Your most memorable train ride in Taiwan

We’ve all taken the train here, and some of the journeys have been memorable. What’s your MOST memorable train trip in Taiwan over the last several years and what was the route and what was the part that made it so memorable? The place you visited, the food you ate, the people you met there, the lover you took with you? What?

For me, the most memoroable trip I took on trains here was a ride from Suao to Hualien last summer. Absolutely great views!

On the few occassions that I’ve had friewnds or family come out here, we’ve done a day trip to Daxi beach followed by Jiu Fen. To get from Daxi to Jiu Fen you catch the slow train to Ruifang. It’s so great on a summer’s day after a swim at the beach, sitting in the slow train, seats, turned around, feet up, windows right down, cruising along at a gentle speed. Love it.


had a nice trip to shifenliao once. you take the train to ruifang or houdong then catch a small train down a one track line. very nice area, some nice hiking to be done.

I was sitting in the doorway in the last car, may feet hanging over the sill one time when a piece of metal from the track flew up and embedded itself in my eye. That was memorable.

BRIAN wrote: "It’s so great on a summer’s day after a swim at the beach, sitting in the slow train, seats, turned around, feet up, windows right down, cruising along at a gentle speed. Love it. "

Yeh, I love that feeling here in the trains, too. Open windows, fresh breeze, summertime. I went to Chiufen once that way, too.

What about down south? Any good routes down there, like the Chiufen Daxi route?

I also had a memorable trip to ShiFenLiao. Goes through the forest alongside of a small river most of the way. When I went there, I was in one of those antique trains: antique looking fans, (no aircon) some wood paneling. Antique looking interior. Was nice with the windows down and the fan on, going along pretty slow.

Try the Alishan train - NT$399 one-way - takes about 3 hours to get through the Chiayi countryside and then up the mountain. At some parts it switches to another track and you get to travel backwards.

Is that Alishan train open now? I heard they closed down when that train ran off the tracks recently. Did they open again?

Yes, it’s open. It was shut down for only about a week. A nice ride, assuming the train doesn’t crash, of course.

I can also vouch for the recommendations above for the Pingxi spur line from Ruifang.

How about the Neiwan line from Xinzhu? Has anyone taken that?

I took that once, Hsinchu to Neiwan. Single track, but not narrow guage like the Alishan line. Nice. Goes through great countryside scenery, peaceful and relaxing. At Neiwan you get off and walk around town, eat Hakka food, go down to the nearby river and soak your feet and sit by the riverbank eating local deli and drinking cold beejo. A few hours later, get back on train and head back to Hsinchu, a great day trip for daytrippers. Crowded on weekends, natch, but better on weekdays, if you are between jobs like I was at the time. Train cars leave from Hsinchu station platform, just off the main pform. Lots of students, commuters, dating couples and camera buffs.

I thought the Hualien to Taidong ride was nice. I got to see the ocean and the mountains at several points. Very relaxing watching the clouds roll around the mountain tops. I have only gotten 3/5 of the way around Taiwan by train…from Taipei to Hualien to Taidong to Kaohsiung. I plan to finish my trek by train (including the Alishan leg) before I leave.

Can dogs be taken on Taiwan’s trains?

that’s a very good question, stevieboy. and what about cats and pet birds? I would guess so, as long as they are in cages and are quiet. But to be honest, I’ve never seen a caged animal on a train here. let’s all make some phone calls to the train people and find out…

I was on the excursion train from Alishan Station to Monkey Rock a few years ago. We were about 15 minutes into the trip, coming out of a tunnel, when the train driver suddenly locked the brakes. Her reflexes were fast enough that we avoided getting derailed by the boulder that had fallen onto the tracks from the hillside above. No one in the carriage was injured and we all got out to look at the damage.

There was some talk among the macho males of trying to move the large stone off the tracks so that the train could pass. The driver was having none of that though. She got us all back on the train and we reversed all the way to Alishan station. At the station we all received a refund for the price of the ticket. I’ve still never made it to Monkey Rock.

Timogan: was that incident ever reported in the local papers? or on TV? shoulda been… might have prevented the accident last month!

I was told by an ex-colleague whose brother is with the train people that you can’t bring pets on the trains. I also checked the web and the only english pages allowing pets are for the Taipei MRT - that’s ok so long as they are in carriers.
I’ve seen a woman carrying a tiny dog in a plastic bag at a train station, and if you’re very discreet you can get away with it. We’ve brought the parrot out from Taipei to Reifang and back in a bright pink cat carrier; the kitten from Reifang to Taipei in a mousetrap which was in a plastic bag; and parrot, ferret and cat, all in individual carriers, from Taipei to Chiayi by train. We did place 2 of the pet carriers in a larger bag and placed all 3 in the luggage rack overhead though.

I just checked at the train station in Keelung, and YES, pets can be transported on the trains here. However, they must be in special dog or cat or bird cages, and they must travel in the baggage cars that also carry mail and motorcycles that are being transported up and down the line. Hours of operation are from 8 am to 8 pm only, however, and of course, there is some kind of payment required, and you must travel in the regular passenger car on the same train going north or south.

Shimmers’ experience seems to say that it’s okay to take pets on the trains with you, discreetly, I guess. But the TRA policy is okay to transport pets, but in baggage car only.

Woof woof!

Formosa, or anyone else who has taken the Neiwan train, how busy is it at weekends? Do you think it’s necessary to book in advance?

[quote=“joesax”]Formosa, or anyone else who has taken the Neiwan train, how busy is it at weekends? Do you think it’s necessary to book in advance?
Don’t know about the train, but Neiwan at the weekend is horrible. Roads jammed with cars, thousands of grockles milling around.

Is the Neiwan line still operating? Does it depart from Hsinchu or do I need to go to Jhudong?

And does anyone know the schedule? I read it leaves (or used to) every 90 minutes but would like to know the actual times so I can match it to a train ride from Taipei.