Round Taiwan – Transport
I went to Taiwan from March 8th to 17th. Round Taiwan by train and stayed in Taipei for 4 days, Kaohsiung for 4 days. All my trip goes to 3 parts: Transport, Food, View. Start here about Transport.
For easier understand of transport fee in Taiwan, currency of the money of Taiwan: New Taiwan dollar (TWD). It is now 100TWD=3.18USD 100TWD=384JPY 100TWD=20CNY.
At first, Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan.
As the biggest city of Taiwan, Taipei is also surely the transport center of Taiwan, though the city located at the north side of the island. Bus is a very convenient choice. For example, taking a bus from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei main station, 40KM about 1 hour’s trip, costs 120TWD.
Inside Taipei city, metro is the best access to every main places. An IC card called Easy Card can be used to touch in and out the station.
The ticket price strats from 15TWD and up to 40TWD when I went to the terminal station Danshui.
Several kinds of trains are used in Taipei Metro, Siemens, Kawasaki and Bombardier. The railway is standard, 6 elements group into a train. Fairly big inside space but not much cilin height.
I can not miss the Motorcycle when I talk about Taiwan. It really shocked me, at the first moment I reached Taipei city. The amount of the motorcycles are just incredible! Everywhere alone the streets, the motorcycles are running or Stopping.
The motorcycle is a part of the Taiwan, it goes into everywhere of Taiwan people’s daily life. Even beside the Presidential palace, the motorcycles line like this.
Just designed for the motorcycles, the block area on the junctions are for left turning motorcycles. Because they can not directly take a left turn, and straight cross road to these blocks and wait for another green light is needed.
For me, the best experience on the Taipei city’s road is riding a U-Bike. This public bicycle can rent and return just by touch the Easy card once. First 30 minutes is free. The bike is nice builded, smart lock design, and even has a 3 speeds shift which shifts perfectly. Also and generator in the front wheel can supply power to the front and rear light for safety.
About Taxi in Taipei, people call them “Little Yellow”. Almost using Toyota MVP cars, the Taxi starts from 70TWD on the first 1.5KM. Sadly I have never taken a Taxi.
It is the Taipei City, the overall traffic condition is great, everyone follows the rules and the drivers have a good manners.
From Taipei to Kaohsiung, I took a High Speed Rail. This railway system uses the same technology as Japanese Shinkansen and made by Kawasaki. So this is my first time taking an Shinkansen train.
Inside the High Speed Rail train, everything is clean and comfortable. Enough space for each seat and for feet when setting down. The ticket price from Start to end in 1.5 hour is about 1500TWD.
I made an gpx format file to record the High Speed Rail train’s condition, click to download.
The speed limit of High Speed Rail ATC is set to 300KM/h
In Kaohsiung city, the boats line quiet and nicely in the harbour. The Kaohsiung Harbor is actually the biggest harbour in Taiwan.
Enjoyed an bike riding by the harbor and the old Kaohsiung’s down tower was just in this area.
Since the Kaohsiung harbor is and U style layout, some places can only fast go by ferry.
Kaohsiung metro share the same system as Taipei but with more fun. Also the train runs in only 3 elements.
In night market, the rubbish car slowly goes by, and the people especially the sellers just throw the rubbish into it.
Motorcycles everywhere, especially when Kaohsiung falls into night. The night market is the paradise for youngs, and they love riding motorcycles.
Some photos of Tainan city, the most historical city in Taiwan. No surprise, full of motorcycles. And the departments really love puting their billboard outside their house and making them big.
On the way return to Taipei, I took a normal train which runs on the east side of the Taiwan island. The train uses a small sized rail and two 3 elements group into one train.
4 train head can be seen on this group. The power source is diesel, so no need of catenary.
Quite comfortable inside the train, the seats are fully adjustable and the ventilation is good.
The train offers free hot water and supply the water jar just like this.
The back side of the train is locked and I only took this photo by good luck. The control room is located on left side of the train head, since the center of the train is a pass way.
The captain checks the ticket and talk to some of the travelers.
At the most beautiful part of the railway, a seaview is just on the right side of the train.
Many parts of the east side railway are just no electric. The diesel locomotive still plays an important role here.
All operation here is manual, but fully in order. Broadcast, security check, door close check, all human.
Even in Hualian, I saw an diesel locomotive train drag a electric train passing by no electric rail.
Also there are higher speed express train runs at the same time. In fact they are not that fast. At least they have an modern outlook. And the name is Puyuma.
Inside an express train, modern staffs can be seen, and the doors need push the button.
Sometimes a ticket is hardly can be brought in convenient store. But remember the rule here: buy a no seat ticket and get on the rain in first priority. In most of the time the train will have available seats, actually a lot. The worst situation, set by the doors.
The overall feeling of Taiwan’s transport is pretty good. I could feel safe and comfortable in almost everywhere. A lonely trip will not be a problem.