taiwan travel - tours, sights, shopping and food!
Citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, most other EU members and Switzerland, may enter Taiwan visa-free for thirty days or more provided that their passports do not expire within six months. For further information consult the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
There are international flights into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (formerly called Chiang Kai-Shek (CKS) International Airport) in Taoyuan, and to a lesser extent, to the Kaohsiung International Airport. Taichung and Hualien airports also serve small numbers of international passengers. The Songshan domestic airport is located in Taipei.
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (formerly Chiang-Kai Shek Airport) (TPE) is Taiwan's main international airport. Located 40km to the southwest of Taipei, it has good connections to many major cities except those in mainland China. The airport has direct buses to Taipei, Taichung and other nearby cities. Alternatively, the U-Bus company operates shuttles to HSR Taoyuan (Jhongli) station for high-speed train connections, and to Jhongli Transit Station, for mainline TRA train and southbound bus connections to Tainan, Hsinchu etc.
- Songshan Airport (TSA) in downtown Taipei serves domestic flights only.
- The Kaohsiung (KHH) domestic and international airports are located in the same complex. International flights are only to other Asian cities.
- Taichung Airport (RMQ) serves domestic flights as well as international flights to Hong Kong and Vietnam.
- Hualien Airport (HUN) serves domestic flights as well as some international charter flights to Japan, South Korea and Macau.
Except for some charter flights at Spring Festival, there are no direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan. The usual practice is to fly via either Hong Kong or Macau, which have good connections both ways. Alternate routes via South Korea or Japan or other Asian countries are possible, but generally more expensive.
The main Taiwanese carriers are China Airlines and EVA Air. China Airlines has a dreadful safety record (12 major crashes in 30 years), and quite a few people opt to avoid it if possible. Cathay Pacific schedules many flights to Hong Kong as Taiwanese flights have to go to China via a third destination.
- Cathay Pacific - 2715 2333
- China Airlines - 2715 1212
- Eva Airways - 2501 1999
- KLM Asia - 2711 4055
- Northwest - 2772 2188
- Singapore Airlines - 2551 6655
- Thai Airways - 2509 6800
- United Airlines
For up-to-date information on cheap flights, check the advertisement pages of one of the three local daily English newspapers (see media below)
There are bi-weekly passenger ferry links between Okinawa Island, Ishigaki and Miyako in Okinawa, Japan and Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. Sometimes, the route goes via Ishigaki and Miyako in Okinawa Prefecture, while the Taiwan port alternates between Keelung and Kaohsiung. Departure from Okinawa is on Friday for the ferry to Kaohsiung (34 hours) and on Monday to Keelung (28 hours); departure from Taiwan is usually on Sunday and Tuesday