Xiamen to Taichung ferry and train to Taipei advice

We travelled overnight in November 2016 from Xiamen, China to Taichung, Taiwan, this is how we managed logistics and is being posted to help anyone else planning on doing the same. 

We booked our tickets through Amoy travel, all online and very quick to respond. All that was required was to pick tickets up from the ferry port before 4.30. Fine, but there was no indication of opening time of the stand, it is 2pm.

As with most things we have done in China there are groups of Chinese tourists but few, if any, non Chinese. Just 2 Danish guys were on the ferry as well as us.  

The ferry is very basic! One restaurant, no bar and very little duty free (and not cheap) so take your own food and drinks, albeit the restaurant is o.k. We had fried rice, seaweed soup for 25 yuan. There were signs for karaoke booths and sauna but neither were open. So we ate and went back to bunks for lights out at 10.20 pm. They were back on at 5.50 am along with music soon after. 

We did get a key for our room from reception, deposited 100 yuan, but it was hardly worth it for the amount of time you are out of the bunks. There are the outside decks to wander round but it was so windy and wet that these were closed off after a while on our trip. There was a ‘lounge’ with 8 chairs in the corridor. 

On leaving the ferry at Taichung through immigration we had help from a guy who worked at the port, there were no ATM’s and he was able to change some currency for us (rate was o.k.- 450 NT$ for 100 yuan, should have been 465) 

He then helped us get the green bus no. 308 at 9.20am from the right hand side of exit from harbour building, cost NT$ 66 each. Bus had English announcements and signs at most stops,  the driver was very friendly and helpful the train station is the last stop. The journey took 1hr 15 mins. A taxi was quoted as TW$800.

We then caught the train to Taipei, so as Taichung station is currently being rebuilt (next door) we followed people walking through the old building to the new, bought tickets with UK credit card and waited for our train. The slow train takes 3 hours and cost TW$140 each. 

The biggest frustration in Taipei on arrival was finding an ATM, we did find one in a 7/ 11 outside Taipei Main Train Station.