Visiting Taiwan


Getting There and Away

Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) - is Taiwan's main international airport and is served by major airlines. Taiwan's international airlines are its flag carrier China Airlines (SkyTeam member) and Eva Air (Star Alliance member). Despite the airport code, the airport is not located in Taipei but rather a 45-minute (barring traffic!) drive south of Taipei in Taoyuan city.

Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA) - is an airport located in the heart of Taipei city that serves international destinations north of Taiwan. If you are coming from select cities in China, Korea, and Japan, you may find flying into TSA more convenient.

Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) - located in southern Taiwan's most populous city, Kaohsiung, this airport may be an easier option to either fly out of or into if you will be traversing the island north-south (or vice versa) rather than returning back to Taoyuan Airport. The airport is served by China Airlines, Eva Airlines, and a number of other Asian carriers.

Taichung International Airport (RMQ) - located in central Taiwan, this airport offers flights to Hong Kong, Macau, and some cities in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Getting Around

Taiwan High Speed Rail - connects Taipei in the north to Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station) in the south in two hours via the express route and points in between (including Hsinchu, 30 minutes from Taipei by HSR, and Taichung, 25 minutes from Hsinchu HSR station). Although one can book tickets online, tickets are also easily obtained in person at stations.

Taipei Metro subway system - commonly referred to as the MRT, has five lines and provides extensive service within Taipei. Signage is bilingual (Chinese and English) and easy to navigate. The MRT connects to the Taipei HSR station at Taipei Main Station. The last trains depart at midnight.

Frequent visitors to Taiwan may want to purchase an EasyCard or iPASS card which works like a 'touch-and-go' debit card for the MRT, HSR, buses, as well as convenience stores, supermarkets, and other retailers. The EasyCard can be purchased and refilled at any MRT station and most convenience stores (7-Eleven, Family Mart, Hi-Life, OK Mart). Using the EasyCard or the iPASS card also offers a 20% discount on the Taipei MRT fare and discounted bus transfers. Some cab companies also accept these two cards for payment.

Taoyuan Metro - the Taoyuan Metro operates the Taoyuan Airport MRT line, which connects Taoyuan International Airport with the city of Taoyuan, several stops in New Taipei City, the HSR (two stations: Taoyuan and Taipei), and the Taipei Metro (with in-town check in available at Taipei Main Station).

Taxi - Taxis are metered, with higher rates at night. Fares in Taipei currently start at NT$70, lower than the NT$85 typical across much of Taiwan. Most cab drivers cannot speak English, and are generally honest (many a lost iPhone and wallet have been returned). Tipping is not expected. Since 2012, all passengers are required to buckle their seatbelt. Some taxis accept payment by EasyCard or iPASS.

Note also that Uber is also available in Taipei.

Private Driver - if traveling in a group, a private driver may be more cost-effective than the HSR while also providing flexibility and convenience. A typical rate is NT$3500 (approx US$120) for the first 5 hours of service.