Monday, August 15, 2011

TR-Pass, A Dirt-Poor Student's Savior in Taiwan

I forgot (to be exact) how many times I've been using TR-Pass in a habitual manner, this past few years. Too many times, I supposed XD~~~. Yes, this insanely cheap train ticket "destined" for students under age of 30 in Taiwan has always been my savior. Imagine you must continuously traveling in between cities, -not for leisure activities-, during a specific period of time. Well, it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg, though. But still, it's a pocket drainer. Hence, TR-Pass is such a win win solution for a dirt-poor student who doesn't mind spending hours of hours of their time in a local train, just like me :D. 

As I've ever posted before, Taiwan offers a tantalizing traveling options for students. The what so-called Youth Travel Card can always be a hocuspocus warrant to save your money. However, before can be categorized as an eligible TR-Pass buyer, you must register yourself at the "Information Visitor Center" (IVC) which can be spotted at some major train stations in Taiwan. After filling a form at IVC, you'll get a YTC (in a form of a key chain). Show your YTC, passport and student ID card to the ticket officer (in every train station here) and you'll be able to buy international students edition of TR-Pass (*shown on the image below, first row/above). Too lazy to bring passport and YTC ? Then, just buy a local students edition of TR-Pass (*shown on the image below, second row/below) by merely revealing your student ID card. Don't forget to tell the officer about which type of TR-Pass you want to buy; the 5-day, the 7-day, or the 10-day tickets. They cost NT$599, NT$799, and NT$1099, respectively. Trust me, the price is EXTREMELY CHEAP and REASONABLE. Okay, let me make an avouch comparison. A local train ticket price from Chiayi to Taipei is NT$390-something, thus, return ticket price will be nearly NT$800. Bus ticket is approx. NT$100 cheaper, but I hate to travel by bus. So,'s a personal preference. I usually go in between cities from Chiayi to Zhong Li and then Taipei, sometimes to Hualien and then head back to Taichung or directly to Chiayi, or sometimes to Tainan or Kaohsiung. Just count how much money I must spend if I don't buy TR-Pass @_@~~~. Counting money always makes me dizzy =)).

All in all, with your personally selected TR-Pass, you can travel all around Taiwan by three types of designated trains (*local train, local express train, and chu kuang train [see here for "trains in Taiwan"]) for unlimited times during the validity period of time (5, 7 or 10 days) of your TR-Pass. You can choose direct route by get on until get off on the same train or manipulate your route by changing trains. The second one is undeniably a lot more challenging and less boring. I usually choose this mode :D. So, for example, I want to go to Taipei. I'll get on from Chiayi train station and get off at Taichung train station, continue my journey to Miaoli, then Zhong Li and finally get off in Taipei. Fun isn't it^^? Ergo, have an earthy way of traveling in Taiwan ^^!


Eric said...

May I know whether can i apply it using only YTC obtained from Taiwan and my Local student card? I am from Malaysia. Or I need to apply the IYTC(International Youth Travel Card ) or ISIC(International student identical card)? Thanks.

Eric said...

Can i apply it using only my Local student Card(Malaysia), or i need to get IYTC(International Youth Travel Card ) or ISIC(International student identical card) for the TR-Pass (Student)? Thanks.

bung2 said...

Hello, Eric :). Sorry for the late reply. The answer is "it depends". Honestly, I don't have ISIC nor IYTC when I was studying there. Applying those two cards doesn't make any difference. So, you can just apply for the YTC card using your passport. That will do. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to leave another comments here.

Eric said...

Thanks for your previous information. Sorry, I just notice your reply. Also, May I know cab TR-Pass used to ride on 自強 train? which is faster.

bung2 said...

No probs, Eric :).

Good question. The answer is "no". You can't use TR-Pass to ride 自強 train. TR-Pass can be used on 區間車/慢慢车 (the cheapest/slowest train called "local train"), local express train (區間快車 which is slightly faster than "local train"), and 莒光 ("Chu-kuang express; faster than local/local express train).