Traveling between Taipei (in the northern part of Taiwan) and Taichung (in central Taiwan) is cheap, safe, and fast. The distance between the two cities is 138 kilometers (86 miles).
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Taipei to Taichung by Bus
Approx. travel time: 2.5 hours
Approx. cost: NT$250
The most convenient place to catch a bus is at the big bus terminal located behind Taipei Main Station. The cheapest rides are offered by the Kuo Kuang Bus Company and UBus. Bring a warm sweater along with you as most buses are like fridges (because of the AC that’s always set at the coldest) even in the summer months.
Taipei to Taichung by Train (TRA)
Approx. travel time: 2 hours
Approx. cost: NT$380
The fastest normal train in Taiwan is called Taroko and the second fastest is the Tze-Chiang. Tze-Chiang trains run every hour and they have a lot of leg room and that’s what I recommend you take. You can board a train to Taichung at Taipei Main Station. You can buy food on the train.
Taipei to Taichung by High Speed Rail (HSR)
Approx. travel time: 55 minutes
Cost: 675NT$ for non-reserved, 700NT$ for reserved seat, and 1000NT$ for business class.
You can board the high speed train at Taipei Main Station. Banqiao, in New Taipei City also has an HSR station. You will have to take a taxi or public bus to get downtown in Taichung as the HSR station is located in Wurih, 20 minutes out of Taichung.
Taipei to Taichung by Car
Approx. travel time: 2.5 hours if the traffic is good
Approx. cost: toll-fee: NT$240, gas: NT$500
The fastest way to drive from Taipei to Taichung is to get on Highway #1 or Freeway #3. Do not drive faster than the limit as there are some speed cameras along the way.
Taipei to Taichung by Scooter / Motorcycle
Approx. travel time: 5 hours on a big bike (more than 250cc), 8 hours on a scooter.
If you ride a scooter from Taipei to Taichung, take Road #3 in the mountains. Do not take #1 as there are way too many traffic lights and speed cameras.
If you ride a big bike, take road #61 along the Taiwan Strait, it’s fast and straightforward, and has few speed cameras and traffic lights compared with the other roads inland.
Taipei to Taichung by Taxi
Between 2500 and 3000NT$. Takes about 2.5 hours depending on traffic. It’s common to set a fix price right from the start – don’t agree to use the meter as it will be more expensive than 3000$.
Taipei to Taichung by Plane
Why fly? The High-Speed railis the fastest way to get to Taichung and it’s cheaper. Absolutely no reason to take the plane between Taipei and Taichung.