I know for a fact that Taiwan is not everyone’s top choice when given a chance to travel to another country. Which makes it more interesting to me. 🙂 Last December, I flew to Taiwan and it turned out to be the decision I have ever made this year. I’m sharing with you my exclusive Taiwan Travel Guide that will hopefully help you discover the so-called Heart of Asia, Taiwan.
Taiwan Travel Guide
I’ve been dreaming to visit this small country ever since knowing that an unexpired Japanese Visa will grant you a free entry to Taiwan. In fact, I really did apply for a Travel Authorization Certificate online while my Japanese visa was still valid last year. But it was just for the sake of trying. Until the last day of December 2015, I convinced my friends to come with me to Taiwan on December 2016 and booked flights finally!
Imagine? This trip is a year in the making. Last December 6, we finally flew to Taipei, Taiwan with full of excitement and curiosity. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.
Before I tell you what actually happened, let me first share with you how I planned this trip. Okay fine, is Taiwan cheap? For me it’s affordable. And yes you can survive Taiwan with less than Php 25000 including Visa fee, Plane fare, Travel Tax, Entrance Fees, Pocket Money, and of course, Souvenirs. I’m dead serious.
The breakdown of expenses is as follows:
Plane Fare = Php 4021 with shared 20 kilo baggage allowance
I actually find our ticket more expensive compare to the fare costs today. Airasia is offering less than Php1000 one-way fare to Taipei as part of their promotion to their newly introduced routes. So the plane fare allocation depends. Be sure to catch the cheapest flights available. Cebu Pacific Air and Air Asia Philippines are currently offering direct flights from Cebu/Manila to Taipei and vice versa. Please visit their official websites and check their latest promo.
Accommodation = Php 3112 for 4 nights ( or Php 778 per person per night)
I highly recommend NIHAO@TAIPEI hostel. Originally, I plan to use airbnb for our accommodation. But you know, due to the things that weren’t under my control, we weren’t able to book the place that we really wanted. I guess it’s not meant to be. So I resorted to Nihao@Taipei hostel as it is the (1)cheapest hostel that is (2)nearest to Taipei Main Station and (3)has a lot of good reviews via Agoda.
First impression: “This is so like the hostel we stayed back in Tsim Tsai Tui in Hong Kong.”
Why I love Nihao@Taipei Hostel?
- Entrance/Exit to the Taipei Main Station is just literally downstairs. SO CONVENIENT.
- The reception area is very homey and I think HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED YOU THOUGHT THEY DON’T HAVE. One staff was able to lend my friend a memory card reader to transfer pictures from her camera. And then there’s this one incident where I asked the girl from the reception if they have a scanner. She said some things but I only understand the part that it’s negative. So I went back to my seat and chill. No big deal. Just trying my luck. Few minutes later, a handsome guy came over and said if there’s something that I wanted to scan. He speaks better English so I finally had a sensible conversation. He escorted me to a small storage room where the scanner is hidden and all the other useful things I never thought existed. Haha. I am so amazed! Thanks Ting! 🙂
- The staff! They are so helpful and kind. They try their best to understand and assist you in all your needs. Good job guys!
So I think I can safely say that the value for money I paid in Nihao@Taipei hostel is so worth it compared to the hundreds of dollars I paid to Marina Bay Sands Singapore last September. Oh well, charge to experience and to my credit card.
Taiwan Visa Fee = Php 2600 (TWD 1632 – depends on bank forex rate if applying e-visa online)
There are 2 situations here. First, those who are exempted. (Applicable to citizens of India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos)
To be eligible for an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate, the following conditions must be met:
1. The applicant’s passport must have remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
2. The applicant must possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket.
3. The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.
In addition, the applicant must possess at least one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States:
1. Valid resident or permanent resident card
2. Valid entry visa (may be electronic visa)
3. Resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan
If you met the following conditions above, you can apply for the Travel Authorization Certificate here FOR FREE: https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/
The second one is to apply for a visa. Actually I’m kind of eligible for the visa exemption because of my Japanese visa last year but I’m not confident at first because the rules are not “specific”. The red statement above could mean “Resident card” or “Resident visa” only. I know I should have called the embassy myself to clarify things but lazy girl is lazy. So I applied e-visa online, which fortunately went smooth and hassle-free. Read my detailed guide here and apply Taiwanese visa in less than 10 minutes. http://www.laagankaayo.com/how-to-apply-for-a-taiwan-evisa/
International Terminal Fee = Php 750
Travel Tax = Php 1620 (THIS REALLY MAKES ME SAD T_T)
Pocket Money = Php 11000 (TWD 6500)
This includes transportation, food, entrance fees, Tour, and Souvenir!
You can check our itinerary here: Taiwan Itinerary (raw)
So in summary:
Php 4012 > Plane Fare (will vary)
Php 2600 > Visa Fee (will vary)
Php 3112 > Accommodation (will vary)
Php 750 > Terminal Fee
Php 1620 > Travel Tax
Php 11000 > Pocket Money
Php 23103 or just make it Php 25000 to cover misc expenses along the way or more budget for shopping! 😀
Important tip: Please have your pocket-money exchange while you are still in Philippines. If you can’t, please make sure to have them exchange in Taipei Airport because you can hardly find a money changer in the city center. There’s a money changer in the mall inside Taipei 101 but they don’t change Philippine money. I was really hurt upon learning this. I ask them why. They said they don’t know. I was so sad :'( But please don’t make that an excuse not go to Taiwan. You will be amaze I promise! 🙂
So that’s my personal Taiwan Travel Guide. I hope it will help you in some ways and give Taiwan a chance to be discovered.
Read my deep feelings for Taiwan here.