11 April 2016

Taichung Driver Recommendation | Taichung Taxi Driver

* this post was originally written in September 2013, and has been updated in April 2016 *


Disclaimer:

This disclaimer is added in February 2016 in response to correspondences/comments to add in Uber drivers and occasional slow response from listed drivers. 

I do not receive any form of compensation, commissions or discounts for promoting the services of these taxi drivers. 

The following taxi drivers are listed in this blog post only because my husband and I have personally taken their taxis before. We book them for at least 1 full day (8 to 12 hours) and would travel to the outskirts of Taichung or the neighboring Nantou to visit places like Sun Moon Lake, Puli, etc. 

During those trips, I have found their prices reasonable and their service courteous and their driving safe. As they have taken good care to drive us for hours during our past vacations, I do return to this blog post as reference when I need to book taxi for upcoming trips. 

Safety is of priority concern to me when travelling. The taxi drivers are from reputable taxi companies and are required to buy passenger insurance. Hence this explains my personal preference to engage registered taxi drivers than freelance drivers. 

I also do not confront the drivers for their occasional time lapses in replying. They have been nice to us during our travels. The drivers are often on the road for long hours, and can only check their phones or pick up our calls when they have safely stopped their vehicle to do so. And like any other human being, there may be times they have fallen sick, gone overseas for vacation, lost their phone, got poor internet connection at mountainous or seaside areas, etc... I try to be considerate to their waking/working/sleeping hours and usually give the drivers up to 2 days to reply my whatsapp. They usually reply me within a day.

Taichung Driver Recommendation

Mr Liu 劉錦鐘
Whatsapp +886 927 888 032
Email: liu0927888032@yahoo.com.tw
http://liusir-travel.blogspot.tw/
Quotation received in October 2015: TWD 7,000 for 2 days (12 hours each)

Mr Liu is the owner of a taxi charter company and we have engaged his services several times when in Taichung. His fleet of taxis has fetched many clients from Singapore and Malaysia. Whatsapp or call will be a faster way to get his reply 

As his quotation was the most economical, we engaged his services in our mid-October 2015 trip. Mr Chen 陈本元 (Whatsapp +886 911 773 711) was assigned to be our driver, and we traveled on the first day to the outskirts of Taichung city, and to Sun Moon Lake in Nantou and Puli on the second day. For our last stop on the second day, we requested to be dropped off at a night market which was situated a distance from the city center. Mr Chen was very nice to notice that the nearest public bus stop was quite a walk away and it may not be easy to hail a cab. He told us that we could contact Mr Liu who was living within that district to fetch us back if need be. We are very fortunate to have such considerate drivers.

Update on 11 April 2016: Received some queries on how to ask for a quotation. The following is the whatsapp discussion between Mr Liu 劉錦鐘 and my husband (also Mr 劉). As you can see, my husband literally copy and paste from our itinerary (which I planned in MS word) into the whatsapp message. Most of the words are in English, but not an issue for Mr Liu as he will translate it into Mandarin in the order chit, so that the assigned driver would not be confused. There are 2 order chits - TWD 3,800 for 1 day (our initial plan) and TWD 7,000 for 2 days as we decided to go to Sun Moon Lake after all (note: this 2-day price is after negotiation)

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Mr Xie 謝志明 
Whatsapp +886 937 216180
Email: x21115650@yahoo.com.tw
Quotation received in October 2015: TWD 4,500 for 1 day (12 hours)

I like that Mr Xie is very fast in his communication. After emailing him my planned itinerary at 12.25am on 9 October 2015, I didn't expected him to reply me so quickly at 12.47am! I hope he wasn't sleeping when he received my email. Over the next few days, he followed up with me via whatsapp and email. I also like that Mr Xie did his own research as he wasn't sure how to get to Mitaka e cafe initially. However as his fees are much costlier at TWD 4,500 for 1 day) and he was reluctant to reduce the price, we decided to go with Mr Liu and Mr Chen this time round.

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Taking Taxi in Taichung

As there are no MRT subway transportation within Taichung, the most convenient mode of transport is taxi for many tourists. 

If you have planned a full day's itinerary and have some destinations in Taichung outskirts (e.g. Xinshe, 921 Earthquake Museum) or Nantou (e.g. Sun Moon Lake, Puli, Jiji, Checheng), we would suggest that you engage a taxi driver - this would mean less time spent on waiting for buses, no need to figure whether got on the correct bus service and which bus stop to board and alight! And of course, you can re-energize by catching a few snooze in the air-conditioned cab... ha!

Well, if you don't mind occasionally getting lost in Taichung, hop on to a public bus. Public bus transportation within Taichung is free of charge when your travel distance is less than 10 kilometers. (You would still need to tap the EasyCard 悠遊卡, a.k.a. Taiwan's version of our Singapore EZ-link card). We heard that some elderly folks would calculate their travel distance, hop off and hop onto the next bus to continue their trip in order to save the fare for longer journeys. We manage to take a number of the local buses, but it would have been more fuss-free and less time-consuming to just take a cab. We also had much difficulty looking up the bus maps pinned at the bus stops - they were written in Traditional Chinese characters and sometimes shows confusing arrows pointing in both directions.

Do note that not all taxi drivers speak or read English. There was a funny incident where I messaged the driver in English and he replied in Traditional Chinese characters (I am educated in Simplified Chinese characters). And for the drivers who does speak English, their language skills are not native. My Mandarin speaking skills are not perfect, but I have managed to hold pretty good conversations with them :)

I understand from my previous taxi drivers that they need to buy passenger insurance. As safety is of prime concern to me during travelling, this is also the reason why I would book the services of a registered taxi driver, as compared to engaging freelance drivers. Safety first!

Visiting Xinshe or Shinshe 新社

For those going to Xinshe/Shinshe 台中市新社區 - you may want to consider booking a cab or the local shuttle bus to get around within. Do note that pre-booking is required for this shuttle bus. And despite having an English website, my experience with them is... they can only speak Mandarin.

To get from Taichung to Xinshe, it's about an hour's public bus ride.

Taipei Driver Recommendation

For Taipei taxi driver recommendations as well as Taipei taxi fare, visit http://wendyboey.blogspot.sg/2013/09/taipei-taxi-driver-recommendation.html