Road ~Taiwan Express~

Road ~Taiwan Express~ (路~台湾エキスプレス~/路~台灣EXPRESS~) is a drama produced with collaboration with two countries’ public broadcaster – Japan’s NHK and Taiwan’s PTS, themed around Taiwan’s High Speed Rail (HSR), and its accompanying love story between a Taiwanese and a Japanese. (A comprehensive information can be found at J Drama.)

This mini-drama, which lasts for 3 episodes, is broadcasted until the end of this month. Apart from watching the story regarding the birth of Taiwan’s HSR, its love and human drama that transcends national border, it also showed the awesome sceneries of Japan and Taiwan, especially the HSR.

The Taoyuan HSR station board. (2019/12/27)

Due to COVID-19, plans for Taiwan for this year had to be postponed. However, that doesn’t hinder the feelings and urge to travel to there! I have fond memories riding on the HSR to travel north-south in the island. Definitely comparable to that of Japan’s shinkansen bullet train.

Cannot wait for the last episode scheduled to be broadcasted this Saturday. Of course, I cannot wait to go to Taiwan again!


Long time no see!

How are you, my friend?

At my last day in Taipei, I took the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei to Chiayi to meet a secondary school classmate who I had not met since we graduated (let’s call this person TW). I knew TW only for 2 years when TW transferred from another school to mine during the Form 4 -Form 5 years.

I made a quick decision to meet TW when our schedules were OK for a chit chat session. Getting to Chiayi from Taipei wasn’t near using common transportation methods, so I opted to ride again the HSR, with my girlfriend, to Chiayi (yay!).

Getting to Chiayi

A gotcha while travelling to Chiayi via the HSR was you had to travel to the Chiayi railway station to reach the Chiayi railway station. TW had kindly enough to suggest me to take the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from the HSR Chiayi station to the Chiayi railway station.

However, one can also choose to take a taxi (priced approximately TWD100) to the said railway station as well. If you choose to take the BRT to Chiayi railway station, you can ride it for free by showing your HSR ticket to the driver. The BRT also accepts EasyCard too.

Meeting up

Our meetup was a simple one — chit chatting while enjoying the local delicacy and comfort food: turkey rice. This was one of the highlights in Netflix’s Street Food episode in Chiayi. However, since we had only one afternoon, I didn’t get the chance to explore the tourist attractions and taste other delicacies.

We talked about topics after our secondary school graduation — from advancing studies to knowing new partners, small talks to somewhat serious talks, knowing other friends’ conditions and promises to explore places inside and outside Taiwan.

Scoring gifts

Fortunately, my girlfriend and I managed to score some local gifts (square cookies, said to be unique to Chiayi!) to be brought back home, as well as tasted the TRA bento boxes (packed meal boxes) that we’ve longed to taste ever since our last trip to Kaohsiung.

I bought the pork cutlet bento while she bought the chicken bento.

Next time…

Taiwan HSR’s January 2020 edition of travel magazine featured Chiayi, where it briefly introduced Chiayi as one of the oldest cities founded in Taiwan. It also introduced some tourist attractions and delicacies where tourist can try. Despite its location, I found the surroundings blessed with modernization.

Getting to know a location always makes me excited as there are many things left undiscovered. I can’t wait to go to Chiayi again next time!

It’s nice to see you again, TW. Next time, delicacies are on me, and no more arguing on who’s paying again!