local tips of transport in /Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Overview of the transportation system in the city center of Kaohsiung, tips for traveling outside the city center with the most economical way… 

Travel from the airport

I would say Kaohsiung Airport is the most convenient airport in Taiwan because it is directly connected to the subway and takes 30 minutes to the city center, where a few tourist attractions located. After you pass the customs, walk straight to the left-hand side. Take the elevator down and you will reach the subway station. 


iPass is a top-up card which used for taking any public transportation and doing a bit grocery shopping in convenience stores like 7-11. There are a few choices of top cards in Taiwan but I would recommend iPass the most

Benefits of iPass

  1. iPass could be used in all cities of Taiwan, while other top cards have limited regions of application
  2. you may enjoy the benefits of taking public transportation with iPass. Like Kaohsiung city, it is free to take buses with the unlimited ride after you are taking your third bus journey. (applicable to bus service in the city center) In Taichung city, you could take the bus for free for 10km a day.
  3. low set-up cost, NT100 for a card only
  4. wide range of designs for iPass. They made different designs for iPass regularly. You might get a pattern one or one with animation. (I was having one with Stitch and now with Minions) more at https://www.i-pass.com.tw/en
  5. convenient without bringing coins. It is too awful to bring coins around

Tips for you using the iPass

  1. top up amount varied from NT100-NT1000
  2. you could top up in any metro station or convenience stores around
  3. you have to tap your card twice when you get on the bus and get off the bus for most of the bus journey.
  4. unfortunately, there is no student offer for tourists using iPass

subway in the city center

As seen in the map, the subway system in Kaohsiung is not complicated at all. You shouldn’t have any problems of taking subway here because they have both Chinese, Taiwanese, English and even Japanese in-train announcements

inner-city bus service

Taking bus is another way of traveling in the city because it’s quite hot in summer. Taking bus is more economical than metro (NT12 on average), which bus fare is calculated according to the kilometer traveled. You should, therefore, tape your card for twice. However, the frequency of bus service is not much, usually 20-30 minutes interval. You could check the on-time bus information in the station. 

inter-city bus service

If you decided to travel outside the city center, like Qishan and Meinong, you could take the bus from either Kaohsiung main train station or express train station. They have English announcement for each station but you might double confirm the route number from the kbus.com.tw. However, you should be aware of whether the bus provides express service or not. Normally, if it takes 40 minutes for express service, it would take 1.5 hours for normal bus service
bus station near the train station

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