How to travel from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport? Where to store your luggage? What’s the best route to get yourself to Bus Terminal and avoid steep staircases while lugging along heavy luggage?
This final day of my Taipei’s 8 Days Tour will provide tips on how to get yourself to airport in the most effortless way. Check it out.
Gulping Myself Silly on Final Day in Taipei
What do you do on the last day of your trip? Other than packing and repacking my stuff prior to checking out of the apartment, gulping myself silly with cartons of beverages bought from my overzealous grocery trip was the “highlight” of the day. :/
TIP: Lesson learnt – do not store too much F&B when you travel in Taiwan. There are just too many night markets selling yummy local delights and may leave you with limited stomach space for pre-purchased groceries. Yes, these lovely packaging and uniquely-Taiwan items will vie for your attention. But just get enough for the moment’s need.
Mind you, these cartons weren’t small – probably 500ml each. That’s okay, all these sugar and dairy products would serve as lunch….not that I’ve had a choice. At least, they were one-of-a-kind type of lunch I won’t get in Singapore…although I did find them a tad too sweet for my liking. Oh, don’t forget the uniquely-Taiwan bread too….duh.
I also did some selfies with the drinks! You’ll do this too when you have this much liquid for breakfast!
Best Place to Store Luggage in Taipei Main Station
There shouldn’t be any problem finding lockers in Taipei Main Station. You can find them in a few locations including those near Exit M3 or Taipei Railway Station. I will go into details on lockers at Exit M3 because they were the most centrally located.
Lockers at Exit M3 were located near MRT station and came in different sizes to suit your needs. For the size that I chose (contain up to 2 cabin bags), the locker cost NT20 per hour. I left it there for 3 hours to do some last minute shopping.
TIP: If the lockers at M3 are fully taken, don’t forget to check out the less prominent ones hidden at the back. Just walk behind…there’s another row of lockers.
If you still can’t find an empty locker, head towards Taipei Railway Station (interconnected).
How to use the Lockers in Taipei Main Station?
It’s pretty straight-forward. Choose your locker, enter the locker number via the centralized panel, pay the fee (for instance, I paid NT60 for 3 hours), keep the receipt and close the door. Easy or not?
Retrieval of luggage is equally simple. Instructions in the image below. =)
Shopping around Taipei Main Station
Did you all know Taipei Main Station is linked to a few malls, including Q Mall, Eslite Spectrum, Taipei Main Station Underground Mall and more? If you exit the station via exit Z4, you can also find Shinkong Mitsukoshi and numerous independent small outlets (such as Watsons, Innisfree, Uniqlo) along Guanqian Road.
Sa Sa and Muji can be found in WutuAkiba, a mall next to Shinkong Mitsukoshi. This mall appeared very new when I visited it last year and many shops had yet to open.
TIP: In terms of pricing, I find face masks to be most competitively priced at Watsons (Guanqian Road) and Cosmed (located in Taipei Main Station).
If you are looking to buy L’ Herboflore sheet masks, you can find a small counter within Taipei Main Station, located within K Underground mall. There’s no need to travel all the way to Taipei 101 or Xinyi Shopping District to get one.
I spent most of my time in Watsons and Cosmed as I couldn’t decide which sheet masks to buy. The options were simply overwhelming! Gosh, I’m so weak in making decisions.
What you are seeing above is only a tiny fraction of sheet masks carried by the store.
Taipei Easy Card Refund
Don’t forget to seek a refund for the balance and deposit in your Easy Card. Other than an administrative fee of NT20, you can get back the rest of unused balance.
TIP: To get back your refund, visit MRT Station Control. The process is brief and simple, taking only a couple of minutes.
For info, I’d spent a total of around NT500 during my Taiwan 8-days trip, excluding one or two train rides and one-day pass when tickets were bought and paid for separately.
Bus from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport
Once you are done with your shopping, collect your luggage and proceed to Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A. There are several routes you can take to reach the bus station, such as via Z3 or K12 exits.
So remember, follow signage to exit K12 if you have heavy wheeled luggage.
If you are carrying a wheeled luggage, avoid steep staircases by using exit K12. I’d recce other alternatives such as Exit Z3 (follow “Shinkong Signage”) via Z Station Front Metro Mall and woah…look at this steep flight of stairs. It’s no joke.
TIP: As a solo traveler on free and easy, it’s important to stay mobile. Try carrying a backpack instead of a hard-shelled luggage and you’ll have your hands free to do a lot of things. I’ve been using this lightweight, durable and classy backpack for 2 years and super love it! This 44L backpack saved me money too when I’m travelling on budget airlines as I didn’t need to buy extra checked-in baggage. I’m highly-recommending it to you!
How to access Exit K12?
Accessing K12 exit was really easy. After you’ve collected your luggage at M3 lockers, glance to the opposite end and you will notice signage pointing to Eslite Mall.
Walk through it and that would bring you to K Underground Mall. Just continue walking along a straight path lined with mid-range shops and restaurants and follow signage to exit K12.
There’s an escalator at the end of the walkway that would bring you up to ground level where the bus station is. Total walking time: < 10 minutes.
Do note that signage was not prominently displayed, but that also meant that there weren’t many people along this route. Hence, it was a breeze walking through the walkway without having to jostle with the crowd. Z Station Front Metro Mall was a different story. Lined with budget stores, the path was perpetually crowded.
Once you’ve arrived at Taipei West Bus Station, purchase KuoKuang (國光客運) bus ticket from the counter at NT125 per person. Bus frequency was every 15 minutes. The bus journey took me 40 minutes to reach Taoyuan Airport.
Transport Options: Train or Private Car to Taoyuan Airport
(Updated in Sep 2017)
Train Service from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport
Good news. Taiwan has recently launched a train service that connects Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Main Station. You can either opt for an express train service (purple color) or commuter service (blue color). The former takes just 35 minutes to reach Taoyuan Airport while the latter would take longer since it stops at all stations. You can skip the queue and get the express train ticket online for a lower price (as at time of writing).
How do you decide if you should take a train or bus to/fro the airport? I would take the train as long as I’m traveling during its operating hours. Otherwise, I’ll fall back on bus service which tends to run 24 hours daily.
Private Car Transfer Service – Suitable for Family
If you are travelling as a family or in a group (max 4 pax), there’s a private car service that would bring you right from the doorstep of your Taipei hotel to Taoyuan Airport.
Unexpectedly Good Dinner at Taoyuan Airport
To my astonishment, one of the best meals I’ve had in Taiwan was at Taoyuan Airport T1 (public area).
Towing my luggage to the Food Court in the basement, I ordered Hakka Bee Hoon and Meat Ball Soup.
It was delicious, far beyond my expectation! The Bee Hoon (rice noodle) topped with minced braised pork was savory and presented in a slightly dry, non-soggy and chewy (Taiwanese called it “Q Q”) texture – the way I like it cooked! The meatballs didn’t disappoint either and the portion was rather generous in size for the price paid (NT 80).
Inefficient Check-in at Taoyuan Airport
After dinner, I stood in the queue for 40 minutes till 7pm (boarding gate closed at 7.25pm) just to check in my luggage. I do not know if it was a one-off case or check-in procedures in Taoyuan Airport was generally inefficient? Maybe some experienced travelers can share more info?
Thereafter, the clearing of immigration also took some time (got to queue too!), not forgetting the extremely long walk to A1 gate. As such, there was no time for me to shop at all. I’m wondering how this would affect retail businesses within the airport. There were soooooo many shops waiting to be explored. Sigh! Another time…next trip, maybe.
Don’t choose the Last Row on an Airplane!
I was allocated a seat on the last row. It was hot (32 degree Celsius) with non-stop noise and light from toilets. And not forgetting the smell. Woah! Never get a last-row seat!
That’s all to my Taipei 8-day trip. Thanks for reading. =) I would likely wrap this up with a budget summary table. Stay tuned!
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- Day 1 (pt 1): Taoyuan Airport, Taipei Main Station, 228 Peace Memorial Park
- Day 1 (pt 2): Get EasyCard, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Q Square Mall
- Day 2 (pt 1): Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
- Day 2 (pt 2): Golden Water Fall, Jiufen, Ximending
- Day 3 (pt 1): Maokong
- Day 3 (pt 2): Taipei Zoo and Shenkeng Old Street
- Day 4 (pt 1): North Coast Tour (Shimen Wedding Plaza, Shimen Arch, Jinshan Old Street)
- Day 4 (pt 2): North Coast Tour (Yehliu Geopark, Keelung & Miaokou Night Market)
- Day 5: Wufenpu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 6: Songshan Cultural Park, Xiangshan, Tonghua, Raohe Night Market
- Day 7: Taipei City Hall Shopping District, Wufen Pu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 8: Easiest Way to get from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport