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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Traversing the North-South Axis of Taiwan on High-speed Rail

On 22nd April 2013, we touched down at the Taoyuan International Airport at around 9 p.m. After getting immigration and custom clearances, it was already past 10 p.m. It was the right decision for us to put up at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport for the first night as getting to Taipei city would take us until midnight. Furthermore, the hotel provides free shuttle bus to and fro.

On the next day, we took the free shuttle bus again to Taoyuan high-speed rail station as we our plan was to go to Kaohsiung first before heading back to Taipei again.

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Every ticket counter is equipped with a display panel to show the information upon your enquiry. The attendant was also able to suggest to us the best train schedule, as every train has different intermediate stops.

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Once we had got our ticket purchased, we went down to the underground platform to wait for our train. The ticket from Taoyuan to Zuoying was NT$1,330. For senior citizen, it is half price when you show your passport.

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The seats are quite spacious with the arrangement of three by two and an aisle that can even accommodate oversize luggage.

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When the train got to the outskirt, it was all green that we saw. I think we saw paddy fields about ninety percent of the time on the train.

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I was quite surprised to see graveyards scattering around the paddy fields. My elder sister told me that she saw the same thing in Vietnam. I guess this is a common thing too in China.

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The whole journey from north to south of Taiwan was just slightly over one and a half hour on the high-speed rail. A normal train would be about eight hours as according to my mom's experience about twenty years ago.

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The station to reach Kaohsiung is at Zuoying. It is a newly-built station and therefore the connection to road transport is quite seamless, unlike the one at Taipei Station.

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If you need a kiss before your ride, you can proceed to the fourth floor of Zuoying Station.

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