While in Taiwan, I decided to ride the THSR (HSR) for no other reason than to see what sustained 186 mph (300 km/h) feels like across land. For those in Taiwan and other countries with high speed rail this may not sound exciting. However for those of us in countries where rail speeds top out at 70 mph the thought of going NASCAR or Indy straightaway speeds seemed appealing and it was. My original plan was to ride from Taipei to Hsinchu and back. This would get me to top speed and only required about an hour out of my day. Well, I got to Hsinchu and had to keep going. With some assistance, I traded in my return ticket to go all the way to Zuoying Station and back to Taipei.
The trip south was amazing, a great way to get a quick taste of the country. Without getting off the train the whole trip is about an hour and a half. I recommend starting in the morning and making a day out of the round trip adventure. Stop at a few stations and check out the area, the trains come every 20 minutes, not much time is lost if you miss one.
When you get to Zouying Station take some time, walk around, bypass McDonald’s and venture to the Shinkong Mitsukoshi Mall, nearby. Browse, lookout over the Zouying station, grab a bite to eat and get back to the train for the return trip.
My only recommendation is to not travel at night. There is really nothing to see in the dark, fine for the 130,000 people who ride this everyday but if it’s a once in a lifetime trip do it when you can see out the window.