If you are looking for the fastest way to travel in Taiwan, Taiwan's High-Speed Rail system is by far the way to go. In fact, the system is not just for those who are seeking speedy travel, you will find the High-Speed Trains comfortable and really convenient to your travel itinerary and with an option to purchase a ‘special’ tourist pass, hopping on and off at Taiwan's cities and towns has never been so easy or so fast. Reaching speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph), Taiwan's High-Speed Rail system really is a breeze for the traveler.
Taiwan's High Speed Rail (HSR) operates between 06:30 to 24:00 every day and connects Taipei (Main Station) in the north to Kaohsiung (Zuoying station) in the south , stopping at Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, and Tainan along the way.
Map of Taiwan High Speed Rail Line. Image by ASDFGH. CC: BY-SA
Tickets: How to book them.
There are a number of different ways to purchase an HSR ticket, and you can book in advance or on the day of travel.
If you purchase at the station, do make use of the ticket vending machines, as ticket booths can have long queues. These are easy enough to use and have an English menu. The default, however, is in Chinese, but if you swipe the bottom of the machine you can find an English option.
You can also buy a ticket at any convenience store in Taiwan or book online and print it out there. Store attendants are very friendly and will help you work the IBON machine if you have trouble. Basic English is generally spoken.
Tickets: What are the options?
Essentially there are three classes of ticket: business class, standard reserved and nonreserved tickets, however, there are additional ticket ‘packages’ that can be purchased for tourists.
Nonreserved seat, you can choose any available seat in the nonreserved cars number 10 - number 12, there is a 3% discount.
Reserved-seat, standard/business class. You can reserve a seat 28 days before departure and up until 1 hour before. Payment needs to be made within three days after booking.
You can book and pay online at the Taiwan High-Speed Rail booking site here https://irs.thsrc.com.tw/IMINT?locale=en or you can call the THSR's customer service hot-line at (Taiwan) 4066-3000. You can also buy and print tickets at a convenience store or the HSR station. Take your passport and the reservation number (if you are printing a ticket booked online).
For ticketing fares go to
Tourist Passes ( for non-Taiwanese citizens only)
If you are a visa-free tourist, you must book this outside of Taiwan as you need to present your visa if you purchase in Taiwan.
THSR 2 Day Pass: Unlimited HSR use for a two day period in a specified week, you choose the days. NT 2500.
THSR 3 Day Pass: Unlimited entrances and exits for a three day period after the activation of the ticket.NT 2200.
5 Day Standard Joint Pass: In a 5 Day Period, entitles you to take the express (Chu Kuang) trains and other lower types for an unlimited amount of times. Pick two of the five days for unlimited rides on THSR. NT 2800
5 Day Express Joint Pass: In a 5 Day period, entitles you to take the limited express (Tzu Chiang) trains and lower types for an unlimited amount of times. Pick two of the five days for unlimited rides on the THSR. NT 3600
For more information on these tickets go to, THSRPass
Early Bird tickets: Buying a reserved seat ticket 5-28 days before the day of departure, gives you the chance of 10%, 20%, and up to 35% off the ticket price. For more information and recent updates go to: http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Article/ArticleContent/da4e4552-97f3-427f-93fc-a79af439f80e
Group discounts: offered for groups of 11 or more. A group discount does not include non-reserved seats.
Senior citizens: If you are over the age of 65 may purchase tickets for senior persons with a valid passport ( tourist) or ID cards for residents.
Children (6-12): Children less than 12 years of age, may purchase a child's ticket on proof of ID or Passport (tourist).
Children and Infants( 0-6): Children less than six years old with proof of ID or passport may be exempted from Tickets.
Disability: Physically and mentally disabled people may purchase disabled tickets, provided that they present their disability manuals or similar.
Trains consist of twelve cars :
- Car number 1 to number 9 are reserved seats,
- Car number 10 to number 12 are non-reserved seats
- Car number 6 is business class.
- Car number 7 is fitted with 4 wheelchair accessible chairs and a disabled-friendly restroom.