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All aboard to experience Taiwan’s fascinating ‘cruise-style’ train journeys

December 5, 2019 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Taiwan’s bespoke ‘cruise-style’ rail experience continues to grow steadily as tourists of all ages embrace the relaxed slow travel lifestyle. Taiwan is a relatively unexplored treasure offering breathtaking scenery, fascinating history and exotic cultures and the popularity of the land-cruise excursions provide “off the beaten track” destinations, giving a unique and rewarding holistic view into Taiwan life for travellers from overseas.

Each dedicated cruise-liner train has six cars and the maximum 280 passengers are able to hop on and hop off to explore at their leisure. There is one travel guide per car available at all times and at the spots passengers wish to visit, a guide is posted at various points for any assistance required.

It’s been said that slow travel is less about the amount of time you spend and more about the mentality you have while traveling. It’s about prioritizing experiences over sightseeing in order to connect with the people and culture of the country you’re visiting. When you take away the pressure to see everything, travel becomes less stressful and more meaningful.

The latest cruise-train package options are season specific and embrace regional tourism highlights and local festivals. An example is the famed daylily-bloom season on the mountain slopes around Taimali, a Paiwan tribal village where the steep cliffsides give way to farm-decorated sloping mountainsides.

The most sought-after trips for the cruise-style trains are the Summer Formosa Steam Locomotive Trips that take place only take place three times a year around June/ July. The coal-fired steam locomotive is operated by a team of six conductors who have been trained by retired professionals and recruited by the Taiwan Railways Administrations (TRA) to pass down their expertise. From coal-digging to furnace-controlling, the passengers are given a chance to relive the days of the “choo choo” trains.

Other tour options include two outings during the Autumn months to explore the island’s east and west sides. Although the two are in close proximity, the sights, experiences and memories are worlds apart. The panorama alongside the coast is striking before the journey takes a turn inward for the cross-mountain run. The many tunnels mean this region’s sparsely populated low mountains are conquered quickly.

TaiwanHolidays.com.au can offer 4 major types of products for travellers on Taiwan rail, ranging from the most economical, a 3-day Taiwan Rail Pass at A$170 per person to the Deluxe Round Taiwan Tour by Rail, 13 Days at A$4500 per person.

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