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Transportation: On The Go!

  • Different types of transportation in Taiwan


  • How to get help while travelling


  • How to get and use an Easycard

Great news – Taiwan has an excellent transportation system and there are many easy and cheap ways to get from point A to point B, wherever you are going! The island itself is connected by planes, trains, High Speed Rail and busses (Taipei to Kaohsiung takes 90 minutes on HSR) and each city offers a different combination of MRT, busses, scooters, bicycles, taxis and Uber to get around locally. Taipei has the most public transportation options and you can easily rely on them for everyday life, while scooters are much more practical and necessary in smaller cities.

If you will be in Taiwan for more than a few days, an Easycard will become your best friend. You can buy them at any MRT station (including airport stops!) or convenience stores such as 7-11 or FamilyMart up by the cash register for approx. $100 NTD. Each location sells different card options, so you can get a regular card, one with a cool design, or even a keychain as long as it has the Easycard logo! 

Easy Card

Once you buy the card itself, you need to load it with money.

  • If you load it at the convenience store:
    • STEP 1: You just hand the Easycard to the cashier at the register and tell them how much money you want to put on it.
    • STEP 2: They will put the Easycard on the reader, you will hand them the money
    • STEP 3: then they’ll hand your Easycard back when it is finished.
  • If you load it at the MRT:
    • STEP 1: You can go to the self-serve machine (in English) OR walk up to that MRT station’s information booth to speak with a person.
    • STEP 2: Recharge your card with the amount you want.

I usually use the machine to check my balance and put smaller amounts of money onto the card and go to the kiosk if I want to put a monthly pass on the card.

When the card is loaded, you can use it to pay for almost all public transportation in Taipei and New Taipei, including the MRT, busses, Youbike, taxis and tourist areas like the Meekong Gondola. Even public transportation in other cities might take the Easycard - we have used it to rent Youbikes in Tainan and take buses in Taroko Gorge! 

Taroko Gorge

No matter where you are in Taiwan, there will almost always be English signs and help available even if you don’t speak Chinese. Taxi drivers are the exception and you will need google maps or be able to show them the address in Chinese, but otherwise most workers at MRT, HSR and train stations all speak English. Even if a worker doesn’t speak English, they will usually ask a coworker who can translate for them, or sometimes they will point you to the official ‘information’ kiosk where someone can help you. And when all else fails, a friendly Taiwanese local will usually come and politely ask if you need help (or you can find a younger person nearby and ask if they speak English).

DON’T FORGET: A lot of locals love to help confused foreigners, and this can also be a great way to try different food at night markets and restaurants, make new friends or hear different tips about what to do or where to go in an area.  They’re just as curious about you as you are about Taiwan, so remember to be friendly, polite, and a great representation of your country as you’re using transportation (you might be the only foreigner or person from your country that they’ve met)! 

TIP! You can use your Easycard for so many things, not just transportation! More and more places are utilizing it, so you can use it as your public library pass or even as a debit card across Taiwan to buy anything where you see the Easycard reader – all 7/11s and Family Marts and some other stores such as Cosmed, Mr. Donut and Starbucks. (There is a $1,000 limit for single purchases and a $3,000 limit per day).