How to Book Chiayi to Alishan Bus Tickets Online (Seat Guaranteed)

An Alishan shuttle bus with a Chiayi-to-Alishan bus ticket overlaid on the image

When taking the bus from Chiayi to Alishan, foreign tourists usually swipe their EasyCard. However, this gives them last priority for seats. At peak times (weekends, holidays, cherry blossoms season in March/April), the line is sometimes so long that they can’t even get on.

To avoid this, you should reserve seats Alishan bus seats in advance. The only way to do this is by using the FamiPort machine in any FamilyMart convenience store in Taiwan, but the machine is in Mandarin only – you’ll need to ask the clerk for help.

But guess what? You can actually do this online! In this guide, I’ll show you how to navigate FamilyMart’s online FamiTicket system and reserve your Alishan bus tickets like a pro before you go!

You’ll probably want to consult my table of bus times from Chiayi to Alishan while you go through this article. Also see my more general guide to Chiayi, guide to Alishan, and other options for getting to Alishan.

Things to Know Before You Book

  • You’ll need to sign up for membership first, with local phone number and address (I’ll show you how, even if you don’t have those.
  • You’ll be able to pay online with credit card, then pick up the physical tickets from any FamilyMart in Taiwan (additional TWD 10 fee per ticket).
  • Purchase your tickets up to one month in advance (buy early for holidays or cherry blossom season!) You can buy up to 4 tickets at once.
  • Under 6 (age 0 to 5) ride free but don’t get a seat. Kids age 6-12 get half-price tickets and get a seat. If you want a seat for your 0 to 5-year old, but a children’s tickets.
  • It’s also possible to buy partial tickets to stops on the way, such as Xiding (for Eryanping trail), Shizhuo (for hiking or staying on tea plantations), or Fenqihu/Shizilu (for connecting to Alishan Forest Railway. But you can only reserve tickets starting from Chiayi or Alishan.
  • You can buy tickets for one ride at a time. For return tickets, you’ll have to book them separately.
  • Tickets can be exchanged or refunded, minus 10% fee, up to one day before your trip.
  • Ripped or stained tickets won’t be accepted.
  • If you miss the bus that you have a booking for, you can still use the ticket to ride a later bus that day, but you won’t have a guaranteed seat. You’ll need to line up like everyone else, first-come-first-served.

See my similar guide to booking tickets on the popular bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake.

How to Buy Alishan Bus Tickets Online

Here are the steps you need to follow to reserve and pay for your seats on the bus from Chiayi to Alishan.

Step 1: Sign up for Membership

Screenshot of the FamiTicket Mandarin language sign in page with the "register" button circled in red.
Click the circled button to sign up.

Go to the FamiTicket login and sign-up page. The bottom on the left (登入) is to sign in. The button on the right (註冊) is to register. Click on the 註冊 button to sign up.

A Mandarin language sign up page for registering for buying bus tickets online
Key in your personal info

Now you’ll need to fill in the above form. Here are the items in the order you’ll need to fill them in.

  • Click 海外國護籍 (born overseas)
  • Enter name as it appears in your passport (characters are limited so leave out middle name if necessary)
  • Male (男) or Female (女)
  • Enter date of birth
  • Enter Taiwanese mobile number (If you don’t have one, just make one up. It must be 10 digits and start with 09). Next line is to enter a second number (don’t need to).
  • Enter Address in Taiwan. I put the address for Amba Ximending, one of my favorite hotels in Taipei. First column choose 台北市 (Taipei city). Second column choose 萬華區 (Wanhua district, 5th option). Third column copy-past this address: 武昌街二段77號
  • Enter your email
Second page of personal info needed to sign up for membership
Scroll down and there’s more

Scroll down and there’s more info that needs to be entered, as in the above picture. Here are the items:

  • Password (must be 8-15 characters and contain 3 of the following 4 items: lower case letter, upper case letter, number, symbol)
  • Re-enter the password on the next line
  • Password hint (don’t need)
  • Receive newsletter, choose 是 (yes) or 否 (no).
  • Click gray button if you are disabled with ID to prove it.
  • Keep the blue check at the bottom to agree to the terms.
  • Click 送出 (submit) button.
A Mandarin language popup that says there's an error in the sign up information
Error message

If anything didn’t work, you’ll get the above error pop-up. The problem will be highlighted in red on the form. If it worked, you’ll get the below success screen.

Screenshot with words saying in Mandarin that the registration was successful and to check one's email
Registration success screen

The above screen says that the registration was successful and that you should receive an email in 3-5 minutes.

Once you receive that email, open the email and click the long link that it contains. The link will take you back to the FamiTicket website, with a notice which says you’ve successfully verified your email, as below.

Screenshot of a Mandarin website page saying that email has been verified
Your email has successful been verified.

Step 2: Book Your Bus Ticket

Now that you’ve successful signed up, go back to the sign-in page. This time, you don’t need to click anything, because it should already be on 登入 (sign in).

Enter your email and password that you created when signing up. Click the blue 登入 button at the bottom.

Homepage of FamilyMart's online booking system, with an ad for a basketball game at the top, and various options to click at the bottom
Homepage of the FamilyMart online booking system

Hover over “交通 Transportation” and choose “阿里山線 Alishan Route” at the bottom left (see image above).

You can also book other Taiwan Tourist Shuttles here by choosing the button on the right (I won’t cover those other routes here, but the booking process will be the same).

Thumbnails of 6 different Chiayi to Alishan bus routes
Six bus route options to choose from

There are now 6 possible buses you can book. I suggest you utilize my Chiayi-to-Alishan bus timetable to figure out which bus you want to take.

#1 and #2 start at Chiayi station but don’t go all the way to Alishan. #3 and #4 start from Chiayi HSR station, with only #3 making the 20-minute detour to Fenqihu. #5 and #6 start from Chiayi Station, with only #5 making the detour to Feqihu.

The 6 different bus options are as follows (starting from top-left and going across):

  1. 7314 (嘉義大雅站達邦線) Chiayi Station to Xiding or Shizhuo, only two per day, very early or very late
  2. 7302 (嘉義大雅站-奮起湖線) Chiayi Station to Fenqihu bus which also stops at Xiding and Shizhuo
  3. 7329 (阿里山線(高鐵出發)經奮起湖) Chiayi HSR Station to Alishan bus which also stops at Xiding, Shizhuo, Fenqihu, only 1 per day
  4. 7329 (阿里山線(高鐵出發)) Chiayi HSR to Chiayi bus which stops at Xiding, Shizhuo, but NOT Fenqihu
  5. 7322 (阿里山線(臺鐵出發)經奮起湖) Chiayi Station to Alishan bus which also stops at Xiding, Shizhuo, and Fenqihu
  6. 7322 (阿里山線(臺鐵出發)) Chiayi Station to Alishan bus which also stops at Xiding, Shizhuo, but NOT Fenqihu

Once you figure out which bus you want to take, click the blue “購票” (buy ticket) button at its bottom-right.

For my test, I plan to buy a ticket from Chiayi HSR Station to Alishan, so I clicked bus #4. (Note: I could also choose #3, but that one will take about 20 minutes longer due to the detour to Fenqihu on the way).

Chiayi to Alishan bus ticket notes
Details about the bus I chose.

Above you can see the details for the bus I chose, including the three possible departure times for Chiayi HSR to Alishan (9:30, 10:10, and 13:10) and Chiayi back to Chiayi HSR (13:30, 14:40, 16:40).

The notes in Mandarin also mention that the date, time, and number of seats should be written on the ticket when purchased, stained or ripped tickets are not valid, and there’s a 10% fee to refund tickets.

Click on the blue 我要購票 (I want to buy tickets) button in the above image.

A list of six possible departure times for a bus from Chiayi to Alishan or Alishan to Chiayi
List of bus time choices

Now you’ll see a calendar at the top. Click on it and choose your date of travel (up to 31 days in advance).

Then you’ll see a list of the six possible buses (see above photo). The first three are from Chiayi HSR to Alishan, and the last three are from Alishan back to Chiayi HSR. Refer to my bus time table again if necessary.

Choose the one you want and click the blue 立即購票 (buy now) button beside it.

A list of possible stops between Chiayi and Alishan with their prices
Options for where to get off and prices

Now you’ll see a list of possible stops with prices (top five are adult prices, bottom five are child prices for the same stops).

Starting at the top, the stops are: Alishan 阿里山 (TWD 278), Shizicun 十字村, Shizhuo (197), Xiding/Eryanping 隙頂 (172), and Longmei 龍美 (154).

Note that Shizicun is the same as Shizilu (十字路 or Shitzulu). The Alishan Forest Railway travels from Chiayi to Fenqihu to Shizilu, the terminal stop, so you can access the train from either of these two stops.

Since I’m buying a ticket for myself only to Alishan, I chose the first one and selected ‘1’ (see screenshot above). You can choose 1 to 4 people.

At the bottom, leave the two boxes checked to agree to the terms and click the gray 電腦配位 (automatically choose seats) button on the left or 自行選位 (choose your own seat) on the right. I chose right.

A diagram of bus seats with options to choose a seat
Bus seat selection

Now you get to choose your seat(s)! Dark gray seats are taken, light gray are available, and my selected seat is in green.

Use the zoom in/out magnifying glass to see more seats. However, I couldn’t find a way to move to the back of the bus. I was using desktop – maybe this works better on mobile?

After making your selection, click the 確定 (confirm) blue button at bottom.

Screenshot of a page showing a booking for a bus ticket from one person from Chiayi HSR to Alishan in Mandarin
Order confirmation

The above is a just a confirmation page showing your booking number, date of travel, bus, row and seat number, destination, and price.

There’s nothing to do here. Just click the blue 下一步 (next step) button. Notice that a 10-minute timer to finish your order has started counting down (see the green circle in the above and below screenshots).

A page showing all the details of a bus booking to Alishan and option to click for 10$ ticket pickup fee
Payment Page

You’ve now reached the payment page. You must click the circle beside the words 取票手續費10元. This means you agree to pay TWD10 to pick up the ticket later at FamilyMart.

Scroll down and enter your credit card information. Click the blue 結帳 (checkout) button at the bottom when ready.

A voucher for a booking for one person on the bus from Chiayi to Alishan
Yay, your seat is booked!

If your credit card doesn’t work (some international cards sometimes just don’t work for certain things in Taiwan), try a different one.

If the payment goes through, you’ll see the above confirmation screen. Congrats – your seats are booked!

I suggest you screenshot the booking as I have above. You can also click the blue 列印 button at the bottom if you want to print the ticket. However, you should also receive an email with all the same details.

Step 3: Pick Up Your Tickets at FamilyMart in Taiwan

Your final step is to pick up your physical Alishan bus tickets from any FamilyMart in Taiwan.

If you can read Mandarin, you can try to use the FamiPort machine in FamilyMart yourself. I’m not going to cover how to do this here, because there are several steps.

If you can’t do this yourself, just show your booking to the FamilyMart clerk – the email you received is best, but the screenshot will also work. If you have multiple bookings, you’ll need to show each one.

The clerk will go to the machine for you. After keying in your booking info, the machine will print a receipt. You’ll need to take that receipt to the counter and pay the booking fee (TWD 10 per ticket). Then the clerk will print the actual ticket for you.

And just like that, you’ve got reserved seats on the bus to/from Alishan! At the bus stop, you can still line up like everyone else, but when the bus arrives, the driver will ask anyone with reserved seats to step forward first.

3 thoughts on “How to Book Chiayi to Alishan Bus Tickets Online (Seat Guaranteed)”

Leave a Comment