Except I don’t know if or when I’ll be back to Taipei
Then even better. Anyways, you will have to buy/book teh train ticket in taitung for the way back or to head out anywhere else. You can do a whole around from Taitung to Kaohsiung, round teh island way. Take an evening red eye bus. Whatever.
If you take a train to Taituing on a Friday there is a strong possibility of you standing all the way. That woudl be my biggest concern.
Not to argue with Icon, but in my experience the seats that are impossible to get are the fast Taroko/Puyuma trains. The slower trains are easier to get. As my post (Train ticket for Friday May 5th from Taipei to Taitung...Help me :)) above shows, I checked for available seats this past Monday for a Friday trip, Taipei to Taidong, and there were tickets available. No need to order at midnight two weeks before for these.
Note to the OP: If you book online, it’s only for a seated ticket, so no worries there. Standing tickets are obtained from the station.
Steve- thanks for the info! And yeah, when I looked at tickets for a Friday, I found some still available as well- and one of the trains that still had availability said it was a 4 hour trip to Taidong…not bad at all. It was not the Taroko or Puyuma but limited express something or other…leaving in the morning.
The nice thing though, is that I won’t have to wait up until midnight because midnight in Taiwan is a very normal time of day for me. So I’m going to see what I can find 2 weeks in advance. Worst case scenario (if I can’t get an actual SEAT), I will enjoy a couple days in Taipei and then book a train down to Taidong on a weekday.
For reasons I can’t entirely explain, train travel is more relaxing/less stressful for me than flying…so fingers crossed!
I agree that train is a lot less stressful, more romantic, you usually get a gret view and truly, I personally enjoy it a lot because there was none in the ol country and Taiwan trains are unique. Some are decorated -maybe you will get a Hello Kitty or Oh Bear ones- and I am a fan of tie lu bieng tang -bento boxes for sale on trains andf train stations. Each station has its own especialty.
Enjoy your stay. Bring lots of sunblock. Have fun. If you take pictures, please share.
If you can visit Brown Avenue in Chishang, Taitung, I’d be much obliged.
Thanks for all of your help, Icon- much appreciated. And I am curious- what is on Brown Avenue in Chishang??
Getting extremely excited over here, as it is now less than 3 weeks away to the start of my adventure…EEP!
Something that hasn’t been brought up yet, you can buy combined bus and train tickets from Taipei City Hall bus station. The bus will take you under the mountains to Yilan where you can hop on a train the rest of the way. On busy weekends I’ve taken this route a few times, it cuts a big chunk out of the train journey and can be as quick as the Taroko express to Hualian.
There is a magic tree. And the tree’s fruits are cans of Mr Brown coffee…
Just kidding. The company producing Mr Brown coffee shot a commercial there, so did EVA Air I think. People liked how the commercials were shot and the small road, through rice fields, became known as Brown Avenue. You can rent bikes in Chishang and cycle there, it’s a bit too far by foot.
Taidong’s (Taitung’s) iconic tree, visible around the 1:00 mark of this video, was made famous through an EVA commercial. Enjoy!
And reminds me he is coming to Taiwan! TK is coming home!!!
Had to update everyone- booked my train ticket down the east coast for Friday morning, and got the express train that I wanted! Woo
I have a car number and a seat number (yayyy), and it looks like the trip will take about 4 hours.
Thanks again to everyone for your help and advice!
If someone is in your seat, that’s normal, sometimes when some passengers realize that the seat is empty, they may sit in it until the ticket holder boards. Just show them your ticket and you’ll be fine.
I somehow completely missed this thread… glad you were able to get seats.
FYI, you can use the Airport MRT to get to Taoyuan HSR, then get to Banqiao train station where Taroko and Puyuma trains stops by. That’s the quickest way to get to a major station these days.
Awesome! Your trip is starting very auspiciously! Enjoy, take lots of pictures, sample the local food and have loads of fun.
Hansioux- What about just taking the Taoyuan Airport MRT straight to Taipei Main Station?
Unless I’m reading this totally wrong, it looks like it will cost $160NT and take 35 minutes to go straight from there to Taipei main station. My east-coast ticket is from Taipei Main Station to Taitung.
https://www.tymetro.com.tw/eng/index.php - looked up the route there.
Also, I’m assuming if I take the MRT that I can keep my carry-on backpack in my possession…? I had read a blog about taking a shuttle bus and they said NOTHING was allowed on board other than small handbags. I’ve got pretty fragile gear going into my backpack and I am loath to part with it, ever. I just do not feel super comfortable storing that backpack in any kind of luggage bin.
One more question- does anyone know if there are SIM cards available at Taipei Main Station? I know you can get them at the airport but it looks like those places don’t open until 8a, and I will most likely be out of the airport well before that. But I hate the idea of not being “connected” yet- how is the free wifi and is that easy to set up? I was hoping to get the Chungwha 30 days unlimited card…
If I’m taking a 35 min MRT to Taipei Main Station…then I could potentially sit around in the airport and wait for the cell phone service station thing to open…but I’d rather not have to.
For WiFi connection:
Go to any Taiwan Tourist Information desk (at airport or train station or MRT station). With your passport, you can sign up for “iTaiwan”. What this does is allow you to FREELY log onto any WiFi around the island that has “iTaiwan” or “iTaipei” or “iChiayi” or “TaipeiFree” or whatever. Those are free government WiFi’s around the island. You’ll get an id and password. Plus, when you are near a government building (like public school, or bus stop, or MRT station, or library, government bank, etc. etc.), you will see those WiFi’s pop up and you can log onto the Internet for free. For a tourist, it is quite handy. If you are in Taitung, the free WiFi might read as “iTaitung” or “TaitungFree”. Just have to try each one out, as each county/city has a different WiFi name, BUT you use that same ID that you just signed up with at the Tourist Info. For example, if you see “TaipeiFree”, you click on it, and then type in your ID and password and click on the circle for “iTaiwan” to let them know you signed up through “iTaiwan”. They are all interrelated. You can ask more about this at the Taiwan Tourist Bureau counters at those places I mentioned (airport, train stations, MRT stations).
Hope this makes sense. It’s all FREE WiFi around the island (as long as you are near one of the government entities (bus stop, train station, government building, library, public school, etc.).
As for SIM cards, well, I’m guessing you’ll have to see if any Chung Hwa Telecom, or Fareastone, or Taiwan Mobile is in the train station to get a SIM card
THANK YOU for that great info on the wifi!!!
here is the link in English (gov’t website):
Grammar a bit ruddy, but you get the gist of it.
From “Thirdly”, you can see that:
you can present your passport or entry permit (for Mainland China residents) at a Travel Service Center located at any major airports, train stations or mass rapid transit (MRT) stations in Taiwan. After the service personnel applies for an account number for you, you can use the account number to access the Internet at any major indoor public area in Taiwan free of charge. Information on Travel Service Centers is as follows:
1. Travel Service Center, Tourism Bureau Located at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport and Travel Service Center, Tourism Bureau. For detailed information, please visit: detailed information
2. County and City Visitor Centers Located at Taipei Songshan International Airport, major mass rapid transit stations in Taipei, Taipei Main Station, major airports and train stations in counties and cities, and High Speed Rail stations. For detailed information, please visit: detailed information
You can also use a native mobile phone number or a native prepaid card number to register a account for the use of iTaiwan service or register for a TPE-Free account to log onto iTaiwan service. For TPE-Free registration information, please visit:detailed information.
Again, in each city and county, the WiFi’s will have different names (maybe iChiayi or FreeChiayi, or iKaohsiung or iTaitung). When you click on that WiFi, it’ll give you choices to use to “log in” to that specific WiFi, which is the local government’s and connected to iTaiwan. Just find the blank space for iTaiwan and fill in your iTaiwan id.