Along with other major cities like Kaohsiung and Taipei, Taichung is situated on the west coast of Taiwan. Although there is no direct flight from the Philippines to Taichung, its location — between Kaohsiung in the southern part and Taipei in the northern part — makes it accessible from either gateway.

If you are entering Taiwan via Kaohsiung, you will arrive at Kaohsiung International Airport, the second busiest after Taoyuan Taiwan Airport. If you are coming from the Philippines, Air Asia Philippines will link you to Kaohsiung from Manila, Cebu, and Clark.

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The next step is to get from Kaohsiung to Taichung. Here’s how to do that by train or by bus.


KAOHSIUNG AIRPORT TO TAICHUNG

By Train

The railways system in Kaohsiung is very efficient, connecting important districts to each other including railway interchange stations and Kaohsiung Airport. The Kaohsiung MRT Red Line links the airport to the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) at Zuoying Station and to the Taiwan Railways (TRA) at Kaohsiung Main Station.

Via THSR

  1. From Kaohsiung International Airport Station (R4), take the MRT to Zuoying Station (R16). The travel time is about 30 minutes. The fare is NT$ 50.
  2. From Zuoying Station (R16), transfer to a high speed train at Zuoying HSR Station to Taichung HSR Station. The travel time is approximately one hour. The fare is NT$ 765 – NT$ 1390, depending on the seat class.

Total Travel Time: Approximately 80 minutes
Kaohsiung Airport to Zuoying HSR Fare: NT$ 50.
Zuoying HSR to Taichung HSR Fare: NT$ 765 (Non-Reserved), NT$ 790 (Standard), or NT$ 1390 (Business)
Operation Hour: The regular operation hour for transportation services, especially THSR and TRA trains is from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM.

Note: The Taichung HSR Station is located on the city’s outskirt in Wuri District. You can get to downtown Taichung by free shuttle or by regular train via Xinwuri TRA Station. There’s a passageway on the second level of Taichung HSR Station to Xinwuri TRA Station. The travel time between Xinwuri TRA Station to Taichung TRA Station is 11-15 minutes. The fare is NT$ 15.

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Via TRA

  1. From Kaohsiung International Airport Station (R4), take the MRT to Kaohsiung Main Station (R11). The travel time is about 20 minutes. The fare is NT$ 35.
  2. From Kaohsiung Main Station (R11), transfer to a TRA train at Kaohsiung TRA Station to Taichung TRA Station. The travel time is 2.5 to 4 hours. The fare is NT$ 300 – NT$ 470, depending on the train type.

Total Travel Time: 3-4 hours
Kaohsiung Airport to Kaohsiung Main Fare: NT$ 35.
Kaohsiung TRA to Taichung TRA Fare: NT$ 301 (Ordinary Train) or NT$ 469 (Express Train)
Operation Hour: The regular operation hour for transportation services, especially THSR and TRA trains is from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM.

Note: The Taichung TRA Station is located at the heart of Taichung CBD in Central District.

You can book a TRA ticket online. READ: HOW TO BOOK TAIWAN TRAIN ONLINE!


KAOHSIUNG CITY CENTER TO TAICHUNG

If you spent a day or two in Kaohsiung before heading to Taichung, you can take the THSR via Zuoying Station or the TRA via Kaohsiung Main Station.

By Train

Via THSR

From Zuoying HSR Station, take the train to Taichung HSR Station. The travel time is about an hour. The fare is NT$ 765 for a non-reserved seat, NT$ 790 for a standard seat, and NT$ 1390 for a business seat. The Taichung HSR Station is located outside the city center in Wuri District. You can take the free shuttle bus to the city or cross the passageway connecting the Taichung HSR Station and Xinwuri TRA Station. The fare from Xinwuri TRA to Taichung TRA is NT$ 15. The travel time is about 15 minutes.

Via TRA

From Kaohsiung TRA Station, take the train to Taichung TRA Station. There are two types — ordinary trains and express trains. The travel time is 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on the type of train. The fare is NT$ 301 for ordinary train fare and NT$ 469 for express train fare. The Taichung TRA Station is located in Central District, right at the heart of Taichung City.


By Bus

Whether you will head straight to Taichung or will spend a day or two in Kaohsiung first, taking the bus is the best option if you are arriving in Kaohsiung around midnight. Some of the reputable private bus companies operating the Kaohsiung-Taichung route are UBus, Free Go Bus Corp., Guo-Guang (Kuo-Kuang) Bus Corp., Citi Air Bus, and Aloha Bus among others.

Bus Routes

  • Ubus #1621 for Zhonghua Station – Taichung TRA Station
  • Kuo-Kuang #1872 for Kaohsiung Station – Taichung (Chaoma Station)

Note: These are just some of the options. There are other bus routes from other points in Kaohsiung to Taichung.

Other Info

  • Travel Time: Approximately 3 hours
  • Fare: NT$ 240-350
  • Operation Hour: 6:00 AM – 11:30 PM (Regular) / After 11:30 PM – 6:00 AM (Midnight)
  • For more info about Taiwan Highway Bus, check out Taiwan Bus.
  • If your itinerary requires you to frequently use the train, you might want to get an Easy Card or iPass. These are reloadable contactless cards that you can use for transportation, some retail purchases, and other services in Taiwan. This is convenient because you don’t have to purchase ticket every single ride. You just need to reload once or twice. You can buy at the airport and convenient stores for NT$ 100 plus your load. The best thing about Taichung is that bus fare is free within 10KM using your Easy Card or iPass.

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Asta Alvarez
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