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Taiwan (2013) Day 1: From Taoyuan International Airport To Taichung

Date Visited: 26th November 2013

Five years ago, my family and I joined travel agent for our very first trip to Taiwan and honestly to say, it was awfully bad experience. It was last minute decision and plus, planning to travel independently may seems to be a little difficult for me cause there were not many travelogues relating to Taiwan back then. Therefore, I always looking forward to plan another trip to Taiwan and travel independently instead of following travel agent. And three years later, my mission has been accomplished with Boyfie and his best friend tagged along for this trip.

So far, there are only two airlines serve direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Taipei, Taiwan; Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia. Of course in terms of cost saving, we chosen AirAsia for this trip. 

Day 1 - 01 AirAsia KK To Taiwan
#1: Aerial view from my favorite window seat

We booked the earliest flight at 7.10 am and three hours 15 minutes later, finally we reach Taoyuan International Airport. It's the main getaway to Taipei and Northern Taiwan. From Taoyuan, it takes roughly an hour to reach Taipei and accessible by wide variety of public transportation.

Day 1 - 02 Taoyuan International Airport
#2: 你好 Taiwan! I'm back again to this sweet potato shaped country and also the homeland of Asus & HTC after three years. 

In case your age is between 15-30 years old, go and apply Youth Travel card once came out from the arrival hall. The application is free of charge and all you need to do is show the valid identification, such as passport or even driving license. The benefit of getting this is whereby you enjoy the discounts and special gifts from certain popular tourist spots such as Taipei 101 and Shifen Waterfall, transport fee, accommodation fee, delicacy expense and shopping.

Taiwan Youth Travel
#3: Youth Travel card for those age between 15-30 years old

We decided go Taichung first instead of Taipei which we will be back by end of this trip.

There are two options available to travel from Taoyuan International Airport to Taichung:
1) Long distance bus - From as low as NT$240, this is the cheapest option but it takes 2 hours. From the airport, take either KuoKuang Bus 1860 or UBus 1623 and it will stop at Taichung Railway Station.
2) High Speed Railway (HSR) train - Fast as it takes less than 40 minutes but pricey which can cost up to NT$590 per ride.

We opted for the second option cause I love to experience on high speed railway train. Initially I thought it will be difficult for me to reserve HSR train via online but the reality, it wasn't. Through the online booking, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal ticket fare. Normally this online booking is available up to 28 days from the departure date. Credit card is required for the pre-booking and charge in New Taiwan dollars.

Website: www.thsrc.com.tw/irs.html

HSR Taoyuan to Taichung
#4: Example of booking HSR train via online booking 

From Taoyuan International Airport to HSR Taoyuan Station
Right after getting out from the arrival hall, follow the signboard "Bus to High Speed Rail" and proceed to U-Bus counter to purchase ticket No. 705 which cost NT$30. Hop on the bus and the journey takes around 15-20 minutes to HSR Taoyuan Station. So in case you purchase HSR ticket in advanced via online booking, remember to plan your time properly or else in the case you miss the train time, you have to pay another additional charges.

Taoyuan Airport Signs
#5: Bus to High Speed Rail sign

Day 1 - 03 Ubus From Taoyuan Airport to THSR Station
#6: Purchase U-Bus ticket bus No. 705 for NT$30 to HSR Taoyuan Station

In HSR Taoyuan Station, we queued at the HSR ticket counter for the exchange of HSR train ticket. All the passport are required for validation purposes and seats will be assigned.

Day 1 - 04 Taiwan HSR Ticket Taoyuan - Taichung
#7: Our HSR train ticket from Taoyuan to Taichung

Day 1 - 05 Taiwan High Speed Rail
#8: HSR train resembles exactly like Japan's bullet train - So fast, quiet and comfort.

Brief info about Taiwan High Speed Railway (HSR) Train:
  1. Each train is divided into two distinctive classes; Business & Standard Class.
  2. The seats configuration for Standard Class is 3-2.
  3. Food is allowed and there are also bento and beverages selling inside the train. So cool!

From Taichung Station to Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市)
In Taichung, I personally think it's best to stay either nearby Taichung Station or in the case you love night market like me, then I would recommend to stay nearby Fengjia Night Market. There are few available mode of transportation to reach this biggest night market in Taichung but we chosen to take taxi which charge roughly around NT$250-350 depending on the meter. 

Alternatively, you can take free shuttle bus 160 towards Overseas Chinese University and stop at Feng Jia University if you are travelling with HSR train. Therefore, remember to keep the HSR train tickets for this exclusive privilege.  

Day 1 - 06 Taichung Minsu
#9: Forget about staying in conventional hotel and experience like a local by staying in Taiwan minshu. My Blog on: Minshu I Stayed in Taiwan

I think I should stop here for now and continue with my favourite night market, Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市) on the next post. So stay tune for yummylicious photo!
Taiwan - Taichung Night Market


  1. Good morning. AH....the lenght of this post is just nice. Not too long and not too short

    aiks...so horrible experience through travel agent ya?

    Guess travel independently is more flexible. You like to go where you can go. Needs a lot of planning but sure worth it

    Looking forward to the yummylicious post....i see the candy floss...oh my..is that penis looking snack...guess it will never make it way to malaysia...LOL

  2. I have heard a lot of good comments from friends who have travelled & back from Taiwan, hopefully Taiwan will be my next holiday destination.

  3. Looks like my comment didn't get registered... so here goes again..

    I went to Taiwan in 2005 and I was the 4th person in a 3 group friends. I only know one of them so it's kind of a tag-along hols for me and we signed up with a tour group. My memory of Taiwan was a lot of sleeping in the bus and many factories visit. However everyone I know who travelled to Taiwan independently loves the country... maybe I should try it again :)

  4. It was sad to know about your bad experience with a travel agent, but I'm sure your awesome trip to Taiwan must have overshadowed it. The useful tips provided by you will surely be of great help to many.


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