12 Things to Consider in your Travel Checklist to Taiwan (Taipei)

So you’re thinking of going to Taiwan for a vacation but you don’t know where to start. Before booking that ticket, I’ve got 12 things for you to consider in your travel checklist to Taiwan.

 

Visa Requirements

Taiwan offers visa-exempt entry for some nationalities for up to 90 days! All you have to do is check the latest information from Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of writing, it contains the following information:

Type Visa-Exempt Entry
Foreign nationals eligible for visa-exempt entry
  1. Nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 90 days: Andorra, Australia (effective from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras*, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan*, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia(effective from May 21, 2018 to March 31, 2019), Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu*, the United Kingdom, the United States of America*,and Vatican City State.
  2. Nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 30 days:Belize*, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Malaysia, Nauru*, Saint Christopher and Nevis*, Saint Lucia*, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore.
  3. Nationals of the kingdom of Thailand (effective from August 1, 2016, to July 31, 2018)-except those holding diplomatic or official/service passports-are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 30 days.
  4. Nationals of Brunei* (effective from August 1, 2016, to July 31, 2018)-except those holding diplomatic or official/ service passports-are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 30 days. In addition, effective from December 1, 2016, to July 31, 2018, those holding a Brunei Certificate of Identity are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 30 days.
  5. Nationals of Philippines (effective from November 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018), except those holding diplomatic or official/service passports, are eligible for the visa exemption program, with a duration of stay of up to 14 days.
Requirements
  1. A passport with remaining validity of at least six months as of the date of entry
    • Visa-exempt entry only applies to foreign visitors holding formal passports (i.e., ordinary, official/service and diplomatic passports). Those holding emergency, temporary, or other informal passports or travel documents are ineligible, with the exception of those holding a Brunei Certificate of Identity.
    • Holders of Belizean, Nauru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucian and Tuvalu Passports with place of birth recorded on the passport data page as : Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, Syria and Yemen are not ineligible for the visa exemption. Holders of Honduran passport with “place of birth” recorded on the passport data page as the People’s Republic of China are also ineligible for the visa exemption.
    • USA and Japan nationals who possess a,including emergency passports,valid for the intended period of stay are eligible for visa-exempt entry.
    • Holder of emergency or temporary passport (except those from the United States of America) should apply for a visa at an ROC overseas mission, or a landing visa after arriving in the ROC.
  2. A confirmed return air/sea ticket or air/sea ticket and a visa for the next destination, and a confirmed seat reservation for departure flight ; and
  3. Not determined by immigration officers at ports of entry in the ROC to be otherwise ineligible.
  4. Holders of Brunei, Philippines and Thailand passports must have: A proof of accommodation (hotel) booking, host / sponsor’s contact information and sufficient travel funds.

Special Note for Philippine Passport Holders

As you’ve read above, we need to show proof of accommodation booking, the host’s contact information and sufficient travel funds. A recent copy of your bank statement that contains your bank balance is sufficient proof. If you are a Filipino student in Japan, about 100,000 yen may be adequate. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip to Taiwan.

Online Arrival Card

Skip the queue for the printouts and save time by filling up the online arrival card in advance here.

 

Weather and Temperature

Taiwan is an ideal place if you despise extremes in temperature. Normally, the temperatures would range from about 12 -33 degrees Celsius. If you don’t like the rain and typhoon to ruin your holiday, best avoid the months of July-September. But we’re visiting in August and I’ll tell you more about it in another article. Moreover, Taiwan celebrates Chinese New Year so it is best to avoid this season (late January to early February) since most shops will be closed and accommodations will be relatively more expensive.

The temperature and rainfall data shown in holiday-weather.com is summarized below:

Real-time Updates

Check out Taiwan’s real time weather updates here.

 

Travel Insurance

There is no way to predict the future and we all hope for the best. Of course. The best armor we have is our insurance. If you have a credit card that covers your travel insurance, then that is the best option. Otherwise, I’d often go for World Nomads.

 

Documents to Bring

  • Passport
  • Insurance: Trip cancellation/medical information and contacts
  • Visa (if needed)
  • ID: Driver’s License, National ID
  • Photocopies of Passport, Visa, Airline Tickets, and IDs
  • Airline tickets

 

Errands before departure

  • Wash clothing
  • Throw out the garbage
  • Check the electricity, water, and gas
  • Lock all doors

 

Vaccination

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

 

Baggage

  • Check weight
  • Check for dangerous goods
  • Emergency medications
  • Footwear
  • Pants
  • Shirt
  • Dress
  • Underwear
  • Cellphone and Electronics with charger
  • Camera
  • Feminine Stuff
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Neck pillow (if required)
  • Pen

 

Currency Exchange

The New Taiwan dollar is the official currency of Taiwan (Republic of China) with the currency code TWD, and symbols like NT$, $, or a Chinese character 元 (yuán) following the amount. The following images showing the currencies in Taiwan were taken from Wikipedia:

Currency exchange is strictly regulated by the government and you can only exchange money at banks or authorized businesses. The most convenient way to use exchange currencies in Taiwan is to bring an International-transaction enabled ATM like the Philippine’s BPI International ATM card. Otherwise here are some of the options:

Taoyuan International Airport

Bank Of Taiwan (24 hours Currency Exchange)

Click here for exchange rate.

Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. (24 hours Currency Exchange)

Click here for exchange rate.

Outside of the Airport

Mega Bank

Biglittleisland.com said that some banks will take a flat fee of $100 to $300 NTD no matter how many you want to exchange but Mega Bank offers the best deal even inside the Taoyuan airport. Since there’s a flat fee to the transaction, it’s best to just exchange bulk of your money in one go.

 

Staying Connected (Travel SIM cards/WIFI)

In Taiwan, SIM cards can be purchased in city shops, at the airport, or in advance online with a simple pickup at the airport. Make sure, though, that your mobile accepts other SIM cards (unlocked) and is compatible with Taiwan’s mobile network services. Check your mobile’s compatibility here. You will be required to show two forms of identification. Hence, bring two forms of ID: a passport and secondary form of ID such as a Japan Residence Card/Driver’s License.

If you are travelling in a group and would be expected to be together most of the time, you can save on your mobile network fees by booking a pocket WIFI, instead. So you could reserve a WIFI online, then pickup it up at the designated locations.

Personally, I prefer getting a SIM card so I can call anyone from outside the hotel whenever there is a need to and just share the mobile network via hotspot. The disadvantage of doing this is that my phone battery will likely be drained faster.

How to book the SIM cards/WIFI online

Register to Klook and get a ¥349.1 discount by clicking here. Then click the links below:

SIM CARD (Pick-up from Taiwan Airport/ Taipei Songshan)

1. ‘Unite Traveler’ 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

2. ‘Welldone’ 4G SIM Card with Calls (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

3. Chunghwa Telecom Unlimited 4G SIM Card (Taipei Songshan Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

SIM CARD (Pick-up from other Airport)

1. Taiwan Prepaid 4G SIM Card (BKK Airport Pick Up) from AIS

2. 4G+ SIM Card (MY Pick Up/Delivery) for Taiwan

3. 4G SIM Card (HK Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

WIFI

1. 4G WiFi (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

2. 4G WiFi (MY Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan

3. 4G WiFi (KR Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan from WIDEMOBILE (와이파이도시락)

4. 4G WiFi (Hong Kong Pick Up) for Taiwan from Uroaming

 

Important Contact Numbers

Emergency Numbers (Free Service) – Police 110
(Free Service) – Fire, Ambulance 119
(Free Service) – Emergency Call (For Bad Cell Phone Reception) 112

 

Going around

Although Taiwan has an online timetable for railways, it can be difficult to navigate as a newbie. Taipei Metro also offers an online table and some passes. This trip planner combines all options, too. Then, of course, Google Map is often always pretty handy in giving options for both private and public transport.

EasyCard

One common advice among tourists is to get the Easycard, which allows passengers to conveniently ride the Taipei MRT or bus systems cash-free. Like Japan’s PASMO, it cal also be used in 7-11, Family Mart, other convenience stores and supermarkets. The initial face value is NT$100 but you can easily reload it.

Bike Rental

YouBike

Giant Rental

Car Rental

Kayak.com

Chailease

Uber

 

Electronics Compatibility

Taiwan has the same electrical standard as the US, Canada and Japan: 110V, 60Hz AC. They use plug types A and B:

 

 

Did we miss something?

If we did, comment down below and we’ll update the list! 🙂

Happy prepping!

 

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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter
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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter

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