It is also asked about the transportation between Taipei and Hualien. For sure, railway is the most common transportation.But there are some useful tips and alternatives.
|Puyuma Express (left), and Taroko Express (right)|
By the Train
Tze-Chiang Limited Express is the fastest class. However, there are some different types of Tze-Chiang Limited Express.Taroko Express and Puyuma Express, which are both Tze-Chiang Limited Express, are tilt train and takes about 2 hours to transport between Taipei and Hualien and costs NTD 440. Because Taroko Express and Puyuman Express will tilt in moving, you should book a seat in advance. But Taroko Express and Puyuman Express are the only choices if you want to take the train?
If you want to go to Hualien from Taipei, there is another choice. Fu-Hsing Semi Express 684 costs only NTD 200 and arrive in 2h35m. 55% off and only half an hour more then Taroko Express and Puyuman Express. But be note, Fu-Hsing Semi Express 684 only operates in Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Why Fu-Hsing Semi Express 684 is so fast? Fu-Hsing Semi Express 684 stops only at Taipei, Sunsang and Hualine.
|The mark for Puyuma Express is a red 新. The mark for Taroko Express is 2 peaks|
In fact, there is another alternative which you don't need to worry about the seat and the alternative is my best favorite. If you check google maps, you will find the railway goes through the north east corner of Taiwan. But there is a freeway providing a short cut. The length of railway is 40 KM more than the freeway alternative!!. And most important of all, there is no local train between Taipei and Hualien but you can take local train by this alternative. Another advantage for the combination is that the local train stop at Xincheng (Taroko) Raiway Station and you can take the bus the Taroko Gorge directly.
View Taipei Hualien Transportation in a larger map
Taiwan Railways Administration and Bus companies provide the combo ticket. The combo ticket combines shuttle bus, between Taipei and Luodong, and train, between Luodong and Hualien. The fare is about 50% off comparing to Tze-Chiang Limited Express, and is about 2 and half an hour including the waiting time in Luodong.
|Combo Ticket. |
From Hualien to Luodong by train(Left Part) and Luodong to Taipei by Kamalan Bus (Right Part)
The fare for the combo ticket is 222, in which the train fare is sold at NTD 100 for original price NTD 130 and the bus fare is sold at 122 for original price of NTD 135. You can upgrade to other class of train if available. The discount of train part is for local train only and you just need to pay the fare difference between local train and the train you choice. For example, the train fare after discount is 100 and the fare difference between local train and Tze-Chiang is 73. Therefore the train fare is 100+73=173 and the total fare, including shuttle bus is 173+122=295.
Another feature for this alternative is that the shuttle bus goes through Hsuehshan Tunnel, about 13 km in length and ranked NO 5 among road tunnels in the world. For safety management, there are some interesting designs that you should never miss:
The sound from the radios is very clear.
The broadcast outside will remind the drivers keep their speed above the lower speed limit. The broadcast will even notice a specific car to drive faster because there are video cameras and speed radars everywhere inside the tunnel to monitor.
The process of the combo transportation is describe as bellow. Please remind the ticket officer that you want to buy a combo ticket:
<From Hualien or Xincheng(Taroko) to Taipei>
Buy the combo ticket at the railway station counter and choice your terminal(Taipei Bus Station or Taipei City Hall Station). You can also decide to take the train of other class.
Go to Luodong Bus Station and reserve a seat at the bus ticket window.
<From Taipei to Hualien or Xincheng(Taroko)>
Buy the combo ticket at Taipei Bus Station or Taipei City Hall Station and reserve your bus seat.
Go to Luodong Railway Station. If you want to upgrade to another class, please exchange your ticket at the ticket window. If you want to take the local train, just go to the platform. You can check the time table of the train at the hall of the railway station.
If you start your trip from Taipei, please MRT Taipei City Hall Station/ Taipei Bus Station, pleas arrive the bus station no latter than 8:30 pm. The itinerary can be planed, for example, as:
|ps: Train 272 is Tze-Chiang Limited Express|
You can leave your luggage at Xincheng(Taorko) Station. The railway station provides the storage service. It costs only NTD 17.
Some may wonder if they can book the combo ticket in advance. Being a backpacker, I know all travelers want to minimize the uncertainty in their trip. Although the combo ticket is sold on spot only, there any problem to book the bus seat for some
|Jimmy Theme Park, in front of Yi-Lian Railway Station|
Because of the high frequency, in my experience, the waiting time ranges from 5~45 minutes. The That's why I estimate 3 hour from Taipei to Hualine, including waiting time. The rush hour from Taipei to Yilan/Luodong is Friday evening. And the rush hour from Yilan/Luodong is Sunday evening.You can go to the bus office(ground floor in MRT Taipei City Hall Station and 3rd floor in Taipei Bus Station) first, and then go to toilet or convenient store.
<About the combo ticket>
Please choice Hualien area if you want to check the time table of Xincheng(Taroko) Railway Station in the railway website. Luodong is in the area of Yilan.
The shuttle bus between Taipei and Luodong is about one hour if the traffic condition is good. Pleas choice the direct bus.
<About the shuttle bus in Taroko>
The time table of Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus is listed as below:(The one-day ticket is only sold in Hualien Station)
The timetable of each stop is listed in the stop sign. You can write down the time of the next bus in order to control your time.