How To Get Around TAIWAN

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) – It’s fast and easy to use, but do book your tickets in advance as seats are limited. If you book online, you will need to go into any 7-Eleven store, look for the TRA machine (which looks like an ATM) and have your ticket printed there. The machine gives you a slip which you take to the cashier, who will then print your ticket and the charge is NT$8 per ticket. There is also a very useful TRA smartphone app from which you can make bookings and also retrieve an electronic ticket.

Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) – Faster but also more pricey than the TRA. Book tickets on the website or at Ibon Machine in any 7-Eleven store.

Buses – This is by far the cheapest and quickest way to get around within a city. Google Maps will give you options and bus numbers for your desired route. There are bus stops on almost every street corner which are also marked with the bus numbers. Just look out for the bus approaching (bus number is displayed upfront) and wave them down to hop on. If you have an EasyCard, you can swipe it either when boarding or disembarking the bus.

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Service – This is a great alternative to reach some tourist attraction where trains/buses don’t reach. For instance Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge etc.

Metro (MRT) – Most convenient in the two major cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung. The MRT is clean, safe, easy to use with directions in English and always on time. Buy an EasyCard which gives you a 20% discount within Taipei. Do not eat, drink or even chew gum on the MRT as you can be fined!

Taxi – Not all taxi drivers can speak English, but if you are clear about where you want to go (use Google Maps or have your destination written in Chinese) then it should not be a problem. All taxis are metered and are fairly affordable.

Scooter Rental – Make sure you have an International Drivers Permit (IDP). Scooter rental starts as low as NT$400pd (but these often have very poor drum brakes) and for NT$600 you can get a slightly better option with ABS and dual shocks. Renting a scooter is a great way to get around and explore the smaller towns, but you should be comfortable riding on two wheels!

Car Rental – Car rental is costly and most likely not necessary with all the other affordable options listed above.

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