Travel – Taiwan

Get In :-

·         Visa-free

Foreign nationals of the following countries can enter Taiwan visa-free as a visitor provided that their passports are valid for at least 6 months upon entry:

For up to 90 days: All European Union member states, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States and the Vatican City.

For up to 30 days: Malaysia and Singapore. Brunei and Thailand until 31 July 2017.

If citizens of the above countries present an emergency or temporary passport, they will be required to apply for a landing visa on arrival by supplying a passport photo and paying a fee of NT$2,400

Citizens of Japan need only present a passport with at least 3 months' validity (rather than 6 months' validity) upon entry. Citizens of the United States can enter Taiwan on a passport with less than 6 months' validity on the date of arrival by supplying a passport photo and paying a fee of $184 USD or NT$5,600.

Citizens of Canada and the United Kingdom can extend their stay for an extra 90 days (i.e. a total stay of up to 180 days) free of charge - more information is available on this Bureau of Consular Affairs information sheet.

Holders of diplomatic or official/service passports of Belize, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nauru, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland do not require a visa for up to 90 days

·         Visas

Residents of Hong Kong and Macau in the PRC who hold valid Hong Kong / Macau SAR passports or British National (Overseas) passport should apply for an entry permit, which can be done on arrival or online before departure if they were born in their respective territories or have been to Taiwan previously after 1983. From July 2008, holders of mainland Chinese (which is different from Hong Kong and Macau) passports may visit Taiwan for tourism if they join an approved guided tour. Meanwhile, mainland Chinese citizens from certain cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, etc., can visit Taiwan individually.

Citizens of India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam who have a valid entry visa or permanent resident card issued by a Schengen country, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States can obtain a 30-day Visa on Arrival after making an an online application.

Citizens of Brunei, Turkey and Macedonia can obtain a landing visa upon arrival in Taiwan.

Detailed information about visas is available at the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs.




·         By Plane :-

The primary international gateway of Taiwan is Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei. Kaohsiung International and Taipei Songshan also serves extensive flights throughout Asia.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport  is the primary international airport of Taiwan located 40 km to the southwest of Taipei. Direct flights are available to North America, Europe and Oceania. The airport has direct buses to TaipeiTaichung and other nearby cities. Alternatively, the U-Bus company operates a shuttle service to HSR Taoyuan station for high-speed rail connections across the western corridor, and to TRA Jhongli station for the Western Main Line and southbound bus connection.

Kaohsiung International Airport is the second-busiest airport, located in southern Taiwan. International flights are available to major cities in Asia such as Osaka and Singapore.

Taipei Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei serves domestic flights and flights to other "downtown airports" such as Tokyo Haneda and Seoul Gimpo.

Taichung Airport in Central Taiwan serves a limited but growing number of flights domestic and international. Destinations include Seoul and Ho Chi Minh.

Hualien Airport serves domestic flights and flights to Hong Kong.

Taiwan's main domestic carriers are UNI Air, owned by EVA, and Mandarin Airlines. Flights are frequent, and it is usually unnecessary to book flights in advance. Taipei and Kaohsiung have regular services and links to most other domestic airports; however, it may not be possible to fly from one domestic airport to another. The popularity of the high-speed train has drastically cut flights on the once popular west coast sectors, with eg. Taipei-Kaohsiung flights only a shadow of what they once were.

If you want to visit Taiwan's smaller islands, the plane is still the best option, and is the only practical option of travelling to , Kinmen as well as the easiest, most common, way to travel to Penghu and Matsu. Fares are not too expensive, and local planes are very good. The domestic airport in Taipei is Song Shan Airport [13], which is in the north of the Taipei and easily reached by Taxi. Domestic destinations include Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi, Taichung, Pingtung, Taitung, Hualien, Makung (Penghu / Pescadores), Kinmen, Hengchun, Nangan and Beigan. Travellers heading to Kenting can avail themselves of the direct and frequent bus service from Kaohsiung airport that connect with flights arriving from Taipei.

·          By Train :-

Taiwan has 2 train systems:

·         Taiwan High Speed Rail

·         Taiwan Railway Administation 

In general

·         Buying tickets: if buying directly from a ticket stall, write down your destination and possibly train number beforehand or show the search result webpage on your smartphone, as it is easier to communicate.

·         Going short distances (e.g. Taichung - Tainan) it might be quicker to use the slower TRA trains, since you spend less time getting to and from the more remote HSR stations (assuming your destination is near the town centre, as would be the case for tourists, but not necessarily for business travellers going to out-of-town commercial areas which might actually have sprung up near the THSR station).

·         Same day tickets: when buying a ticket for immediate use, it might be for a train that leaves within minutes. Check the departure time and ask the agent what the platform is, so you can go at a fast, uninterrupted pace.

·         Reserved seats will be given for most longer journeys (all THSR, most TRA) without you being asked. (tell them in advance if you want aisle or window or have special needs, like sitting near the end of an HSR carriage to keep an eye on the luggage rack). The carriage number is clearly marked on the platform. Trains stop precisely on the spot. No trouble there. Trains are walk-through, so just get on any car when in a hurry. Crowding might make it hard to pass through, though. Reserved seats are not marked as reserved on the train itself. You might have to politely ask a person to vacate your seat.


By Bus :-

Taiwan has an extensive bus network, run mostly by private bus companies. Travelling by intercity buses(客運) are generally cheaper than by trains, especially for long-distance trips. However, on holidays, travel time may be much longer and tickets are more likely to be sold out.

The Taiwan tourist shuttle connects with many of the major train stations and offers direct services to many of the tourist sites which might be confusing for foreigners to locate by public bus. The website is confusing to navigate but English timetables and route maps are available from most tourist information centers and bus stops.

Most cities have local buses. Route maps, however, are almost entirely in Taiwanese, though the destinations indicated on the front of buses are in English. If you're staying at a hotel, have the clerk suggest some routes for you, and circle your destination on the map. Show this to the bus driver, and he/she will hopefully remember to tell you when to get off. In smaller cities, there is often no local bus service, though the out-of-town buses will sometimes make stops in the suburbs. There are taxi ranks at all airports and bus terminals.

·         By Metro :-

Taipei Metro is an fairly comprehensive metro system that makes travelling around Taipei a snap. Kaohsiung also has a metro system, KMRT. EasyCard and I-pass can be used. However, EasyCard cannot be topped-up at KMRT stations as of November 2016. Taipei also has 2-, 3-, 5-day metro passes available sold at station booths. They are read via proximity sensors at entry and exit, so you do not need to remove the card from your wallet or purse. However, stacking it with multiple other cards in your wallet might confuse the sensors. Both metro systems are very clean, since eating, drinking, and smoking are strictly prohibited. There is also a special waiting area that is monitored by security camera for those who are concerned about security late at night. Stations and trains are wheelchair-friendly, but note that when there are multiple exits from a single station, usually only one of these is equipped with a lift. Platforms are very clearly marked with entry and exit lanes at the doors. Poeple use them and station staff will remind you, when you overstep the mark. Busy stations are also equipped with automatic doors at the platform edge to protect people from getting onto the tracks.


Festivals In Taiwan :-


·         Spring Scream :- A three day outdoor rock concert in Kenting, held every year. Tickets are $1,400 for all days, all venues; NT$650 for one day, one venue. Kenting's entire area gets swarmed by young people coming to party for 3 days, and Taiwanese TV heavily reports on the latest bikini fashions seen on the spot.

·         Buddha’s Party :- Colorful but simple ceremonies are held at Buddhist monasteries that generally consist of washing a statue of the Buddha and a vegetarian feast. It is appropriate to make offerings to the monks and nuns at this time, though it is not mandatory. Lunar Calender 8th day of 4th month.

·         Dragon Boat Festival :-  This festival honours Qu Yuan, a patriotic official from the state of Chu during the Warring States period of Chinese history who committed suicide by jumping into a river when Chu was conquered by Qin. To prevent the fishes from eating his body, villagers threw rice dumplings into the river to feed the fishes and rowed dragon boats with drums being beaten on them to scare away the fishes. Since then, dragon boat racing has been carried out on this day and rice dumplings are also eaten.

  • Chinese New Year :- This is the most important festival for the Taiwanese and many shops and restaurants close on the first three days so it is not an ideal time to visit. However, the days leading up to the festival as well as the fourth to fifteenth days are ideal for soaking up the atmosphere and listening to Taiwanese New Year songs.
  • Ching Ming Festival :- This is when many Taiwanese would pay respects at their ancestors' graves.
  • Hungry Ghost Festival :- This festival runs throughout the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the gates of hell open during this period and hungry ghosts are allowed to roam freely into our world. In order to appease the ghosts and prevent misfortune, many Taiwanese will offer food and burn joss paper for them. In addition, traditional Chinese performances such as Chinese opera and puppet shows are held to appease these wandering spirits.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival :- Legend has it that on this day, a woman known as Chang E swallowed some divine pills to prevent her power hungry husband from becoming immortal. Afraid of being killed by her husband, she fled to the moon and it is believed that the moon shines brightest on this day. This is when many lanterns will be put up for decoration in various parks and shops, which is quite a beautiful sight. Mooncakes are also eaten on this day so it would be an ideal time to try some.


Scenic Sports :-

a.   The National Palace Museum :- The National Palace Museum  is an art gallery and museum collecting ancient Chinese artifacts. Even it’s from the same institution with the Palace Museum in Beijing, there are now different as a result of the Chinese Civil War in 1940, which also divide the collections. The National Palace Museum in Taipei boasts its collection as collecting the world’s most largest collection of artifacts from ancient China.  Transportation: MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line, Shihlin station; Then transfer bus: 30 (Red 30), 255, 304

b.   Taipei 101 :- Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper in Taipei. It was the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010 unl the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground and designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of luxury brands, fashion stores, restaurants and clubs. Taipei 101 features an Indoor Observatory (89th floor) and an Outdoor Observatory (91st floor). Both offer 360-degree views and abstract visitors from around the world. The Indoor Observatory is open thirteen hours a day (9:00 am–10:00 pm) throughout the week as well as on special occasions; the Outdoor Observatory is open during the same hours as weather permits. Tickets may be purchased on site in the shopping mall (5th floor) or in advance through the Observatory's web site. Tickets cost NT$450 and allow access to the 88th through 91st floors via high-speed elevator. Every December 31st, Taipei 101 has count-down fireworks to celebrate the New Year, which is the biggest NYE event in Taiwan. Transportation :- MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line, World Trade Center/Taipei 101 station.

c.    Longshan Temple :- Longshan Temple was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, China. It served as a place of worship and a gathering place for the Chinese settlers. The temple has been destroyed either in full or in part on numerous earthquakes and fires. Taipei residents have nevertheless consistently rebuilt and renovated it, and did so again after the end of the World War II a few months later. Longshan Temple is seen as an emblematic example of Taiwanese classical architecture, with southern Chinese influences commonly seen in older buildings. Like most temples in Taiwan, the temple worships a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist,and folk deities such as Matsu. Transportation: MRT Bannan Line, Longshan Temple station.

d.   Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall :- Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Chiang Kai-Shek, former president of the Republic of China. The monument, surrounded by a park, is white with four sides. The octagonal shape picks up the symbolism of the number 8, a number traditionally associated in Asia with abundance and good fortune. Two sets of white stairs, each with 89 steps to represent Chiang's age at the time of his death, lead to the main entrance. Inscribed on the wall above and behind the seated figure are the Chinese characters for Ethics, Democracy, and Science. Inscriptions on the side walls read The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity and The meaning of life is to create and sustain subsequent lives in the universe. Representatives of the armed forces guard the main hall during its every open hours. Transportation :- MRT Tamsui-Xinyi or Songshan-Xindian Line, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall station.

e.   National Taiwan University :- National Taiwan University, generally considered the top-ranked university in Taiwan, is a national co-educational research university in Taipei. It consists of 11 colleges, 54 departments, 103 graduate institutes and 4 research centers. The university was founded in 1928 by the Japanese administration during the Japanese colonial era and was known as the Taikoku (Taipei) Imperial University. After World War II, the government resumed the administration of Taikoku University and reorganized and renamed it National Taiwan University on November 15, 1945. Transportation: MRT Songshan-Xindian Line, Gongguan station.

f.    SongShan Cultural & Creative Park :-This location has transformed through history since 1937 as the “Taiwan Sōtokufu Tobacco Monopoly Bureau” during the Japanese colonial time, and after restoration, it was taken over by the Taiwan Monopoly Bureau and renamed the “Taiwanese Provincial Tobacco and Alcohol Monopoly Bureau Songshan Plant”. In 2001, it was appointed by the Taipei City Government as the No. 99 cultural heritage site of the city and renamed the “Songshan Cultural and Creative Park”. This site was once home to the first modernized tobacco Factory in Taiwan, which created tremendous economic value to the nation. On November 15th, 2011, after it officially opened to the public, it has now been transformed into a creative hub of Taiwan. The concept of an “industrial village” was employed during the initial development of the Songshan Tobacco Factory, and besides the production line, the benefits and needs of the plant’s employees were also taken into consideration for the design of the site. With its large open spaces and courtyards, the site was a pioneering design for industrial plants at that time. Its architectural style belongs to the genre of “Japanese Early Modernism”, with emphasis placed on horizontal lines, simple classic shapes, and refined workmanship. The buildings were considered to be an exceptional model for industrial plants in that era. The boiler room, mechanical maintenance factory, and tobacco Factory were completed in 1939, and rolled tobaccos began production in October of the same year, with 1200 workers hired in its initial stage. In 1940, the office building and inspection room were completed, with the construction of the entire plant completed in the span of three years and three months. Transportation :- MRT Bannan Line, Taipei City Hall