Getting around Taiwan has never been easier
If you’ve been to Taiwan, you’d know that the island is an all-in-one package. With breath-taking mountains and sinfully delicious street food, the Asian holiday utopia also has excellent transportation to match. Here’s how you can make the best use of it.
There are 2 types of train services in Taiwan. The first is the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR). It speeds up to 300km/h and can take you across the western side of Taiwan, from Northern end Taipei to Southern tip Kaohsiung in a jiffy.
To access the nooks and crannies missed by the Taiwan High Speed Rail, the second train service is the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA), also known as Taiwan Railway, that snakes through the country’s scenic treasures.
Much like Japan’s JR pass, Taiwan has its own train pass packages to help tourists save some transport money and more importantly, relieve the burdens of understanding complex transportation systems in a foreign country.
What is the 5 Day Joint Train Pass?
The 5 Day Joint Train Pass gives five consecutive days of unlimited Taiwan Railway travel. Out of these five days, you can choose two days to travel on the speedy Taiwan High Speed Rail.
This pass can only be purchased outside of Taiwan by visitors with a tourist visa. Visitors have to purchase an Exchange Order and head to a THSR or Taiwan Railway Ticket window in Taiwan to redeem it within 90 days of purchase. You will need to show your passport for redemption.
Klook Pro-Tip: Plan ahead and decide when you intend to use the pass. You will be asked to declare the date when redeeming the tickets.
Alternatively, for those who are in Taiwan for a shorter period, you can book a 3 Day THSR Tourist Pass instead. Check out 3 Day THSR Pass guide!
Types of 5 Day Passes Available
There are two types of 5 Day Joint Train Passes available:
1. Standard Pass
- Seat reservation for THSR seats at any THSR counter in advance (no reserved seats on TRA)
- Taiwan Railways trains: Traveling on the Chu-Kuang Express and Fu-Hsing Semi Express is available when there are vacant seats, but reserved standard seat service will not be offered.
- Not applicable for traveling on Tze-Chiang Limited Express, Taroko Express, Puyuma Express, tour trains, group trains, cruise trains and any other trains as specified by Taiwan Railway
2. Express Pass
- Seat reservation for both THSR and TRA trains at any THSR/TRA counter in advance
- TRA trains: Seats must be available in order to travel on the Taroko Express and Puyuma Express
- Not applicable for traveling on tour trains, group trains, cruise trains and other trains as specified by Taiwan Railway.
How do I make the most of my pass?
Taiwan has been labelled one of the most underrated places in the world, and that’s because most don’t know where to find the good stuff.
Now that you’ve equipped yourself with the THSR + TRA pass, getting around the sweet-potato-shaped island is but a breeze! Here’s our recommendation for the highlights can cover starting from Taipei city.
1. Touch Star Revolving Restaurant
120m above ground, and 150m wide, this is no ordinary revolving restaurant as it sits near the top the Beitou Waste Incinerator.
Each day, the incinerator burns burns 1,800 metric tons of garbage, and provides panoramic views Taipei to its diners at the same time. Would you dare try it?
2. Yilian Farms
What better way to immerse yourself in the cultures of Taiwan than experiencing life like a Taiwanese local?
Kick off your Taiwan holiday with a One Day Trip to the agricultural life where you get to farm and eat the organic and wholesome local produce. Your Joint Pass will take you right to the pickup spot for the tour. How easy is that?
3. Taroko National Park
Stop number 3 is none other than Taroko National Park. It’s one of the 9 national parks of Taiwan and is a whooping 920 km² large. With extensive natural beauty from rocky coastal cliffs to marbled canyons, you can choose to explore the National Park by bike.
Definitely a spot not to be missed if you are a nature lover!
Klook Pro-Tip: Lace up your hiking shoes for this adventure.
4. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Taitung is a peaceful, untouched country side, with little to no high rise buildings to interfere with its natural beauty. Catch a magical, birds eye view of the landscape by taking a ride in a hot air balloon.
Klook Pro-Tip: Check the weather forecast before heading there. Aim for a bright sunny day for the clearest view of he horizons!
5. Duoliang Station
Juxtaposed before the backdrop of the majestic pacific ocean, it is no wonder that Duoliang Station is nicknamed the most beautiful train station in Taiwan.
Unfortunately, the station has been defunct since 2006, believe it or not, because of low patronage. The rail, however still remains in use. Don’t forget to catch the insta-worthy moment of the railway train passing before the infinite sea. The train comes every 30 minutes to an hour so prepare your cameras!
Klook Pro-Tip: While waiting for the train to pass by, visit the nearby abandoned Duoliang Elementary School that is now covered with traditional Taiwan art made from driftwood.
6. Xizihwan Beach
Xizihwan is a quaint beach town next to a bay. The beach is lined with Qihou mountain on one side and acoral-filled sea on the other. The town is famous among Taiwanese for its Xizihwan Beach, which interestingly enough, has black sand. During the summer months, it is a beloved spot for locals to get their beach fix,
Be sure to get your toes to the black sand especially at sunset, as Xizihwan beach is known as one of the best places to view sunset in Kaohsiung!
Klook Pro-Tip: Go at sunrise at sunset to snap the most gorgeous views.
7. High Heel Church
Imagine Cinderella’s slipper, multiplied 1000 times in size and you have this High Heel Church in Budai. Made fully from 320 blue tinted glass panes, is certainly one of the quirkiest sights you might behold.
Some say it’s made to attract females to the church, others say it’s a work of art inspired from a fairytale story. But whatever the backstory is, the resultant humongous shoe has been gaining worldwide attention since its completion in 2016.
Klook Pro-Tip: Take your creativity for a spin with this giant shoe and try taking some optical illusion shots here.
8. Miyahara Ice-Cream Shop
Located near the Taichung Train Station, is this Hogwarts-looking ice-cream shop. If that itself doesn’t call to you, it’s ice cream range sure would. They have endless flavours of ice cream, from exotic flavours like Hakka Thunder Tea to 20 different types of chocolate ice cream.
Other than their ice cream, Miyahara is also famous for their Dawn Cakes (日出蛋糕), which is popular among the locals. Make sure to try those out!
9. Huotong Cat Village
In this town, humans don’t rule, cats do. And rightfully so, as they prevented this town from dwindling to nothingness as all its residents started to move out.
The cats attracted tourists and brought business back the tiny village. Now there are hundreds of cat residents there, possibly more than humans! If you love felines, do not miss out on this purrfect destination!
Klook Pro-Tip: Drop by the Hide and Seek Cafe to enjoy some feline-inspired dessert, yum!
Off to Taiwan!
Now that you are fully equipped with information, Klook yourself a 5 Day Joint Train Pass today!
Taiwan is a beautiful country with countless gems waiting to be explored by you.
Remember to grab the essential 4G Wifi Device to stay connected on the go. If you want to explore beyond the beaten path, Car Rentals and charters are also available.
Klook Pro-Tip: Make the most of your time from Taipei to Kaohsiung – fly into one city and fly out of the other! We heard that our good friends at Scoot are running an awesome sale from 23 – 26 Nov 2017 with fares starting at just $99. Click here for more details!