I did this for about a year. Not daily, but frequently enough to get a feel for it. I prefer it to living in Taipei, and depending where you live and work the commute is not necessarily any longer. Realistically you can get from an apartment in Zhubei to Taipei Main in about 45 mins if timed correctly.

It’s about 8000 NT$ a month, and yes it’s crowded, a friend of mine did it for several years. He’s lucky the company paid his bill. 45-60 min. Plus connection in Taipei, depending on where you work give or take 90 min. total.

Could think about yilan city or thereabouts as well, over an hour on the train or bus I think.

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^^People do it; I used to go across from Technology Building MRT a lot and there were definitely daily Kamalan commuters there.

I think Yilan would be a nice place to live but the missus can get a good job much easier in Hsinchu.


I have done this commute last year, also not daily but 2-3 times a week. I normally went to Taipei on student tickets, so in total living in Hsinchu was as expensive as in Taipei (although we had a bigger flat in Hsinchu). You should calculate your ticket costs and decide by yourself if the cost is acceptable.

I would say it is ok, but only if you live really close to Hsinchu HSR station (less than 10 minutes walk) and work close to Banqiao or Taipei station (no far MRT journey). Otherwise it gets really exhausting. I had to transfer from Liujia line to Hsinchu HSR, ride HSR to Taipei, take the MRT with 1 transfer, + 10 minutes walk in Taipei. In total it was easily 90 minutes and too much for a daily commute.

The HSR journey itself was fine. If you buy your ticket the evening before travelling to Taipei, you still get a seat. With a seat reservation the journey is nice and quiet. I could get a nice short sleep on the HSR. But if you don’t know when to get off work and have to buy your return trip spontaneously, getting a seat back to Hsinchu during rush our is difficult. And of course the unreserved areas are very crowded.

Haha! I tried my updated Google Maps and got the same results. I know Google Maps does rely on crappy translations and often refuses to show me Chinese street or business names (English version). This is a problem when taking a taxi and trying to find streets where there are no (consistent) Romanized versions. This is the FIRST time I’ve seen them auto-translate to PingYin. Really weird, unless a “local guide” made the change manually. I am a local guide and often leave feedback or changes, but this is an odd case!

I’d prefer yilan to commute in from but the problem there for me is it is a bit far from the airport .

The other options on hsr obviously are Taoyuan and Miaoli. I’m familiar with Miaoli as in laws from near there , you could definitely find a nice big place but unless you like country living it would be very boring ! Miaoli city is one of the worst cities (more like a non descript town) in Taiwan and the HSR station is in the middle between houlong and miaoli city.

Personally I still think yilan is the best commuter choice for a more human place to live, less tall buildings, more greenery, cheapish.

I agree with you regarding Miaoli, also due to in-laws. Not a place I would want to live at his point, but maybe later. And it’s a long haul even in HSR.

What about Taoyuan to Hsinchu? Would living near the Taoyuan hsr help with the congestion issues? I’m looking at working in hsinchu but commuting from Taoyuan or Taipei

That’s only around 10 minutes. Ideally you would live close to Taoyuan HSR station and work not far from Hsinchu HSR station.