Does Taiwan high speed rail go to Hualien ? Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) revolutionized travel across the western corridor of Taiwan, significantly reducing travel times between major cities such as Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
However, when it comes to traveling to Hualien, a scenic city on the east coast known for its proximity to Taroko Gorge, the THSR does not provide a direct route. This limitation is due to the THSR’s network design, which primarily serves the west coast of Taiwan, where the population density and major urban centers are located.
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Traveling from Taipei to Hualien, therefore, requires alternative methods. The most common and convenient way is through the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), which operates regular trains between the two cities. These trains offer a scenic route that, while not as fast as the THSR, provides a comfortable and reliable means of reaching Hualien. Specifically, options like the Puyuma and Taroko express trains can complete the journey in approximately 2 hours, which is commendably swift given the geographical challenges of traversing Taiwan’s mountainous terrain to reach the east coast.
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For travelers with limited time or those looking for a more direct route, flying is another option. Uni Air, for instance, offers nonstop flights between Taipei Songshan Airport and Hualien Airport. This mode of transport is significantly faster, with the flight itself taking less than an hour, though it requires additional time for airport procedures.
For those interested in leveraging the THSR for part of their journey, it’s worth noting that the high-speed rail can be used to travel quickly along the west coast to a point closer to Hualien, such as Taipei or Kaohsiung, before transferring to a TRA train or other modes of transport for the eastward leg of the journey. The THSR offers various passes, such as the 2 and 3 day tourist passes for unlimited THSR travel, which can be an economical and flexible option for exploring wider regions of Taiwan, including the option to connect with TRA services for parts of the journey not covered by the THSR.
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In summary, while the THSR does not directly serve Hualien, it remains a valuable component of Taiwan’s comprehensive transportation network, offering fast and efficient travel across major west coast destinations.
The combination of THSR and TRA services, alongside air travel options, ensures that travelers can access Hualien and its stunning natural landscapes with relative ease, albeit with a transfer or alternate transportation method from the high-speed rail network.
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This multi-modal approach to travel underscores Taiwan’s commitment to connectivity and accessibility, ensuring that even the more remote and scenic parts of the island, such as Hualien, remain within reach for both locals and tourists alike.