Thursday, February 10, 2011

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Taipei Main Station, Taiwan

2/10/2011 Taiwan Explorer

The Taipei Main Station 台北車站 in northern Zhongzheng District is the biggest station in the city and located in one of its busiest parts. The current building, dating back to 1989, houses Taipei's main railway station, main subway station and the main high-speed railway station. In the upcoming years, a high-speed train connection with the Taoyuan International Airport will be established. There are also plans for two supertall skyscrapers to be built next to the station in few years named Gate of Taipei in order to revitalize this area, that's been to long in decay. A new central bus station is located nearby, built in 2009. Basically, you will not be able to avoid this station, if you come to Taipei, almost every road or rail in Taipei passes through here.

Brief history of Taipei Main Station

A proper railway station in this part of Taipei dates back to 1901, built during the Japanese occupation. It was replaced by a bigger one in 1941 and that one was in service until 1989, when the current one was built (all info source). In recent years the interior of the station was being renovated, a new shopping mall was added and a plenty of underground passages are touched up - it feels more pleasant.

The old Taipei Stations (Photo 1: Source, Photo 2: Source).

Taipei Main Station floor overview

• +1 FLOOR: Lots of restaurants, it's a big food court usually crowded at dinner time
• 0 FLOOR: The lobby with the train ticket booths, exhibitions and some smaller food stores, convenience stores
• -1 FLOOR: Entrance to MRT and normal train, lots of restaurants, cafes and malls, passages with exits
• -2 FLOOR: Platforms for the Red and blue line of the Taipei MRT

I think the most interesting part of the station is the underground area with the numerous cafes, restaurants, shops and even book stores. You can sit in a Starbucks on a rainy day and read or if you're in a walking mood, you can walk further to the nearby Q-Square Mall, which is connected with an underground passage. The Main Station area is a huge complex, you have plenty of spots to explore.

Let me show you all the main areas of this huge complex:

Taipei Main Station from the outside

The Shin Kong Life Tower right next to the station.

Lots of local buses stop here.

A roofed promenade is offering protection from the rain.

A girl browsing her phone in front of the station.

The southeastern corner.

The eastern side.

Taipei Main Station from the inside

The glassy roof above the lobby offers natural light.

This is clearly visible here.

A pastry shop.

The visible food court on the first floor.

A lot of times activities are held in the lobby.

The ticket area for the regular train.

Another view on the lobby.

Ticket vending machines.

A popular Japanese cheese cake shop.

This way leads down to the train platforms.

Taipei Main Station underground

• The MRT station

This is the main part inside the Taipei MRT, crossroads between the blue and red line.

This is usually much more crowded at 8am and 8pm. We are now at -2 Floor.

Going up the escalator to -1 Floor.

Passing by small cafes and shops.

• The underground mall

Going down the stairs to an old underground shopping mall.

This part doesn't look too appealing.

This is the newly added modern part, suitable for the younger generation.

The new passage full of restaurants and shops.

Taipei's youngsters love it here.

Something like a food court.

• High-speed train, regular train and the buses

This passage leads to high-speed train station and bus station.

Here is also a big parking garage.

You have lockers here to store your luggage.

Another view on the lockers.


Map and useful information


View Taiwan Map by Kafkaesque in a larger map

▷ RELATED INFORMATION

Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó Zǒngtǒngfǔ
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My useful tips: Transportation in Taipei

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