Tips on Arriving in Taipei
No sooner had we become accustomed to Hong Kong, than we flew to Taiwan. A destination that we have had on our wish list for a long time, mostly because we hadn’t really heard much about it yet. We flew with Eva Air from Hong Kong to Taipei and had a short two-hour pleasant flight. Read here about our tips on arriving in Taipei.
Get a SIM Card
If you want a SIM Card in Taiwan, you can get one directly at the airport, there are several providers. After several recommendations, we opted for Chunghwa.
However, we did not know that the easiest and best would be to get the SIM Card right at the airport. Despite some language barriers (many Taiwanese speak little to no English), we managed to buy a SIM Card.
For us, the rechargeable SIM Card with 3.2GB was the best option because we can’t yet estimate how much we’re going to need. But this option allows us to charge the card at any time at any 7-Eleven or Chunghwa Store if we need to. The cost of the SIM Card was 300 NT (EUR 8.76, or USD 9.71).
If you want, you can also order the SIM Card online in advance and then pick it up at the airport.
But, in any case, you need your passport when you buy it!
Use an I-Pass
Before we started traveling, we had asked the Taiwanese Tourism Board if they would have any information material and kindly got two rechargeable i-Pass cards.
With these tickets, you can pay for buses, subways, and trains. Even small shops like 7-Eleven and restaurants accept the card, but we haven’t tried that yet. It is similar to the Octopus card that is used in Hong Kong.
Read more about it here: http://www.i-pass.com.tw/en
While we were still at the airport, we topped up the i-pass at the counter and paid for our trip with the underground to the city center.
You tap in and out of the underground on the doors which means that you don’t have to buy a train or bus ticket each time. Very practical.
The journey to the city center takes about half an hour from the airport.
Unfortunately, we booked our Taipei hotel really late and there were not very many good deals left. We wanted to stay in the Ximending district because it seemed to be the most central.
However, we ended up staying in the Nanshijiao district, which is another half an hour from the city center.
We made our decision on this area because it was the least expensive in the short term. And, we liked the room better than the leftover accommodations that were still available at Ximending.
In retrospect, we have to say that we like it very much here because it is simply even less touristy. Even if we have to travel further each day.
Bus or train journeys usually cost 15-24 NT, which is less than 1 Dollar per person.
Those who would like to stay more centrally can orient themselves on the metro’s red or blue lines.
It has been raining here night and day, almost continuously, so we got to know the subway network quite well.
If we were ever unsure if we had selected the right station, we simply asked someone. People are so super helpful and nice here.
Just be aware that the bus drivers have little patience!