How to Get from Taipei to Hualien
Train, Plane & Bus Info & Tips
There are several options when making your way from Taipei to Hualien and back again. We’ve put together some info to help you along!
The Easy Options
Option 1: Take the Train
This is the most popular and affordable method of getting to Hualien from Taipei. The express trains (Taroko Express or Puyuma Express) will get you to Hualien in about 2 hours, while the non-express trains can take 3-4 hours. It is important to book your train tickets ahead of time, especially on weekends and holidays, as the trains do sell out. A one way ticket will cost NT$440 per person.
You can book train tickets online here.
Option 2: Take the Plane
This option can save you time and is easily booked online. The Uniairflights take around 50 minutes and typically cost around NT$900 per person. It should be noted that these flights depart from Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA), NOT Taoyuan International Airport.
You can book plane tickets here.
What if Taipei to Hualien Train Tickets are Sold Out?
Combo Option 1: Express Train to Express Train Combo
With this technique, you purchase the whole trip in advance but in two sections, taking the same train the whole route but changing seats in Yilan. As many people get off the train in Yilan, this can be a way to beat the computers automated seat selection system. This technique doesn’t work unless you can purchase BOTH legs of the trip in advance, but it does work surprisingly well.
First Leg: Express Train No. 202: Departs Taipei at 6:05 am, arrives in Yilan at 7:12 am
Second Leg: Express Train No. 202: Departs Yilan at 7:15 am, arrives in Hualien at 8:14 am
Combo Option 2: Express Train to Local Train Combo
With this technique, you purchase the first leg of the trip in advance, taking different trains and changing trains in Yilan. This technique doesn’t work unless you can purchase the express train for the first leg. The local train can be purchased at the station and doesn’t need to be booked in advance.
First Leg: Express Train No. 202: Departs Taipei at 6:05 am, arrives in Yilan at 7:12 am.
Second Leg: Local Train No. 4124: Departs Yilan at 7:34 am, arrives in Hualien at 9:22 am.
Combo Option 3: Bus to Local Train Combo
With this technique you take a bus to Luodong and then switch to a local or express train. This one can be a bit trickier to time as busses can contend with traffic. Typically it is recommended to not purchase any train tickets in advance, and instead purchase a ticket on the next available train from Luodong to Hualien when you arrive.
First Leg: Kamalan Bus: Departs Taipei Bus Station at 6:15 am, arrives in Luodong at 7:35 am.
Second Leg: Local Train No. 4124: Departs Luodong at 7:45 am, arrives in Hualien at 9:22 am.
Where to Pick Up Train Tickets?
Pickup Option 1: Any 7-11 Convenience Store
This is the most popular and easiest way to pick up your tickets, as there are 7-11’s practically everywhere in Taiwan! Simply go to the counter and tell them you want to pick up your train tickets. If they don’t understand in English, you can say it in Chinese “Wo yao na huo che piao”, then just show them your online booking code and your booking passport number and they will help you with it. Please note that there is a service fee of NT$8 per ticket when picking up tickets at a 7-11.
Pickup Option 2: Any Train Station
While this is also relatively easy, there can be lines at train stations during busy hours of the day. Also, if the booking passport number isn’t yours, you cannot retrieve tickets at the ticket counter of train station unless you show the passport with the same passport number as the booking.
About Island Life Taiwan
Based in Hualien, Taiwan (adjacent to Taroko Gorge National Park), Island Life Taiwan designs all of our unique daily itineraries to help you discover the rich natural beauty and culture of Taiwan, in the most enjoyable, and most immersive way possible. We’re dedicated to showing you the most amazing locations in eastern Taiwan, while having the most fun and avoiding the crowds. More than just a tour operator and adventure outfitter, our team truly loves showing this awe-inspiring part of the world to our guests, and when you love what you do, it shows.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us and let us help you pick the tour or adventure that’s right for you!