© 2018 All rights reserved
Made with ❤ with Elementor
A Taipei Guide on the Taiwan High Speed Rail (aka 台灣高鐵 , Gāotíe, THSR, HSR, Taiwan bullet train, Taiwan shinkansen). Ticket pricing, tourists discounts, routes, seats, and everything you need to know when using the THSR.
Please use the Table Of Contents to jump directly to your desired section.
The THSR is Taiwan is the “Taiwan High Speed Rail” ( 台灣高鐵 ) that runs from Nangang to Zuoying. For reference, Nangang is near Taipei and Zuoying is near Kaoshiung.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail ( 台灣高鐵 , Gāotíe) line is approximately 345km (214mi) in length and runs along the west side of Taiwan. It has been operating since 2007 and is incredibly convenient for traveling throughout Taiwan for tourists and locals.
If you’ve ever used a shinkansen (bullet train in Japan) before, the Taiwan High Speed Rail experience is exactly the same. Everything is very clean, organized and easy to understand. Best of all, using the Taiwan bullet train is significantly cheaper compared to Japan. Even better, discounts are available for tourists.
If you’re looking for regular Taiwan Trains (TRA), that is much cheaper and slower than the THSR, but gives you more access to the rest of Taiwan.
If you’ve just arrived in Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and plan on directly using the Taipei High Speed Rail, you’ll need to get to the high speed rail station.
From TPE Airport, your best option is to take the airport MRT commuter line to the Taoyuan HSR station which takes approximately 20-minutes.
I’ve written up a detailed guide on How To Get From Taipei Airport to Taoyuan HSR station.
If you’re still in the process of planning your trip to Taiwan, check out this guide on Where To Stay In Taipei.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) is the super fast Taiwan bullet train that takes you to:
|1. Nangang||5. Hsinchu||9. Yunli|
|2. Taipei||6. Miaoli||10. Chiayi|
|3. Banqiao||7. Taichung||11. Tainan|
|4. Taoyuan||8. Changhua||12. Zuoying (Kaoshiung)|
This Taiwan bullet train map shows each of the high speed rail stations in Taiwan. On Google Maps, they are all named differently making it confusing to find the right one.
Be sure to look up your destination from the Taiwan bullet train stations because the city train station can be a different location!
Be aware that when going to a Taiwan High Speed Rail Station, it might be very far from the actual city. Not all cities in Taiwan have Uber so you’ll have to use a Taiwan taxi or bus.
The Taiwan bullet train ticket price depends on where you’re traveling and if you want a business class seat, standard reserved seat or standard non-reserved seat.
You can buy Taiwan HSR tickets at any high speed rail station and at these convenience stores: 7-ELEVEN, Hi-Life OK Mart and Family Mart.
Taiwan bullet train tickets can be purchased online from the official site or for 20% off for tourists on Klook for multiple one-way trips or a multi-day Taiwan Rail Pass.
Even though you select a specific day on Klook for your Taiwan High Speed Rail Pass, the date doesn’t really matter since it’s a voucher. So if you planned to travel on August 5 but ended up wanting to use your pass on August 9, you can redeem your pass for that date.
Be sure to reserve a THSR seat at the same time you redeem your Taiwan Rail pass voucher. This will save you a lot of time. You can make multiple reservations if you know your schedule and the train station staff will help you find the fastest trains.
The Taiwan Rail Pass is ONLY eligible for travel on the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR). Your Taiwan Rail Pass will not be valid on the Taipei MRT, Taipei Subway, Taipei Taxi, Taiwan Rail (TRA) and Taoyuan Airport MRT.
When you get your Taiwan Rail Pass you can use it to reserve seats in advance or you can just show up and ride in any of the non-reserved seat cars.
Be sure to check the THSR Departure Times before going to the THSR station. Travel times can vary for the same destination because some trains are express, limited express or commuter.
To enter/exit any Taiwan HSR station, you need to show your Taiwan rail pass to the station attendant. SOMETIMES, they will ask to see your passport to verify your Taiwan rail pass. They will then open a gate to let you enter/exit the HSR station.
After passing through the gates, you then board the train. If you’ve made a reservation, you ticket will show what time your train is and which car.
For those of you who did not make a Taiwan High Speed Train reservation, you can go directly to the cars for non-reserved seats #10, 11 and 12.
When the train arrives, just get on and find an empty seat.
While on the train, make sure to keep your Taiwan rail pass and passport ready. The THSR staff will periodically come by to check your tickets throughout the ride.
To reserve your Taipei THSR seat in advance, you will need to go to the THSR service window available at any high speed rail station. You can make multiple reservations in advance so if you want to a ride from [Taichung to Taoyuan HSR Station] for a Monday and want to return from [Taoyuan HSR Station to Taichung] on a Wednesday, you can book both rides!
You should absolutely book your Taipei High Speed Rail seat in advance! You might unknowingly be traveling during a Taiwan holiday and end up having to use the non-reserved seat car.
I’ve been on the Taipei THSR in the non-reserved seat car around a holiday weekend, the seats fill up! I’ve seen people having to stand in the non-reserved seat car from Taipei to Kaoshiung! That’s about 2 hours!
If you’re using the high speed train Taiwan rail pass, you can book reserve seats in advance for no additional fee. There is no penalty even if you don’t use your reserved seat, but it is polite to go to the station and cancel the ticket. Someone may want that seat on the Taipei high speed rail!