February 2, 2017 (Day 3 Part 1) – There are multiple ways on how to get to Kaohsiung from Taipei, you can either hop on a plane, ride the bullet train, charter a taxi or save on public buses and of course, we chose the latter. Since we’re tired from our Day 2 full packed itinerary (Maokong, Shifen & Jiufen). Although the bus seems to take longer than any of the other options, we still give it a go due to its comfort and affordability.
By Public Bus
If you’re in Taipei with extra days to spare and on a budget then you’re in luck because public buses here are cheap, comfortable and efficient. Just get to Taipei Main Station via metro or Take a taxi to Taipei Bus Station. Taipei Main Station is interconnected with all other terminals though this might be a puzzle to some and you need to follow signages strictly to avoid getting lost.
There are different bus operators running Taipei to Kaohsiung and vice versa, the cheapest is the Kuo Kang Bus and on the more upscale option you have Aloha Express and as for us, we chose the one that sits in the middle—the Ubus.
This is an eighteen story building with six underground floors and it houses several establishments like department stores, hotel, ATMs, restaurants and even an underground access to the train platforms. This bus terminal is similar with the one in Seoul. It’s very clean, organize and huge. There’s an information center at the entrance where you can ask questions if you have any. There’s also plenty of food options here, variety of shops and so your idle time won’t be boring.
We bought two tickets to Kaohsiung via Ubus Route no. 1610 and it set us back around NTD470 each, The lowest ticket you can buy for this route is around NTD390 via Kuo Kang(GuoGang) ebus and as much as NTD800 for Aloha.
Taipei Bus Station serves as Taipei Main Hub and it’s the largest transfer station, so you can also get access to almost all parts of Taiwan like Taichung, Alishan, Chiayi, Pingtung and more.
You can check the details on your tickets, the designated floor and the gate number for your departure. If you’re not sure ask anyone at the information desk. But I provided below a detailed anatomy of the bus ticket for your reference. Before you proceed to your gate, be sure to grab something to eat and yes you can eat onboard since Kaohsiung takes more than 4 hours by bus.
15 minutes before your departure, someone will actually open the door and announce the route number and destination, hand in your tickets and they will help you load your bag if you have any. Keep the ticket just in case someone will check.
What I love about Ubus is the quality of the bus, the seat arrangement, super spacious, clean and comfortable. Every seat has its own USB charging port and it reclines pretty well too. The whole 4 hours trip were comfy and if ever I’ll do this route again and if I have the time I’ll definitely ride this bus again.
The whole journey takes 4 hours and you will alight at this station where you can take taxi or subways to your next destination.
For those who’s in a hurry and have extra money to spend, you can choose THSR or Taiwan High Speed Railway from Taipei to Zuoying and from zuoying ride the metro to take you to the city. As with the bus, the THSR Station is located in Taipei Main Station so you just need to go there and proceed to THSR. You can book earlier for discount rates or book via Klook to save some bucks. Usually, taipei to Kaohsiung cost NTD1500/person. The whole journey takes less than 2 hours more or less.
If you don’t have any idea about Klook App, click this for a simple guide about it. Feel free to use the comment area below for questions and or share your experience with me by sharing it here. Don’t forget to follow my journey through my INSTAGRAM @runawaymaria and Facebook by tapping LIKE! See you in my next post.