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Newer Page 797 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Taipei Kaohsiung Bullet Train

2 April 2011

Bullet train to Kaohsiung

Despite having been to Japan, I have never been on a bullet train. I have been on the Eurostar, but I believe the train that runs the full length of Taiwan, from Taipei to Kaohsiung is quite a bit faster.
The top speed I saw on the screen was 301kmph.
The ride is very smooth, and you spend about 1/3 of the journey in tunnels.

Getting onto the train is interesting, the Taipei main station is outdated and horrible, once you go through with your ticket, its a tiny cramped waiting area with no shops of any kind, no toilets. If you are silly enough to go up to the platform (as I was) you cant really get back down again, you have to take the stairs whilst people yell at you.

When outside, the pollution seemed particularly bad in all rural areas, I could see a lot of farms had big fires going, not sure why maybe its part of harvesting like sugarcane.
Things brightened up considerably in each of the big cities.

The seats on the train were unusual, I had heaps of leg room but the seat was so upright it felt like I was leaning forwards.
There is a minimal food and drink service on the train, but I guess its not really required since its only a 90 minute trip.

Arriving in Kaohsiung is also interesting, as you arrive in a huge industrial area full of oil refineries.
However once you get off the train, its the most modern huge spotless station, with all sorts of shops, restaurants, facilities, lounges etc. A stark contrast to Taipei.
Transferring to the metro is simple, Kaohsiung has their own RFID card system but purchasing is easy.

Getting off the subway, its apparent that this is a much more modern city, with wider roads and footpaths, and what seems to be parks everywhere, something there were none of in Taipei.

Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - Heres my train, its identical to the Japanese ones. The track is raised the entire journey, on top of big pillars.

Heres my train, its identical to the Japanese ones. The track is raised the entire journey, on top of big pillars.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - I had a bulkhead window seat, heaps of room but strange upright seats.

I had a bulkhead window seat, heaps of room but strange upright seats.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - Out of my window I was looking towards the coast, big stretches were amazingly flat like this, full of farmlands. As soon as you were in a region not

Out of my window I was looking towards the coast, big stretches were amazingly flat like this, full of farmlands.
As soon as you were in a region not as flat as this, you were in a tunnel.
I assume if I could look out the other window I would see the mountains that run up the centre of the country, hopefully I get that side on the way back.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - The train passed a few areas of pebbles like this, they seemed to be mining them, probably for road base. The roads by the way are amazing, they are e

The train passed a few areas of pebbles like this, they seemed to be mining them, probably for road base.
The roads by the way are amazing, they are elevated like the train, and appear to be 4 lanes in each direction the entire way, there were also big fancy looking roads on the ground as well as we passed each city, none seemed to have any traffic at all.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - The coffee I bought off the cart was amazingly terrible. I still drunk it thouogh, thats 50 cents worth of coffee I didnt want to waste.

The coffee I bought off the cart was amazingly terrible. I still drunk it thouogh, thats 50 cents worth of coffee I didnt want to waste.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - It did occasionally hit 300, despite what the sign says.

It did occasionally hit 300, despite what the sign says.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - Every once in a while you pass modern looking compounds like this, it was never clear to me who they are or what they are doing.

Every once in a while you pass modern looking compounds like this, it was never clear to me who they are or what they are doing.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - Welcome to Kaohsiung, enjoy our oil refinery.

Welcome to Kaohsiung, enjoy our oil refinery.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - I was a bit early to check into my hotel, so I hung around a bit on the platform, because I am a train nerd or something.

I was a bit early to check into my hotel, so I hung around a bit on the platform, because I am a train nerd or something.


Taiwan-Taipei-Kaohsiung-Bullet Train - As mentioned, the station itself was very modern, reminded me of St Pancras in London.

As mentioned, the station itself was very modern, reminded me of St Pancras in London.


NewerPage 797 of 968OlderFull Trip Report