Figuring out the transportation system often causes headaches for travelers in Taiwan. The Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) system is no exception.
Some complications include whether to ride the HSR or the TRC (formerly TRA, the regular train system in Taiwan), whether to book HSR tickets on the spot or in advance, and how to book them (there are 5 different ways!)
In this article, I’ll answer all of the above, after booking countless HSR tickets myself and assisting other travelers to do so in my Taiwan Travel Planning group. I’ll guide you through each of the 5 ways to book HSR tickets in Taiwan, with photos and screenshots of the key steps.
At the end, I’ll also answer some FAQs about booking HSR tickets and riding the HSR in Taiwan, such as tickets for kids, changing/canceling tickets, luggage issues, and more.
Also see my similar guide to booking regular train tickets in Taiwan.
High Speed Rain Introduction
The High Speed Rail (高鐵) is Taiwan’s version of the bullet train. It has a total of 12 stops, running from Taipei City (Nangang and Taipei Main Station) down the west coast of Taiwan to Kaohsiung city (Zuoying Station) in the south.
Some HSR trains will stop at every stop, while express ones will only stop at the largest cities.
Note that while there is a stop in Taoyuan city, the HSR does not go to Taoyuan International Airport.
The HSR travels at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph), offering a speedy yet incredibly smooth, comfortable, and fun ride.
High Speed Rail stations are very large and modern, like mini airports. They have convenience stores, restaurants, luggage storage lockers, and other services. However, besides Taipei Main Station, all of them are located outside of the city center.
This means you may have to factor in time for getting into the city after you arrive. Taichung and Zuoying (Kaohsiung) have MRT connections to the city center, while Taichung and Tainan also have local train connections.
In other cities, a free shuttle bus is offered to passengers (just show any HSR ticket for that day) or you can take a bus/taxi. You can see a map, details, and shuttle bus info for every HSR station in Taiwan here.
HSR vs TRA Trains: Which One to Choose
While the HSR only goes down the west coast of Taiwan, the TRA (Taiwan Railways Association, recently changed to TRC or Taiwan Railways Corporation) does a full loop around Taiwan.
This means that for destinations on the east coast, like Yilan, Hualien, and Taitung, TRA trains will be your only option. TRA operates a variety of train types, including slow, medium, and express trains, each with different names. See my guide to booking TRA trains in Taiwan for more info about those.
For journeys covered by both systems (for example, Taipei city to Taoyuan, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, or Kaohsiung), generally speaking, the HSR is twice as fast as the TRA but twice as expensive.
Besides the faster speed and higher cost, there are a few more things to consider:
- Express TRA trains tend to sell out in advance, while HSR trains don’t sell out so quickly due to the higher cost and the fact that you can always buy non-reserved tickets.
- Express TRA trains require seat reservations. Once they sell out, you can’t ride them. However, HSRs have a “non-reserved section” (cars 10-12) which never sells out. You can always show up at the station and buy a non-reserved ticket, even at the busiest times. This gives the most flexibility.
- TRA stations are always in the city center, so they will usually get you closer to where you want to go. Except for Taipei and New Taipei City (Banqiao), all HSR stations are outside of the city center. So some of the time you save on getting there faster may be wasted on getting from the HSR station to your destination in the city center.
What I Usually Do
Considering all of the above factors, here are cases when I choose the HSR:
- For longer rides, for example Taipei to Zuoying (Kaohsiung). It saves hours of travel time compared to the regular train.
- When I don’t need to go into the city center. For example, there are direct buses from Taichung HSR station to Sun Moon Lake or Cingjing Farm, and there are direct buses from Chiayi HSR to Alishan.
- When I’m visiting an attraction that happens to be close to an HSR station, such as Xpark (Taoyuan HSR station), Rainbow Village (Taichung HSR station), Chimei Museum (Tainan HSR station), or Lotus Pond (Zuoying HSR station).
- When I’m renting a car to drive somewhere outside the city. Taking the HSR to get out of Taipei is a good idea. It’s faster and easier than driving. For example, I recently rode the HSR from Taipei to Taichung HSR station, then rented a car there for driving to Sun Moon Lake, Cingjing Farm, Hehuanshan, and Zhongshe Flower Market.
- When the TRA is sold out or very likely to sell out (long weekends, Lunar New Year). Then I just show up at the HSR station, buy a non-reserved ticket, and line up for the next HSR.
- When I just want to feel like a boss or take my kids for a fun ride (read my guide to visiting Taiwan with kids).
Generally, I’ll choose TRA trains for:
- Shorter trips (example: Kaohsiung to Tainan)
- When I need to stop at a smaller station that’s only on the TRA line
- When I really want to arrive at the city-center train station
- When I’m trying to spend less money
- When I’m going anywhere on the east coast of Taiwan
Book in Advance or Purchase on the Spot?
The main reason to book HSR tickets in advance is to get a discount and to guarantee a seat. The official HSR site offers discounts of up to 35% off, depending how early you book. You can book 28/29/30 days in advance for weekday/Saturday/Sunday trips, starting from 12:00 AM Taiwan time.
Booking in advance means you have to commit to a time. Sometimes for travelers this can be tough. Therefore, some people choose to buy HSR tickets on the spot before boarding. This gives you maximum flexibility.
The tickets will, of course, be full price. Even if all the seats are booked, you can always buy non-reserved tickets and sit anywhere in the non-reserved section (cars 10-12). If all the seats in that section are full, then you’ll have to stand. But at least you’ll still get there, and quickly!
I’ve even done this at the busiest time of the year, Lunar New Year. Yes, there were long lines waiting to board every non-reserved car, but we still got on eventually.
How to Buy High Speed Rail Tickets
As I mentioned above, there are 5 ways to buy HSR tickets in Taiwan. Here’s a summary of them. I’ll cover each method in detail below.
- At any HSR station in Taiwan
- At any convenience store in Taiwan
- On the official HSR website.
- On Klook
- On the T Express app (only option for e-tickets)
At the HSR Station
Buying tickets at any HSR station in Taiwan is a breeze. You have two options, from the ticket window or the machine. The ticket window sometimes has a line, but it’s never that long and moves quickly.
From the machines (with English!), you’ll need to choose the date of travel and reserved or non-reserved tickets. It doesn’t hurt to always try reserved first, in case they are still any seats available. If there aren’t any left, simply purchase a non-reserved ticket.
A non-reserved ticket will work for any train that day (but you have to get on and off at the stops that you booked). After buying the ticket, scan it to enter the station, find the correct platform, and wait at the designated spots on the platform for car 10, 11, or 12 (the non-reserved section of the train).
Credit cards are accepted at the ticket window and machines. You can’t use EasyCard to ride the HSR in Taiwan (only residents can apply for special EasyCard-branded bank cards which work on the HSR).
If you buy a ticket in cash from the machine, be warned that the machines only gives change in coins. So if you buy a cheap ticket (for example TWD 250) with a large bill (like TWD 1000), be prepared to receive a whole bunch of TWD 50 coins! Learn more about Taiwan’s currency here.
At a Convenience Store
HSR tickets can be purchased from the iBon/FamiPort machine in any 7-Eleven/FamilyMart convenience store in Taiwan. The less common OK Mart at HiLife also have their own versions of these machines and sell HSR tickets, too.
Unfortunately, the machine interfaces are in Mandarin only. There are two ways to tackle this. One is to use the camera function on a translation app like GoogleTranslate (see my recommended apps for Taiwan) and navigate your way through the booking.
A second way would be to ask the clerk for help. The challenge here is that many clerks can’t speak English, not to mention sometimes they are very busy handling a line of customers.
The best thing to do would be to prepare a note stating in Mandarin (traditional Chinese characters, not simplified) exactly what tickets you want to buy – from where to where, what date/time, and how many people.
Once completed, the machine will print off a voucher. You’ll need to take this voucher to the till and pay for it. After paying, the clerk will print off your HSR tickets. A TWD 10 handling fee will be added to the ticket price.
On the Official HSR Website
The official THSR website is a reliable way to purchase HSR tickets online. It is fairly easy to navigate and takes credit cards (though some some foreign cards aren’t accepted – the T Express app seems to be better for this!)
If you book on the official site, you’ll still have to print off your physical ticket in Taiwan, which I’ll describe below. You can also import any booked ticket into the T Express about for eticket option (I’ll explain how below). But if you’re going to do that, then you might as well just book it on the app to begin with.
I suggest you use the official HSR website on desktop, which always works better for me.
Also make sure that you’re on the English version of the page. Some people have faced problems because they were on the Mandarin version, and using their browser to translate the page, which produces some weird translations.
Go to the THSR homepage and click “Online Booking” in the middle. It can be easy to miss this step.
Input your departure point, destination, date, time, class type (standard is good enough!), and number of passengers. Children 0 to 5 don’t need to be included – they ride free but won’t get their own seat.
On the next page, choose from the list of trains. If any still have an early bird discount (35, 20, or 10% off), it will be indicated here. If any train is sold out, you won’t be able to make it past this page. Scroll down and hit confirm.
Now, confirm your trip details and enter your personal info. My Canadian phone number (with country code first) worked here. Don’t worry about the THSRC membership, unless you happen to have one. Agree to the terms at the bottom and click “Confirm Booking”.
If everything works, then you will see a green “Reservation Completed” box. Below, it will mention a payment deadline (usually within two days).
Further below, it will also tell you your seat number(s). Note that you can’t choose or change your seat numbers, unless you booked Business Class. And even for that, it must be done at least 1 day before.
This means your seats are booked, but you haven’t paid yet. If you don’t pay before the indicated deadline, you’ll lose the booking. You’ll also receive your first of two emails at this point.
The email, which comes from email@example.com (check your spam folder if you don’t get it) reminds you that your seat is now booked but not paid for yet. If you don’t receive the email, which contains the reservation number you’ll need, make sure to screenshot your reservation number (see pic above) before proceeding.
Some people in Taiwan will now take their reservation number to 7-Eleven or FamilyMart to pay in cash. However, for travelers, the easiest and best thing to do is to pay immediately with credit card.
Scroll further down for your payment options (Visa/Mastercard of AmericanExpress). Select the one you want and click “Pay Now”.
After submitting your payment info, if the system likes your credit card, you’ll see a “Payment Completed” box, reservation number (the same as the one you received by email before), and trip summary. If your card doesn’t work, try a different one or the T Express app instead.
At this point, you’ll receive a second email, which also confirms that your payment is complete. If you don’t receive any emails, make sure to screenshot your reservation number.
When you arrive in Taiwan, you’ll need to print the physical tickets. To do so, take your reservation number and the passport you used to book the tickets to any 7-Eleven/FamilyMart of HSR station in Taiwan.
At the convenience store, show it to the clerk and say what it is – the clerk will take you to the iBon/FamiPort machine and help you to enter the info and print off the voucher. You’ll then bring it to the till, pay the TWD 10 processing fee, and they’ll print off the ticket(s) for you.
There’s no fee to do this at the HSR station machine or ticket window. However, I recommend doing this at least 30 minutes before your train’s departure to make sure you have enough time.
If you’ve already purchased a ticket on the official HSR site but you want an e-ticket so you don’t have to bother printing the ticket, you can import your ticket into the T Express app for mobile ticket option. I’ll explain how to do this in the T Express section below.
Buying HSR tickets on Klook is the most complicated way. It’s the one that I have to answer the most questions about in my Facebook group.
Purchasing on Klook has the most steps. You have to first buy the voucher, wait one day, then use the voucher to book your seats (subject to availability!) on a different page than the normal HSR homepage.
The main advantage here is that Klook offers 20% off, no matter when you book (even if all the early bird tickets are sold out on the official HSR site). They also sometimes offer special promotions like buy-1-get-1-free tickets (only works for two people traveling together and only for certain stops). Any such deal is usually available at the same link as the 20% off deal.
Note that Klook HSR tickets are meant to be for visiting travelers only. If you are Taiwanese or a foreign resident living in Taiwan, you aren’t supposed to use this deal. The HSR station staff may even check your passport’s Taiwan entry stamp to confirm this – it happened to me once.
Buying the Voucher
To book your HSR tickets on Klook (20% off or B1G1F deal), start on this Klook page. While there is a Klook app, I prefer Klook’s desktop site, where it’s easier to navigate to all the details and instructions.
The Klook HSR tickets page is changing all the time, so it may look different than what I describe here.
Choose the deal you want, departure point and destination, and number of people. Then I suggest you read all the “Package Details” on the side before proceeding.
When you’re ready, click “Book Now”. On the next page, you’ll need to enter a planned date. It actually doesn’t matter what date you put. Right now, you are only buying a voucher, which will be valid for 90 days. You’ll be booking the seats later, and you’ll be able to book any date in the next 90 days, no matter what date you enter now.
Scroll down to enter your personal info (as it appears in your passport!) Further down, you’ll also have the option to use Klook credits (gained every time you book something on Klook) and Klook promo codes, if you have any.
You can get Klook promo codes by inviting your friends to Klook (here’s my invitation link!), but the codes can only be used on certain activities or after you pass a certain amount in spending.
For example, if I try to buy a very short HSR ride, it won’t let me use any of my promo codes. But for a longer, more expensive HSR ride, or if I buy an HSR ride AND something else on Klook at the same time, it will let me use one. You can use maximum one promo code per order.
Note: If you’re booking the buy-1-get-1-free deal, you’ll have to input the current promo code for this deal (for example “GO2TAIWAN” is the current one as I write this, but it could change for future promotions).
The current promo code is always mentioned on the Klook activity page, where we started this booking, when this deal is running. The deal usually comes a couple times per year and lasts for several months.
Paste that code in the promo code bar and press redeem. Select the “B1G1 THSR Discount” box below. After you click it, you should see the price on the right side cut in half.
Also note, Klook says this promotion is “limited”, so it might not work if too many people have used it for that date. If you’re using the B1G1 promo code, you won’t be able to use any of your other promo codes for the same booking. You can only use one promo code per booking.
So if you’re booking other things on Klook today, do them in a separate booking so you can use one of your other promo codes for them.
When ready, click “Go to Payment” and make your credit card payment. You’ll now receive a few emails: a payment confirmation, a receipt, and one with your Klook HSR voucher.
The latter email has all the instructions for booking your seats. Besides the email, you can also access the same voucher in your Klook “Bookings” page. Either one of these show your “Redeem Code”, which you’ll need for booking your seats.
Redeeming the Voucher to Book Seats
Now you’re halfway there! Next, you’ll need to actually reserve your HSR seats within 90 days. On Klook, it says you can start doing this one day after purchasing the voucher.
To reserve your seats, go to HSR Pass Management page. Click “Manage” at the top-right.
Now you’ll need to enter your “Redeem Code” or “Order Number”. This can be confusing, as Klook provides you with no less than 4 different numbers (reference ID, voucher number, voucher code, and redeem code). This is one of the most confusing steps for many travelers. Please simplify this, Klook!
I suggest to choose “Sign in with Redeem Code”. Then input the Redeem Code from your voucher. You can find this voucher on Klook under your Bookings or in the email that you received when you booked the voucher.
An example of a redeem code from my last HSR ticket bought on Klook was /DX3B54SL. Important: when inputting the code, I had to remove the forward slash, so I input “DX3B54SL” and it worked.
If your redeem code doesn’t work, try clicking “Forgot Order Information” and there will be other ways to find your order.
If it works, you’ll see an order summary for your voucher and some notes (see below screenshot). Click the little square at the top-right of your personal details and order info, then click the “Reserve” button above it.
There will be a pop-up, in which you’ll input your desired train details. A list of trains will appear. Choose the train your want, scroll down, and click “Confirm”.
As long as the train still has seats available, you’ll see a “Reservation Successful” page. A notice informs you that you’ll need to show the redeem code (from the email or Klook Bookings page) and your passport when boarding the train.
It also mentions that they’ll really check your Taiwan entry stamp to make sure you’re not residing in Taiwan.
Just like booking on the Official HSR site, if you buy your tickets on Klook, you will need to pick up the physical tickets from a convenience store or HSR station in Taiwan.
Note that tickets booked in this way on Klook CAN’T be imported into the T Express app, so there’s no way to get an e-ticket if you booked on Klook.
On the T Express App
The final, and most convenient way to book your HSR tickets is on the T Express app, the official app of THSR. This is the only way to get mobile/paperless/e-tickets for the HSR in Taiwan. Foreign credit cards seem to work best here, too.
Booking on T Express will give you the same early bird discounts as booking on the official HSR site. For most people in Taiwan, booking on T Express is a no-brainer.
There’s one challenge for families or groups: Every passenger most show their own ticket on their own phone, including kids.
So if one person buys all the tickets, you’ll have to use the app’s import feature to import the tickets to each person’s phone. If your kid doesn’t have a phone, he/she won’t be able to get an eticket.
You can still use the T Express app to book and pay for the tickets, but you’ll need to pick up physical tickets in Taiwan.
Buying Tickets / e-Tickets
Input your trip details. Choose one-way/return, departure/arrival info, class, adult or child (age 6-11 (note that only local seniors, students, or disabled qualify for any discount) and seat preference. Click “Search”.
Next, choose the train your want. Ones that say “fastest” are express ones with fewer stops, but the difference is not huge. Any possible early bird discounts will also be indicated here.
If seats are still available on the train you select, you’ll be taken to the next page, where you can review the details, agree to the terms, and press “Confirm”. An order review will appear, with the status as “Unpaid”.
This means your seat is now booked, and you have until the indicated deadline to pay for it.
Click “Pay Later” if you want to pay in cash at a convenience store or HSR station in Taiwan. If you do that, make sure you do so before the Payment Deadline (see screenshot above).
Click “Pay Now” to pay immediately by credit card (recommended for travelers). Enter your credit card info. Here are the different payment options:
If the system likes your credit card (I had to try more than one card), you’ll receive a “Payment Successful” pop-up with a reservation number.
It doesn’t hurt to screenshot your reservation number, but the ticket will now be saved under “My Ticket” in the app.
It will give you the option to collect the ticket later or now. To “collect” the ticket means to issue the eticket.
Choose “Later” if you need/want to pick up physical tickets in Taiwan, for example because you have kids who don’t have phones. You’ll need that reservation number and passport used to make the booking to pick up the tickets at a convenience store or HSR station in Taiwan.
Some Taiwan travel pros will choose to collect later, and only click collect right before departing, such as when they’re at the station and about to scan in.
The reason to do this is that if you haven’t “collected” your ticket yet, it’s still possible to modify or cancel it by using the app’s “Modify” function. So if your plans change, you’ll still easily be able to change or cancel your ticket.
If you choose “Later”, your ticket will still be visible under “My Ticket” but it will say “Uncollected” on it.
After you click “collect” and issue the in-app e-ticket, the only way to make changes to it or cancel it will be at the HSR station ticket window.
Choose “Yes” to issue the e-ticket now if you’re sure you won’t be making any changes to it. On the next screen (see above), choose “Mobile Ticket”.
Once you’ve “collected” your ticket, you can find it under “My Ticket” in the bottom menu of the app. Click on the ticket to show the QR code. To enter the HSR station, open the QR code and scan it on the ticket scanner.
Note that a screenshot of the QR code won’t work. You need to scan the QR code produced within the T Express app. Make sure your phone’s battery is charged before going to the station.
Note that you’ll also need to scan the same QR code to exit the station when you arrive at your destination. Don’t let your phone battery die on the trip!
Importing Tickets into the App
There are two situations when you might want to import a ticket into the T Express App. The first is if you bought tickets for one or more other people, and now each of those people is required to import their ticket into their own app (one person can’t show everyone’s tickets on one phone).
The second situation is that you already bought an HSR ticket on the official HSR site, but now you want to import it into T Express so that you can get a paperless/digital/e-ticket. Note: You can’t do this if you bought your ticket on Klook.
To do this, whoever will be importing the ticket needs to first download the T Express app on their own phone or digital device.
On the menu at the bottom, click “Retrieve”. Enter the 8-digit reservation number (from the original reservation – find it in the email you received after making the original booking or in the “My Ticket” section of the person who booked the tickets).
It also asks for “Verifications Code/ID Used for Booking”. For this, enter the last 4 digits of the passport number of the person who made the original booking.
If this doesn’t work, click “Reservation Inquiry” and try to find the tickets by inputting the train info and full passport number of the person who made the original booking.
If it works, it will now say “Download Successful” and ask you if you want to check now. Click “Yes”. It will show your ticket and say “Uncollected”. The ticket will now also appear under “My Ticket” from the bottom menu of the app.
From here, it’s the same as I described above. You may choose to collect (i.e. issue your e-ticket) now or later. When you’re ready to do it, click on the ticket. It will give you the option to choose Mobile Ticket or Convenience Store Ticket. Choose “Mobile”.
A popup will remind you not to collect any ticket for anyone else (see above). In other words, each person must show his or her own ticket on his or her own phone.
Finally, another pop-up will tell you that the ticket has successfully been collected. You can now find the ticket under “My Ticket” at the bottom of the app. Click the ticket to show the QR code, which you’ll need to scan to enter and exit the station. Remember you must scan the QR code in the app – a screenshot won’t work.
FAQs About HSR Ticket Bookings in Taiwan
Here are some common questions about buying High Speed Rail tickets in Taiwan. If you still have a question not covered here, please ask it in the comments below or in my Taiwan Travel Planning group on Facebook.
Can I swipe EasyCard to ride the HSR in Taiwan?
For travelers, no, you cannot. This is only possible with an EasyCard branded bank card issued by local banks in Taiwan. Only local residents can apply for these through their bank.
You can use EasyCard for some regular (TRA) trains in Taiwan (see which ones in my TRA guide), but not for the HSR.
Here’s more information about using EasyCard in Taiwan.
Can I Use a Credit Card to Buy HSR Tickets?
Yes, you can use a credit card to buy HSR tickets on Klook, the official HSR website, T Express app, or from the machines or ticket windows in any HSR station in Taiwan.
Like everywhere in Taiwan, sometimes certain foreign credit cards just don’t work. If your credit credit isn’t accepted, just try another one.
Convenience stores in Taiwan accept credit cards, but are even more limited in terms of which ones they accept, so don’t count on it.
Do Kids Need a Ticket for the HSR? Is there a discount?
Children under 6 (age 0 to 5) can ride the High Speed Rail for free, but they won’t get a seat. They can sit in your lap, share your seat, or sit in a stroller (there’s enough space for a small stroller in front of each seat).
Children age 6-11 get discounted (50% off) tickets for the HSR and they will get a seat. If you want a seat for your under-6-year-old, then you can also book this kind of ticket. Teenagers aged 12+ must buy an adult ticket.
The option to buy children’s tickets is available for all booking methods.
Here’s more information about traveling in Taiwan with kids.
Can Kids Get E-Tickets?
If you want to get mobile/paperless/e-tickets for the HSR, you must do so through the T Express app. Each ticket-holder must show his or her own ticket on his/her own digital device.
If your kid doesn’t have a mobile phone or tablet for downloading the T Express app and showing the imported ticket, then your kid cannot get an e-ticket. You can still book it on T Express, but you’ll need to have the ticket printed at a convenience store or HSR station in Taiwan.
In other words, one person cannot show tickets for multiple people on the same mobile phone. Make sure your phone is charged for showing the tickets when entering and exiting the station. A screenshot is not OK – it must be shown from within the app.
Do Seniors/Disabled Get a Discount on the HSR?
Only local (Taiwanese) residents qualify for senior or disabled discounts on the High Speed Rail in Taiwan. They will need to show proper Taiwanese identification to get the discount. Foreign seniors or disabled will need to purchase regular adult tickets.
THSR stations and trains are wheelchair accessible. See here for more information.
How Do I Get Discounted HSR Tickets?
The official HSR site (and T Express app) offer early bird discounts of 35, 20, or 10% off the original ticket price. When the tickets are first released (28/29/30 days in advance for weekday/Saturday/Sunday trips), they start at 35% off.
When those sell out, it goes to 20, then 10, then no discount. How fast the discounted tickets sell out depends on demand, so the early bird tickets will sell out much faster for long weekends, holidays, and so on.
Meanwhile, Klook offers a flat 20% off HSR tickets, no matter when you buy them (minimum one day in advance). Note that you are just buying a voucher on Klook. It doesn’t guarantee a seat on the train you want. This discount is only for non-residents of Taiwan. If you are a foreigner living in Taiwan, you aren’t supposed to use it, and they will actually check your passport for Taiwan entry stamps.
After you buy the voucher, you have to use it to make a seat reservation on any HSR within 90 days. If you need to ride on a specific train, it’s best to check the official site first to make sure that train still has seats available before you buy the Klook voucher.
Klook also sometimes offers a buy-1-get-1-free ticket deal. This only works for two adults traveling together on the same trip. It only works for certain routes, mostly going to the south. You may find that it doesn’t work for routes going back to Taipei.
In order to get the B1G1F deal, you have to copy-paste the promo code (find it on the Klook page) to the promo code bar when booking. Then you will see the discount price applied.
How Do I Change My HSR Ticket?
If you’ve booked an HSR tickets but haven’t “collected” it yet, you can modify it (only once!) for free on the T Express app or at the station, at least 30 minutes before the departure time. You’ll need your order number to find the ticket. Here are examples of an uncollected ticket:
- You booked a ticket on the T Express app, but you didn’t collect physical tickets in Taiwan or click the “collect now” button to issue the e-ticket within the app.
- You booked a ticket on the official HSR site but you didn’t pick up the physical ticket in Taiwan yet.
If you’ve already collected your ticket, you can only make changes at an HSR station ticket window in Taiwan. A TWD 20 fee will be applied. New seats will be subject to availability. Here are examples of a collected ticket:
- You bought an HSR ticket from a convenience store or HSR station in Taiwan, so you already have a physical ticket.
- You bought an HSR ticket on the official HSR site or T Express app and you already printed off the physical ticket in Taiwan.
- You bought a ticket on the T Express app and you already clicked “collect ticket now” to issue an e-ticket within the app. If you’ve already done this, your e-ticket QR code will be visible when you click on the ticket in the “My Booking” section.
If you bought an HSR voucher on Klook, and you haven’t used the voucher to book your HSR seat yet, then you can request a refund from Klook. If you’ve already used the voucher to book a seat, then you can only change the seat at a ticket window in any HSR station in Taiwan.
If you need to modify a ticket more than once, you will need to cancel the booking and make a new one.
How Do I Cancel my HSR Ticket?
If you haven’t collected your ticket yet, you can cancel it online or on the T Express app in the same way that I described in the previous question. Just like making modifications, you can cancel the ticket free of charge.
If you have already collected your HSR ticket, you can still cancel it anytime up to 30 minutes before the departure time. You can do this at any ticket window in any HSR station in Taiwan. A TWD 20 fee will be applied. If you paid with credit card, they will issue the refund back onto your card.
If you bought an HSR voucher on Klook, and you haven’t used the voucher to book your HSR seat yet, then you can request a refund from Klook. You must do this at least 24 hours before the departure time.
If you’ve already used the voucher to book a seat, then you can cancel the seat booking at a THSR station ticket window, then request a refund from Klook (you’ll get back 90% of what you paid).
What If I Miss My HSR train in Taiwan?
If you have a reserved seat on an HSR and you miss the train, you cannot get a refund. However, you can still ride any later HSR on the same day, from the same departure and arrival stations on your original ticket.
However, you won’t have a reserved seat. You’ll need to sit or stand anywhere in the non-reserved section of the train (cars 10-12).
You should be able to swipe into the station with your original ticket. If you have any issue doing so, you can ask the staff on site for assistance. They will help to convert your original ticket to a non-reserved ticket.
How Can I Select or Change Seats on the HSR?
When you book standard class tickets on the High Speed Rail, you can’t choose or change your seats on the train. The system will automatically choose them for you. On the T Express app, you get to make a seat preference request (aisle vs window), and this is not guaranteed.
If you’re booking for a group of people, it’s possible that the system will issue you seats which are not together. This usually means the train is almost full, so it wasn’t able to put you all together. There’s no way to change this.
You can ask fellow passengers on the train to switch seats with you. However, this could cause complications, for example, if that passenger is getting off before you, and then someone else will be taking their seat. For this reason, it’s better not to.
Business class passengers are able to select their seats. This can only be done once per booking.
Is There Room for My Luggage on the HSR?
There is a lot of space for luggage on the HSR. The overhead racks are large and can hold most types of luggage. If your luggage is too large or heavy to fit up top, there is ample space in front of each seat. Some train cars are also equipped with additional luggage space or racks at the front or back of the car.
The official luggage rules state that your luggage should not exceed 150 cm per piece or 220 cm in total per passenger, with a maximum of 40 kg.
See this passenger guide for information about bringing bikes, pets, strollers, musical instruments, or any other large items onto the HSR.
Can I Eat on the Train? Do they sell food?
Eating and drinking are allowed on the High Speed Rail in Taiwan. Feel free to purchase snacks or meals from the convenience stores, fast food chains, or restaurants in the HSR station and eat them on the train.
You can even consume alcohol on the train and no one will say anything. The only thing that matters is being quiet and respectful – Taiwanese prefer absolute silence when traveling by train. Some HSR station convenience stores even sell alcoholic beverages, but some don’t.
Train staff regularly pass through the aisles to collect trash. If you’ve got uncollected trash when getting off the train, take it with you and deposit in bins on the platform.
There’s also a snack and drink cart which regularly comes around.
What Time Should I Book My HSR from Taoyuan Station If Arriving at the Airport?
It’s a little tough to guess exactly how long it will take you to get through the Taoyuan International Airport when arriving in Taiwan. I usually advise people to buy an HSR ticket a minimum 3 hours after arriving. If you like to be extra safe, go for 3.5 to 4 hours.
For me, when traveling with no check-in luggage and using the e-Gate (only Taiwan residents and certain nationalities can use this and you have to register for it), then I almost always get through very quickly, around 30 minutes.
If you’ve got check-in luggage and need to stand in the normal visitors’ immigration line, you can expect it to take around 60 to 90 minutes. This can of course vary depending on the season, day, and exact arrival time.
Then, it takes about 30 minutes to travel from Taoyuan International Airport to Taoyuan HSR station (10 mins to enter Airport MRT station and buy ticket, 20 min ride).
It only takes 5 minutes to transfer from Taoyuan Airport MRT station to Taoyuan HSR station. Add another 10-15 minutes for buying/printing off your ticket (if needed) and getting to the platform.
Is there Luggage Storage in HSR Stations?
Every HSR station in Taiwan has luggage storage lockers. Usually they are bright orange. You can store luggage for 3-7 days, depending on the lockers.