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Getting from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei – Review

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As you come out of customs at the Taoyuan International Airport also known as the Taipei International Airport there are 3 main options people use to get from there to their destination of choice – taxi, bus and train.

Bus

Follow the bus services sign, and they will lead you to the far west end of the airport. There is one main bus station booth selling tickets, with a convenient map listed in which you can simply tell the salesperson which area you need to go to. Make sure to know the address of your hotel both in English and in Chinese, or know where the nearest MRT station is, as many of the buses will drop people off nearby. These buses run every 15-20 minutes and are operated by 2-3 major companies, most of which go to the same areas. It won’t hurt t compare which one takes you closer as the stands are all next to each other, and each ticket only costs about NT$150 (US$5) per person.

Taxi

For those with a higher budget, taking a taxi is the most direct and fastest option. Previously, coming out of Taoyuan Airport to anywhere in Taipei City was a flat NT$1100 (US$33) but now all the operators only calculate by the meter. Going to the airport, however, is still the same flat NT$1000 fee. To get to 101 from the airport the meter almost always hits NT$1200 on the dot each time I have taken it, so the price is only slightly higher. For a roughly 40 minute taxi this price is comparatively low to a lot of places in the world, and as long as you have the name of your hotel in Chinese along with an address there should be no problems getting you there. Taiwan taxi drivers are honest for the most part and I rarely run into issues. I always recommend though to play your poker face when taking taxis as if you have taken them a million times or like you have been to the place you are going to a million times. Being more confident in any situation is good, but doing so while traveling is ideal as to avoid looking like a sitting duck.

Train

At the time of this writing (mid-2015) the long talked about shuttle from the airport to Taiwan’s northern part of Taipei Sanchong was supposed to be ready but recent reports have stated the train will need until at least 2016 before operating. The news came as a bit of a shock as many locals were hoping to make use of the train as well as the ongoing number of tourists from the Mainland, Japan and Korea, who are looking for alternative routes. There is a lot of confusion about the opening of the railway with tourists entering Taiwan so make sure you know that if you are coming in 2015 that this will not be available.

Alternatives

Also at the airport you will find locals approaching you to ask if you need a taxi. In China and Taiwan these types of people with private taxis are called Heiche ( 黑車 ) and for the most part are safe to ride. Single travelers should always take precautions about traveling in unmarked vehicles, as there is always the possible threat of danger. Taiwanese for the most part are really nice and trustworthy, and we have never experienced or heard of anyone running into an issue with these, so if you are a group of travelers who want to save a few hundred NT$ on a taxi ride chances are this kind of car will take you to your destination for a flat $900-1000 if you negotiate right. Again though, please take precaution.

The cheapest way

Your best bet is to take a train to the Main Station, which is the main hub for all buses, trains and subway lines in Taipei. From there you can take the MRT to whatever destination for about US$1 a person or bundle up in a taxi for about a NT$200 ride downtown. The main station is centralized in the city so as long as you are staying in the greater Taipei area this is the price it will costs. There are plenty of elevators in the station to make hauling luggage easy and accessible, as well as English-friendly signs and staff to help guide you.

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