Using an UBER in Los Angeles.

Last update:2018-01-24 11:02:52

Whether you are a frequent wanderluster or a newbie-traveler,  Los Angeles is exciting, sunny and hip.  A bustling metropolis with mountains, rivers, sun-kissed beaches, and one of the biggest airports in the world, Los Angeles International (LAX). In 2016 LAX handled 80,921,527 passengers, so it is one of the busiest airports in the world too, this means the last thing you'll want to face on arrival after the queue at customs and your baggage collection; is the taxi lines, bus schedules or hotel shuttle services. But, don't despair, LAX has UBER!

In LA there are thousands of UBER drivers much cheaper than regular cabs. If you've never used UBER before, the drivers are everyday people driving their personal cars (which have to be in good condition and registered with UBER). Passengers will use an app on their smartphone to request a ride and the driver has the same app so they can find the passengers easily. What is great is that you can tell the exact cost of the journey before the cab arrives through the APP, so no surprises, and UBER will make the payment on your behalf once you exit the cab (via the credit card you have saved to your profile). Just thank the driver, jump out, and then rate them afterwards. It is safe, reliable and very convenient. What's more, the UBER APP is global so you can use the same profile and credit card you use back home.

How to use UBER at LAX.

  • To use UBER, register online and download the APP prior to arriving in LA.
  • On arrival, LAX has free Wifi if you need a connection, and then simply log onto the APP from your smartphone.
  • You can request a cab by inputting where to meet them, double check the sign closest to you once you exit for this. The APP will ask you to specify your terminal and door number to help you clarify your pickup location. If you are worried, however, you can call your driver.
  • You can also see the name and license plate number of your driver in the APP. As well as see them (literally) on the APP as they drive to collect you, and they can see you too.
  • Look out for the Uber decal/trade dress which will always be displayed on the passenger-side windshield of your driver’s car.

www.smartsign.com

  • Just remember to exit at the right level, selecting your terminal and nearest door number,  and meet your driver curbside.

It is that simple.

Remember that LAX is a very busy airport and UBER drops off and collects passengers almost 24 hours a day here, so chances are, there will probably be an UBER cab already waiting before you request. It is therefore important to only request a cab when you’re already outside, as cabs cannot wait around .

Where to meet your UBER.

Riders requesting uberPOOL, uberX, uberXL, and UberSELECT

  • Meet drivers on the departures (upper) level.
  • On the departures level, there are 5 “Ride Service” pickup signs located curbside (A-B and D-F)
  • .Riders requesting UberBLACK, UberSUV, or UberLUX
    • Meet driver downstairs on the arrivals (lower) level.

    Passengers with accessibility needs

    • Picked up is in the designated access zone on the arrivals level.

    UBER Cars.

    Select a car that suits your requirements and group size (luggage too). If you have multiple bags or passengers, a larger vehicle would be a better option. A high-capacity vehicle like UberXL is an option that seats up to 6 riders.

    Uber offers a range of services, from single riders, groups as well as executive limo services.

     

  • uberPOOL: Shares your ride and the cost. Good for 1 or 2 riders with a small amount of luggage. If no one is going where you are going and you have selected uberPOOL, the driver will wait up to five minutes and then depart with you alone and you’ll still get half-off (Uber will pay the driver the other half).
  • UberX: Is the cheapest and most common form of Uber. It is good for 1 or 2 riders with a small amount of luggage.
  • UberXL: For a  group with multiple bags. SUV or minivan.
  • UberASSIST: Request an uberX or uberXL driver who is trained to assist passengers who require assistance.
  • UberSELECT: A step above the everyday; request a ride in luxury sedan with a leather interior.
  • UberBLACK: Request a high-end luxury sedan driven by a professional driver.
  • UberSUV: UberBLACK for a larger group, it can seat up to 6 passengers.
  • UberWAV: Passengers with accessibility needs may request a wheelchair accessible vehicle with UberWAV.

  • FARESOnce you're in the cab, the driver will take you to your destination and then Uber charges your credit card directly through the app including tip.

    Go here for current rates in Los Angeles or try the UBER fare estimator here.

    Keep in mind that the fares are for one car, not per person. If traveling with a group, the cost per person is even lower. You can choose to split the bill between the group as long as the other travelers have UBER.

    Useful links:

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AirPoPo Taiwan: Convenient Airport Transport.

Last update:2018-01-22 23:06:56

AirPoPo is an affordable and convenient way to catch a ride to or from the Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taiwan. AirPoPO, who won the Jury prize at the IDEAS Show@APEC IN 2016, offers services from Changhua, Taichung or Taipei or any nearby area, and won't leave you feeling out of pocket. You can get a low-cost shared-ride shuttle or a private-ride charter service, simply by using their app to reserve the 24-hour service. If you want to enjoy a comfortable trip and save money, you will find AirPoPo to Taoyuan Airport convenient, cheap and frankly fantastic!

Using the APP.

It's really simple.

  1. Download the APP
  2. Make a reservation, inputting you address and time of collection. If you have any queries on how long it might take to get through customs if you are arriving in Taiwan for the first time, simply email Airpopo for advice ( support@airpopo.com | (+886) 905-265-067). They are very friendly and prompt to respond.
  3. If you are using the shuttle service you should book at least a day ahead as there are limited seats, however, by using the APP for a private ride, you can book just 15 minutes before.
  4. For a full refund, cancellation must be made 2 hours before your time, however, if you have a flight delay simply email AirPoPo on landing and they will reschedule you. (There is free internet in the airport)
  5. AirPoPo drivers will contact clients by phone on arrival, but you can contact AirPoPo via email, messenger or WhatsApp too.
  6. For pick up at Terminal 1, go to Arrival exit no.18 Pillar. For Terminal 2, exit no. 27 Pillar. The boarding info, however, will be sent to you 1-2 days prior to the appointed date.
  7. Airpop accepts VISA, Mastercard, and JCB, but do not accept cash. Payment must be made before you ride through the APP, via phone or online.
  8. For shuttle ride, an additional late-night charge of 100NTD per person is applicable between 23:00 – 07:00.
  9. For Private ride 300NTD per car is charged for late-night charge.

Other ways to book a ride.

  1. You can also Reserve Via Phone or through LINE, Whatsapp or your Wechat ID.
  2. Use the number : +886 968-773-805
  3. Alternatively, go to the Ding Taxi website where you will also see a comparison of prices between Airpopo and other airport transport services on offer. If you book through Ding Taxi, however, you must download their APP even if you book an AirPoPo ride.

The Shuttle Service.

Air PoPo shuttle service is very convenient as it doesn't have a fixed schedule or specific routes it needs to follow. Therefore depending on the traffic flow or on the number of people it needs to collect, you will be taken the shortest route to the airport. Unlike other airport shuttles that have to follow a specific route, AiPoPo is flexible.

From around 6 US Dollars (Taoyuan Airport to Taipei), AirPoPo costs 1/3 the price of a Taoyuan Airport taxi and its travel time is much faster than using the MRT (subway).

Private Ride service.

For passengers in a group or with lots of luggage, AirPoPo also provides cheap private Airport transport to Taipei, Taichung, and Changhua or vice versa.

Phone +886 905-265-067 to inquire about fares, or go to the Ding Taxi website.

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One-day trip PART 2- Maokong

Last update:2018-01-15 11:22:15

Relax over a pot of locally grown tea and a scenic night view

 If you want to have a slower paced day, plan a trip to the tea hills of Maokong, which includes a fun gondola ride up to the top of the mountain, an interesting visit at Zhinan Temple, and an enjoyable meal at a teahouse over the scenic night view of Taipei.

The best times to take the gondola up are when the sun is setting, and when the lights of the city are shining at night.  A ride up to Maokong takes about 20-30 minutes, so you will have plenty of time to admire the views below you, such as Jingmei River, the thousands of cars moving along the freeway, and the never-ending tea hills. Tip: since prices are the same, pick the crystal cabin so that you get a see-through glass floor for a more thrilling ride!

If you are into temples, get off at Zhinan Temple station for a quick visit. It is known for its long history and importance to the Taoists of Taiwan, mainly worshipping the deity Lu DongBing (who is one of the eight Immortals of the Taoist pantheon).

Once you arrive at Maokong, you will see plenty of tea plantations and a variety of teahouses, each one of them providing a range of high-quality tea selection. It is very popular among locals to drive up here for tea and late-night chats with friends, over a beautiful night view of Taipei. Remember to try the famous “Muzha Tieguanyin” and “Wenshan Pouchong tea”!

How to get here:

Take the MRT to Taipei Zoo station (at the end of the brown line), and walk to the gondola station nearby. From there, the gondola takes you past the Zhinan Temple and up into the tea hills of Maokong. A one-way ticket to Maokong costs 120NT ($US4.00).

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One-day trip PART 1- Pingxi railway line

Last update:2018-01-15 11:22:57

One-day getaways from Taipei without your car

Taipei is a vibrant city full of never-ending things to do, but sometimes you just feel like getting away from all the hustle and bustle for a day. Luckily, there are plenty of fun day trips that you can do from Taipei, and you know what, you don’t even need a car

  1. Hop on the Pingxi Railway Line

 The Pingxi line is a popular railway branch for locals and tourists who want to go on a day trip. It is one of the three narrow-gauge railways that remain open from the Japanese era, and goes through 7 stations in total, including the most known Ruifang, Houtong, and Pingxi. Here is a recommended itinerary for your trip:

1st stop: Pingxi for sky lanterns

Fly a sky lantern on the railway tracks! Once a year they hold a huge festival in Pingxi, where hundreds of lanterns fill up the whole sky like little fireflies, but don’t worry, you can do it anytime you want. You get to write your wishes on the lantern and fly it up yourself.

2nd stop: Houtong cat village

To all the cat lovers out there, this is a place you do not want to miss. Houtong is an old mining village literally full of cats (they’re nice and tamed), with a beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers.

3rd stop: Jiufen for the amazing view

 

Old Japanese tea houses line the hill side in Jiufen, TaiwanProbably the biggest tourist attraction outside of Taipei, Jiufen is a small town up in the mountains, known for its breathtaking ocean and sunset views, its old streets, and perhaps most importantly its movie fame: it is said that Jiufen inspired Japanese producer Hayao Miyazaki for his famous movie Spirited Away.

2. How to get to those places:

Buy a Pingxi day-pass at Taipei Main Train Station, it costs 80NT ($US2.70) and you get unlimited rides along the line. Take the train to Ruifang station, and from there get on the Pingxi line.

Start from the end of the line at Pingxi, and slowly make your way back, through Houtong and finally Ruifang, where you need to take a taxi or bus no.788/1062 to reach Jiufen (it won’t take more than 15minutes).

 

 

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What’s not to love about traveling by train, it's relaxing, and much faster than a car but without any of the stress associated with traffic and unfamiliar roads. Taiwan's trains are efficient, and fast, showcase beautiful landscapes right around the island with comfort and connect all major cities. It is a system easily accessible to the traveler and what’s more, English signage is pretty decent and available in most stations and on trains.

Trains.

Taiwan's railway will take you from one end of the island to another in just a few hours by high-speed train and although there are no trains that run centrally into the mountainous regions, there are tourism branch lines that do.

Tze-Chiang (limited express), Chu-Kuang (express) and Fu-Hsing (semi-express).

These are express trains and are therefore the fastest, and most expensive. However, discounts are available for senior citizens, children, and there are ‘early bird sales’ when purchased in advance, so try to make use of this. The high-speed trains run from Nangang, just north of Taipei City, and go all the way down south to Kaohsiung.

  1. Tze-Chiang is the fastest, most comfortable and expensive train in Taiwan. The trains only stop at major stations. It is advisable to reserve a seat so you don't have to stand,  especially on the weekends or on a national holiday.
  2. Chu-Kuang and Fu-Hsing are slower than Tze-Chiang but still fast and stop at more stations between the main cities. They can get crowded often and are definitely not worth riding without a reserved seat.
  • Fu-Hsing applies to shuttle trains.
  • Chu-Kuang applies to Puyuma and Taroko.

 For additional information on the high-speed-rail system or to book go to : https://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/TimeTable/SearchResult

Local Trains (not express).

These access a majority of locations all over Taiwan, stop at every station and are cheaper. They are slower too with speeds that vary as they can be very old or very new. You cannot reserve seating but are generally quieter than the express trains. If you are happy to take your time they are air-conditioned and do make for a peaceful and enjoyable trip.

For local train timetables and bookings go to : https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/CP.aspx?sn=16988&n=19590

How To Book?

It is advisable to book in advance and reserve a seat, especially if you plan to travel on weekends or on a public holiday. If you book in advance you may also be able to get an ‘early bird’ discounted rate. Tickets can be booked 14 days in advance online or 12 days in advance in person at a train station.

For information on early bird discounts go to: http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Article/ArticleContent/da4e4552-97f3-427f-93fc-a79af439f80e

Online. You can book on the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA)  website, your passport number is required but it is very easy to do. You then need to take your booking number to any train station or convenience store to pay within two days of making the booking.

You can use this link to check out train timetables and book online:http://163.29.3.92/twrail/EN_QuickSearch.aspx

Convenience store. You can use an Ibon kiosk at a 7-Eleven to book your train ticket. These are, however, only in Chinese, but you might find a friendly store assistant who can help you. It will print a slip, which you need to take to the counter, and pay. This will validate your reservation.

Train station. Go to any train station with your passport and book your ticket at the kiosk.

Tickets: What Are The Options?

Single journey tickets. If you have a set schedule.

Return tickets. Return to the departure station.

Taiwan Railways, Multi-card system, Easycard, IPass and Taiwan smart card. These can be used if you want to go cash free and a 10% discount is given on some of the lines. Go to http://www.easycard.com.tw/english/use/index.aspx  for information on the Easycards.

TR Pass.For students. Can be purchased at the station's ticket kiosk with a valid student ID. TR passes can take you on Intercity and Juguand trains unlimitedly during the valid dates.

Day passes. The tourism branch lines (Pingxi, Neiwon, and Jiji). The pass may only be used on the day of validation. It may not be used without a validation stamp. You can hop on and off the trains as many times as you like within the designated zones.

For a complete list of ticket types please go to : https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/CP.aspx?sn=16972#

How to Ride?

  1. Decide your origin and destination. (Google Maps can help on this.)
  2. Find the appropriate schedule, and find the train you want.
  3. Visit the online booking system, or visit any convenience store kiosk, or head directly to a train station for their automated machine or windows to buy the ticket.

If you decide to book online, write down the ticket code after booking, then pay online with a card within the specific time frame, visit a train station window (card or cash), or a convenience store to pay and pick up your tickets.

Arrive 30 minutes early or earlier if you are collecting a ticket or purchasing at the station, there might be a queue.

  1. Check the platform your train will be arriving on, escalators and stairs may be needed. If you are confused, station personnel are very helpful and will often use body language to help should they not speak English. (Download Google translate, it is extremely useful as it can translate spoken words.)
  2. Go through the ticket punching gate, find your platform and car and wait there.
  3. The conductor will visually check the boarding process, so don’t worry the train won’t leave you if you’re being polite at the end of the line. After you board and found your seat if someone’s sitting on it don’t sweat just politely ask them to move or simply show them your ticket. If you do not have a reservation you are permitted to sit in an empty seat.

 

 

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A guide to using Taipei's subway: The MRT

Last update:2018-01-15 10:46:45

Taipei’s reliable, squeaky clean, and extremely efficient Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT), is one of the many reasons Taiwan is rated so highly as a tourist destination. In short the Taipei  MRT is one of the best there is and brilliant. It is modern and exceptionally safe, easy to navigate, has free wifi, and with added extras like the ‘ anti peeping’ measures in the ladies toilets, it is no surprise that Taipei's MRT system is rated as one of the best in the world.

Taiwan's MRT System.

At the moment Taiwan has three MRT systems operating.

  1. Taipei MRT in the north.
  2. Kaohsiung MRT  in the south (see our article on the KAOHSIUNG MRT).
  3. The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT, which shuttles travelers from the airport to Taipei Main Station in the capital city in about 35 minutes.

Taipei's MRT

The city's metro system has six lines running outward from the center of Taipei, and transfers between lines are mostly close to each other. Each line has both a name and a color making it pretty easy to work out . Stations serve most areas of Taipei from 6 am to midnight and trains run smoothly and on time.

http://web.metro.taipei/img/E/metrotaipeimap.jpg

Routes

Taipei Metro can be grouped into the followings:

  • Line 1 (Brown): Wenhu Line
  • Line 2 (Red): Tamsui-Xinyi Line
  • Line 3 (Green): Songshan-Xindian Line
  • Line 4 (Orange): Zhonghe-Xinlu Line
  • Line 5 (Blue): Bannan Line

Brown Line (Wenhu Line)

Taipei Zoo to Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.

Red Line (Tamsui–Xinyi Line )

Tamsui to Xiangshan, Beitou to Daan and Beitou to Xinbeitou.

  •  If your final destination is Tamsui, be sure you get on a train that's headed to Tamsui, as some of the trains stop at Beitou. There is a signboard on the platform in English where you will see the destination of the approaching train, so it is not too complicated.
  • The red line will take you to Beitou Hot Springs, Shilin Night Market, National Palace Museum, Shilin Official Residence and Tamsui Old Street and is a popular line for tourists. http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?mp=122036&xItem=90742688&CtNode=70240

Green Line (Songshan–Xindian Line)

This line travels Songshan to Xindian, Songshan to Taipower Building, Qizhang to Xiaobitan.

Orange Line ( Zhonghe–Xinlu Line)

Huilong to Nanshijiao and Luzhou to  Nanshijiao.

Blue Line ( Bannan Line )

Taipei Nangang Exhibition center to Dingpu , Taipei Nangang Exhibition center  to Far Eastern Hospital.

Maokong Gondola

Xinbeitou

Regular Tickets.

There are ticket machines at each station that only accept cash coins, however if you need change, you can ask at the information desk. You can also purchase a ticket by the counter.

If you are only going to use the MRT once or twice, buy the single journey ticket, which costs between NT$20 to NT$65. The ticket is a blue token, which you scan as you enter the gate and put into a slot at the gate on exit. http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=355373676&CtNode=70245&mp=122036

If you are going to be traveling around a lot in a day, get a one-day pass at NT$150, that gives you unlimited travel on the subway until the end of the day. http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=355380757&CtNode=70245&mp=122036

If you are visiting Taipei for longer, get an EasyCard as it will ultimately work out cheaper .You get 20% discount on the fare and you can use it on buses and there are also discounts to be had if you use the bus after the subway or vice-versa. https://www.easycard.com.tw/english/easycard/index.asp

Group Tickets

These tickets provide a discount of 20% off for groups of 10 or more and 30% off for groups of 40 or more. http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=355393234&CtNode=70245&mp=122036

One-Way Bicycle Tickets.

Passengers carrying a bicycle should purchase an NT$80 ticket. Bicycle access is available on weekends and national holidays, 6 AM to closing. Access is not available on all lines so check before. This link is useful.

http://english.metro.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=355393234&CtNode=70245&mp=122036

Extra information.

  • Taipei Metro claims a customer satisfaction level of 94 percent  and you will find that all personnel are extremely helpful and friendly.
  • There are toilets at every station that work and are clean, with additional facilities such as breast-feeding rooms and, "Anti-peeping" in ladies' toilets.
  • There are also special waiting room for women commuters, and intercoms in the trains and on platforms in case of trouble.
  • You can access free Wi-Fi , for more information go here: http://www.tpe-free.taipei.gov.tw/tpe/EN-TPE-Guide_Passanger.html ,
  • There are free charging stations for your cell phones and computers in the stations .
  • Signage in English, is also big and clear.

 

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TAIWAN'S HIGH SPEED RAIL

Last update:2018-01-15 10:31:10

If you are looking for the fastest way to travel in Taiwan, Taiwan's High-Speed Rail system is by far the way to go. In fact, the system is not just for those who are seeking speedy travel, you will find the High-Speed Trains comfortable and really convenient to your travel itinerary and with an option to purchase a ‘special’ tourist pass, hopping on and off at Taiwan's cities and towns has never been so easy or so fast. Reaching speeds of  300 km/h (186 mph), Taiwan's High-Speed Rail system really is a breeze for the traveler.

Taiwan's High Speed Rail (HSR) operates between 06:30 to 24:00 every day and connects Taipei (Main Station) in the north to Kaohsiung (Zuoying station) in the south , stopping at Banqiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, and Tainan along the way.

Map of Taiwan High Speed Rail Line. Image by ASDFGH. CC: BY-SA

Tickets: How to book them.

There are a number of different ways to purchase an HSR ticket, and you can book in advance or on the day of travel.

If you purchase at the station, do make use of the ticket vending machines, as ticket booths can have long queues. These are easy enough to use and have an English menu. The default, however,  is in Chinese, but if you swipe the bottom of the machine you can find an English option.

You can also buy a ticket at any convenience store in Taiwan or book online and print it out there. Store attendants are very friendly and will help you work the IBON machine if you have trouble. Basic English is generally spoken.

Tickets: What are the options?

Essentially there are three classes of ticket: business class, standard reserved and nonreserved tickets, however, there are additional ticket ‘packages’ that can be purchased for tourists.

Nonreserved seat, you can choose any available seat in the nonreserved cars number 10 - number 12, there is a 3% discount.

Reserved-seat, standard/business class. You can reserve a seat 28 days before departure and up until 1 hour before. Payment needs to be made within three days after booking.

You can book and pay online at the Taiwan High-Speed Rail booking site here https://irs.thsrc.com.tw/IMINT?locale=en   or you can call the THSR's customer service hot-line at (Taiwan) 4066-3000. You can also buy and print tickets at a convenience store or the HSR station. Take your passport and the reservation number (if you are printing a ticket booked online).

For ticketing fares go to

http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Article/ArticleContent/4c3efc1d-e6df-4bfd-97b4-52e89f79ee5c

Tourist Passes ( for non-Taiwanese citizens only)

If you are a visa-free tourist, you must book this outside of Taiwan as you need to present your visa if you purchase in Taiwan.

THSR 2 Day Pass: Unlimited HSR use for a two day period in a specified week, you choose the days. NT 2500.

THSR 3 Day Pass: Unlimited entrances and exits for a three day period after the activation of the ticket.NT 2200.

5 Day Standard Joint Pass: In a 5 Day Period, entitles you to take the express (Chu Kuang) trains and other lower types for an unlimited amount of times. Pick two of the five days for unlimited rides on THSR. NT 2800

5 Day Express Joint Pass: In a 5 Day period, entitles you to take the limited express (Tzu Chiang) trains and lower types for an unlimited amount of times. Pick two of the five days for unlimited rides on the THSR. NT 3600

For more information on these tickets go to, THSRPass

Discounts

Early Bird tickets: Buying a reserved seat ticket 5-28 days before the day of departure, gives you the chance of 10%, 20%, and up to 35% off the ticket price. For more information and recent updates go to: http://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/Article/ArticleContent/da4e4552-97f3-427f-93fc-a79af439f80e

Group discounts: offered for groups of 11 or more. A group discount does not include non-reserved seats.

Senior citizens: If you are over the age of 65 may purchase tickets for senior persons with a valid passport ( tourist) or ID cards for residents.

Children (6-12): Children less than 12 years of age, may purchase a child's ticket on proof of ID or Passport (tourist).

Children and Infants( 0-6): Children less than six years old with proof of ID or passport may be exempted from Tickets.

Disability: Physically and mentally disabled people may purchase disabled tickets, provided that they present their disability manuals or similar.

Seating arrangements.

Trains consist of twelve cars :

  • Car number 1 to number 9 are reserved seats,
  • Car number 10 to number 12 are non-reserved seats
  • Car number 6 is business class.
  • Car number 7 is fitted with 4 wheelchair accessible chairs and a disabled-friendly restroom.

 

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The metro system in Kaohsiung, one of a kind.

Last update:2018-01-15 11:32:20

Known as Taiwan's maritime capital, Kaohsiung offers scenic mountains, ocean views, awesome night markets, as well as Taiwan's biggest mall, with a Ferris wheel on top. Tourists will find Kaohsiung a sophisticated and modern city and its MRT or KRTC system (as it is known) is no different. In fact two of its stations, the Formosa Boulevard Station and Central Park Station, were ranked among the top most beautiful subway stations in the world. So if you will be traveling along the KRTC in search of an adventure in Kaohsiung, or if you are only seeking a ride to see its beautiful stations, you will find Kaohsiung's Metro system, clean, efficient and easy to use.

Kaohsiung MRT Lines

The KRTC has two lines , the red and the orange, with operating hours from 6am to 11pm daily.

http://www.krtco.com.tw/en/StationGuide_map.aspx

Red Line - MRT Siaogang Station to MRT Gangshan South Station

  • The KRTC Line has 24 stations from Siaogang Station to Gangshan South Station.
  • You will find Formosa Boulevard Station at the center of the line where the red and orange lines meet.
  • Popular attractions along the way include the Dream Mall, Liouhe Night Market, Nanhua Tourist Night Market, The Heart of Love River, The Tower of Light, Hakka Cultural Museum, The National Science and Technology Museum and the Fengping Temple.

Orange Line - MRT Sizihwan Station to MRT Daliao Station

  • The KRTC Orange Line has 14 stations from Sizihwan Station to Daliao Station.
  • The line meets the red line at the Formosa Boulevard Station and well-known attractions are : Sizihwan Bay, Shoushan Scenic Area, National Sun Yat-sen University, Former British Consulate at Takao, The Pier-2 Art Center and the Liouhe Night Market.

For more information on the travel times and the train stops go to: http://www.krtco.com.tw/en/guide_TravelTime.aspx

Tickets: what to purchase.

You can purchase your ticket at any automatic ticket machine at the station. There is an English menu if you swipe the bottom of the machine, and it is easy to use. They do, however, only accept coins but you can get change at the information booths. You can also buy tickets at the station ticket counters.

Single (Token)

Depending on your journey tokens cost between $NT20 to $NT65. If you are only going to be using the KRTC for a brief trip, this is the way to go.

One day pass.

Can be purchased at the station's ticket counter at NT$120 and can be used as many time as you like for a day.

Two day Pass.

Can be purchased at the station's ticket counter at NT$250 and can be used as many time as you like for 2 days.

IPass and easycard.

If you are staying a while and plan on traveling the system a lot this is the way to go. They are easy to carry and safe to use and every card costs NT$100 before you top up. Fares calculated based on length of the journey, some journeys have a 15% discount.  http://www.easycard.com.tw/english/index.asp  and https://www.i-pass.com.tw/en.

Group tickets

Group tickets are for at least 10 or more passengers. For more information: http://www.krtco.com.tw/en/guide_ticket-info.aspx

LRT (Light Rail Train) SYSTEM.

Kaohsiung Light Rail System is the first of its kind in Taiwan. The Light Rail, also known as the Circular Line, interchanges with both the Orange and Red MRT lines, meeting at Formosa Boulevard in the city center. It includes many Kaohsiung attractions like the Kaisyuan Night Market, Jingzuan Night Market, and the Dream Mall and its focus is on promoting tourism in the region. The fare for a one-way trip is NT$ 30 and you can purchase tickets at the Automatic Ticket Issuing Machine at KLRT station or at a ticketing booth.

http://www.krtco.com.tw/en/guide_ticket-info-LRT.aspx

 

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Taipei to Jiufen - an easy guide.

Last update:2018-01-15 09:57:03

Although there is no railway connectivity between Jiufen and Taipei, it is easy to get there due to Taiwan's efficient transport system. For the traveler, traveling to Jiufen is both affordable and convenient and can be done as a day trip from Taipei. Known for its labyrinth of old-world streets lined with red Chinese lanterns and with stunning mountain views, Jiufen is one of the most interesting and magical places you could visit in Taiwan. Here is how you can get there.

Taipei - Ruifang station by train, and  Ruifang -  Jiufen by bus. (54 min)

This is probably the most popular route.

At Taipei Main Station purchase a TRAIN ticket to Ruifang Station. You can catch any northbound train from Taipei Station to Ruifang Station (just not trains going to Keelung). A regular train ticket is around NT$49 (about 49 min) and NT$76 for the express Tze-Chiang (which is much faster).

From Ruifang station you need to catch a bus to Jiufen. Jiufen is located uphill from Ruifang and you have two options:

  1. Catch a regular bus (If you are on a budget) .
    1. To find the bus stop in Ruifang on weekdays, turn left after exiting Ruifang Train Station and find the Wellcome store across from the station. You can catch a bus from here. Make sure you have the change or an Easycard
    2. If it is the weekend or a public holiday, facing the Wellcome supermarket turn left and walk 200 meters down the road. The Local Residents Plaza, is where you need to go and is next to the Ruifang police station. (don't go across the street). You will also need the exact change or an Easy card to board here.
    3. Catch the Keelung Bus # 1062 or Jiufen bus 788 (slower) from either point. It takes about 15 minutes and the bus stops at Jiufen Old Street Stop charging you NT$15.

Wellcome Store .

The Land Office in RuiFang.

In Jiufen , there usually are a lot of people getting off the bus so you won't miss the stop. If there aren't, you can always ask the bus driver. Taiwanese are very friendly!

From the stop, you will have to walk back about a minute and to get where you need to be (look for the Seven-Eleven, the entrance to the market is here).

On the return journey, the buses use the same number and will stop in front of the train station square

Jiufen old street bus stop

  1. Go by the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus-Golden Fulong Route
  2. Outside of Ruifang Station, take "Gold Fulong" tourist shuttle. Which will bring to you Jiufen directly and is far more enjoyable.
  3. The bus departs once every hour during weekdays and every half hour during weekends. Between 8:00 and 18:00.

Taipei - Jiufen by bus. ( about 1 hr)

Take a bus directly from Taipei. Public buses depart every 20 minutes from the MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing station, at the intersection of Zhong Xiao and Fuxing Roads. Leave from Exit 2, the bus stop is outside Sogo department store. Catch Keelung Bus #1062 which goes straight through to Jiufen old street stop. It costs around NT$ 102, make sure to have the exact fare in cash or an Easycard.

Taipei - Songshan by MRT  and Songshan- Jiufen by bus. ( 1 hour)

A very easy way to Jiufen is to take the green MRT line from Zhongshan Station to Songshan Station. Exit from the main Songshan exit and the bus bay is across the road. Board the Taipei- Jiufen bus #1062.

Bus stop in Songshan.

Get off the bus at Jiufen old street stop. The fare is NT$98.

A suggestion if you can't board bus #1062 back to Taipei (if it is too busy), take the conventional train from Songshan Station to Keelung Station and then take a train back to Taipei instead. It will take a little longer (unless you take the express from Keelung to Taipei) but it will beat waiting in lines or standing on a bus.

 

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If you’re planning a trip to Japan, specifically to Tokyo, you most likely have been stuck with the following question: Which airport should I pick as my destination, Narita or Haneda?

Well this article is here to help you make the decision. Let’s compare a few things between those two airports.

  1. Distance to central Tokyo

HANEDA: only 15km away from Tokyo and takes about 30 minutes.

NARITA: it isn’t in Tokyo at all, 65km away and takes an hour.

2. Transport options and costs to Tokyo

HANEDA: It offers cheaper transportation, but a transfer is required. Most people take the Tokyo Monorail to the JR Yamanote Line, by transferring through Hamamatsucho Station first. Or, you can take the Keikyu Airport Line and transfer through Shinagawa Station. The total cost should be under ¥700.

NARITA: It offers more transportation choices but more expensive as well. The fastest rail connection to the city center would be Narita Express to Tokyo Station, costing ¥3,020 per ticket.

Note: if you are planning to stay in Japan for a longer period of time, you may consider getting a JRP (Japan Rail Pass), for either 7, 14 or 21 days. For instance, a one-week JRP for an adult will cost ¥29,110. It can be used both for both Narita Express and Tokyo Monorail.

3. Flight options

HANEDA: It mainly serves as a domestic airport, so if you have a connection within Japan this would be a better choice. However, it is one of the busiest airports in the world, so check-ins and immigration will definitely take longer!

NARITA: It has a larger selection of international airlines and less domestic ones, so everything goes faster here.

 

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