Travel/Transportation FAQ 旅行/交通常見問題

Foreword: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of questions. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan’s transportation to those who have never been there.


Does Taiwan require a visa?/ Does Taiwan need visas?
If you are a foreign national from one of the 46 countries that have Visa free entry, then no. Otherwise, yes.
 
Does my Country’s passport have a visa free entry into Taiwan?
Currently there are a total of 46 countries that are visa free to come to Taiwan. They are listed below according to number of days and geographic area:
14 days visa-exempt countries: Philippines, trial
30 days visa-exempt countries: (total of 2 countries) Asia Pacific: Malaysia, Singapore
90-day visa-free countries: 40 countries
In Asia Pacific: Japan, Republic of Korea (2 countries total)
North America: Canada, United States of America (2 countries total)
Europe Region: United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Vatican City State, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Andorra, San Marino (36 in total)

Passport validity should be more than six months. (Formal passports, official and diplomatic official passports are applicable, excluding emergency, temporary, other informal passports or travel documents). However, the validity period of a Japanese passport must be longer than three months. The validity period of a U.S. passport (including the U.S. emergency passport) should only be longer than the planned date of stay.
Persons holding emergency or temporary passports (except for nationals of the United States) should apply for a visa from my embassy or apply for a visa when arriving in Taoyuan or Kaohsiung airport. U. S. emergency passport holders are eligible for visa-free treatment.
 
Which countries are visa free for Taiwanese nationals?
Click here for a list of visa free countries for Taiwanese nationals.

If my country’s passport does not have visa free entry into Taiwan, what should I do?
First, you should decide which visa you need. There are three different types of visas:

  1. VISITOR VISA: is a short-term visa and stays in Taiwan for less than 6 months.
  2. Resident Visa (RESIDENT VISA): It is a long-term visa, stay in Taiwan for 6 months or more.
  3. Diplomatic visa (DIPLOMATIC VISA).
  4. Privilege Visa (COURTESY VISA).

Required Documents:
Fill in the visa application form online at https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw. Fill in the visa application information and print the application form signature. You will also need to provide the following (as applicable):

  • 2-inch 2-color photos in 6 months, background must be white.
  • The original passport, valid for 6 months or more and must have a blank page.
  • Proof of financial resources, such as bank savings certificates.
  • Schedule
  • Round-trip airfare, airfare, e-ticket or travel agency certification.
  • Relatives in Taiwan relatives to prove (visit relatives), copy of household register, birth certificate, alien residence permit or permanent residence permit and other relevant identity documents. (Spouse and immediate blood relatives limited).
  • Invitation (Visit) The invitation unit is issued.
  • Other documents as the case may require.
  • Application Procedure: The applicant shall check the required documents and visa fees to apply for a residence visa to the Immigration Department. The applicant will be required to interview if necessary.

Matters needing attention: Visa issuance as a national sovereignty, the Department has the right to refuse and need not explain the reason. Proposed visa applicants regardless of whether or not issued a visa, visa fees paid in accordance with the law is not refundable. For a one time, the visa fee is US $ 50; multiple entry visa fee US $ 100; relative processing fees is US $ 160 (currently only applies to US nationals). Any changes to this statement are subject to the latest information published by the Consular Affairs Bureau website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, please check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information relevant to your home country.

How much is a Taiwan Visa?
If you are not from a Visa free country, for a one time entry visa, the visa fee is US $ 50; and the multiple entry visa fee is US $ 100; relative processing fees is US $ 160, however these fees may vary. Please check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information and fees relevant to your home country.

How much is a Taiwanese Visa in the Philippines?
For a visitor visa, currently the Philippines has a free 14 day trial visa exemption. Otherwise please check with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines here.
 
How much for a flight to Taiwan?
From personal experience, flights to and from Taiwan are more expensive in the summer. For instance, an economy, multiple stop, round trip flight from Taipei to Seattle can get up to $1,2000 USD or more during the summer. However if you book during non-busy times such as September or October, and book well in advance, you could get flights as cheap as $500+ USD for a round trip from the US. We suggest using Google Flights to find the cheapest flights with flexible dates.
 
Which airport should I use in Taiwan?
The Taipei Taoyuan Airport is the biggest airport in Taiwan, and is a 40 minute trip from Taipei. It should have the most and the cheapest flights outside of Asia. For travelling to or from other Asian countries you may consider:
Taipei Songshan Airport:
This airport lies in the middle of Taipei and is convineinet to get to and from.
Kaohsiung International Airport:
This Airport lies in the heart of Kaohsiung and is connected to the MRT, making it easy and convenient to use.
Taichung Airport:
We have not used this airport personally, but we know many people that have used this for travel within Asia.
 
If you want to travel quickly to Taiwan’s outer islands, you may consider:
Taitung, Orchis Isalnd, and Green Island Airports:
Airports that connects Taiwan to the east coast and to Orchid island and Green island.
Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu Airports:
These airports connect the islands of Penghu and Kinmen to the main island of Taiwan.
 
Why is Taiwan the heart of Asia?
From a purely geographical perspective, Taiwan lies in a central location in East Asia, between China, Kong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, and is also close to the Philippines, and other Southeast Asian countries, making it a prime spot for an Asian hub.
Taiwan also is highly influenced culturally by other East Asian nations, such as China, Japan, and Korea.

How do I get to the airport from Taipei?
To get from Taipei Main Station to the Taoyuan International Airport, you have a few options:

  1. Taxi: about 1000 NT, about 40 minutes with good traffic
  2. Airport MRT: 160 NT, about 1 hour
  3. HSR (high speed rail): 145 NT 1 hour, need to take a shuttle bus from the HSR station to the airport
  4. Bus: 120 NT, about 50 minutes with good traffic

For the Songshan Airport, simply take the brown line MRT to Songshan Airport station, or take a taxi.
 
How much for a Taiwan trip?
For a week of vacationing in Taiwan, you can budget for 1000 USD and probably have a few hundred dollars left over. But this depends on what you want to do, what kind of hotels you want to stay in, and what your budget is. For a one week trip for one person, plan to spend about 1500-3000 NT per night for a decent hotel (10,500-21,000 NT for a week), 100-150 NT per meal for low end restaurants (2,100-3,150 NT per week), maybe 3,000-5,000 NT on travel (depending on where you want to go), and 1,000 NT or so to buy small gifts for your family back home. This would be a grand total of 16,600-30,150 NT (553-1005 USD).
 
How do I travel in Taiwan?
You have a few options:

  1. Local Train – Gets you to the city center of all major cities in Taiwan. It is about 800NT and 4 hours to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Roughly half the price of the HSR.
  2. HSR (High Speed Rail) – Gets you quickly from north to south. Besides Taipei and Kaohsiung, most of the stations are far from city centers. It costs about 1500NT and 2 hours to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung.
  3. MRT (Mass Rapid Transit, Metro train, subway) – Easily gets you around Taipei and Kaohsiung.
  4. Bus – Buses can be tricky. Long range buses such as Ubus and King Bus are easier to understand and cheaper than the local train. They can take you to the city center of every city throughout Taiwan and to remote tourist destinations such as Sun Moon Lake. A long range bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung is about 500 NT and can take 4-6 hours depending on traffic (I once took a midnight bus that was 3 hours).
  5. Tour Bus – You can take a tour, but this will limit your freedom.
  6. Taxi – You can take short rides for about 150 NT, or hire a Taxi for a day for around 150 USD.
  7. Ubike – This is a bike rental platform that uses fixed parking areas. They are at most MRT stations, making it easy to get from the MRT or bus stop to your final destination. The fare is 10 NT for 30 minutes, or free for the first 30 minutes if you are travelling from New Taipei City.
  8. Obike – These bikes are easy to use, and are located in city centers, and can be parked anywhere that is legal. The fare is 2 NT for every 15 minutes used.
  9. Road Bike Rental – You can rent a road bike for about 1000 NT a day at a local bike shop. 
  10. Scooter Rental – Scooter rental places are usually near train stations and can go from usually 500-800 NT per day. Please read our blog on the scooter rental for more information. 
  11. Car Rental – There are Car Rental chains throughout Taiwan that range anywhere from 1500-4000 NT or more per day. Please read our blog on car rental for more information. 
  12. Airplane – To get to outer islands such as Penghu and Orchid Island, taking a plane is the fastest route. We do not recommend taking a plane to get around on the main island unless you are travelling to the East coast. Take the HSR if you will only be on the west side.
  13. Boat – A boat can be a convenient way to get to outer islands such as Xiaoliuqiu, Green Island, Orchid Island, and perhaps Penghu. One can also travel by boat from Xiamen, China to Kinmen.

Does Taiwan have Uber?
Yes, but its just as expensive as a Taxi. Uber was banned and fined multiple times because their business model was deemed illegal. Uber drivers were required to have a professional driver’s licence. Now Uber works with local rental car companies to keep their app going. 
 
What side of the road does Taiwan drive on?
The Right side.
 
What plug/power does Taiwan use?/What kind of adapter do I need for Taiwan?/What kind of plug do I need in Taiwan?
Taiwan uses the same power and plugs as the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. The standard voltage is 100V at 60Hz.
If you are from Europe Australia, Asia, or Africa, you will need to bring a voltage converter. Clickhereto search voltage converters on Amazon. 

What time does the Taiwan MRT close?/ When does the Taiwan MRT close?
The Taipei and Kaohsiung MRTs close at 12:00 AM midnight. They open again at 6:00 AM. 
The last train at the MRT usually leaves from 11:00PM-12:00AM midnight. To search for exact times for the last train, clickhere.
 

How do I rent a car in Taiwan?
Please read our blog about car rental in Taiwan here.
 
How do I get a local Taiwanese licence?
​Check out our guide on getting a driver’s licence in Taiwan here.

How do I rent a scooter in Taiwan?
Please read our blog about scooter rental in Taiwan here.
 
How do I use a Youbike in Taiwan?
To use Youbike you will need to buy an Easy card (悠游卡) or iPass card (一卡通). These cards can be purchased at most MRT stations, and are usually $100 NT. Once you have a card, you will need to register it at a Youbike Station using a local cell phone number. If you do not have a cell phone number in Taiwan, you can go to a local cell provider such as Chuanghua Telecom or Taiwan Mobile and show your passport to buy a SIM card.
Alternatively, you can use a credit card with a security to rent a Youbike (can only be used one time per card).
Fares are 10 NT for 30 minutes, or free for the first 30 minutes if your trip originates from New Taipei City.
After you have a card you should:

  1. Swipe the card next to an open bike.
  2. Wait for the bike to unlock.
  3. Ride to your next destination.
  4. Place you bike in the Youbike stand and swipe your card to see how much money was deducted.

 
How do I use an Obike in Taiwan?

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  1. Download the Obike App. 
  2. Allow the App to use your camera.
  3. Enter your credit card information.
  4. Scan the QR code on the bike to unlock it.
  5. Ride to your destination.
  6. Find a legal place to park (not in a river).
  7. Lock the bike manually pulling the lock down.

 

Editor: [email protected]
Thanks to Foreigners in Taiwan for content sharing.

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