Apr 10, 2014

Kaohsiung 2014: Transport

This trip to Kaohsiung was my first solo trip around Taiwan. And rest assured, there will be more in the future. :)

There are many ways to get to Kaohsiung from Taipei and being one who has the time (not the money), I decided on rail, both Taiwan High Speed Rail (高鐵) and Taiwan Rail (台鐵). Although not as expensive as Japan's bullet train, a ticket to Kaohsiung with THSR is going to cost me more than NT$1,600 which I'm unwilling to pay. Luckily, as a student I am entitled to student priced tickets during specific hours. Thus after a 50% student discount, I paid NT$815.

As it was a work day, no worries about it being too crowded. The ticket queue was kinda long (more than 15 people in front of me) although it moved pretty fast. A middle-aged couple and their daughter sorta held up the queue as they do not speak Chinese and the ticket sellers aren't really fluent in Japanese. Another thing is that passengers are not allowed onto the platforms unless your train has arrived. Everyone had to wait around the entrance where seats are limited. I guess they don't expect people to be too early waiting to board the train.

We were only allowed onto the platform just 15 minutes before departure time. Cleaners were still cleaning and arranging some cabins. No problem locating my cabin and seats. :)

The seats are similar to those on airplanes, fairly comfortable and slightly retractable. No one was sitting beside me. I had all 3 seats to myself. But this being Taiwan, just like in Japan, people do not 'misbehave' or behave badly as in China, so no legs onto the seats nor sleeping across seats..

The trip was very smooth and on time. Only took slightly over 2 hours with several stops in between. There is also a food chart being pushed by a lady going around the cabins offering hot/cold drinks and some snacks, just like on Shinkansen.

All in all, it was an uneventful train ride. :)

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