Getting from Taipei-Taoyuan TPE after-hours

Taipei-Taoyuan on a rainy day
Taipei has a great transit system. The MRT can quickly whisk you to the Main Station, but if you arrive on a late-night flight or leave early it presents a challenge since the last train to Taipei leaves the airport at 10:58pm.

Enter the 1819 bus by Kuo-Kuang.

We touched down at Terminal 2 a little before midnight and cleared customs quicker than expected for the late hour. I grabbed some cash at the ATM and followed the English and Mandarin signs for “Bus to City.” It’s a short walk to the row of ticket counters and found the one for Kuo-Kuang. The woman at the counter spoke enough English to sell us the tickets and tell us the bus was leaving ‘right now.’ We hustled outside to bus bay 2 to catch the waiting bus.
"Bus to City" signage

Tickets are NT$140 for one-way or NT$260 only. Make sure to hold onto the correct ticket for the trip back to the airport. You can also pay on board with EasyCard, but you only get the round-trip discount when paying cash.

I think the bus does a bulk of its business overnight because it was pretty full. Over the years, Kuo-Kuang has continually increased the frequency of buses. They currently depart every 10-20 minutes until 2:30am. There isn’t any traffic overnight, so it took less than the scheduled 55 minutes to get us to the Main Station (although slower than the MRT would have been at 36 minutes).

From there it was a quick and inexpensive Uber ride to our hotel in Ximending.

Going back to the airport took a bit longer. We discovered the bus driver from the airport dropped us off in a more convenient location, but it wasn’t an indicator of where to get the bus back.

Pro tip: set your Uber marker on Shimin Blvd just west of Exit M2 to get off exactly at the Kuo-Kuang Terminal.

Bus 1819 at Bus Bay 2
The buses to TPE run every 25-30 minutes overnight then pick up in frequency to every 15 minutes after 4:50am. Since we had an 8am flight, we opted to take the 4:25am bus to be safe and give us time to get breakfast at the lounge.

The bus was going to leave early, but kept stopping to pick people running to get on so we ended up leaving a bit late. We still got to the airport early since there wasn’t any traffic. The bus went to Terminal 1 first then Terminal 2 where we got off and waited for the Hong Kong Airlines counter to open.

At less than US $5 per person, it was much cheaper for the two of us than taking a taxi, Uber or hotel transportation. However, if you have a group of four or more, you may find it more convenient and economical to use a private service.
Getting from Taipei-Taoyuan TPE after-hours Getting from Taipei-Taoyuan TPE after-hours Reviewed by Brandon on March 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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