Travelling from Taoyuan Airport to Hualien (Taiwan)
(Updated: 11 Apr 17) It’s been years since I’ve been back to Taiwan. This time round, I planned to tour Hualien before Taipei City. So it’s about 5 full days in Taiwan. Let’s go! We reached Taoyuan international Airport on a Monday afternoon and decided to travel straight to Hualien instead of staying for a night in Taipei. Anyhow, we still have to make our way from the airport to Taipei City, so as to catch the train to Hualien.
Step 1) Travel from Airport to Taipei City (Taipei Main Station)
- Stations: Airport T1 Station (Taoyuan Airport MRT Line A12 Station) and Airport T2 Station (Taoyuan Airport MRT Line A13 Station).
- Fares: NT$ 160
- Duration: 35 minutes
- More information: www.tymetro.com.tw/tymetro-new/en/index.php
At Taoyuan Airport, we got out of the gates and turned left, walked all the way till the end and took an escalator down. And there is a row of ticket booths. So we went straight to Kuo Kuang “國光客運“ booth and bought tickets to Taipei Main Station (Bus 1819).
- Fares: NT$ 125 (single adult trip), NT$ 65 (child) and NT$ 230 (round trip).
- Frequency: We didn’t do advance booking because the buses leave every 10 minutes.
- Duration: 50 minutes to 1 hour (depending on road conditions)
There is more information of buses from the airport to Songshan airport, Nangang Exhibition Center and other buses to Taipei City at: www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/Buses
Step 2) Taipei City (Taipei Main Station) to Hualien
We didn’t advance buy our train tickets from Taipei to Hualien because we weren’t sure what time we will be reaching Taipei Main Station from the airport – because we were not staying a night in Taipei to leave the next morning; and there might just be a flight delay.
Train Types (duration from Taipei to Hualien)
- Chu-Kuang Express (Slowest)
- Tze-Chiang Limited Express
- Puyuma (2nd Fastest)
- Taroko (Shortest duration from Taipei to Hualien. It’s usually sold out, so advisable to pre-book tickets.)
Tickets can be purchased from the TRA counter at Taipei Main Station (also at Breeze Centre). When we reached TPE Main Station, there was a super long queue for the counters but so much fewer people at the Tickets Vending Machines just next to the counters. We couldn’t fathom why, but just headed straight to the machines.
(Later we realized, sometimes sold out tickets at the machines can still be bought at the counters. Also, it’s probably for people to buy combination tickets, see below.)
Buying Tickets (Advance Booking)
Can start to book only 2 weeks in advance. Check the schedule of trains and buy tickets at TRA website.
If you see a Shulin → Hualien, etc, don’t fret. It just means Shulin and Hualien are the beginning and end stops of a train route, travelling from Shulin to Hualien and passing by Taipei as one of the stops. i.e. Shulin -> Taipei -> Hualien.
Fares: NT340 to NT440
Duration: About 2 to 3.5 hours, depending on the train you take.
Alternative: Apparently you can go on a 50% cheaper route – with a combo of bus and train. Refer to this post for more information on the combination ticket. Instead of Xincheng Train Station mentioned in post, you can choose Hualien Train Station.
- It’s highly recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially for express trains and during peak season. We went during TW’s summer holidays, and with superstars performing every night in Hualien, the express train tickets were snapped up very early. We couldn’t get tickets for the Express trains on the spot. :( So we had to take the older train with a longer duration train to and fro.
- There are different types of train serving the Taipei – Hualien route, be sure to look at 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.
Step 3) Hualien Train Station to Cullinan Hotel (天璽商務飯店)
We were a bit delayed from our unexpected long train ride, and thought we missed the hotel shuttle. But thank God for the guy who waited about half an hour for us in the summer heat, wearing his suit. So pampered to be chauffeured in a nice car, all to ourselves.
Other useful links:
- Find out about our travel around Tarako National Park.
- Also, read about our accommodation review of Cullinan Hotel. :)
- Itinerary Overview ☼ Summer in Taiwan ☼
- Airport to Taipei: www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/Buses; Kuo Kuang “國光客運: www.kingbus.com.tw