Friday, November 14, 2014

Taiwan Trip 2014 - Day 4 - Making my way from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station and to Shifen Station by Train

PLEASE DO NOT REPOST MY PHOTOS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. AS THIS IS A POPULAR POST, MANY BLOGGERS HAVE BEEN STEALING MY PHOTOS AND CORP OFF MY BLOG TITLE TO MAKE THE PHOTOS AS IF IT BELONGS TO THEM. THEY HAD SINCE REMOVED AND APOLOGISED AFTER I EMAILED THEM. IF THEY DO NOT REMOVED OR CONTINUED WITH THEIR DISGUSTING STEALING, I WILL NOT HESITATE TO POST THEIR BLOG PROFILE TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITY.

PHOTOS AND INFORMATION ARE POSTED HERE FOR THE REASON TO SHARE WITH FELLOW TRAVELLERS AND I SPEND A LOT OF TIME TAKING PHOTOS AND RESEARCHING ALL THE INFORMATION, SO PLEASE RESPECT MY WORK AND NOT STEAL MY WORKS.

This is the second time I am taking the train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station. You can view more information and photos from my previous trip.

Information on How to go to Ruifang Station from Taipei Main Station, please visit this article from my 2011 Taipei trip.

For this 2014 Taiwan Trip, I found out that it was not necessary to visit the big TRA ticketing office on the ground floor of Tapei Main Station to purchase TRA train tickets to Ruifang Station(which was what I did in my 2011 Taiwan Trip), as I spotted a TRA Ticketing Office in the basement near the MRT Ticketing office in the Taipei MRT Station. Noted the Blue lettering TRA TICKETING above the counter staff.

The Train time table - is a little hard to understand. As I had travelled by train to Ruifang Station before, I just asked the cashier for the next Tzechiang's train to Ruifang Station (Not to worry about communication problem, some of the staff can speak English). I did not want to take the Kuo Kuang's Train to Ruifang Station cause Kuo Kuang's Train allowed standing passengers and it would be crowded and noisy and difficult to listen to the announcement of the stations. Tze chiang's train does not allowed any standing and it was much faster, takes about 30 mintues from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang compared to Kuo Kuang Train that took one hour to reach. The cost of one adult ticket by Tzechiang's train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station is NT74.

Make your way to the platform, if uncertain which platform, can always check with the train's staff. I forgot the Platform number which we went. Do not just board any train, look at the sign above for the train number and there's a small window on the train itself that states the train number. It was really very easy and exciting to take the train. Not to worry, most of the information on the screen and announcement are in Mandarin and English.

I hardly warm my seat when we already reach Ruifang Station in 30 minutes. We quickly made our way to the exit when we heard the annoucement "RUIFANG", is best to get ready to alight cause at the station there would be passengers going up the train, you dont want to be caught in the jam and not able to alight.

Once we alight at Ruifang Station, we made our way down some stairs and cross over to Platform Three to board PINGXI train to Shifen, our intended destination.

There will be huge sign and arrows point to Platform 3. Remember to keep the train ticket of your Taipei to Ruifang Station cause you need to produce when you are exiting Ruifang Station but as we were not exiting yet, we hang on to the tickets.

On Platform Three we bought the PINGXI Train Ticket to Shifen at NT64 for one day pass. The ticket allowed us to hop on and off the train to any of the stations along the PINGXI line. We decided to go Shifen only cause it was raining and very cold. Shifen is always having raining days so do bring umbrella, raincoat or waterproof windbreaker with hood.

Whether we visited one station or all the stations, the ticket price remains same. There was no seat number on the ticket cause it was free seating in the train. Shifen is the fourth station excluding Ruifang Station and the journey is about 30minutes.

Do not just board any train, look at the screen which indicate Pingxi Line, if in doubt check with train staff or fellow travellers, most tourists taking the pingxi line to Shifen.

Do hold on your pingxi line train's ticket till end of your journey, there's a warden checking the tickets.

On reaching Shifen Station, we need to cross over the train track to the village, the train moved very slow so dont worry but still need to be careful.

More information about the TRA Train Time-Table, please view its official website.

An example of the search From Taipei Main Station to Shifen, the search showed you need to transfer at Ruifang Station.

The timetable might looked complicating to some but the information I provided above is really informative to help you reach Shifen from Taipei Main Station.

Video of TRA Train approaching Platform in Taipei Main Station.

Video of Pingxi Line Train approaching Ruifang Station

Note the train driver is passing a token to the train staff at the platform. In railway signalling, a token is a physical object which a locomotive driver is required to have or see before entering onto a particular section of single track. The token is clearly endorsed with the name of the section it belongs to. A token system is used for single lines because of the very much greater risk of serious collision in the event of irregular working by signalmen or traincrews, than on double lines.(Source: Wikipedia

21 comments:

Nathania Lee said...

Hi! such a detail information about Ruifang - Shifen (Jingtong line). This helps me to understand further about TRA train.

- May i know actually how many trains going to Ruifang? i saw you mentioned Kuo-Kuang , TzeChuang and Tzechuang is faster, more expensive, but more convenient ?

- So, if Tzechuang, can i purchase the ticket on the spot? or purchase few days before?
I plan to go to Ruifang on Monday morning around 7 to 7.30AM :)

- How frequent is the train coming from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang ? At least no need to wait hourly like Ruifang to Jingtong line, isnt it?

- Does Jingtong line platform is easy to find in Ruifang station?

- I saw you purchase one-day ticket to Jingtong line (Shifen) , is it possible if i use EASYCARD only? because my destination in Jingtong line is only going to SHIFEN >.<

Hope to hear from you soon!
Thanks :)

Regards,
Lee

alicesg said...

Hi Lee,

There's many train to Ruifang Station, train frequency is quite fast, definitely is less than an hour, depending on the peak period, think some are less than 30 minutes. No need to buy in advance, can buy on the spot, unless is the public holiday like Chinese New Year or Taiwan popular public holiday. I guess you are going during the Chinese New Year Period, so I think you might have a problem getting tickets on the spot, so best buy in advance. It will be very crowded especially going to Shifen or Jingtong during Chinese New Year.

Cheers
ALice

alicesg said...

Alternatively, you can take the bus to Ruifang Station if you cannot get train tickets. From outside the Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興) MRT Station (Blue Line 5, Brown Line 1 Interchange), take the bus bound for Jiufen / Jinguashi, and alight at Ruifang. The bus journey could take more than 1 hour.

Please expect huge crowd during Chinese New Year period.

Nathania Lee said...

Hi, actually i plan to go from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station on Monday, 3rd of April 2017 early in the morning around 7 to 7.30AM if possible. I found your blog is really detailed-oriented, therefore i really thanks for your quick response towards my comment >.<

- If i go on Monday, 3rd April 2017 early in the morning, do you think the train will be packed? Should i purchase the ticket in advance or just buy "a day or a week before" at Taipei Main Station?

- Also, i noticed that if i take Tze Chuang train, i might end up arrive to SHIFEN maybe around 9AM, does the store there open already?

--- Do you know is there a lot of bus passing by JIUFEN to go back to RUIFANG STATION around 7PM? Actually is the BUS STOP (JIUFEN-RUIFANG) located in the same location with the coming direction from Ruifang (Ruifang-Jiufen) or LOCATED AT THE OPPOSITE of the coming direction (Ruifang-Jiufen) bus stop?

Hope you reply my random questions.
Have a great Tuesday!

Regards,
Lee

Nathania Lee said...

Hi, actually i plan to go from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station on Monday, 3rd of April 2017 early in the morning around 7 to 7.30AM if possible. I found your blog is really detailed-oriented, therefore i really thanks for your quick response towards my comment >.<

- If i go on Monday, 3rd April 2017 early in the morning, do you think the train will be packed? Should i purchase the ticket in advance or just buy "a day or a week before" at Taipei Main Station?

- Also, i noticed that if i take Tze Chuang train, i might end up arrive to SHIFEN maybe around 9AM, does the store there open already?

--- Do you know is there a lot of bus passing by JIUFEN to go back to RUIFANG STATION around 7PM? Actually is the BUS STOP (JIUFEN-RUIFANG) located in the same location with the coming direction from Ruifang (Ruifang-Jiufen) or LOCATED AT THE OPPOSITE of the coming direction (Ruifang-Jiufen) bus stop?

Hope you reply my random questions.
Have a great Tuesday!

Regards,
Lee

alicesg said...
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alicesg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alicesg said...

I am not sure about the opening hours of Shifen Stores, think most open around 11 am, but maybe some will open earlier. And I am not sure if there's a lot of buses going from Jiufen back to Ruifang. But's there's a lot of taxi there, wont cost much from Jiufen back to Ruifang (maybe less than NT200). But dont worry, the buses are very frequent, so no problem as long as it is not around midnight. You can actually take the bus from Jiufen all the way back to Taipei Main Station but will be long journey.

alicesg said...

Regarding the bus-stop from Jiufen back to Ruifang is the opposite direction (bus stop diagonally opposite 7-11).

alicesg said...

For pictures of the bus stop from Jiufen back to ruifang, see my post.

http://alicetravelstory.blogspot.sg/2014/11/taiwan-trip-day-4-jiufen.html

alicesg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alicesg said...


Jingtong Mining Industry Life Pavilion


Open on Tuesday to Sunday: 9:30 - 17:00.

Close on Monday and National Holidays

Source:

https://tourbooks.cc/en/details/55bec6a586c747a3770e2ad3/jingtong-mining-industry-life-pavilion

Same for Shifen Mining Museum and Jinguashi gold museum closed on Monday too.

The places in Shifen, Jingtong and Jinguashi are opened everyday except for their mining museums which closed on monday.

alicesg said...

Hi Lee, Avoid weekend and public holiday. Monday might not be a good day to go shifen and Jingtong as the museum will be closed on Monday. As long as is not weekend or public holiday, you can buy train tickets on the spot. Good Luck and hope you enjoy your trip.

alicesg said...

If you google for Taiwan Public Holidays in April 2017, seems all give wrong dates for tomb sweeping day, some put April 3,4 or 5th but dont think it will affect the crowd in train unlike Chinese New Year, cause most have cars to bring them to the cemetery. So if you decide to go on Monday, dont think will be a crowd and can buy train tickets on the spot but only you wont get to visit some of the mining museum that closed on Monday in the Jingtong , shifen or Jinguashi. But if you want 100% to be able to travel on your own timing, you can always buy one day ahead.

Nathania Lee said...

Hi Alice, thanks so much for your quick and kind responses.

Okay, i just noticed that 3rd and 4th April is Taiwan public holiday, but i could not switch to another date T.T Thank you so much for your research! i will book Tzechuang train ticket one week before then :)

- Do you think this is do-able if i only plan to go from Ruifang-Shifen-Ruifang-Nanya Rock Formations-Jinguashi-Jiufen-Ruifang for Monday,3rd April?

I mainly will use bus 856 from Ruifang to Nanya to Jinguashi to Jiufen :)

- Btw, do you remember whether it needs entrance ticket fee or not? as far as i know, we do not need to pay anything to visit Shifen - Nanya Rocks - Jinguashi - Jiufen right? unless for the train ticket and bus fare to those places...?

- When i reached Ruifang, can i use EASYCARD to go for jingtong line(Shifen) or should i purchase the ticket at the counter? mostly people bought at the counter for one-day pass in Jingtong line, but my plan is only going to Shifen, therefore i planned to use EASYCARD (if available there) or can we buy 2-way train ticket (Ruifang-Shifen , Shifen-Ruifang) straightaway at the Ruifang ticket counter? or should i purchase separately like when in Ruifang station, then only buy Ruifang-Shifen ticket? and when in Shifen station, i purchase Shifen-Ruifang ticket?

- Also, is it okay if i visit Yangmingshan-Beitou-Damshui on Sunday 2nd April? will it normally be crowded as well?

Looking forward to hear form you soon! Thanks ya , sorry always bombarded you with lots of questions.

alicesg said...

Hi Lee, I guess you must be very young, so dont think you have problem going to so many places with all the young energy. My hubby and myself are in our fifites so we go slow, we only visited two places in the day, back to hotel to rest and at night we visited the night market at night. We visited Taiwan few times, so each time, we try to visit different places.

If you are referring to Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公园, there is an admission fee of NT80 , not sure about Nanya Rocks (I guess is free),Shifen, Jintong, Jiufen, Jinguashi are all free, you only need pay admission fee for the museum, you can google for the museum fees.)

I am not sure about the Easycard, we paid in cash. You can buy the 1 day pass for the ruifang shifen, Jintong, etc, is for two way train and stop any train stop along that line.

For Beitou and Damshui route, best to go sat or sun, most shops will open and there will be weekend performance, it will be crowded but not scary. No need buy train tickets in advance, the train is like our MRT train buy on the spot or use the Taiwan MRT easycard.

As for Yangmingshan, I have no idea, the last time I visited was many decades ago during my honeymoon hahaha.

No problem, just ask me any questions, I will try to help answer.

Do look at my other travel stories too. :)







Nathania Lee said...

Hi Alice! Thank you so much for your time replying my email.

I'm actually in the 20s but i will come with my mom whose age is around 50y.o. hehehe , so i hope i can cover those places :).
Btw, i've just noticed you landed in Taoyuan Airport terminal 2 last time. Actually i take airasia and will land in Terminal 1 and i stay nearby ximen MRT station.

Do you know is there any bus going directly from T1 Taoyuan Airport to Ximen MRT or ximending?
Or should i take bus to Taipei Main Station, then continue to Ximen MRT?

Thanks for your info about Beitou! I will visit those places start from Yangmingshan-Beitou-Damshui later, and if possible maybe National Palace Museum before heading to Yangmingshan hehehe.

Hope you have a great day!
And Chinese New Year in a day ahead :)

Regards,
Lee

alicesg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alicesg said...

Hi Lee,
Nice to be young, do travel at your mom's pace too. Good to cover more places but safety and health is more important. Dont tired yourself and be sick and could not enjoy your travel. Do take up travel insurance and register with your ministry of foreign affairs to inform them about your whereabouts. I guess you must be from Malaysia since you are taking Airasia. In Singapore, we were encourage to register with our MFA before travel for safety purposes.

There's few option for you to go Ximending.

Option 1 - There's use to be a direct bus from airport to Ximending but not sure if the service is still available. Easy to spot the bus station at Taipei Airport Terminal 1, look for the sign for "BUS TO CITY". I think the bus terminal is at the basement.

Option 2 - If Option 1 is not available , take the kuo kuang bus or free go bus from airport all the way to Taipei Main Station and transfer to MRT , only one station away to Ximen MRT Station. Do note the bus terminal is not same building as the MRT Station, u need walk across to next building. (Also note there's some renovation at the bus terminal now but buses still stop same places but maybe in open area). Alternatively, you can take taxi from the bus terminal to Ximending, dont think it cost much, I remember is about NT90 only without traffic jam instead of dragging your bags from one building to another building.

Option 3 might be best if you are lucky. There's a new MRT route from Taipei Airport 1 and 2 all the way from airport to Taipei Main Station (yes MRT not High Speed Rail), it will open around CNY if no delay, so if you are travelling in APril, I hope you can take the MRT if is is fully operational.

And upon reaching Taipei Main Station change to go to Ximen Station. Do seek help from their customer service officer in airport if you are in doubt.

Good Luck and enjoy.

alicesg said...

Do read the news for more information. Check if the MRT goes all the way from airport to Taipei Main Station even when it is fully operational.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2017/01/26/2003663817

Nathania Lee said...

Hi Alice!

Thanks so much for your detailed information. I will prioritize me and my mother stamina :)
Happy Chinese New Year ya! gong xi ni :D
Enjoy your day!

Regards,
Lee