If you need to go to Kaohsiung you probably know by now that flying directly can be more expensive by significant amount compared with flying into Taipei. The reason is simply because there are more available flights to Taipei than to Kaohsiung.
But in this age of stingy passengers looking for bargains, the solution is to take the High Speed Train.
Upon arrival from Taoyuan International Airport, you have to follow the signs leading to High Speed Railway station. The catch is that the airport is not connected directly to the train station.
The sign will lead you to the first floor where bus ticket booths are located. You have to go to booth number 2 which is Ubus. The ticket to the train station costs 30 Taiwan dollars.
Boarding is at Bay 12. On most cases, you will have to wait for 15 to 30 minutes before you can board the bus as long line of people is ahead of you. There is no need to worry though because the buses come in quick intervals.
The bus ride can take more or less 10 minutes. You will alight in front of Taoyuan station. Buying train ticket is straightforward. You don’t need reservation but during peak season it is advisable to do so. Vending machines accept cash, ATM cards, and credit cards.
Ticket price to Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station) is 1290 Taiwan dollars. I paid using cash and inserted 2000 or two pieces of 1000. But then the machine gave me change in coins amounting to 710. I only realized then that there is a notice pasted on the machine not to insert large bills as the machine can only dispense coins.
My pocket was a kilo heavier after that ticket purchase in addition to my big luggage and backpack.
The train can run up to 200 kilometers per hour. Two hours later, I was in Kaohsiung.
After alighting from the train, I proceeded to exit 4 where my friend is waiting. Seeing this sign made my day.