Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taiwan High Speed Rail - Taipei to Kenting

Kenting National Park is in the Southern most tip of Taiwan, and it is beautiful.  One of the things I love about Taiwan are that parts of it have an undeveloped third world feel.  Something truly special to this American girl, used to miles of overdeveloped Earth covered in skyscrapers, fast food chains, and parking lots.  Obviously, not all of Taiwan has this feel, as it is a first world country, but the amount untouched coast that I have seen is marvelous.  

There are many ways to get to Kenting from around the island.  You can go by bus, scooter/car,  train, and by the HSR (High Speed Rail).  For my first trip to the South, I took the High Speed Rail from Taipei Main Station and it was glorious, absolutely glorious.  

You can travel almost the entirety of the island in 1.5 to 2 hours.  The approximate distance from the Taipei to Kaohsiung is 393.3 kilometers or 244.3 miles.  The HSR does not mess around.  

The only down side to the HSR is that it does not take you all the way to Kenting.  A ticket on the HSR from Taipei to the last stop, Zuoying Station, is $1,490NT (roughly $45 US).  Zouying Station is in Kaohsiung, the second largest city and last stop on the HSR.  

From Kaohsiung to Kenting, you can either take a $400NT bus or a taxi for $1,400 - $1,600 NT.   The drive to Kaohsiung to Kenting ranges from 1 hour (taxi) to 2.5 hours (bus).  I opted for the taxi, so the duration of my trip was a little bit more than 3 hours.  A total of 450 kilometers/279 miles in that time is pretty amazing.  

I highly recommend the High Speed Rail.  Its a cool experience.  I think that many places would benefit from a rail system like this one.  In the US alone, imagine: Houston to New Orleans, Tucson to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to San Fran, Boston to New York, and the list goes on.

*Also, be sure to bring a sweater or something to keep you warm.  The HSR is Freezing. For serious. 

Inside the HSR Car

Back of the Seat, Yo.

One-Way Ticket to the SOUTH, Thank You Very Much. 

Don't judge.  I was having a bad day, and for some reason wanted McDonald's.  I had two bites, felt sick, and hated myself for the duration of the train ride.  Never again. I swear. 
Final destination - Beautiful KENTING.   More on my adventure in Kenting to come! 

Images VIA: Me, Wikipedia,,


  1. Don't be misled because Taiwan is just as developed as the US (heck we don't even have a high speed rail!) Taiwan just happened to have a lot of ugly older buildings from the 60s or 70s. Big cities in Taiwan are not so different from anywhere else in the world :P