Are you planning to come to Tainan but don't know how?
Don't worry cos I didn't know either.
But now I do.
And you will know it too.
They said learn from experience is the best teacher.
So here we go, my experience would be your guide for your first step in Tainan.
A clueless girl with a backpack and 2 suitcases arrived in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for the first time. With no relatives and no internet I was trying to find a way to Tainan.
Arriving in Kaohsiung airport
Arrived at the airport, I had my money exchanged from Rupiah to NTD, the rate was about 300 NTD more expensive rather than in Indonesia. It was in Bank of Taiwan, you'll notice the purple color. Lots of people online recommend to exchange USD in Mega Bank. Mega Bank in the airport is located in the exit area, after custom area. From my experience, Bank of Taiwan gives me better rate (NTD2050 from 1million rupiah) than Mega Bank (NTD1920 from 1million rupiah). You should check and compare both rates to get the best one for you.
You can get city map and other brochures at the information centre located near by the MegaBank. Apparently they don't display the map and other brochures, but you can ask them.
Kaohsiung Airport MRT Station
After exchanged money and refilled my drinking bottle at the airport, I went to the MRT station to go to the train station. The MRT is located right under the airport. The ticket for MRT to the Kaohsiung station is about 35NTD, which you can purchase through the machine or the information centre.
From the MRT, just cross the street and you'll find the Train Station across the street, then you can go directly to the second level, and it's not hard for you to locate the ticket machine. If you want to go to Tainan, choose the "DouLiu train" machine. You'll be asked about : how many people, train type, ticket type, and lastly, your destination. Pay attention that you don't want to buy the DouLiu, you choose 'Tainan' with DouLiu train. The ticket price was NTD68.
Kaohsiung Main Train Station
Later, you go to the station number where your train will arrived. If you bring suitcases, don't be panic cos there is an elevator near every stairs.
Inside the train, you won't find any English signs and the operator speaks in Chinese. So what I did, I took picture of the ticket machine previously so I have the picture of what stations the train will pass by. But still, pay attention to what operator says and most importantly, don't scared of asking strangers because Taiwanese (as far as I know) they're so friendly and willing to help. But still, basic Mandarin is needed. Conclusion : local trains are made for locals.
Arriving in Tainan Train Station
At the train station, I went (again) to the information centre where I took lots of Tainan maps and asked for direction to JiaJia Hotel. Because I wasn't in hurry, I chose to take bus. It was a good decision until I realize the bus was actually take me further. It was on the opposite side, so I need to wait until the bus make a turn and eventually back on 'my track'. The bus ticket is only NTD18 for the bus number 2. There would be 2 types of bus to get you to JiaJia West Market Hotel, the bus number 2 and 5. If you take taxi, it costs about NTD90-NTD110, and it's more convenient to take a taxi if you travel with a group of people. But if you want to take a bus, make sure you prepare yourself with your suitcase(s) and which bus you are going to take.
It seems simple right? Cos it is!
Welcome to Tainan, fellow travelers :)