Woke up bright and early to catch the early train to Hualian County. The XMD area is virtually deserted in the mornings. All the shops are closed and there is hardly anyone on the streets. We did have a lovely McDonalds big breakfast though.
LOL… we were taking photos as we made our way to Tapei Main Station to catch our Taroko Express Tze Chiang (express train). There are several trains that goes to Hualian from Taipei but the Taroko Express is the fastest and most scenic one. It takes about 2 hours for the journey.
It can get confusing with so many different types of train services. But the Taroko Express train that we are taking is from the TRA section with the blue sign boards. And that is where you collect your tickets.
Our train came right on time! By the way, you are allowed to eat and drink on these trains so you could have your breakfast on board if you didn’t wake early enough.
You have to pre-book your tickets as you are given assigned seats. I had mine booked online and paid via credit card. For some reason you I could only book a maximum of 5 tickets each transaction so for a two-way trip I had to book and pay twice. I guess if you are going as a couple you can book and pay the two-way ticket at the same time since you wouldn’t hit the quota of 5 tickets per transaction.
I actually slept for most of the journey but as we were approaching Hualian the scenery started to be really pretty with many mountains and rivers on one side and gorgeous beaches and sea on the other.
I’ll post more about Hualian soon!