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Transportation from Taipei to Taroko National Park 太魯閣

If you’re thinking of a day trip to Taroko National Park, here are a few modes of transportation from Taipei to Taroko National Park to consider. :)


Step 1) From Taipei City to Xincheng Train Station


Option One: Train

To reach Taroko National Park, you can either take a train from Taipei to Xincheng (Taroko) or Hualien train station. If you are not visiting Hualien City, I’ll recommend stopping at Xincheng station, which is nearer to Taroko National Park (about 5km/3mi). However it is a small station, so not all trains stop here. All available trains will stop at Hualien station, which is further from the park (26km/15.6miles).

Train Types (Duration from Taipei to Xincheng)

  • Chu-Kuang Express (2 to 3+ hrs)
  • Tze-Chiang Limited Express (2+ hrs)
  • Taroko (2+ hrs)
  • Puyuma (1+ hr)

Buying Tickets

Tickets can be purchased from the TRA counter at Taipei Main Station. When we reached Taipei Main Station, there was a super long queue at the ticket counters but the lines at the Tickets Vending Machines just next to the counters were much shorter. We couldn’t fathom why, but just headed straight to the machines.

(Later we realized, tickets that might be “sold-out” at the machines can still be bought at the counters. Also, it’s probably for people to buy combination tickets, which I’ll talk about in the next section.)

Transportation from Taipei to Taroko National Park

Buying Tickets (Advance Booking)

You can start booking the tickets 2 weeks in advance. Check the schedule of trains and buy tickets at TRA website:

  • Search for Taipei to Hualien (Xincheng).
  • You will see a list of trains with Origin-Dest such as Shulin → Hualien. Don’t fret. It just means that the train starts at Shulin and ends at Hualien, with Taipei and Xincheng stations along the route.
  • Click on the train code to see the list of stations that the train will stop at.

Fares: NT311 to NT403

Tips

  • It’s highly recommended booking your tickets in advance, especially for express train and during peak season. We travelled towards Hualien from Taipei during Taiwan’s summer holidays (June to July) and express train tickets were snapped up very early. We couldn’t get tickets for any express trains on the spot. :(
  • There are different types of train serving the Taipei – Xincheng route, be sure to check or ask about the duration of the train ride before book.
  • Try to choose the train that’s travelling via mountain or coast line for beautiful scenery. I sat on the left side on my trip from Hualien to Taipei, and majestic mountains tower over me.

Option Two: Bus-Train Combo

For this combo, you…

  • take a shuttle bus from Taipei to Luodong (area of Yilan);
  • then you take a local train from Luodong to Hualien/Xincheng (as below). The shuttle bus stops at Luodong bus station, which is about 30 metres away from the train station.

Duration

About 2.5 to 3 hrs, including waiting time at Luodong station.

Taipei to Ludong

Photo Credit: taiwan-itinerary.blogspot.tw

What’s good and bad about it?

This combo is 50% cheaper than taking the direct trains.
The combo travel duration is about the same as certain direct trains.

✘ However, it’s inconvenient to change transportation mid-way.
✘ Local train seats might not be as comfortable as the direct trains. (Though this problem could be solved with a train class upgrade.)
✘ Can’t buy or reserve online. Can only buy on the spot. Though bus frequency is high, be sure to avoid the the rush hour – Taipei to Luodong is Friday evening; and from Luodong to Taipei is Sunday evening.

Fares

NT 222 (NT 100 for train and NT 122 for bus. Original prices are 130 and 135 respectively.)

You can upgrade to a faster train (e.g. Tze-qiang) and top up the difference. You can upgrade at the ticket counter at Luodong train station.

Buying Tickets

You can buy the tickets at where you board:

Tips

  • For this combo, it’s best for you to reach Taipei City Hall Station / Taipei Bus Station before 8:00am.
  • To get on the first tourist shuttle bus from Xincheng to Taroko National Park (see next section) at about 9:00am, you got to take the 6:25am bus from Taipei. You can only visit the park in the day, so it’s best to reach early!
  • There is a luggage storage service at Xincheng / Hualien Train Station (about 30 to 70 NT for the whole day).
  • Remember to choose the direct bus service.

Step 2) From Xincheng to Taroko National Park (Tourist Shuttle Bus)


You can take a Tourist Shuttle Bus  (任我行)  from Xincheng Railway Station to the National Park after getting off the train in Xincheng. The bus boarding point is just outside the train station. The travelling time should be around 10 minutes.

You can also travel from Hualien to Taroko with the Tourist Shuttle Bus too! You can buy the tickets at the “bus interchange” at Hualien or on shuttle bus itself. Find out more about the shuttle bus’s price, stops, tips, etc

 

Do you know of other ways to travel from Taipei/Hualien/Xincheng to Taraoko National Park? Share with us your experience below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Bookmark this page >> Itinerary Overview ☼ Summer in Taiwan ☼



15 thoughts on “Transportation from Taipei to Taroko National Park 太魯閣”

  • You mentioned that not all trains stop at the Xincheng station because it’s a smaller station. Do the trains you have listed (Tze-Chiang Limited Express, Chu-Kuang Express and Puyuma) stop in Xincheng? For return travel, is it easy to board a train at the Xincheng station to get back to Taipei?

    • Hello! All 3 stopped in Xincheng. You can check the train schedule at http://twtraffic.tra.gov.tw/twrail/English/e_index.aspx

      Not sure if it’s easy to board a train at Xincheng because I actually stopped at Hualien station. We wanted to visit Hualien City then. I would recommend you to tour the city if this is your first time there and if you are going in summer. travel.joogo.sg/hualien-city :)

      If you are taking the shuttle bus to and fro Taroko, I remembered the bus picked up and dropped off people at Xingcheng Station. So tell the bus driver if you are catching a train there.

      I read of people doing a day trip to Taroko via Xincheng station, so it should be relatively easy! Hope this helps. :)

        • Sorry to have misunderstood your question!

          My bad, I missed out on that train type – yes Taroko train stops at Xincheng too. To confirm, click on the train code in your search results and you’ll to see the list of stations that the train will stop at. You will see Xincheng listed as one of the stations. Hope this helps! :)

  • Hi Christina!

    Your post has been such a great help as I am planning to visit Taroko as well.

    However, I’d like to ask – I am trying to book in advance on the website for my train from Taipei to Xincheng. However, the website says that ‘no tickets are available’. I would like to ask if you know if this means the train is already full or can I still purchase tickets at the counter on the day itself? If yes, how early should I reach the Taipei Station to buy my tickets?

    Thanks so much!

    • Hello Gwen sorry for the late reply! Glad the post is helpful for you. :)

      Usually there will be seats available on the day itself, however you might not get a reserved seating. How about you try other timings and see if you can get seats?

      Enjoy your travel!

  • Hi Christina, thank you for writing this very helpful post!

    You mentioned ‘Try to choose the train that’s travelling via mountain or coast line for beautiful scenery.’ Which of these trains (Chu-Kuang Express, Tze-Chiang Limited Express, Taroko, Puyuma) travel via mountain or coast line? Or do you mean, when inside the train, try to sit on the side which faces the scenery?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Hello James! Glad the post helped you :) When you search online on TRA website, you should be able to see under the “via” column whether it is mountain or coast line. :)

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