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A guide to visiting attractions in central Taiwan via near-free bus services

So many buses and so many attractions: best to read the comprehensive guide before setting out

(Taichung City Government photo)

(Taichung City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taichung City rolled out the near-free bus services on Lunar New Year’s Day, the ball is now in visitors’ court—they have to decide whether to take advantage of “the most favorable bus fare policy in the country," which is free for the first 10 kilometers (km) and after that charges a maximum of just NT$10 (33 cents).

But after visitors affirm they will indeed get on the bus, they need to know what attractions to seek and what routes will deliver them. For these matters, a Taichung Travel Net article published in January has them covered.

The article cites Taichung Transportation Bureau director-general Yeh Chao-fu (葉昭甫) to make known that Shin Sei Green Waterway (柳川水岸廊道), near Taichung Station, exudes different vibes in both day and night, and that its lanterns resembling phosphorescent jellyfish make for spectacular photos. From here, Yeh adds, visitors can take Bus 21 to Dakeng No. 9 Trail for a hike in the countryside; take Bus 11 to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Calligraphy Greenway, National Museum of Natural Science, and Yizhong Street Night Market; or take Bus 300 – 310 on Taiwan Boulevard to Tunghai University for a walk on campus and snacks at the Tunghai Night Market.

For people who would like to have a hot spring bath in Guguan, take Bus 850 from Taichung Station or Bus 153 from High Speed Rail Taichung Station, Yeh says. The bus ticket for a round trip used to cost NT$120, but now it is only NT$20. With this kind of money saved, visitors can get a cup of coffee.

If travelers would like to visit Liashan District, take a bus to Guguan and then transfer to Bus 865. The fare for such a round trip used to be NT$240, but now it only costs NT$40. With this kind of money saved, the whole family can begin to think about staying at a Lishan area hotel for an easygoing, high-mountain experience.

For a trip to the coastal area, take Bus 9, 93, 97, 304, or 305 to Qingshui for rice cake; Bus 238, 239, 306, or 308 for a walk along Wu Chi Old Street; Bus 111, 178, 179, 309, 655 or 688 to Gaomei Wetland for the sunset; or Bus 308 or 310 for shopping at the Mitsui Outlet Park at Taichung Harbor.

In addition, visitors can take Bus 155, 215, or 811 to Lihpao Resort; Bus 243 to visit the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden; or Bus 50 to visit the 921 Earthquake Education Park and Guangfu Village.

People are advised to download the Taichung Bus (台中公車) app, visit the Taichung Bus Information System website, or call 1999 or Transportation Bureau at 04-22291716 for up-to-date information related to bus services.