Taiwan has reopened to all travelers on October 13 after closing their borders for almost two and a half years! I am so thrilled by the news as I miss Taiwan so much! I can’t wait to revisit and rediscover Taiwan, especially after I have organized a series of virtual Taiwan travel sessions with Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Singapore.
For your next trip to Taiwan, you don’t have to take pre-departure or on-arrival Covid-19 test (if you can fully vaccinated) and quarantine is not required. You just have to wear mask, take rapid antigen test, and monitor your health for 7 days.
I have received many questions about how to plan a free and easy trip to Taiwan. To celebrate Taiwan reopening, I have put together this step-by-step guide with travel hacks so you can enjoy the best of Taiwan on a budget. Time to visit the heart of Asia, Taiwan!
Where to visit in Taiwan
Taiwan is more than Taipei! Other than Taipei in northern Taiwan, there are many places to visit and experience and one trip is not enough. Have you visited other regions of Taiwan beyond the capital city?
Taiwan is home to vibrant cities, charming small towns, and rich nature. Do you know that Taiwan has 13 scenic areas? These scenic areas are framed by gorgeous coastlines, towering mountains, and cultural and historical spots.
Inspired by Rick Steves’ Europe travel guides and the useful overview he uses to recommend must-see sights in Europe, I have adapted his method for Taiwan to recommend top destinations for first-time and repeated travelers. Here are my recommendations for you to start planning your itinerary for Taiwan!
One week in Taiwan (For first-time travellers)
Taipei (3 days)
- Taipei is the launchpad to explore Taiwan! With 3 days, you can enjoy a packed itinerary and check out highlights like the youthful Ximending district, Taipei 101 and the Xinyi area, cultural and historical attractions like National Palace Museum, National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Longshan Temple, and famous night markets like Shilin, Raohe, Shida, Ningxia, and more. 3 days is just for a sneak preview of Taipei!
- If you have more days, add day trips to Danshui, Yangmingshan, Maokong and Taipei Zoo (if you have traveling with children), and Beitou hot springs.
Hualien (2 days)
- I visited Hualien twice and both times I wish I have more time. Easily accessed from Taipei, Hualien is nestled between the Central Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean. Taroko Gorge National Park is the star attraction in Hualien.
Alishan and Chiayi (3 days)
- Alishan or Mount Alishan is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Taiwan and it’s fun for first-time travelers because you can take the nostalgic Alishan Forest Railway up the mountains. Check out my comprehensive guide to Alishan to plan your mountain getaway.
- If you have more days, add day trips from Taipei to visit the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area (Jiufen, Pingxi, Jiufen, Jinguashi, Yeliu, and Yilan). Here’s a guide to Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area and itineraries for best day trips from Taipei.
- You can also embark on day trips to Taichung and Tainan. Travel tip: A local’s favorite hiking spot, Lishan can be accessed from Taichung. Check out my guide to Lishan and the Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area here.
One week in Taiwan (For repeated travellers)
Kaohsiung (2 days)
- Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city after Taipei. Located in southern Taiwan, it’s an exciting metropolis surrounded with a dynamic landscape of mountains and coastlines.
- Highlights of Kaohsiung: Love River, Pier-2 Art Centre, Hamasen Railway Cultural Park, Lotus Lake, Qijin/Cijin Island, and busy night markets like Liuhe night market and the local’s hunt, Ruifeng night market.
- If you have more days, add day trips to Fo Guang Shan, the tranquil Buddhist monastery, and Meinong, a rustic Hakka village with lush fields and traditional houses.
Taitung (3 days)
- Taitung is my favorite region in Taiwan! Taitung embodies the best of Taiwan’s nature and culture and it’s great for “slow travel” exploration.
- With 3 days, you can base yourself in Taitung City and explore 2 major scenic areas: East Rift Valley National Scenic Area and East Coast National Scenic Area.
- If you have more days, add multi-day trips to Green Island and Orchid Island for amazing island escapades filled with snorkeling and diving, hiking, and immersive cultural experiences.
- Check out these guides to Taitung for your trip: Rhythm of South-Eastern Taiwan: Guide to Cycling in Taitung and Top 10 Experiences in Taitung, Southeastern Taiwan.
Chiayi City and Chiayi County (2 days)
- Chiayi City is more than a transportation stop on the way to Alishan. It has many fascinating cultural and historical sites like Chiayi train station, Hinoki Village, and Chiayi Art Museum.
- Enjoy the best Taiwanese local and street food here. Here’s my 72-hour itinerary to Chiayi City and Insider’s Guide to Chiayi’s Cultural and Culinary Secrets for more recommendations.
- Other than Chiayi City, check out Chiayi County, the expansive area that surrounds Chiayi City and covers 3 major national scenic areas: Alishan National Scenic Area, Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, and Siraya National Scenic Area.
Penghua (3 days)
- Penghu is a massive group of outer islands in Taiwan. Penghu National Scenic Area consists of over 90 islands (about 20 islands are inhabited) in the Penghu archipelago.
- Highlights of Penghu: Qimei Island and its famous twin-hearts stone weir, Jibeiyu or Jibei Island and its picturesque sand bar, and paradise-like beaches. Start planning island escapades with my guide to the islands of Penghu.
Pingtung and Kenting (2 days)
- Discover different sides of Taiwan in Pingtung County! Tucked in the southern tip of Taiwan, this tranquil region hides Hengchun, the old city that’s the gateway to Kenting National Park and Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area. Spend a relaxing day at Xiaoliuqiu, a beautiful island, and venture to the most southern capes of Taiwan at Eluanbi and Maobitou.
Looking for more places to visit in Taiwan? Check out my guide to 10 best places to visit in Taiwan.
When to visit Taiwan?
Do you know that Formosa 福爾摩沙 is the old name of Taiwan? In 16th century when the Portuguese found the island, they called it Formosa, which means beautiful island, as they were blown away by its beauty.
Blessed by the warmth of subtropical climate and cool temperatures in high attitude regions, Taiwan experiences comfortable weather throughout the year and produces dazzling flowers and delicious fruits throughout the seasons.
Here’s a summary of what you can enjoy when you visit Taiwan in different seasons.
Taiwan in Spring (Mar to May)
- Spring is gorgeous in Taiwan as it you can enjoy flowers like plum and cherry blossoms decorating the landscape. The shades of Taiwanese cherry blossoms are darker pink. White sakura flowers can be seen at higher attitude in the mountains and in national parks like Alishan, Sheipa Leisure Farm, and Wuling Farm.
- Gorgeous calla lily blankets Yangmingshan from March to May. Check out the best flower viewing spots in leisure farms in Taiwan here.
- Fruits like sweet peaches and lychees flourish in the gentle spring weather.
- Try to avoid the rainy season that starts in Taipei around May and spread southwards till June.
Taiwan in Summer (Jun to Aug)
- Summer is the festival season! Some popular festivals are Dragon Boat Festival and Taiwan International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Luye Highlands, Taitung.
- Indulge in summer activities like island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and more! Top summer destinations are the outer islands like Penghu, Green Island, and Orchid Island.
- Travel activity is high in August due to summer school holidays so book your accommodation and train tickets in advance.
- Take note that August to September is the peak season for typhoons (sometimes typhoons can also hit anytime from May to October).
- Enjoy juicy fruits like watermelons, mangoes, and longans in summer.
Taiwan in Autumn (Sep to Nov)
- Autumn starts in late September and November is the best period to see autumn colors. Immerse in fall colors in the Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area that encompasses 3 mountains–Lion’s Head Mountain, Baguashan, and Lishan. Near Lishan, Fushoushan Farm and the 1956 Maple Valley are popular sightseeing spots for autumn foliage.
- Celebrate Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in September with the locals and enjoy mooncakes and tea.
- Participate in the well known flower festival Xinshe Sea of Flowers in Taichung that runs from late November to December.
Taiwan in Winter (Dec to Feb)
- The cool winter weather is perfect for marathons. Big scale marathons like Taipei Marathon attracts locals and foreigners.
- Winter is the perfect season to enjoy hot springs. Taiwan is covered with hot spring resorts, boutique B&Bs with baths, and even natural hot springs in the mountains. In Taipei, you can soak in the hot springs in Beitou. If you plan to head south, browse Taitung Cozy Hot Spring Festival 台東暖湯季 website to find your desired hot spring!
- Try fruits picking (oranges, grapes, and strawberries) in winter.
- Celebrate New Year’s eve in Taipei with the spectacular Taipei 101 firework show.
- The Chinese New Year celebrations usually take place in late January to early February so join the festivities. Take note that most shops will be closed on the first few days in the new year period. Don’t miss vibrant lantern festivals in places like Taipei, Pingxi, and Kaohsiung.
How to get to Taiwan?
Once you have selected the places to visit in Taiwan and confirmed your travel dates, it’s time to book your air tickets to Taiwan!
Step 1: Use Skyscanner to have a quick overview of the types of airlines flying to your destinations and the range of air fares.
Step 2: After you have selected your desired flights, book your air tickets directly on the airline website.
Airports in Taiwan
There are 4 international airports in Taiwan: Taoyuan International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport, Taichung International Airport, and Taipei Songshan Airport. Taoyuan International Airport is the main international airport that welcomes visitors from all over the world.
Here are some general tips based on my experiences traveling around Taiwan and my money-saving hacks. Remember to always book your air tickets in advance (as early as you can to secure good fares)!
China Airlines: China Airlines is Taiwan’s national carrier and it operates a wide network of domestic and international routes. There are flights connecting Singapore to Taipei (via Taoyuan International Airport) to Hualien, Kaohsiung, and even Penghu. China Airlines is having promotions for economy air tickets promotion so find out more here.
EVA Air: Eva Air flies a fully international network. Even though I have never travel3: by EVA Air, I heard good reviews of the airline from friends who took EVA Air to the United States and transited in Taiwan. EVA Air operates the Singapore-Taipei route (via Taoyuan International Airport) and they also fly to other parts of Taiwan like Hualien and Taitung. EVA Air offers promotions for air tickets if you use credit cards like HSBC and DBS/POSB so check out the deals here.
Singapore Airlines: Singapore Airlines has frequent flights to Taoyuan International Airport. It’s always nice to fly SIA but air tickets can be more expensive. One good to way to fly SIA is to redeem flights using KrisFlyer miles. You just need 33,000 miles to redeem Economy Saver return trip (Singapore-Taipei/Taoyuan). I have been using credit cards to redeem air tickets using miles and I’m saving my miles for a trip to Taiwan.
The credit cards I recommend for earning miles for flight redemption:
- Citi PremierMiles Credit Card: Use my code (s1152801010N) to get up to 30,000 Citi Miles (which can be easily converted to KrisFlyer miles).
- Citi Rewards Credit Card: Use my code (s1152801010N) to get up to 30,000 Citi Thank You Points (which can be easily converted to KrisFlyer miles).
- American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card: Use my link and earn 5,000 KrisFlyer miles with minimum spending and 10,000 miles if you are new to AMEX.
STARLUX Airlines: STARLUX Airlines is a new luxury boutique airline and it flies the brand new Airbus A330neo that connects Singapore to Taipei (via Taoyuan International Airport).
Low-cost carriers like Scoot and Jetstar
I have taken flights on both airlines to Taiwan a number of times as their flights are value for money and the flight time to Taiwan from Singapore is just 4-5 hours. Scoot has flights to Taipei (via Taoyuan International Airport) and Kaohsiung. Jetstar used to run frequent flights to Taiwan and they may resume the flights soon.
There are many airlines running domestic flights all over Taiwan. Sometimes taking domestic flights to get from one city to another is faster and cheaper than taking train and other modes of transportation. There are 16 domestic airports. I took a domestic flight with DailyAir from Taitung Airport to Orchid Island Airport. It was an interesting experience flying above the ocean and islands in a small propeller plane with 19 seats!
Find more about domestic airports here.
How to get around Taiwan?
You can travel around Taiwan via convenient and affordable public transportation. Depending on which regions you are visiting, you can rely on trains, buses and ferries. Here are my insider tips to traveling around Taiwan efficiently and cheaply!
There are 2 major railway systems Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) 臺鐵 and Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) 台灣高鐵. Both railways have been enhancing their facilities and services to cater to international travelers and offering more sightseeing train routes.
Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) 臺鐵
Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) operates a reliable railway system connecting cities and small towns around the island. There are several types of passenger trains such as intercity, Fuxing, Juguang, Ziqiang, and more. You can select the train that suits your budget and time.
TRA runs scenic train lines that are popular with locals and tourists. Look at the TRA train map below to see the main stations and key train routes. The train lines highlighted in the blue and white boxes are the “sightseeing” lines.
Near Taipei, the well known Pingxi line brings you to stations like Ruifang, Houtong (also known as the cat village), Shifen for its waterfalls, and of course Pingxi old street where you can enjoy fascinating scenes of trains chugging along tracks close to the streets.
The most picturesque train routes in Taiwan are the long-distance train lines that run along the mountains and coastlines m from Yilan to Hualien to Taitung (a combination of the Yilan line, North-link line, Hualien Port line, and Taitung line).
If you are a fan of retro trains, check out Breezy Blue 藍皮解憂號, a “romantic blue” diesel-powered vintage train that traverses the South-link line between Taitung and Fangliao station. Another unique train experience is Future Express 鳴日號, a premium train with business-class cabins, lounge cars, and the luxurious Future Express Kitchen 鳴日廚房 that serves fine dining meals. Here’s more information about these special train and railway travel experiences in Taiwan.
Tips for TRA tickets:
- Book your tickets on TRA website or TRA app (台鐵e訂通). The app is very user-friendly and you can check train timings and book tickets with it. You can also purchase and print the tickets in convenient stores.
- Advanced reservations for weekend and special scenic train routes are highly recommended. If you plan to visit Taitung, you have to plan in advance to secure the hard-to-get tickets for the train that connects Taipei and Taitung. The scenic train ride will take 4-5 hours and you’ll be treated to gorgeous vistas of the ocean and mountains for the stretch between Hualien and Taitung. If you are planning to visit Taitung, check out my guides to the top 10 experiences in Taitung and cycling in Taitung.
Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) 台灣高鐵
Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) connects cities and towns in Taiwan with its fast and comfortable trains. It takes only 1.5 hours to travel between Taipei and Kaohsiung.
The 12 THSR stations form the “Western Corridor” of Taiwan as they connect Taoyuan and Taipei in the north to Zuoying (Kaohsiung in the south). THSR and TRA train lines complement each other so you can take THSR to city centers and then transfer to TRA to reach smaller towns.
THSR tickets are more expensive than local trains operated by TRA but you gain time and convenience.
Tips for TRA tickets
- Save money by buying your tickets early on THSR website. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the cheaper the “early bird” tickets. Check out the “early bird” promotion here.
- Buy THSR train passes if you plan to travel to different places over a few days.
Overview of Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) passes
Non-Taiwanese tourists on short-term visit (less than 180 days) are entitled to purchase value-for-money THSR passes. There are 5 types of THSR passes:
- One-way ticket: This is not really a train pass but a discounted ticket (20% off adult fare and 50% off child fare) for 1 ride in a reserved seat in a standard car between the selected destinations on the selected date.
- Flexible 2-day pass (Adult NT 2,500 / Child NT 1,250): Unlimited rides on TSHR trains for any 2 days of a designated 7-day period.
- 3-day pass (Adult NT 2,200 / Child NT 1,000): Unlimited rides on THSR trains for 3 consecutive days.
- 5-day standard joint pass (Adult NT 2,800 / Child NT 1,400): Unlimited rides on Taiwan Railway Chu-Kuang Express or trains at a lower price than Chu-Kuang Express for 5 day, and on THSR trains for any 2 days within the designated 5 days.
- 5-day express joint pass (Adult NT 3,600 / Child NT 1,800): Unlimited rides on Taiwan Railway Tze-Chiang Limited Express or trains at a lower price than Tze-Chiang Limited Express for 5 days, and on THSR trains for any 2 days within the designated 5 days.
Find out more about the passes on THSR website.
How to buy THSR passes?
- You can buy your rail passes in Singapore before you enter Japan. You can purchase them from:
Buses complement train travel as they provide connections to small cities and towns. There are 3 main types of buses:
Local, Intercity, and highway buses
Local buses bring you around a city or town like Taipei, Taichung, and more. Intercity or highway buses cover long distance through national and provincial highways. You can take a highway bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung to reduce your transportation cost. The highway buses are mostly operated by private companies like Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport 國光客運, Ubus 統聯客運, and Kamalan 葛瑪蘭汽車客運 (connect Taipei, Yilan, Taoyuan, and Hualien). You can search for intercity buses on Klook!
Taiwan Tourism Shuttle 台灣好行
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus service is a lifesaver for travelers who do not drive as it is super convenient. From the major attractions, local train stations to High Speed Rail stations, the shuttles take you to the main tourist attractions in Taiwan. They offer access to many scenic routes at very affordable prices.
I explored Taitung without a car thanks to Taiwan Tourist Shuttle that runs regular buses along the East Coast National Scenic Area and they provides important connections between Chiayi and Alishan. Check out Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus routes here!
Taiwan Tour Bus 台灣觀巴
Taiwan Tour Bus offers bus tour itineraries along with the major scenic spots of Taiwan. The hassle-free bus tour packages include pre-planned itineraries, meal plans, and sometimes even accommodation for multi-day tours.
Taiwan is great for road trips as you can enjoy more flexibility and freedom to explore places in Taiwan. Renting a car is easy in Taiwan and there are many car rental shops and services. Remember to apply for your International Driving Permit (for Singaporeans) to rent vehicles and drive in Taiwan. Please take note that cars on Taiwan roads drive on the right side (Singaporean drive on the left side). Check out the traffic rules before traveling in Taiwan here and you can browse rental cars here.
Taiwan is surrounded by stunning offshore or outlying islands so enjoy island excursions and island-hopping trips to relax and experience a different side of Taiwan. You can read more about the islands to visit here and how to take ferries to the islands here.
Highly recommended offshore islands include:
- Penghu: Penghu is the most scenic and massive group of outer islands in Taiwan. Penghu National Scenic Area 澎湖國家風景區 consists of over 90 islands (about 20 islands are inhabited) in the Penghu archipelago. Start planning an island escapade with my guide to the islands of Penghu.
- Green Island: My first outer island visit in Taiwan was Green Island. It was such an idyllic trip!
- Orchid Island: My favorite island in Taiwan. This special island is home to the native Tao people, also known as Yami, who preserve the culture and custom of their island passionately. Both Green Island and Orchid Island are part of Taitung so find out more information and travel tips for Green Island and Orchid Island.
- Matsu: I have never visited Matsu but I heard great reviews. The Matsu islands consist of dozens of islands and it is known for the famous Matsu Temple.
- Kinmen: An island cluster with historical buildings and rich culture. Check out Kayla Cosmos 金門女孩’s videos about traveling around Kinmen here.
Tips for taking ferry rides in Taiwan
- Book your ferry tickets in advance for popular routes (especially in summer and during special events/festivals).
- There are different types of ferries you can choose from. High speed ferries are usually the best choice as they bring you to the island much faster but they cost more. High speed ferry rides tend to be choppy so prepare your sea sickness pills.
Taiwan is considered the “Cycling Capital of Asia” with its impressive networks of cycling routes spread all over its diverse landscape where over 70% of the island is covered by mountains. Cycling is so popular in Taiwan that 2021 was designated as the “Year of Cycling Tourism” to celebrate the cyclist-friendly facilities and infrastructure, and promote the healthy sports of cycling.
Do you know you can cycle around the island? The 968km Taiwan Cycling Route No. 1 encircles the entire island. Here are some useful websites with tons of information about the routes, sights, and facilities: Taiwan Cycling Route No. 1 website and 2021 Year of Cycling Tourism websites (English) (Chinese).
I had fond memories of cycling in Taitung, especially in Chishang and around Green Island. My dream is to cycle around Taiwan! Interested to plan a cycling trip? Check out my guide Rhythm of South-Eastern Taiwan: Guide to Cycling in Taitung and Top 10 Experiences in Taitung, Southeastern Taiwan.
Where to stay in Taiwan?
Book your accommodation as early as possible! The earlier you book, you have more options with cheaper rates. Accommodation is one of the biggest travel expenses so I tend to spend time looking around for the best deals.
Here are some of my travel tips to secure convenient and affordable accommodation ranging from hotels to hostels for your next trip to Taiwan!
Hotel rates for Taiwan are reasonable and I usually don’t have to pay too much to stay in convenient areas in Taipei near Taipei Main Station or Ximending. I like to choose hotels near major train stations (not more than 1 km away).
There are many hotel websites that you can use to book hotels. Quoting Rick Steves again, he advises traveler to use general hotel websites to research for options and rates and book directly with hotels. I try to do that for small hotel chains that I prefer like CityInn Hotel in Taipei and Traveler Inn in Taitung. But if the rates offered by websites like Booking.com are better, I will book with the platform.
Here’s a list of websites I usually use:
- Agoda: I use Agoda the most as they usually offer cheaper rates than other booking platforms. You can earn Agoda PointsMax and use them to offset the cost of your next hotel booking. Their customer service is generally responsive and friendly. Check out their discount coupons!
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com too as I find their rates cheaper than other websites and their customer service is generally responsive and friendly.
- Trip.com: Like the other websites, Trip.com offers competitive rates. Their customer service is quite good too. Join their telegram group to receive regular alerts about discount deals.
- Traveloka: Traveloka is gaining popularity. I have used them to book hotels in Singapore and some countries. Use my exclusive promo code wendywritesTVLK and enjoy 5-10% discount for your hotel bookings! Join their telegram group to receive regular alerts about discount deals.
- Expedia: I use Expedia when I find good rates (usually because of credit card promotions).
Tips to enjoy discounts when booking hotels:
- Use Skyscanner to compare and find the best hotel rates! Skyscanner shows you all the rates from a range of booking platforms like Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia and more!
- Always check if there are credit card promotions for the websites. Many hotel booking websites have regular partnerships with companies/banks (like AMEX, Mastercard, Standard Chartered, POSB/DBS and more) and they offer discounts when you book using the credit cards.
- Use ShopBack (use my link to enjoy $5 when you sign up) when you book the hotels to enjoy cash back! ShopBack is a cash back reward program that allows online shoppers to receive a small percentage of their purchases on the platform. When you click on the Booking.com link on the ShopBack website or app and book your hotels using the link via ShopBack, you’ll receive a percentage of your booking price. The cash back percentage can be quite generous from 6 to 14%! I have saved quite lot for my hotel bookings thanks to ShopBack!
Staying in a minsu is a great way to enjoy Taiwan as you can save money and experience the Taiwanese hospitality. Minsu is like a guest house, homestay or bed-and-breakfast experience. They are run my locals and they usually provide a limited number of cosy or specially designed rooms in places located outside the city like in the mountains, farm areas, and more. Minsu stays commonly come with breakfast and dinner (made using fresh ingredients from the region).
I had wonderful memories of friendly minsu hosts and their thoughtful services. During my minsu stay in Cingjing, the host invited us to join a free trip to Mount Hehuan to see snow as there were spaces in a car booked by other guests. And the most beautiful view I enjoyed from a minsu was at Bell Cottage B&B (貝爾莊園民宿) at Luye Highlands in Taitung as we saw hot air balloons floating in the sky every morning and evening during the Taiwan International Hot Air Balloon Festival.
I used to stay in hostels around Taiwan when I traveled solo to save money. There have been some hits and misses but most of my experiences were pleasant. Hostels in Taiwan are generally clean and safe so if you are backpacking or traveling on a budget, staying in hostels is a good choice.
I haven’t used Airbnb in Taiwan. But I don’t think I can save much when I book through Airbnb when I travel alone or with a companion. I usually book hotels or minsu so I don’t have to worry about check in and out times and security.
How to save money?
Check out more travel hacks to save money for your trip to Taiwan!
Currency exchange and credit cards
Here are some of the platforms I have used to get Taiwan dollars (NT):
Wise: Wise is a convenient platform to transfer money and change currencies. It is free to register for an account and apply for a Wise debit card (just pay 9 USD for a physical card).
How to use the Wise card in Taiwan? You just have to top up your account with funds transferred from your local bank. Then you can exchange currencies easily (like Singapore dollars to Taiwan dollars) using the Wise app. You can store Taiwan dollars in your WISE app and use your WISE debit card (physical card or e-card via your phone’s e-wallet like Apple Pay) when you make purchases/payments in Taiwan. You can also just use your Wise’s auto convert feature so you don’t have to exchange Taiwan dollars in advance and you can pay using your Wise card and the payment made in Taiwan will be converted automatically to Taiwan dollars with the lowest possible fees. I love using my Wise card to make payment in Taiwan.
Create a Wise using my link and enjoy fee-free money transfer of up to $900 SGD.
YouTrip: YouTrip works like Wise and it allows you to exchange up to 150 foreign currencies with no fees. Sign up with my link to earn $5 SGD. Start saving Taiwan dollars for your next trip to Taiwan!
Remember to purchase your travel insurance once you have booked your air tickets! In this Covid-19 environment, you may want to pay abit more to have Covid-19 coverage just in case if your trip is affected by any Covid-19 disruptions. Here are some travel insurance companies that offer travel insurance for Singaporeans.
1. FWD: I have recently purchased FWD travel insurance for my family. I like that I can enhance your coverage with COVID-19 add-on benefit and they have an app that facilitates claims easily. I have no issues making claims so far. Check out the policy coverage and cost here (use my link to get extra 2% discount on top of their existing promotional code TRAVEL25). If you are planning a more complex trip that requires more coverage, read their policy wordings carefully.
2. Income: I have been purchasing Income travel insurance for many years. Recently, I find that FWD offers more comprehensive travel insurance packages recently. But Income is always reliable and you can add their Covid-19 travel extension.
3. MSIG: They offer some comprehensive travel insurance coverage and rates. However, for my recent trip to Turkey, my luggage was damaged during transit and their claim process/response was so troublesome that I gave up trying to make a claim.
There are many other travel insurance options and you can check out websites like Singsaver and Moneysmart to see a summary of travel products and promotions. Sometimes these aggregator/third party websites offer quite attractive perks and discounts if you purchase through them. However, before you make any purchase through these websites, check the official travel insurance company website to cross-check the policy coverage and final cost.
Some credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance if you use them (like AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Citi PremierMiles) to purchase the air tickets. But please note that the coverage offered is very limited. So you are planning a long trip and would like adequate coverage, you should buy a separate travel insurance!
I hope this guide to planning a free and easy trip to Taiwan is helpful! For latest updates about traveling to Taiwan, please check Taiwan Tourism Bureau Singapore’s social media platforms regularly (Facebook and Instagram)!
I strongly believe in empowering travelers to know better, travel better! I value privacy and transparency. The article contains affiliate links so I may be compensated to run the website and continue to create content if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.