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I've taken a look at Seat61 and rome2rio, but they offer incomplete or expensive options at best. Aside from hitch-hiking, what is the cheapest way to get from Shenzhen, China to Taipei, Taiwan?


Update: For early to mid July (around the 11th), the cheapest I have been able to find departing Taipei to Guangzhou International Aiport was roughly $150 (rounding up), then to get to Shenzhen, by train for approximately $20 (also rounding up), for a total of $170 if I book soon. Assuming I'll get lost en route, I estimate total travel time to be roughly 10 hours.

I wouldn't mind traveling longer if there was a much cheaper way (ferry, train, etc.), but probably no more than a day (unless it was dirt cheap). Can anyone find anything cheaper?

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Walking ;). But can you clarify, are you only after public transport options? –  Mark Mayo Feb 5 at 6:01
    
And what do you count as expensive? I can find flights that are only slightly more expensive than the ferries listed on seat61, depending what day you want to fly. –  SpaceDog Feb 5 at 6:57
    
@MarkMayo What other form of transportation is there? –  MarkE Feb 5 at 21:17
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The following route is cheaper, but not all that much, and it's not possible in a day.

  1. Bus from Taipei to Keelung, NT$55 (< US$2), every 10 min
  2. Ferry from Keelung to Matsu, NT$620 (~US$21) in economy, daily except Wed, overnight (dep 21:50, arr 08:30)
  3. Ferry from Matsu to Fuzhou (Mawei), NT$1300 (~US$43), daily at 2pm, ~2 hours
  4. Train from Fuzhou to Shenzhen, US$23 in hard seat, dep 21:25 arr 16:00 next day

Total price ~US$85, but time required close to 48 hours. Note that you can substitute both Taipei-Matsu and Fuzhou-Shenzhen with flights, or travel Fuzhou-Shenzhen on faster trains, but that'll eat up any price advantage (eg. FOC-SZN for CNY 480/US$80 for random dates in March).

Ferry prices and schedules courtesy of Seat 61, trains by trains.china.org.cn.

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OK, I doubt this is the cheapest, and you implied you didn't want to fly but -- depending on how flexible you are, Philippine Airlines will fly Guangzhou (CAN) to Taipei (TPE), via Manila for 780 CNY ~= 129 USD. Looks like they only fly Wed and Fri, and the cheapest fair isn't available for the next two weeks. If I recall correctly it's pretty easy to get to Guangzhou from Shenzhen.

That's the cheapest flight I can find, if your departure is far off you might get a better deal going from Hong Kong. Another option is to go to Macau and fly from there, but again I couldn't find anything cheaper.

The ferries on seat61.com are around the $80 price range, so you have to factor in the travel costs (plus accommodation if needed on a longer journey)

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Andrew from Rome2Rio here. Looking at the messages and prices displayed, around the $150 mark would be a great price. If looking at the ferry, it will cost between $110-$125 alone. We've recently been expanding our content throughout China and by our estimates, the cheapest option possible would be around $155 USD and this is using an overnight ferry which is subject to sailing times as well. Great to see you using the site to try and plan your journey. Stay in touch with the latest prices and options on this route via http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Shenzhen/Taipei . Cheers!

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