We had spent six weeks in Taipei and loved every minute but it was time to see the rest of Taiwan. This post will provide a handy guide for anyone wondering how to travel from Taipei to Taichung. It should also hopefully be helpful for anyone travelling from Taichung to Taipei.
If you are at all apprehensive about travelling between Taipei and Taichung, don't be. It is incredibly simple 🙂
Now the time to depart Taipei had arrived, we packed our bags, said goodbye to the sugar gliders we had been looking after for the previous five weeks, took our last walk down the hill past the Beitou Hot Springs and headed to Taipei Main Station to catch the train from Taipei to Taichung.
Purchasing Tickets At Taipei Main Station
There isn't really a need to pre-purchase your train tickets from Taipei to Taichung unless it is the day before or the day of a holiday. If you will be traveling on one of these days, you can buy your tickets online via this web page. We haven't used it so we are unable to tell you if it is easy to use or not.
Buying tickets in person at Taipei Main Station is quite painless. You can use the ticket machines that do have some English instructions and buy either standing or seated tickets. Figuring them out can be a little confusing. Alternatively you can head to the ticket booth and speak to a real person like we ultimately did. We chatted with a lovely man who spoke brilliant English and he handed us two tickets from Taipei to Taichung.
Our train was leaving at 10:30 am and would arrive at 12:51 pm. Just under two and a half hours of comfortable travel. Our seats were even next to each other. You would be surprised how often we have come across people who seem to be unaware that we would like to sit next to each other.
The tickets cost NTD $375 each. Here is the Taiwan TRA Train Schedule Website in English. Please note that there are options to purchase 3, 5, 7, 10 day multi-use TRA train passes. The 3 and 5 day options are only available for adults. The 7 and 10 day passes are available for students or teachers with specific ID.
We do not have a lot of information about the multi-day options as these are for people travelling very quickly around the island. For example, the 3 day pass has to be used within three consecutive days. They may make sense if you will be travelling every day but they did not work for us as we were not planning on moving every day.
Our Experience Onboard
The train was exceptionally comfortable. Admittedly we are pretty light travellers but there was plenty of room for our bags without feeling squished.
A few tears were shed as we left Taipei so we consoled ourselves by munching on a delicious pork bentobox. For NTD $80 we shared this meal of spicy pork chop, soy flavoured egg, steamed and fried vegetables, ham slice, fried fish and rice. Even though we could have eaten one of these each, one is enough for two people as a snack.
By the end of the relaxing trip aboard the Taipei to Taichung train Andrew and I were both excited to arrive. The combination of a comfortable seat, some tasty snacks and ever changing scenery meant that the trip flew by and now we had a whole new Taiwanese city to explore! First matter of business, our first Taichung Bubble Tea.
Beware of National Holidays
Different countries have different holidays and travelling on or immediately before the whole country takes a vacation tends to be a bad idea. Google "taiwan national holidays" for an up to date list.
Consider a Lightweight Stroller
If you will have a baby or young child with you consider taking a travel stroller. Taipei in particular is generally very stroller friendly. We have personally used and recommend both the Babyzen Yoyo and the GB Pockit Stroller. Click here to read our stroller reviews.
Where To Stay In Taipei
We house sat for most of our time in Taipei. However after completing our two week tour of Taiwan we did spend a few days at the Taipei Triple Tiger Hostel. The rooms are rather cozy but they are in the fashionable and extremely central district of Ximen. Click here to get current prices and click here to read our review.
Where To Stay In Taichung
We stayed at a place called Moonlight House Fengjia. Apologies for this but we can now find very little about this place online. If it still exists and if you stay there be aware that you need to go into what looks like a place that makes keys to check in and get your room key. There are no outward signs that its a hotel. Yeah, its weird. Click here to search for somewhere else to stay in Taichung. We <3 Taiwan!