Taiwan could quite possibly be one of the most convenient countries in the world. You can find anything you need here at any time, almost anywhere. In the cities, almost everything is within walking distance and there are seven-elevens on every street (often more than one) .The train and subway (the MRT) are also exceptional and in English, and the city boasts free wifi, even for tourists! Taiwan is tourist friendly, beautiful, diverse and extremely convenient. These are some of our top hacks to know.
1.Luggage delivery options.
Once you have arrived, if you would rather not lug your luggage around with you, you can choose to have your luggage delivered to your hotel or hostel and it is not expensive!
There are two ways in which you can do this.
A) Visit a convenience stall at your arrival airport and ask for your luggage to be shipped to your designated location. It should reach you in 1-2 days time. Similarly, if you do not wish to lug your heavy luggage to the airport, you can do the same! All you need to do is to have it packed and bring it to the convenience stall near you 2-3 days ahead of your flight and collect it again at the designated area at your terminal. The cost will vary depending on your luggage size and weight.
B) If you need your luggage sooner than 1-2 days try the left luggage option in Terminals 1 and 2. They provide collection and delivery services from and to your home or hotel. Book online before 6:00 pm one day prior to the date you will use the service and drop off your luggage with airport staff or your hotel reception before 12:00 pm on the selected date. You will be guaranteed delivery to the airport by 4:00 pm or your to your hotel by 6:00 pm. Call for exact rates : +886-3-255 2290/50
2 . Transport from the airport.
A) Using the subway. It is the cheapest and fastest option and Taiwan offers one of the best systems in the world. The MRT system (mass rapid transit) at Taoyuan International airport links up Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and its surrounding cities, and it is fast, enormously efficient and convenient. With its express service taking just 37 minutes to Taipei Main Station, it is the fastest and most convenient way from the airport to Taipei and you can catch it directly on arrival. See our blog for more details.
B) For those that would like a little more convenience and comfort try a shared ride. It is definitely worth it.There are numerous options but these are the most popular.
- CallCar has been operating for ten years in Taiwan, offering airport shuttle services from as little as NT200. Simply schedule a trip on the app, and CallCar will link you up with others to share the ride. The basic price is NT$199 - NT$389 per person but the price will be calculated based on the number of occupants traveling in the vehicle. The more people who share the less you pay, it's that simple. At the moment the areas of service are Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taoyuan City. Refer to their website.
- AirPoPO, won the Jury prize at the IDEAS Show@APEC IN 2016. They offer services from Changhua, Taichung, Taipei or any nearby area, and won't leave you feeling out of pocket. You can get a low-cost shared-ride shuttle or a private-ride charter service, simply by using their app to reserve the 24-hour service. If you want to enjoy a comfortable trip and save money, you will find AirPoPo to Taoyuan Airport convenient, cheap and frankly fantastic! Their website.
- UBER Taiwan offers a convenient, inexpensive and safer way to take a taxi. Its services rely on an app which has a record of the driver, the passenger, and the journey. What's more, UBER Taiwan offers you three ways to ride. Prefer to pay with cash, use uberTAXI; prefer to pay by credit card, choose uberX or UberBLACK. All it takes is the push of a button on your phone, with the APP, and you'll have an Uber taxi in a matter of minutes.
3. Private tours.
Sound expensive? Well, the good news is it isn't. You can find private tours in Taiwan that are really affordable. There are some really great private tour companies where you can customize according to your preference, and they are not heavy on the pocket.
- Ownrides. Ownrides is an online platform for tourists to customize their private tours through booking drivers directly and affordably. Prices are quoted instantly, there is flexible pickup time and drivers have tour experience .
- If you're looking for transport from the airport in Taiwan but one that also lets you be the master of your own itinerary; then we may have just what you are after, its called Ding Taxi. Ding Taxi offer affordable rates that are predetermined prior to jumping into the cab. What's more, the company also offers private tour services with English speaking drivers, and you can plan a whole day (or a couple of days) travel including getting lots of great itinerary advice beforehand. It's a super cool and convenient way to plan your travels while you are in Taiwan and it's really easy to do.
4.Staying connected in Taiwan.
If you are planning a trip to Taiwan, you will be pleased to know that getting connected here is inexpensive, fast and can also be found for free.
- Taiwan's Free WIFI!
Taiwan offers free Wifi to all tourists! Awesome right! You can find free hotspots all over the country and on most public transport. To access this, you need to register at any tourist kiosk in the airport or at any of the main stations. Simply produce your passport and email address. You can also register online before you arrive at www.tpe-free.taipei.gov.tw/tpe/index_en.aspx
- Prepaid Data Providers, The Options.
If you need fast more secure internet you'll be pleased to know Taiwan has one of the fastest connections in the world and it is affordable.With all four providers you will be able to purchase SIM cards from their branches and at the airport when you arrive.
If you are only staying in Taiwan for less than 30 days, it is your best option to get an airport package, specifically for visitors. However, you will not be able to top it up as you will have data use within a set time frame only. Remember, you will need to produce your passport to purchase this. If you apply outside the airport you will be able to top up on your plan, but take an additional form of ID with you when you purchase the SIM. Top ups for most providers can be made in store and at all major convenience stores
The options are:
- Chunghwa (Emome).
- Ranked third for 4G speed.
- Currently the biggest private carrier.
- Providing 3G(WCDMA)/4G services.
- Considered to have the best signal, covering mountains and more remote areas.- Taiwan Mobile (My Fone).
- Ranked second for 4G speed.
- Providing 3G(WCDMA)/4G services.- FarEasOne.
- Ranked number one for 4G speed.
- Providing 3G (WCDMA)/4G services.- T star.
- Ranked number four for 4G speed.
- Providing 3G (WCDMA)/4G services.
5. Using the subway (MRT).
Taipei's reliable, squeaky clean, and extremely efficient Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT), is one of the many reasons Taiwan is rated so highly as a tourist destination. At the moment Taiwan has three MRT systems operating:
- Taipei MRT in the north.
- Kaohsiung MRT in the south
- The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT, which shuttles travelers from the airport to Taipei Main Station in the capital city in about 35 minutes.
Visit our blog for more information.
6. Using the trains.
Taiwan's trains are efficient, and fast, showcase beautiful landscapes right around the island with comfort and connect all major cities. It is a system easily accessible to the traveler and what’s more, English signage is pretty decent and available in most stations and on trains.
A) Tze-Chiang (limited express), Chu-Kuang (express) and Fu-Hsing (semi-express).
These are express trains and are therefore the fastest, and most expensive. However, discounts are available for senior citizens, children, and there are ‘early bird sales’ when purchased in advance, so try to make use of this. The high-speed trains run from Nangang, just north of Taipei City, and go all the way down south to Kaohsiung. For additional information on the high-speed-rail system or to book go to : https://www.thsrc.com.tw/en/TimeTable/SearchResult
B)Local Trains (not express).
These access a majority of locations all over Taiwan, stop at every station and are cheaper. They are slower too with speeds that vary as they can be very old or very new. You cannot reserve seating but are generally quieter than the express trains. If you are happy to take your time they are air-conditioned and do make for a peaceful and enjoyable trip.For local train timetables and bookings go to https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/CP.aspx?sn=16988&n=19590
C) Taiwan's high speed rail.
If you are looking for the fastest way to travel in Taiwan, Taiwan's High-Speed Rail system is by far the way to go.There is even an option to purchase a ‘special’ tourist pass and it operates between 06:30 to 24:00 every day connecting Taipei (main station) in the north to Kaohsiung (Zuoying station) in the south. It's an easy way to see Taiwan if you only have a short time here. For more information visit our blog.
7. Free walking tours in Taipei
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan is modern and vibrant and full of the unexpected and what's even better, its possible to see this amazing city for free. Join in on one of its free guided walking tours and experience the streets as the locals do. Simply book a spot online, meetup and join in on the fun. No need to worry about how you’ll see the city or even about how much it will cost. The tours are free, they’re professional and they’re guided by locals. What's better than that! Check out our blog for more information.