Located in the southeastern corners of Taiwan, Taitung is one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan. It’s famous for its incredible natural scenery, rich indigenous culture, amazing food scene, and a whole host of fantastic things to do! However, since Taitung is quite remote, getting from Taipei to Taitung involves quite a bit of planning.
If you’re planning your first trip to the “garden of Taiwan”, you’re probably trying to figure out how to get there. So to help you find the best route, here’s my quick guide on exactly how to get to Taitung from Taipei (and a few other places in Taiwan). Let’s go!
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Taitung Pre-Travel Tips
The distance between Taipei and Taitung is about 326 km, which technically doesn’t sound that far. However, getting to Taitung can be quite a long journey, especially since there is no high-speed rail on the east side of Taiwan (yet). And since you may only have a few days to spare on your Taiwan itinerary, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of each transport method so you can make the most of your time in Taitung! Before you decide how to travel to Taitung though, here are a few handy tips:
- Download the Taiwan Railway App (IOS) to check schedules, prices and real-time delays easily.
- Book train tickets online or at any train station in advance to guarantee you have a seat (Taiwan Railways). Most fast trains, like Puyuma, Taroko, and TZE Chiang require an actual ticket, so don’t use your Easy Card at the entry gates.
- There are lots of accommodation options in Taitung, but some places are quite sketchy. Search the best hotel here on Agoda, or check out my faves – TinnTinn, Norden Ruder, and The Gaya Hotel.
- Taitung Station is actually located a little outside of town, but you can rent a scooter at Taitung train station to easily get around. You’ll need a valid local or international driver’s license (specifically for a scooter) to do so.
Getting from Taipei to Taitung: Best Ways to Travel
There are three ways to go to Taitung from Taipei; train, plane, or car. Here’s what you need to know about each one.
Taking the Train from Taipei to Taitung
- Departure point: Taipei Main Station
- Arrival point: Taitung Train Station
- Cost: TWD 783 – 1205 (physical ticket required)
- Duration: 3h45 – 5h25 depending on the train
The most popular way to get to Taitung from Taipei is by train. About a dozen trains go to Taitung from Taipei Main Station daily, with the first train leaving at 6:13 and the last one at 20:05.
Train tickets to Taitung generally cost the same for TZE Chiang, Puyuma, and Taroko Express trains, but the travel times depend on which train you take. For the fastest journey, catch TZE Chiang train #408. It departs at 7:30 and arrives in Taitung at 11:15. The ride takes 3h45, and a one-way ticket costs TWD 783.
While the train journey can feel long (especially if you get antsy easily), you’ll get to sit back and enjoy some really incredible views.
Flying from Taipei to Taitung
- Departure point: Songshan Airport (TSA)
- Arrival point: Taitung Aiport (TTT)
- Cost: TWD 3500-5000
- Duration: 1h5
The fastest way to get to Taitung is to fly to Taitung Airport (TTT) from Songshan Airport (TSA) in Taipei. Currently, only two airlines operate between the two cities; Uni Airways and Mandarin Airlines.
Uni Air has flights at 9:40, 13:30, and 16:50, whereas Mandarin Airlines departs at 7:15, 11:15, and 17:45. During peak season or special holidays, extra flights are sometimes also available. (Check flights or compare prices on Skyscanner)
Both airlines also have English booking platforms, making it easy to book tickets directly online. If you’re booking with Mandarin Airlines, you can redeem your tickets at any 7-11 island-wide. Remember to take the booking details and your passport with you!
Prices vary during peak and off-peak season but generally expect to pay roughly TWD 3500-5000 for a round trip ticket. Book seats in advance if you’re visiting during the busy season or over special holidays.
Driving to Taitung
Another option to go to Taitung is to rent a car and self-drive. The road distance between Taipei and Taitung is 326km, and the best route is Provincial Highway No.9. While the journey will take about 5-6 hours, depending on the traffic, it’s definitely one of the best ways to experience Taiwan’s incredible east coast firsthand. If your itinerary is flexible, this is also a great opportunity to see a few other sites along the way, like Yilan, Hualien, and Taroko Gorge.
Getting to Taitung from Elsewhere in Taiwan
Kaohsiung to Taitung
The fastest way to go from Kaohsiung to Taitung is by train. Trains depart from Kaohsiung Main Station and Xin Zouying Railway Station daily and take 2-2.5 hrs to Taitung Train Station. It’s best to book a seat on faster trains like TZE Chiang or Puyuma. While these trains cost a bit more (TWD 381) than the slow trains, you’ll shave off quite a bit of travel time.
According to the Kuo-Kuang bus website, it’s also possible to take #1778 to Taitung (TWD 202 | 3.5 hrs), but I couldn’t find the exact route on the Taiwan Bus website. If you want to take the bus, it might be a good idea to phone the bus operator directly to confirm the details.
Hualien to Taitung
If you’re traveling from Hualien to Taitung, your options are either bus or train. The train will be the fastest and cheapest option. Book a seat on the TZE Chiang, Puyuma, or Taroko train. Tickets cost TWD 343, and the journey takes roughly 1.5-2 hrs. Alternatively, Ding Dong bus #8119 can get you to Taitung from Hualien in less than 4.5 hours. The bus ticket costs TWD547 per way. There is only one daily bus, and it departs at 13:10.
Hsinchu to Taitung
Getting from Hsinchu to Taitung takes about 5 hrs and involves two steps. For the fastest route, take the high-speed rail to Taipei (TWD 220 | 30 mins) and then catch one of the local fast trains like Puyuma, Taroko, or TZE Chiang to Taitung Train Station (TWD 783 | 3.5-4.5 hrs).
Taichung to Taitung
The fastest way to get from Taichung to Taitung is to take the HSR to Zouying Station in Kaohsiung (TWD 790 | 1 hr journey). The Xin Zouying Railway Station is adjacent to the HSR Station, making it convenient to catch a local train from there to Taitung Railway Station. Again, make sure you take a TZE Chiang or Puyuma train for the quickest journey. Tickets cost TWD 381, and the journey takes about 2-2.5 hrs, depending on the train you take.
Taipei to Taitung in Conclusion
Now that you know all the deets on how to get to Taitung, all that’s left is to decide which transport option to use! While each option has perks, choosing how to get to Taitung will ultimately depend on your budget and flexibility. If you have lots of time, take the scenic route and drive. If you want an efficient way to get to Taitung without breaking the bank, hop on a train. And if you’re pressed for time and don’t mind splurging a bit, flying is your best bet!
Well, thanks for making it to the end of my travel guide on how to get to Taitung from Taipei and other major hubs in Taiwan. I hope this guide has helped you figure out the best way to travel to Taitung for you! Have a fantastic trip, and let me know which option worked best for you!
Don’t forget to pin this post for your future Taitung travels!